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The United States Involvement in the Vietnam War

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Imagine a world where you were forced to move or be bombed. Where your “friends” were poisoning your precious water, killing your friends and family, cutting down trees, and destroying your crops. We made this exact scenario a reality for the people of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The United States entered the Vietnam War after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in an attempt to contain communism. Due many factors, the United States did not emerge from this war as victors. The United States clearly should not have gotten involved in the Vietnam War because it was unnecessary, not supported by the home front, and caused a lot of problems.

America had no place in the Vietnam War. The United States was supposed to be fighting in the war to contain communism, and help South Vietnam when in fact, the war started as a revolt by the north and south Vietnam to stop a dictator, Ngo Dinh. Only 25% of Vietnamese rebels were actually communist. One of the reasons the U.S.A entered the war was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. A ship called the Maddox was said to have been attacked by North Vietnam boats but this is an exaggeration, the boat did not even get damaged (Document #3, page 6). So why did the USA enter the war in the first place? The answer is simple; we entered the war because our enemies, China and the Soviet Union were supporting North Vietnam. The USA entered to stop the revolt in Vietnam to “prove its military superiority to that of the communist countries” (Document #1, page 3). This could almost be considered a mild form of Nationalism. We had no true concern for the well being of the Vietnamese, we were entering the war for our own selfish reasons. Once we were in the war, we didn’t want to surrender because it would admit defeat. Also, the USA should have been focusing on the lack of freedom African Americans had in our own country rather than going across the world to fight for freedom that some people didn’t even have in the U.S.A (Document #4, page 7). Our pride for our country overcame the many problems that the Vietnam War would cause.


The Vietnam War caused lots of harm to the Vietnamese and Americans. America dropped more bombs on Vietnam than all of World War II, killing a million Vietnamese civilians, mostly children. (Document #1, page 3) America was supposed to be helping South Vietnam in a battle against communism, not poisoning their precious water, killing millions of acres of their crops, and cutting down their trees, making it hard to survive in a land they once knew and loved (Document #1, page 3). The Vietnamese were also forced to move from their homes or have their villages be bombed or destroyed by the United States. How would you like to be in that situation? The Vietnam War was harmful to America too. We lost over 55,000 American lives in the war. Not only that, but we also lost confidence and trust in our government too, for while the people were protesting, the government wouldn’t listen.

The Vietnam War was not supported by the American home front. An outraged America would go home each night and see the horrors of war on their television screens, and the horrible deeds our soldiers were doing to the Vietnamese. Not only that, but there was a draft for the Vietnam War, causing Americans to have to choose between breaking there moral and religious values and risking their lives, or spending years in prison. Muhammad Ali faced this very decision and chose prison over a war that he didn’t believe in. That’s a tough choice to make for anyone. As you can see, Americans needed to stop unfair acts of the Vietnam War, such as the draft, so they protested. There were tons of protests including the Kent State, and the 1967 siege on the Pentagon (Document #1, page 4). People such as Bob Dylan wrote songs to protest the war, containing lines such as “all the money you made wont ever buy back your soul”. Protesting is a strong way to show the government that there action towards the Vietnam War will not be tolerated (document #1, page 4). Some people say that antiwar protests are wrong and not patriotic, when truthfully, people who partake in antiwar protests are expressing their faith in our nation, and the American Dream (document #1, page 5). Since Americans didn’t support the war, it made it hard for us to win the war. Imagine being on a soccer team. Normally, everyone fights for the ball and gets involved. Imagine one tough game everyone on your team stopped trying except for you, and the other team played hard. It would be almost impossible for you to win the game! This is exactly what happened to the USA in the war. Without support from your teammates it’s hard to win.


Clearly, the Vietnam War was a huge mistake. It left lasting impact on our country’s history. I know for me and for many others, I do not trust my government as much anymore. During the course of the Vietnam War, many Americans were deceived; weather it be our reasons for joining the war, or events during it. I saw the impact from the Vietnam War and do not want to be deceived by my country again. Some people say that the Vietnam War was necessary because abandoning South Vietnam would be unethical. When in truth, before the Vietnam War, in the years 1945-1954, the USA not only abandoned Vietnam in their fight for freedom, but helped France to try and recolonize Vietnam. Obviously, the United States “moral values” didn’t apply to previous situations. The unnecessary Involvement in the Vietnam War by the USA was not supported, leading to problems. The Vietnam War left a haunting impact on the veterans, the country, and the world; clearly the USA getting involved in that was a mistake.



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