The Vietnam War: Communist Containment And The Cold War

1194 words - 5 pages

Vietnam was in a state of turmoil during the mid 20th century; after gaining independence from imperialist France, the country was torn between nationalist political parties in the South and Communist ones in the North. Even though the United States had made efforts to support france during the revolution, it was inclined to back the nationalist South Vietnamize after the coup rather than the communist North. In doing so the United States made an unwise political commitment to Vietnam, which would lead to the longest and most unpopular war in the Nations history. Vietnam represents an important chapter in American history, due to its symbolic meaning of the times in an era where the slogan "make love not war" was prominent, its direct relevancy to internal political conflicts during the cold war; and the amount of commitment the United States was obliged to undertake during that time concerning the spread of communism.
The soldiers who fought the Vietnam War were the least celebrated warriors of American history; when they returned from the battlefield after their horrific ordeal in the Vietnamese jungle, they were badgered with nicknames such as "baby killer", by the citizens protesting the war. Anti-war music illustrated the way the people felt at that time, songs like " I feel like I'm fixing to die" by Joe McDonald, were well known and used as a sort of rallying tool to unite the masses who were against the war in Vietnam. Its a well known fact that the war in Vietnam was the most unpopular war in our history to date, the timing of the war couldn't have came at a worse time; for the era of Vietnam also turned out to be the era of the sexual revolution, the era of love and peace. The U.S citizens weren't the only people in protest of the war, Vietnam turned out to be disliked on a global basis; the people of France organized strikes to protest the war which even threatened to topple their government.
The Vietnam war was also the most televised war in U.S history, bluntly showing the atrocities of the kill zone; scenes such as the "My Lai Massacre" and news of "the incident on hill 192" (which later was recreated into a movie called "the casualties of war" in 1989); drove Americans to not only hate the war, but to also vent their abuse on soldiers returning from the jungle. African American views of the war were also of utter dislike, civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. expressed their feelings through speeches to the public; heroin of the black community, Muhammad Ali, was even quoted declaring " No Vietcong ever called me nigger". Protest marches of the time even began to turn violent in the U.S, in response to the attack on Cambodia students in Kent State University, Ohio began a riot which resulted in 4 people being killed by the national guard.
The Cold War was a competition between capitalism and communism, the two nations competing with each other were the Soviet Union and the United States....

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