Vietnam War Compared To World War Ii

2789 words - 11 pages

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide to feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. "The Vietnam War and World War II were both devastating conflicts in which many men and women lost their lives. These casualties of war are often used to indicate the severity of the conflicts. However, another factor that needs to be considered as a devastating effect of war is how many men and women are not only killed, but how many of them are unaccounted for, missing in battle, and taken prisoner. In both wars, prisoners were taken and held as POW's. A POW, or prisoner of war, is a "person who surrenders to (or is taken by) the enemy in time of war." Nations have signed agreements concerning the humane treatment of prisoners of war. In World War II and the Vietnam War, American POW's were treated badly, the guidelines of the Geneva Conference were broken, and the soldiers taken captive suffered from lasting effects.The Geneva Conference of 1949 set the rules for holding Prisoners of War. They state, "every prisoner of war was entitled to adequate food and medical care and had the right to exchange correspondence and receive parcels. He was required to observe ordinary military disciplineand courtesy, but he could attempt to escape at his own risk. Once recaptured, he was not to be punished for his attempt. Officers were to receive pay either according to the pay scale of their own country or to that of their captor, whichever was less; they could not be required to work. Enlisted men might be required to work for pay, but the nature and location of their work were not to expose them to danger, and in no case could they be required to perform work directly related to military operations. Camps were to be open to inspection by authorized representatives of a neutral power." (Vietnam Bartleby)The Vietnam War was one of the most devastating conflicts of modern time. It began when the North Vietnamese, aided by the Vietcong, tried to overthrow the government in South Vietnam. In 1963, they successfully executed President Diem of South Vietnam. The following year, the North Vietnamese began attacks attempting to conquer all of Vietnam aided by China and Russia. The United States became involved because they had helped "establish the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), a regional alliance that extended protection to South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in cases of Communist subversion or insurrection." (Vietnam Encarta) In 1961, South Vietnam signed a military treaty with the United States to receive military aid and support. (About)Men fighting in the Vietnam War came from all different backgrounds...

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