United States Trying To Stop Communism History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
From my understanding, the United States was involved in the Vietnam War to stop the spread of Communism, but it failed due to self-serving politicians who cared more about the American Anti-War Movement. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, was a military conflict that started on September 26, 1959 and ended on April 30, 1975. The South Vietnamese fought with the United States and North Vietnam was supported by its communist allies. It also was the longest war in history and the most unpopular in the 20th century.  The United States caused many consequences for the war. One main consequence was that Congress enacted the War Powers Act, requiring the president to receive explicit congressional approval before committing American forces overseas.  The United States wanted to help support the South Vietnam government and to initiate that, President Johnson commenced air strikes on the North Vietnamese. The next president, Richard Nixon, advocated help with the Vietnamese, withdrawing American troops and giving South Vietnam greater responsibility for fighting the war.  His attempt to slow the flow of North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies into South Vietnam by sending American forces to destroy Communist supply bases in Cambodia in 1970 in violation of Cambodian neutrality provoked antiwar protests on the nation’s college campuses. During the war, both the United States and Vietnam lost many of lives. The Vietnam War cost the U.S. 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties. The Vietnamese were also torn apart and had millions of women and children die, as well as soldiers. The main reason why the United States became involved was because of the Communist Party in Vietnam. To help the U.S. fight against the Communist Party, presidents provided economic and military aid to South Vietnam’s non-Communist regime.  (See Appendix II) They wanted to make sure the non-Communist Party was stronger than their enemies. One man named Dean Acheson was very supportive of the anti-Communist regime. Dean Acheson was Secretary of State under President Harry Truman. Although he developed anti-Communist views early in his political career, Acheson defended State Department employees who were accused during Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist investigations of the early 1950s.  Acheson persuaded Truman to dispatch aid to French forces in Indochina and years later counseled President Lyndon B. Johnson to negotiate for peace with the Vietminh. When the United States entered Vietnam, those who lived there had to be affected by all the horrible things going on. Many soldiers killed innocent women and children to stop the Communist regime. One strong anti-communist was, Ngo Dinh Diem, who refused to take part in the election of 1956.  When the U.S. heard of this they felt that this would be victory for Ho Chi Minh, who was a communist, and then they immediately supported the cancelled elections. In the end, the Eisenhower administration promised military aid and training to Diem. Today, the Vietnamese’s main problem is citizenship. To them, citizenship is a reminder of being an outsider in what they consider their father land. Some don’t even know their own age and have to figure it out on paper. A pop singer in Vietnam named, My-Thuan Tran, travelled to Washington D.C. on behalf of abandoned children of American soldiers and Vietnamese women. He was unfortunately born during the Vietnam War and had to experience what went on. All he wanted was to seek citizenship in the country where others and his father fought. An important president in that time was President John F. Kennedy because he wanted to help the South Vietnamese become a lot stronger. One of his strongest helping strategies was military aid and he secretly sent 400 Special Operations Forces. He sent spies for the military, who were called the Green Barets, that trained soldiers to teach the South Vietnamese how to fight.  The Kennedy administration, which entered the White House in 1961, chose to “swim” with Diem. However, Kennedy was wary of accusations that Democrats were “soft” on communism. He increased financial aid to Diem’s teetering regime and sent thousands of military advisers to help train South Vietnamese troops in their battle against the NLF. Because of ongoing land corruptions, Diem formed the hamlet program, which meant moving all villagers to protected areas. The U.S. should have helped because the South Vietnamese were in need of support. On November 1, 1963, a U.S.-supported military coup toppled over Diem’s regime and against Kennedy’s wishes, leading to Diem’s execution.  Three weeks after Diem died in a murderous coup, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.  Both those who supported Kennedy policies and those who opposed them were affected. After his death, they should have found a way to build an even stronger army and continue the military aid. While police were searching for the assassin, the United States made the right choice to travel back to Vietnam. Kennedy would have wanted them to make a stronger and everlasting country. When Kennedy was shot down, people were defenseless, but this didn’t cause the U.S. to stop what they were doing. More than 16,000 U.S. military advisers were in South Vietnam at the time. If people had stayed for the Anti-War Movement, who knows what would happen in the future. They made the right decision to fight and the Vietnamese would have fought if the United States didn’t come. Unfortunately, this continuation in war caused 60,000 American deaths, and 2 million Vietnamese deaths.
In the year 1965, the United States entered the war. When it started, organizational students for a democratic society decided to make the war its principal target. Also, antiwar protest groups formed on many of the nation’s campuses fighting for peace and didn’t allow anyone one to stand in their way, even the government. Even though many were against communism, they still wanted their brothers and friends to be back home safe without harm. According to the United States, “French colonialism was the lesser of the two evils”.  They believed a greater evil was presented by France’s opposition in Vietnam, which a group was named the Vietminh, formed by the Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh. Following their defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the French began negotiations to leave Vietnam. As a result of peace accords working out at the Geneva Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Vietnam was divided into North Vietnam and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel as a temporary measure until unifying elections would take place in 1956. Transfer of civil administration of North Vietnam to the Vietminh was given on October 11, 1954. Ho Chi Minh was appointed Prime Minister of North Vietnam, which would be run as a socialist state. The Indochinese Communist Party organized most of the strikes and revolts in 1930. The leader of the party, Ho Chi Minh, fled Vietnam that year. When the Allied defeat of Japan in August of 1945 forced the Japanese to leave Vietnam, the Vietminh had a chance to gain independence.  On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh stood in the middle of a huge crowd in the northern city of Hanoi and declared Vietnam an independent nation.  After this, the French came trying to overthrow Vietnam and President Harry Truman gave them an extra hand. First, he sent troops to help France, which became the United States ally for many years. One problem the French were facing was that they could no longer support their own colonies. Immediately, Truman demanded a “declaration by the French government of Independence”.  After the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the French surrendered and began to pull out of Vietnam. Along with it, the Geneva Peace Accords was formed by Vietnam’s anti-Communist nationalists were the ones to do it. Both the French and Vietnamese signed the accord because of the strains of the international cold war. Communists feared that a peace would anger the United States and the Western European allies. The Communists were correct because the United States did not support the peace act because it granted too much power to the Communist Party of Vietnam.  Undersecretary of State George Ball warned that the South Vietnamese government was a functional nonentity and simply could not be sustained by the United States.  One man named, Major Frank Breth, allowed someone to interview him, revealing the scary, gruesome and terrible past of the Vietnam War.(See Appendix I) During the war he coordinated and ran the ops for 3/9 (Bill La Montagne) from March 1968 to September 1968. He then went through the Battle for Hue and then returned to 3/9 as the S-3. One day on April 30, 1968, Breth and his other five fellow soldiers were sitting at their post doing their normal routine. Then, suddenly they received a message saying that a platoon of 1/9 with some tanks had received heavy casualties east of Cam Lo. When they heard the news, Breth and his other friends La Montagne, Tom Mix, and 1st Sgt Paddock rushed to the scene hoping to find someone. Their mission was to recover the platoon from 1/9 and get the tanks out. The platoon had been out there 24-36 hours from what he recalled. As they reached the platoon, a small fire was being brought to them and that lasted for a while. Luckily, as time went on, the tanks saved them from all the gun fire and they were able to get out safely.  According to Breth’s story, the United States were very capable of fighting in Vietnam. They wanted to keep their fellow soldiers safe and protect them from the enemies. If the U.S. had not come, the Vietnamese would surely come over to the United States and cause harm to the U.S. or even kill them. A major turning point in the war was the Anti-War Movement. This movement consisted of independent interests and exposed a deep schism within 1960s American society.  When the U.S. began bombing North Vietnam, the pace of protest immediately quickened; it started to grow larger and larger. In February and again in March of 1965, SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) organized marches on the Oakland Army Terminal, the departure point for many troops bound for Southeast Asia. On 24 March, faculty members at the University of Michigan held a series of classes to educate large segments of the student population about both the moral and political foundations of U.S. involvement. Most Americans pragmatically opposed escalating the U.S. role in Vietnam, believing the economic cost too high; in November of 1969 a second march on Washington drew an estimated 500,000 participants.  The ones who led this peace movement were “hippies”, who were surrounded by love, peace and freedom. The new leaders became increasingly strident, greeting returning soldiers with jeers and taunts, spitting on troops in airports and on public streets. The United States provided a calm way to gain peace, but those who were against the “hippies” should not have taken it so seriously. Instead of getting defensive against their own kind, they should have joined them and be joyful gaining back their peace once and for all. A major problem that the United States had to prevent was Communist Attacks. National interests do not require that South Vietnamese serve as a Western alliance and Vietnam was striving to preserve its independence from Communist attack. The United States made the right choice to continue giving those help. From 1956-1960, the Communist Party of Vietnam desired to reunify the country through political means alone. Accepting the Soviet Union’s model of political struggle, the Communist Party tried unsuccessfully to cause Diem’s collapse by exerting tremendous internal political pressure.  The U.S. was right to have been on the South Vietnamese’s side because it they both wanted to take down Ngo Dinh Diem. Southern Communists convinced the Party to adopt more violent tactics to guarantee Diem’s downfall. At the Fifteenth Party Plenum in January 1959, the Communist Party finally approved the use of revolutionary violence to overthrow Ngo Dinh Diem’s government.  The result was the creation of a broad-based united front to help mobilize southerners in opposition to the Saigon government. Many believe the American effort in the war was a sin and is still being questioned today. Having read all the research, the U.S. should have been in the war because the Communist Parties would have attacked. The United States was saving Vietnam from becoming a totalitarian government. Unfortunately, it was the longest war in American History and the most unpopular in the 20th century.  It was unpopular because many men wanted to be drafted into the military service and only 40,000 men were drafted a month in 1968. The U.S. almost failed the job of guiding Vietnam to a new era of peace. We began sending in larger pockets of troops to support the South Vietnamese effort against the communist North. The numbers of Americans in Vietnam somehow started without us even engaging in the war.
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