"The Tragedy Of Vietnam" By George B. Tindall And David E. Sh. And "God's Country And American Know How" By Loren Baritz.

1334 words - 5 pages

Vietnam was the only war in history that America lost. This fact has haunted America and her citizens since the end of the end of the Vietnam War. Just as the British were completely humiliated by losing the American Revolution to an inferior army, so was the United Sates about Vietnam. The reasons for intervening in Vietnam were clear: to allow South Vietnam to choose the type of government it wanted, as long as it wasn't Communism. I studied Vietnam from a variety of sources including history books, collections of eyewitness accounts, and essays written by historians. When I collected the knowledge that I have learned about Vietnam together to formulate an opinion, I realized that many reasons for the Vietnam War go as far back as the colonization of America. Since the Puritans who founded this country, America has sought to have a positive influence on other countries around the world, but failed with Vietnam. This war was the most protested war in history. The "baby boomers" were teenagers in the sixties and were the main source of protesting, forming two extreme spectrums in the Vietnam War: The "tree-hugging hippies" and the "war mongers," as well as the people caught in between the two spectrums. Although I did not live through the war itself, I have gathered enough information from history textbooks and the essays, "The Tragedy of Vietnam" and "God's Country and American Know-How" to formulate opinions that I believe are quite accurate.The first essay that is to be analyzed is "The tragedy of Vietnam" by George B. Tindall and David E. Shi. This essay puts the majority of the blame for the Vietnam War on the American presidents who presided during the war. According to the authors, the war lasted so long because of the presidents who did not want to have the loss of a war on their presidential records. I do agree with this view to a certain extent. The problem with most presidents, as stated by the authors, was the fear of public discontent. To me, America is and was like a child. It often asks for things that are not to its benefit. An example of this is when a child asks his mother if he can have candy. The mother's responsibility is to tell the child no because the candy is bad for him. The child then does not understand and is angered by his mother's response. This is exactly how the American population thinks and reacts. So many instances throughout history, such as the crash of 1929, could have been prevented if the president had enough courage to stand up to the popular, often uninformed opinion, even if the population was discontented at first. The president is elected by a Republican society to do what is necessary for the country. In my opinion, if the president evades the correct decision in order to please the public, he has failed his duty as a leader.The authors state that in order for a person to be elected president, he must hold the values treasured by the American society of the time period. Following World War II, the...

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