Vietnam War

Thuy Tran

Who, What, When , Where, Why's

Through back to the 1950s, Vietnam war was originally a civil war between Northern and Southern Vietnam that extended 30 years long. Not until the 1960s, the US officially involved in the civil war as a principal ally of the South Vietnam against the communist regime of North Vietnam and its Southern allies, the Viet Cong. Following the fear of "Domino Theory", America began their ally position by supporting troops and weapons for the South Vietnam in other to prevent the expansion of the communist throughout Southeast Asia under the administration of President Dwight Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy. However, the expensive and length of war, the high number of US causalities, and the exposure of U.S. involvement in war crimes which were portrayed in media news and TV in America hometown caused numerous of Americans against the war. As a result, America withdrew from Vietnam following to the peace commitment with Paris after the several crisis of anti-war area in America hometown. Vietnam war has become the longest war in US history from 1954 to 1973; it was known as "the only war America ever lost" in the Vietnam experience. Therefore, Vietnam war remains an extremely controversial theme and continues to affect the decisions of the United States on absolutism and military.

Perspective #1- Media Portrayed

During 1960-1964, Vietnam war was viewed as a blood bath in tragedy and tort of the U.S. in many American's perspective. Media portrayed the war via multiple sanguinary and horror films and images of Vietnam battles on TV which were viewed by many Americans every night. It usually came with terrible news such as the battle of Ap Bac was described as a debacle of South Vietnamese Army, and the Buddhist Crisis highlighted by the famous picture of Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation portrayed Diem's regime as a brutal and dictatorial regime (Alan Rohn, October 2015, para.4) Continuously, the media gradually bring to American living room numbers of death and America casualties which increased day by day that created several anti-Vietnam war all over country. Moreover, media not only successfully portrayed the Vietnam war as a tragic mistake but also a histrionic of U.S. government. Variety of reporters and journalists condemned the government about their lies about Vietnam war, and questioned if the solider are fighting for the rich man interest, killing people as a villain, and dying for a nonsense purpose.

Perspective #2- Media portrayed

On the other hand, many revisionists and veterans who have been witnessed and survived from the Vietnam battles published the truth stories and their honest expectation on the end of the war. They believes that the war was morally right, and it had been done as a noble crusade against the merciless Communism. For instance, not long after the U.S. withdrawal, a manager of SBS TV, Nigel Milan, show communist propaganda to the Vietnamese refugee community, but they rejected to appreciate communist propaganda because of their atrocity for those who lived in the South and has been left behind the end of war. However, American political and military leaders empower their seigneur to commit terrible gaffes that affected a main worthy purpose. Moreover, many historians even argue that the U.S. side was winning the war and able to safe Vietnam from communism in the early of 1970s, but the anti-war area at home made it impossible.

Media Bias

Through the articles and reports in the media about Vietnam war, I have found that media biases had twisted and changed the way American viewed the war during the controversial. At the beginning of Vietnam war, the press had little interest in Vietnam with a few reports about the warfare; however, multiple news started to report about the war when Americans changed their views on Vietnam as the war became more intense. Additionally, the official new was that Americans were triumph in Vietnam, but the evening told a quite different story that what Vietnam did to America via television introduce us to a new kind of American. Continuously, the Tet Offensive in 1968 event became a turning point of media's coverage of the war. The media bias can see clearly when it twisted the military failure for North Vietnam into a vanquish of the communists. In fact, the media only concentrated on a few minor battle actions such as the Battle of Hue and the Viet Cong's attack on the U.S. embassy, so it missed the big picture of our winning. In effect, numerous of Americans changed their perspective and turned to protest the war.
Vietnam and TV News

Criticism #1

Following to the Vietnam war, cultural criticism played a massive affect on the controversy in American's perspective. After viewing and watching live war at home, Americans believe that the horror and inhumanity of war had changed the U.S. culture manner. As the casualties incredible increase, the author Lawrence Wright discussed on the winning of US that the war created a new kind of America, and that the Americans could commit the same kinds of atrocities such as the issue in Mi Lai Massacre. Moreover, the soldier replied "You can't expect to do your job and feel pity for those people" as being asked if he had regrets about leaving people homeless. This also evoked more and more American turned their view to against the war because they outraged of the iniquity and heartless manner which is created by war in the U.S. soldier's reputation.
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Criticism #2

Marxism is also revealed clearly through out the event. Because the U.S. was one of the rich country in the world after the World War l, many people believes that the U.S involvement in Vietnam civil war not only to suspend the communist expand, but also expand its sources elsewhere in other area of the world. Moreover, some reports show that they believe the president lied the country to continue the war as an economic benefit and his own interest. Remarkably, the Watergate scandal of President Nixon was a reason for the increasing of anti-war area. Woodward writes: The bombing was not working, but Nixon defended and intensified it in order to advance his reelection prospects (Hoffman, October 2015, para.4)
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