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United States' Involvement In South Vietnam

2584 words - 10 pages

United States' Involvement in South Vietnam

It is apparent from source A that America was involved in Vietnam to
maintain capitalism and to suppress communism.

The writer of the source, John F Kennedy, had a high position in the
US government and he makes the point that the Americans did not like
communism and wanted to stop it spreading. "If the red tide of
communism overflowed into Vietnam, then Burma, Thailand…and Cambodia
would be threatened." This shows the Americans definitely knew that if
they did not step in and support the Vietnamese, the Domino theory
would occur. This theory stated that if one country fell to communism,
so would the surrounding countries, like dominoes set up in a line and
pushed over.

The use of "red tide" gives the impression of communism washing away
the freedom of the Vietnamese, and the surrounding countries. The tide
can also have a very destructive nature and using this to describe
communism shows that it will erode the freedom of the ordinary people
and destroy their freedom.

Study sources A, B and C

"Do sources B and C support the evidence of source A about the reasons
for USinvolvement in South Vietnam?"

Source B supports A completely. It agrees with source A because it is
written by a member of the state department, a position of authority
like J.F Kennedy. It was also written in the same year as source C.
These two factors would mean that the author of the source would agree
with J.F.K because of their positions in Government and want to stop

Source C however both supports and contradicts source A. It agrees
with source A because the writer, Phillip Caputo, must have believed
what the US government was saying about communism being a threat, as
he volunteered to go and fight in Vietnam. Source C also supports
source A as it points to the fact that made to believe that
involvement in Vietnam was necessary. It gives a "cops and robbers"
good guy-bad guy analogy of the war.

However, Source C disagrees with source A because it tells is about
what happened to the men when they got out to Vietnam. It states that
when the men had already been made to believe they were desperately
needed, they discovered that there was nothing for them to do out
there. It also contradicts source A because J.F.K states in source A
that the Americans were out in Vietnam to stop the spread of
communism, but Caputo states in source C that they were only there to
kill as many Vietcong Guerrillas as they possibly could and get a high
body count.

Study sources D and E

"How useful are these sources as evidence of the public reaction in
the USAto the war in Vietnamin the mid 1960's?"

Source D is useful because it shows how the media influenced the
public opinion of America in 1967. the article appeared in a popular

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