Was The War In Vietnam Justified?

1061 words - 5 pages

Was the war in Vietnam justified?
The Vietnam War was the longest war in the history of the United States it lasted from 1959-1975. Billions of dollars was spent trying to win and unwinnable war. Countless of lives were lost and America failed to achieve its objective. The origins of the war stem from the Indochina wars that occurred in the late 40s and early 50s. After many years of colonial war, the Viet Minh a communist group led by Ho Chi Minh sought independence for Vietnam. The French were not reluctant to let go of their crowning jewel without a fight. The French were aided militarily by the Unites States who sought the membership of France to the NATO and were willingly to provide ...view middle of the document...

The war lacked support on the home front, was centered on America preserving their prestige, the soldiers did not know what they were fighting for, and the horrific treatment of the Vietnamese was inhumane.
Initially a majority of the American people supported the war, but as days passed and uncensored images of dead soldiers, children, men, and women was plastered on their television; the anti-war sentiment grew. Many began to question the purpose of fighting the war in Vietnam, even iconic newscaster Walter Cronkite. Cronkite was deemed the “most trusted man in America” and when he boldly stated that America should cut their loss and withdrawal from Vietnam people listened. The anti-war movement started off small with peace activist, prominent intellectuals, hippies, disabled Vietnam Veterans, and college students. The movement gained national attention with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who openly advocate for the end of the Vietnam War with anti-war protest and marches.
No president wanted to be the reason Vietnam fell to communism so during Dwight Eisenhower’s term he did whatever he could to prevent it from occurring. This sentiment continued during the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon administration. This mindset was evident in a statement made by Johnson in which he boldly states that “I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went” (Nash, G. B.,869). This logic led to the massive influx of soldiers being drafted to Vietnam. Despite how high the death toll rose, the soldiers being sent overseas did not stop but rather increased dramatically. Furthermore, despite repeated statements from military commanders that the war was unwinnable the y were fighting an enemy that specialized in guerillas warfare, that there was no light at the end of the tunnel the violence, bombing, and maiming of civilians continued. The war became less about preserving the spread of communism and more about America preserving their power, ego, and prestige.
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