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Vietnam War Explicitly Assess information and draw conclusions.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War Explicitly Assess information and draw conclusions."— Presentation transcript:


2 Vietnam War Explicitly Assess information and draw conclusions




6 The Beginnings of US Involvement French IndochinaFrench Indochina Ho Chi MinhHo Chi Minh VietminhVietminh Dien Bien Phu (1954)Dien Bien Phu (1954) Domino TheoryDomino Theory Geneva Accords (1954)Geneva Accords (1954) –17th parallel –Promised elections in 1956 Ngo Dinh DiemNgo Dinh Diem

7 U.S. Involvement in Vietnam Believed in the Domino Theory Increased the number of military advisors and army special forces, or Green Berets Advisors were not to take part in combat, but many did Eisenhower Began sending money and weapons to South Vietnam Military advisors sent to train South Vietnamese army Kennedy Believed an expanded U.S. effort was the only way to prevent a Communist victory in Vietnam Asked Congress to pass the Tonkin Gulf Resolution Johnson

8 Resistance Intensifies NLF (National Liberation Front)NLF (National Liberation Front) –Vietcong VC (South Vietnamese rebels) NVANVA –North Vietnamese Army (regular) JFK sends Advisors/ Green BeretsJFK sends Advisors/ Green Berets –Hearts and Minds Protests – Buddhist self-immolationsProtests – Buddhist self-immolations Diem overthrownDiem overthrown – coup Nov 1963

9 Gulf Of Tonkin Incident Events: Aug 2nd and 4th US destroyers attacked by N. Vietnamese patrol boats LBJ Tonkin Gulf Resolution, all necessary power to prevent aggression. Fog of War Clip - ch?v=76wv2ybJelQ ch?v=76wv2ybJelQ ch?v=76wv2ybJelQ

10 Johnson Sends Ground Forces -Remembers Trumans loss of China loss of China Domino Theory revived -Im not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went campaign promise-We are not going to send boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves

11 Escalation under LBJ

12 Operation Rolling Thunder A bombing campaign over North Vietnam Bombed military targetsarmy bases and airfieldsas well as bridges, roads, railways, and power plants Main target was the Ho Chi Minh Trail Weapons of the Air War Agent Orange defoliant, or chemical, that destroys vegetation Napalmjellied form of gasoline used to create firebombs Cluster bombs sprayed sharp metal fragments when exploded Why did U.S. superiority in the air war fail to win quickly in Vietnam? The Air War Bombing did not succeed Flow of goods from North to South Vietnam actually increased Vietcong repaired bridges, had bunkers underground, and used weapons from the Soviet Union and China

13 Operation Rolling Thunder

14 The Ground War General Westmoreland General Westmoreland, late 1967: We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

15 The Ground War No territorial goals -Body counts on TV every night (first living room war) -Body counts on TV every night (first living room war) Breakfast where the news is read, television, children fed.. – The DoorsBreakfast where the news is read, television, children fed.. – The Doors -Viet Cong supplies over the Ho Chi Minh Trail

16 U.S. Forces Mobilize The Draft 25 percent were excused for health reasons; 30 percent received deferments, or postponements of service. College students were deferred, so men from higher-income families were less likely to serve. A high percentage of combat soldiers were African Americans. A draft lottery began in 1969; the draft ended in percent of eligible men escaped the draft by either refusing to register or by leaving the United States. Non-combat Positions Most Americans in Vietnam served in non-combat positions administration, communications, engineering, medical care, and transportation. About 10,000 American military women served. Some 20,000 to 45,000 more women worked in civilian capacities, many as volunteers for the Red Cross or other humanitarian relief organizations.


18 Victims Patrols Search and Destroy Supplies Pontoon Boats

19 Where is the Enemy? Hueys Dangers on PatrolSoldier (Draft and Volunteer)

20 Strengths and Weaknesses We own the day, Charlie owns the night

21 Who Is the Enemy? -Vietcong -Vietcong: -Farmers by day; guerillas at night. -Very patient people willing to accept many casualties. -The US grossly underestimated their resolve and their resourcefulness. The guerilla wins if he does not lose, the conventional army loses if it does not win. -- M MM Mao Zedong


23 Dear America – Letters Home from Vietnam Questions: –How do the opinions of soldiers change over the course of the war? –What do you think of the conditions of Vietnam? –How do US soldiers morale change? –What were the psychological effects of war? –How do they respond to events at home? Remember: –Average age of combat soldier = 19

24 War Protests Why did some people oppose the Vietnam War?

25 Medias Impact Reporters and television crews went on patrol with the soldiers. Television brought scenes of firefights and burning villages into Americas living rooms. Criticized the governments reports about the war Hawks and Doves Dovespeople opposed to the war Hawkspeople who supported the wars goals Both criticized the war effort. Hawks wanted more troops and bombing. Doves opposed the war for many reasons. Public Opinion Regarding the Vietnam War Antiwar Movement Movement attracted a broad range of participants Much antiwar activity took place on college campuses. Most vocal group Students for a Democratic Society. Antiwar protesters made up a small percentage of the U.S. population.

26 Reasons that Doves Opposed the War Argued that Vietnam was not crucial to American national security (Ex. George Kennan) Argued that the United States was fighting against the wishes of a majority of Vietnamese (Ex. Dr. Benjamin Spock) Argued that the war was draining needed resources from Great Society programs (Ex. Martin Luther King Jr.) Argued that it was unfair for African Americans to fight for democracy in a foreign land when discrimination continued at home (Ex. Civil rights activists) Argued that Johnsons policies were too extreme (Ex. J. William Fulbright)

27 Counterculture Values Rock and Roll Drug use Free Love Communal living Eastern philosophy Hippies Youth Pro-Environment Pro Civil Rights Anti-imperialism Anti-establishment Anti-war

28 Reflecting on Counterculture Values David Crosby: "We were right about a lot of things. We were right about the war. We were right about the environment. We were right about civil rights and women's issues. But we were wrong about the drugs."

29 March on Washington (1965 and 1967) Jan.- MLK speaks out (1967) Anti- War

30 New Left Berkeley, CA Free Speech Movement 1964 Origins SDS –(Students for a Democratic Society) –Port Huron Statement, 1962

31 Tactics Teach-ins Marches and Protests Draft Card Burning

32 The Pentagon, 1967

33 Universities Columbia 1968 Police Privileged Or Protestors

34 Soldiers become disconnected from war effort Some turn to drugs, alcohol, and awaiting the end of their tour

35 1968- The Turning Point Themes Clash of Values Violence and Protest Vietnam quagmire Loss of leaders Youth Disillusionment Return of Conservatism Events: Tet Offensive MLK and RFK Assassinated LBJ Drops out Wallace and AIP Dem. Nat. Convention Columbia Univ. Nixon Elected

36 TET Offensive Vietnamese New Year 1968 : Tet offensive –shocks US military –US is demoralized (TV) –V.C. and fight escalates South Vietnamese Soldier shooting a VC prisoner

37 Khe Sahn 1968

38 Effects of the Tet Offensive Growing Doubts Walter Cronkite broadcast a television report in which he gave his personal assessment of the situation in Vietnam. Major national magazines such as Time and Newsweek also expressed doubts about the war and began to call for its end. Public criticism of the governments policies grew louder and more intense. Leaders within Johnsons administration began to criticize Johnsons policies. Robert S. McNamara began to seek ways to end the war. Democratic Challengers Roughly 3 out of 4 Americans opposed his policies in Vietnam. Minnesota senator Eugene McCarthy challenged Johnson for the Democratic Partys nomination. New York senator Robert Kennedy entered the race. Shaken by the divisions within his party, Johnson announced that he would not seek nor accept the office of the presidency.

39 The Credibilty Gap - Johnsons popularity dropped in 1968 from 48% to 36%.

40 Impact of the Vietnam War …I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President. Johnson announces (March, 1968):


42 1968 Chicago- Democratic National Convention Humphrey Nominated Mayor Daley


44 Nixon Elected 1968 Silent Majority Plan to exit Nam?

45 US troops begin to pull out of Vietnam… Nixons Vietnamization Plan Nixon Doctrine Protests from Vietnam Vets

46 Expansion of the Conflict Bombings US Troops -Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge

47 Expansion Leads to More War Protests In 1970 Nixon announced that he had ordered troops into Cambodia. Antiwar protests intensifiedespecially on college campuses. Antiwar protests erupted into violence. Nixon believed that antiwar protesters represented only a minority of Americans. Radical antiwar groups turned to violent measures to oppose the war. More and more Americans began to oppose the war when they learned about the My Lai massacre and the Pentagon Papers.

48 Increasing Protests My Lai Massacre Troops under Lieutenant William Calley killed at least 450 men, women, and children in the village of My Lai while on a search-and- destroy mission. No Vietcong were found in the village. The My Lai massacre was kept quiet at first, but former soldiers began talking about it. This atrocity intensified the divisions between war supporters and opponents. Calley was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison; he was paroled in Pentagon Papers A collection of secret government documents that traced the history of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam since the Truman years Revealed that government officials had been misleading the American people about the war for years Daniel Ellsberg leaked the papers to the press. Ellsberg originally supported the war, but then concluded that few South Vietnamese civilians supported the U.S.-backed government.

49 Anti-War Demonstrations -May 4, students shot dead. -11 students wounded Kent State University -Jackson State University -May 10, dead; 12 wounded

50 Campus Violence Kent State University in Ohio 4 students were killed and 9 injured Jackson State College in Mississippi 2 students were killed and 9 wounded Antiwar Movement Polls showed that fifty percent of Americans opposed the war. Coalition of clergy, trade unionists, and veterans established a nationwide day of protest called Moratorium Day. 250,000 protesters made up the largest antiwar demonstration in U.S. history. Increasing Protests Radical Protests Some antiwar groups turned to violent measures. The Weathermen set off more than 5,000 bombs and carried out the Days of Rage. Most antiwar protesters did not support extremist groups or terrorist measures.

51 Are We Becoming the Enemy? -Lt. William Calley, Platoon Leader -Mylai Massacre, 1968 (revealed in 1970_ unarmed villagers Charlie Company, 1 st Battalion, 20 th Infantry

52 The Secret War Pentagon Papers 1971 –Daniel Ellsberg –War from Gov. has been lying about success in Vietnam

53 U.S. Involvement in Vietnam Ends Lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 McGovern hoped the ratification of this amendment would boost his election chances. George McGovern Senator from South Dakota who criticized war Insisted that the Vietnam War be brought to an immediate end 26 th Amendment Nixon stressed law and order at home and told voters he would end the war. Kissinger announced a breakthrough in the peace talks just weeks before the election. The announcement helped Nixon win by a landslide Election

54 Détente and Diplomacy Détente-(hope they will help end the war) –China 1972 –Russia 1972 SALT I Henry Kissinger & Le Duc Tho –"Peace Is At Hand –1972 Election Christmas bombings 1973 Paris Peace Accords End of draft – 1973

55 The Ceasefire, 1973 Conditions: Peace With Honor 1. U.S. to remove all troops 2. North Vietnam could leave troops already in S.V. 3. North Vietnam would resume war 4. No provision for POWs or MIAs Last American troops left South Vietnam on March 29, : North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City

56 War Powers Act – 1973 this provides that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." i.e. – it reversed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution Nixon Resigns Saigon falls US Embassy Evacuated


58 Southeast Asia 635,000 South Vietnamese died; Vietcong and NVA war dead equaled 1 million Severe environmental damage from bombs and defoliants More than 1.5 million South Vietnamese fled the country after the fall of Saigon. Veterans 58,000 Americans were killed; 600 were held as POWs; 2,500 soldiers reported MIA; 300,000 wounded Experienced a negative reception upon return Trouble readjusting to civilian life (post- traumatic stress disorder) The Legacy of the War Political Impact United States failed to prevent Communists from taking over South Vietnam. Spent more than $150 billion on the war Changed how many Americans viewed government Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973.

59 Vietnam and Korea -- Comparisons Cold War - ContainmentCold War - Containment No total victoryNo total victory Both undeclared wars – constitutional issueBoth undeclared wars – constitutional issue Civilian control over the militaryCivilian control over the military Fronts – different type of fightingFronts – different type of fighting

60 -President Carter Pardoned all Vietnam War draft dodgers on January 21,1977 -President Clinton formally recognized Vietnam on July 11, President Carter Pardoned all Vietnam War draft dodgers on January 21,1977 -President Clinton formally recognized Vietnam on July 11, 1995

61 Lessons for Future American Presidents 1.Wars must be of short duration. 2.Wars must yield few American casualties. 3.Restrict media access to battlefields. 4.Develop and maintain Congressional and public support. 5.Set clear, winnable goals. 6.Set deadline for troop withdrawals. Weve Kicked the Vietnam Syndrome – G H.W. Bush, 1991


63 Memorial to US Servicemen in Vietnam

64 58,00058,000

65 The Vietnam Memorial, Washington, D.C.

66 Protest event 1.In general, what was the background and experiences of your person? How did this influence you? Provide any significant biographical information here 2.) In general, how did your person feel about the war in Vietnam? 3.) Did you produce anything in regards to the war in Vietnam? (Books, Pamphlets, laws, military action, news coverage, protest activities, speeches) Explain. What was the work about? 4.) How did/might you view people who held opposite opinions from yourself on our involvement in the war? Give reasons/ Explain. 5.) Were you involved in any specific events related to the Vietnam War or counterculture movement? If so, explain

67 Specific views on some of the following: 6)- the domino theory 7)-Gulf of Tonkin incident 8)-Operation Rolling Thunder 9)-The credibility gap 10)-impact of war on the Great Society and Civil Rights movement 11)-student activism, the impact of the protest movement on the war 12)- hippie and drug culture, counterculture values, music 13)- the Tet Offensive 14)- the role of the media 15)-the My Lai Massacre 16)-the draft 17)-Troop morale, combat experience Impact on returning soldiers 18)-The democratic convention of )-Vietnamization 20)-Widening the war (Cambodia, Laos) 21)-Kent State 22)-Withdrawal and legacy 23) Are there any people that you might side with? Explain who and why.

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