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The Vietnam War: A Fight For Human Liberty And Freedom

2121 words - 8 pages

No war that the United States has ever fought has drawn so much heart-rending criticism than the Vietnam War. This war divided the United States as no war since the Civil War ever has. Citizens that favored the participation in Vietnam still argue their point of view with those that opposed the United States involvement in Vietnam. The Vietnam conflict started as civil war in the country of Vietnam, one that lies very far away from the United States in Indochina. Why did Americans sacrifice so many lives and so much money for a country so far away? Why did millions of Americans violently protest involvement in Vietnam? It has been twenty-six years since the last American soldier left Vietnam, and the United States has still not come to peace with the Vietnam experience. Despite the 58,156 American causalities, the 1.5 million dead in North Vietnam, the 924,000 Vietcong killed in the South, the South Vietnamese losses of 183,000 and the 120 billion dollars spent by the US in Vietnam, the United States was justified in its reasons for entering the Vietnam conflict (Edwards 10). Time has not altered the facts of why the United States chose to fight for freedom halfway across the world.

Vietnam is a long narrow country in the China Sea that is in the shape of an “S.” Its total size is that of New Mexico, but it is much more populous with 47 million residents (Fincher 7). Vietnam is a land of thousands of small villages with many rice fields. Three out of every four Vietnamese live on the coast and all the major cities also lie there (Lawson 1). Vietnam has a monsoon climate, which consists of a hot wet season followed by a cooler dryer time. The average summer temperature in the South Vietnam is 85 degrees and the winter temperature is 78 degrees, which is still considered hot by American standards. Saigon, a city in Vietnam, has an average rainfall of 80 inches, while Chicago is 32 inches (Fincher 11).

The Vietnam people sought for their independence and the group that fought the hardest was the Communist party led by Ho Chi Minh (Fincher 17). During WWII, with France falling to Nazi Germany, the Japanese made Vietnam their colony. After WWII Vietnam thought that it would get to be independent, but the French regained their control over Indochina. Great Britain and the United States backed the French (Fincher 18). The Vietnamese fought the French, which led to the first Vietnam War from 1946 to 1954 (Fincher 18). The Soviet Union and China gave Vietnam military aid, and the Chinese taught the Vietnamese how to fight a guerilla war (Fincher 8). Although the US had given the French 2.5 billion dollars in equipment and had sent 200 Air Force men to service French planes, President Eisenhower decided against any more direct help to the French. On May 8, 1954, the French surrendered at Dien Bien Phu and the Communists thought Vietnam would now be under their control. However, Vietnam was...

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