The American public learned about the Massacre in Maim Alai caused by Charlie Company that occurred in November 13, 1 969, in which “over the next three hours they killed as many as 504 Vietnamese civilians. Some were lined up in a drainage ditch before being shot. The dead civilians included fifty, age 3 or younger, sixty-nine were between 4 and 7, and twenty-seven in their ass’s or ass’s” (Mint). Along with killings, the U. S. Began bombing villages in Vietnam and Cambodia.
After the country had been bombed and raided day after day for years, the United States began pulling out troops in 1973, and shortly after in 1976, was declared unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. So what exactly led to the U. S. Involvement in Vietnam? What caused the war to last such a long time, and cost the lives of thousands of innocent villagers and American soldiers? The answer is that there is no outstanding reason. The United States slowly entered Vietnam, until one day it had become a full war without ever being declared one.
One of the biggest reasons for going to aid South Vietnam was President Trauma’s “containment” policy in 1947, ” ‘l believe that it must be the policy of the Elicited States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside erasures… I am confident that the Congress will face these responsibilities squarely’ ” (Goldman). In other words, the United States would supply any necessary materials or funds to any nation under the pressure of another totalitarian country. To add to that, Eisenhower would later make his statement on the Domino Theory in 1954. You have a row of dominoes set up. You knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly ” (Nelson). What was Eisenhower trying to say exactly? That if one country fell under communism the rest of he third world countries would follow. That is kind of a broad and bold statement made by Eisenhower, but nevertheless it led people to believe that stopping communism even in Vietnam was necessary. Shortly after, the United States learned of military movement in North Vietnam and attacks on the South Vietnamese.
As specified in this article published by the university of Illinois. “In 1957, Communist insurgent activity in South Vietnam begins. Guerrillas assassinate more than four hundred South Vietnamese officials. Thirty-seven armed companies are organized along the Mekong Delta. In 959, Thirteen Americans working for MAGMA and US Information Service are wounded in terrorist bombings in Saigon” (Nelson). North Vietnam did indeed start the aggression on South Vietnam, the United was quick to act, and some say too quick.
North Vietnam also started the Ho Chi Mini trail that passed through Cambodia in 1 959 which “would become a strategic target for future military attacks” (Nelson). That would later bring up the U. S. Controversy for starting bombing raids in Cambodia. In 1 970, President Nixon started order the bombing of Cambodia and other Vietnamese villages. The repose being a strategic war plan, but the American people became aware of the plan, it was considered unethical, and also a crossing of boundaries of the U. S. Overspent power, in bombing any country it saw fit to stop the advancement of the North Vietnamese, “Nixon attempted to slow the flow of North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies into South Vietnam by sending American forces to destroy Communist supply bases in Cambodia. This act violated Cambodia neutrality and provoked antiwar protests on the nation’s college campuses” (Nelson). Also, the American people were suffering great casualties and horrible experiences from being in war. It was reported that “the Vietnam War cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties.
It also resulted in between one and two million Vietnamese deaths” (Mint). After having entered a war without the Congress approval, “Congress enacted the War Powers Act in 1 973, requiring the president to receive explicit Congressional approval before committing American forces overseas” (Mint). Overall, and over the years the American people became more and more aware the war in Vietnam was counter-productive. The cost of the war was erroneous and greatly exceeded the one hundred billion mark. In 1968, “Et Offensive by the North Vietnamese turned many Americans against the war (Mint).
The combination of bad decisions made by Presidents, the death count of Vietnam increasing on both sides, including innocent villagers made up of women and children turned the American people anti-Vietnam and pro- peace. General Wasteland lied about the numbers of men dying in Vietnam. Wasteland ordered soldiers to kill children to which Americans disapproved of this, causing the public to lose support. This was also the first AR that was televised for all Americans to see. When Americans saw the harsh orders being conducted by Wasteland, it made our soldiers looked like murders.
The Vietnamese would plant traps and bombs on children and blow them up in front of our troops. These tactics were used to mentally abuse soldiers. Even after the removal of the troops, the American public felt angry after discovering that in April 1 975, “South Vietnam surrendered to the North, and Vietnam was reunited” (Nelson). The brought down the American belief in the government and hatred towards the disappointing war began. A elution or lesson learned to this time in history is to prohibit this kind of war from occurring again.
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