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    Vietnam Essay, Research Paper

    Vietnam

    By the late sixtiess, the struggle in Vietnam had escalated to a limited war affecting about half a

    million military forces and one million millions of dollars a twelvemonth. The American presence in Indochina had steadily

    increased from the Truman disposal to Kennedy ’ s determination to originate greater American engagement in 1961.

    The extremum of 543,000 American forces was achieved in 1969 and was the apogee of US assistance to the state of

    South Vietnam. The United states policy since the beginning of the Cold War had been containment of Communist

    aggression and progresss. US purposes of guaranting democracy throughout the universe had non changed, nevertheless

    the US did non back up the right of self-government in Vietnam in scheduled elections in 1956. Rather an

    wrong analysis of the Vietnam state of affairs: inaccurately placing it with the old Korean morass and the

    overall attitudes of indiscriminate fright of any communist motion, irrespective of fortunes, prevailed over

    American foreign policy and helped get down an unadvised escalation of American engagement into the Vietnamese

    civil war.

    The brief extracts from The Arrogance of Power address these sentiments. J. William Fulbright discusses the

    grounds for American engagement in Vietnam as stemming significantly from old American experiences,

    viz. Korea and McCarthyism. Both factors created an environment where all Communist motions were

    viewed with fright and ill will. More blunt American engagement was initiated in these prejudiced times, with

    indirect military aid to the Gallic in Indochina in 1950, ignoring of import considerations of

    patriotism and anti-colonialism. America ’ s engagement in Vietnam violated the footings of the Geneva Agreement

    of 1954 and American intercession was besides justified by the American acknowledgment of the limit line

    between North and South Vietnam as a valid political boundary, contrary to the Geneva Agreements specific

    statement that the line was purely probationary. To happen a solution, Fulbright declares that we must acknowledge that

    patriotism is the strongest political force in the universe and we must therefore adjust our precedences consequently, to

    suit the possibility of a Communist influenced nationalist motion. We must let a Communist

    influence in the authorities alternatively of trying to quash a genuinely nationalist revolution, which is the instance

    in Vietnam. In decision, Fulbright states that the Vietnam War drains valuable resources, which could be better

    spent on bettering the general position of our state.

    Because American policy prioritized anti-communism over understanding for patriotism, this created a perilously

    erroneous position that the struggle was merely another incident of communist aggression that had to be contained at

    & gt ;

    all costs, like Korea. Furthermore, the US violated the scheduled elections in 1956 by back uping “ President Ngo

    Dinh Diem in his refusal to keep the elections provided for in the Geneva Accords, presumptively because he feared

    that the Communists would win. . . ” This non merely showed a cardinal job with US policy, but besides the

    rejection of self-government, which perversely Johnson had stated as one of the grounds for US engagement in

    Indochina. Harmonizing to Johnson, the US was in Vietnam, giving lives to back up “ a universe where each people

    may take its ain way to change. ” Yet, the US merely violated the Geneva Accords with increased American

    support and intercession.

    Although the US military intercession had bolstered Diem ’ s authorities, it did non work out the

    cardinal job of set uping a feasible and stable state in South Vietnam. In add-on, US scheme

    proceeded non merely in ignorance of the local fortunes, but seemingly didn ’ t even have a clear program to

    set up a permanent authorities or to efficaciously get the better of the Communists. This was compounded by the fact that the

    US would non digest an unfavourable result of national elections, peculiarly a Communist triumph, and

    self-government as a right appeared all but non-existent.

    The US was in a complex state of affairs with no distinct way to triumph ; nevertheless Fulbright suggests that

    we must acknowledge the cardinal job with our foreign policy. He says that we must accept a authorities

    elected and supported by the people, even if it is communist because “ American involvements are better served by

    back uping patriotism than by opposing communism. ” Basically, the US needs to rethink their foreign policy in

    general and explicate a response in Vietnam and elsewhere harmonizing to all the factors of the local state of affairs,

    such as acknowledgment of the power of patriotism and the acknowledgment that non all radical motions are

    entirely communist oriented.

    This is non the lone case where US intercession was justified on the footing of supporting freedom

    against communist motions. Intervention in the Dominican Republic in April 1965 and every bit late as the

    American invasion in 1983 of Grenada were merely a few illustrations of American suppression of self-government

    and support of repressive, undemocratic governments, strikingly similar to US support of Diem and the other governments

    that followed in South Vietnam. The US needs to earnestly reassess its stance on foreign policy and to halt

    blowing money on any longer “ open-ended ” wars.

    Bibliography

    Fulbright, J. William, The Arrogance of Power. ( 1966 )

    Johnson, Lyndon B. “ Our Duty in Southeast Asia ” ( 1965 )

    William A. Link et al. , American Epoch: A History of the United States since 1900 Affluence and Anxiety 1940-1992,

    Volume II ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993 )

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