Vietnam War

Alec Scheerer

Who, what, when, where, why's

The Vietnam War originally started a fight between North and South Vietnam, but as it continued more and more nations started to get into the fighting as well and it kept growing. This war was a war fought to keep communist North Vietnam form gaining control over anti-communist South Vietnam and to stop the spread of communism. This war started in December of 1956 and ended in April of 1975, a near 20 year war that is the longest war in American history. The Vietnam war was held in 3 places: Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The reason why America got involved in this war was to stop the spread of communism.

Perspective #1

In 1957, the Viet Cong and other opponents of Diem's repressive team began fighting back with several attacks on government officials and other targets, and by 1959 they had begun heading into the South Vietnamese Army forces in firefights. In December of 1960, Deim's opponents within South Vietnam, and both communist and non-communist formed the NLF. The NLF claimed to be non-communist at the time when it first formed. Then a team sent by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to report the conditions in South Vietnam and advised to build up an American military that would go into Vietnam and build up economic and technical aid to help confront the Veit Cong threat. Then once more and more US troops started to enter Vietnam, the war was on at that point.

Perspective #2

Casualties on the U.S. side were vast. More than 47,000 military soldiers were killed in action with another 11,000 dying from noncombat deaths during the war. More than 150,000 U.S. soldiers were wounded and more than 10,000 were missing at the end of the war. The U.S. citizens mostly disagreed with the U.S.'s involvement in the conflict, and returning soldiers often faced disgrace about the war upon return. Around 110,000 South Vietnamese were killed and a half million soldiers were wounded. Loss of civilian life was heavy as well; some estimated say that more than 400,000 civilians were killed during the long war. The government claimed that 1.1 million soldiers died during the 21 years of the long war in Vietnam.

Media biased

The first editorial about the rise of communism in Vietnam was published by The New York Times in January 1955. In the same way after the United States threw its weight behind Ngo Dinh Diem, who became South Vietnam’s president in 1955, journals in the United States ignored the new leader’s despotic tendencies and instead highlighted his anti-Communism. As a result, the New York Times sent their first reporter to Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. This was followed by other journalists arriving from Reuters, Agence France Presse, Times and Newsweek.

Criticism #1 (War Protest)

The movement against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War began small–among peace activists and leftist intellectuals on college campuses–but gained national prominence in 1965. Members of the leftist organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) began organizing “teach-ins” to express their opposition to the way in which it was being conducted. Though the majority of the American population still supported the administration policy in Vietnam, a small but outspoken liberal minority was making its voice heard by the end of 1965.

Criticism #2 (Anti-draft)

Protests bringing attention to "the draft" began on May 5, 1965. Student activists at the University of California, Berkeley marched on the Berkeley Draft board and forty students staged the first public burning of a draft card in the United States. Another nineteen cards were burnt May 22 at a demonstration following the Berkeley teach-in. Draft card protests were not aimed so much at the draft as at the immoral conduct of the war. On October 15, 1965 the student-run National Coordinating Committee to end the war in Vietnam in New York staged the first draft card burning to result in an arrest under the new law. In 1967, the continued operation of a really unfair draft system which called as many as 40,000 men for getting put into the war each month fueled a really large draft resistance movement. There were also many different anti-war/anti-draft groups that helped people that were against the draft to know how to legally and illegally get out of the draft.
war of vietnam: Why did US enter into Vietnam war