The United States in Vietnam Sample Essay.
For the writing assignment, you will be responding to the given prompt with a well-written essay of 3-5 pages. The assignment must be typed (12pt. font, double spaced, 1” margins). As an essay, the paper must include an introduction, thesis, and conclusion, in addition to the body of the paper which should house all of your supporting evidence. You should read and re-read the group of documents provided to make sure you have a full understanding of the materials. Make sure you include direct references to the texts (quotes, summaries, etc.) to support your argument. You can use whichever citation style you would prefer.
Was the United States justified in their involvement in Vietnam and did they back the right side?
The United States was not justified in their involvement in Vietnam. The war between the North and South Vietnamese was an internal conflict and should have been left alone for them only to decide. It will be discussed further the reasons that the United States should have not gotten itself involved in a war that wasn’t its own.
The United states claims to be a democratic government that feels the government should be ran by the people and for the people. The fact “the Eisenhower administration collaborated with the South Vietnam leadership to prevent elections” (Gelb) is hypercritical to say the least. How could America justify preventing elections if they truly believed In the Declaration of Independence. At the end of the war 57,000 American soldiers died in a war that wasn’t theirs to fight to begin with. According to the statement by Leslie H. Gelb “simple anti-communism was the principal reason for the United States involvement in Vietnam” (Gelb). The United States has always considered communism to be a threat to its way of life but in reality, it wouldn’t make a difference to America what form of government Vietnam adopted.
Furthermore, in the Atlantic Charter that was signed by the President and the Prime Minister of England wrote,” Third, they respected the night of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live”. The United States getting involved in the Vietnam war, this right away from the Vietnamese people and forcing its own ideology upon them. This is another example of hypocrisy.
In the article about Veteran John Kerry’s Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relation Committee on April 22, 1971, John Kerry testifies “there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America and to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam…it the height of criminal hypocrisy”. (Bolt) This further shows that even the soldiers thought they should not have been in the Vietnam War. The number of soldiers that lost their lives defending a country that was not their own. Kerry went on to testify although the Viet Cong was blamed for the chaos the American bombs and search and destroy missions did equal damage. Kerry also explained how the war turned the United States soldiers into savages. The committed war crimes on “day to day basis with a full awareness Officers of all levels of command”. (Bolt) The United States soldiers tortured, raped shot and did inhuman acts. This turned ordinary men into monsters. This would never have happened if we never got involved. This ruined the lives of both the soldiers and their families. What soldiers witnessed during the war scared them and were never normal again. At the end of the war the United States finally realized they could not win this war; they were reluctant to pull out because President Nixon did not want to be “the first President to lose a war”. (Bolt)
Although it is important to stress that the United States had no business being involved in a civil war that had nothing to do with America in the first place, in my opinion if we had to choose a side to fight for, we chose the right side. The United States has a long history of fighting against communism. We had no choice to back the side that was pro-democracy. Since the North was pro-communist and it would have gone against everything that the United States represented.