Culture of War-Vietnam By nicolas toscano.

The Vietnam War was a conflict that took place from 1964 to 1975. It faced south Vietnam and North Vietnam. South Vietnam was allied with the United States and North Vietnam was allied with the communists countries of China and the USSR. It was a war that took a toll of over 1.5 million deaths. More than 2.5 million Americans were sent to Vietnam, the group was basically composed of working-class youth, aged between 19 and 30 years. The brutality characterized by the Vietnam War, in which the Americans used attacks by sky and earth, is shown by the fact that they attacked not only at guerrilla barracks, they destroyed entire villages. However, it is the war that has marked the US, because they did not exactly come out as heroes, rather they got stuck in a conflict that surpassed them in spite of their advanced technology of war and in which finally the Vietnamese town was victorious.

  • Protests: There were many protests against the Vietnam War. The fist national protest was on December 19, 1964. The purpose of this protest was a ''Call to the American conscience''. This protest was effective because it caused the exit of the US troops. In the 1960's the hippie movement emerged, which had a very clear political stance against the Vietnam war. The hippie movement, which called for freedom and peace, was organized in many cities of the United States with motives of protest against the war, a group in total opposition to the most conservative sectors of the country manifested against the war .
  • October 1967 saw one of the biggest protests in front of the Pentagon (United States), this protest was attended by more than two hundred thousand people and left for history the famous photo of the flower that faced the rifles. Their slogan '' Make love not war ''
  • Tactics: The tactics used by the Vietnamese were very innovative. Their great knowledge and the wisdom of survival in the jungle favored them too much. What is most striking are the tunnels they built under the war field. They were so well hidden that the Americans built a base above them without realizing that their enemies were under them.
  • The Americans liked to capture the flags of their enemies and the Vietnamese took advantage of that. They tied a grenade to the flag and the moment the Americans took it, it exploded and killed the soldiers, they also made holes and in the bottom of it put snakes, the moment an American soldier passed over the trap, they fell and the snakes, which were poisonous, attacked the soldier and he would quickly die. USA tactics in the war were like Agent Orange: Chemical that destroyed crops and trees making it easier to fight in the jungle. Attacked the human body and led to birth defect. Napalm: A fluid that burns through almost anything. The Americans hoped it would hit Vietcong bases. In fact, it often hit civilians. AK-47. It was the main weapon of the army of North Vietnam and the guerrillas of South Vietnam and became the preferred revolutionary weapon around the world. US troops mainly used the M14 and then the M16. US Assault Rifles Were difficult to handle in the damp jungles of Vietnam.
  • Media: Newspapers and TV, helped to influence the withdrawal of the US. All the news focused on at the time was the Vietnam war. The news made it possible for the people to know what was happening in Vietnam. The headlines were ''Troops to Vietnam'' "U.S planes bombing N. Vietnam ports", etc. The coverage by the media was made permanent, being considered as the first televised conflict in history. This allowed denunciation of the frequent violations and abuses against human rights. However, it is debated whether coverage was the main cause of the growing opposition by Western public opinion to intervention.
  • Family roles: The women took on the responsibility of the house and the children while the men were at war. They also became responsible for agricultural production; on the other hand there were also many who went to war and had the same tasks as the men had. On the US side, more than 1,000 non-combatant women served as line officers and administration officers and were part of the personnel enlisted in the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Navy in Vietnam.
  • There were many children who unfortunately were orphaned by the war, thousands of those who did not have a home or who did not have their family nearby, no doubt the children of the soldiers who participated in the Vietnam War were one of the most disadvantaged .
  • Music: Through the music of that time, we can see the features of a culture that at times was determined to deny its own reality. Even some surviving soldiers who managed to return home, listened to the music that marked those difficult moments. "I do not know if I'm going up or down, if I'm happy or miserable." This schizophrenia generated in many soldiers the attempt to maintain the spirit in absurd and rationally unjustifiable conditions.
  • Barry McGuire jumped to fame with this terrifying song that makes evident the disaster that the war leaves, with allusions to different warlike conflicts. His crudeness even bothered McGuire today, which has had to change some phrases to sing it.
  • One of the aspects to be analyzed in this context of war is precisely that of cultural manifestations, which express the ideology and features of the historical moment. The experiences of the war, led many American soldiers to crisis and in the midst of the horror, reinforced the idea of ​​returning home. The nationalism that the US itself propagated had expelled from its own land these men who now, after seeing the absurdities of the war, sought their return. Here songs that marked the day to day of the American soldiers
  • Purpose: The main cause of the conflict was the attempt to overthrow the South Vietnamese government. This was the pretense of some communist guerrillas in this area, such as the Vietcong or the National Liberation Front. This coup attempt was supported by North Vietnam, and resulted in a war between the north and the south. The aim was to create a single communist country that was an ally of China and the USSR. The Americans, in the fear of communism spreading throughout Asia, began to support Vietnamese territory. In fact, they had already participated in a similar process in Korea in order to defeat the communist regime. For its part, Russia began to collaborate with the communist side. The conflict is framed within what we know as the Cold War, which divided the world into two sides, led by the United States and the Soviet Union. This struggle was a clear example of his power. In fact, the Vietnam War is considered the first that was televised.
  • The draft: The nation's first military draft began in 1940, when President Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act. The draft continued through war and peacetime until 1973. More than 10 million men entered military service through the Selective Service System during World War II alone. Draftees would be selected by lottery. The first to be called would be men whose 20th birthday falls during that year. If necessary, they would be followed by those aged 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Those who are 18 or turning 19 would probably not be drafted, according to the Selective Service System. Basic training, usually eight weeks, is the next step. The length of time for advanced training is dependent on the complexity of the job the individual has been assigned. A recruit could be on the ground in combat five months from the day they were drafted.
  • Propaganda: One of the most useful ways was the launching of pamphlets from airplanes, which were aimed primarily at the Vietnamese to support the anti-communist cause. Some were also directed to their troops (American troops). The domino theory or also called snowball effect applied to the international politics according to which, if a country enters a certain political system, would drag others of its area towards the same ideology. The ideologist of this theory is not known with certainty; But it is usually named American politician Eisenhower who predicted that communism could spread worldwide if the spiral could not be stopped. The ''Domino Theory" of could be seen as the first propaganda effort to justify U.S. assistance for South Vietnamese government.
  • Values/Beliefs: Year after year Americans bore witness, through mass media, to the bombing, the firestorms, the shooting, the killing of Vietnamese, and the deaths of U.S. soldiers. Yet, year after year American leaders, without explaining the terms of war, told the nation to accept it as necessary. Many simply couldn't adequately respond to the question, "Why are we in Vietnam?"; the answers often made no sense. Few political leaders Democrat or Republican were honest about U.S. policies in Vietnam, and most refused to acknowledge blunders, missteps, or failure.Americans could tolerate such mixed messages for only so long. Living in the United States during this time, historian Marilyn Young explained, "meant having guilty knowledge of the Vietnam war and of the government's lies about it," and by the late 1960s, that became too much for many to bear.
  • Home Front: Americans were in total opposition to the Vietnam War, they knew that the United States should not have participated in that war because it had no really important motive apart from wanting for communism to expand. On the other hand, what most unleashed the fury of Americans, who could see everything that happened in the war, (let's not forget that this was a war that was televised) Americans could see how the war was developing, they could see how civilians died without presenting a risk to the United States Army, in short, and all the murder that occurred in this war. On the other hand, the American soldiers also did not want to be in the war, they were forced, they felt very bad when receiving the order to kill somebody, also, when going to the war they were very badly seen for the American society.
  • Economics: The cost of direct US operations, not including long-term costs, such as care of veterans injured, already exceeds the cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is greater than the cost of the Korean war. The United States invested an approximate amount of 686,000 million dollars. During the war the United States economy declined, but it was not such a significant loss for the country, after the war the economy improved.
  • Government/Foreign Policy: Richard Milhous Nixon (1913 - 1994) is the thirty-seventh president of the United States of America. He was elected in two consecutive four-year terms in 1969 and 1973, but resigned in 1974. His presidency was marked by the Vietnam War. Vietnamization was a policy of the Nixon administration during the Vietnam War soon after President Nixon took office in January 1969. The plan was to train, equip and expand South Vietnamese forces so that they could take over more military responsibilities for their own defense against the North communists, and at the same time, allowed the U.S. to gradually withdraw its combat troops from South Vietnam.Nixon announced the strategy to the American people in a broadcast speech on November 3, 1969, in which he emphasized how his approach contrasted with the “Americanization” strategy of his predecessor Lyndon Johnson (1908-73). In June 1969, the first 25,000 U.S. troops were withdrawn from Vietnam. Another 60,000 troops would follow by the end of the year.
  • Race equality: During Vietnam war there was no Race Equality, black power and civil rights activists, for instance, linked the ongoing African-American struggle for equal rights to the anti-war movement. By the late 1960s, it became clear to them. There were many people who were sent to war. Most of the soldiers who died in the Vietnam War from the United States were black people (african-americans).

Reintegration into Society: When American soldiers returned from the war, they were not welcomed. The soldiers were victims of insults and spit from the American people. It was a very sad scene for the soldiers who were forced to go to war and when they came back they were despised by the people. People did not want them back, people had a grudge against going to war and killing innocent people.

Interview of Vietnam Veterans of their experiences when they came back from Vietnam War.

Created By
Nicolas Toscano
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Credits:

Created with images by manhhai - "Vietnam war 1972" • manhhai - "NVA K-50M Submachine Gun" • manhhai - "The RPG-7" • manhhai - "1963 Press Photo South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem with Family" • DVIDSHUB - "Vietnam Veteran on Active duty Service" • manhhai - "Dien Bien Phu campaign in 1954 - scene from director Karmen's post-battle Soviet-produced propaganda film (cảnh dàn dựng trong phim quay lại sau ngày chiến thắng ĐBP bởi đạo diễn Nga Roman Karmen)" • manhhai - "Fall of Saigon - Tượng đài BĐQ tại vòng xoay Ngã bảy" • Andrea Schaffer - "Saigon" • manhhai - "1951 Vietnam War Propaganda Poster: Devastation Caused By Communism" • manhhai - "Vietnam war 1972" • manhhai - "Saigon 1970 - Le Loi Avenue" • Taken - "money dollar currency" • Civilian Scrabble - "Nixon for President" • US Army Africa - "Tanzanian Peace Keeper Training" • Taken - "pow usa flag"

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