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P.O.W.S In The Vietnam War Essay

956 words - 4 pages

P.O.W.s in the Vietnam War

The Vietnam war, also called the Indochina War , may be said to have started in 1957 when Communist-led rebels began mounting terrorists attacks against the government of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The rebel forces, commonly called the Vietcong, were later aided by troops of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). American combat personnel were formally committed to the defense of the South in 1965. An agreement calling for a ceasefire was signed in January 1973, and by March the few remaining U.S. millitary personnel in Vietnam were withdrawn. However, the war between the two Vietnamese sides persisted inconclusively for two additional years before South Vietnamese resistance suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed. Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, fell to the Communists on April 30, 1975. A prisoner of war is traditionally a member of a belligerent's armed forces who has been captured by the enemy. The complexities of modern warfare, however, have led to the extensions of prisoner-of-war status to persons of other categories. International law identifies the categories of persons who should be classified as prisoners of war (POW) is to be treated humanely and is to be detained for no purpose other than to prevent his further participation in combat. The Vietnamese tortured the American soldiers beyond unimmagineable boundries. Torture isn't always bad as it is made out to be. Not getting mail, may not seem that bad to you, but what if somebody parents died and they received a letter telling them that and they never got it. The Vietcong or Vietminh would withold all the incoming mail. Lot of soldiers parents died or something really important happened and they were not told. Whenever they wanted to know something they just tortured somebody enough untill the answer was given. They would tie their hands with rope and turn a wheel that stretched their back. The worst part was coming off and getting the rope off of you. Soldiers were placed in handcuffs and leg irons and were left that way for sometimes many years. Mr. Ralph Gaither was a navy ensign when his plane was shot down. He was immediately taken to one of the thirteen vietnamese prisons. He would spend the next seven to eight years of his life in an 4.5x9 cell with another man. From the cell he watched many of his friends lives get wasted, because they talked back to the Vietnamese. There was no love in these camps between the Americans and the Vietcong. Soldiers were told that they were not prisoners-of-war, but mere criminals. A war had not been declared by the United States Government so therefore they could treat their advisaries as murderers and thieves. The prisons that they were being held in...

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