The Us Could Never Have Experienced Victory In Vietnam
Vietnam has experienced many invasions from the Chinese, French, Japanese and the British. Being in Asia, it was significant because the world II was fought in Europe and Asia, and the American involvement in Asia during World War II warranted the presence of American influence in bringing peace and democracy. Following the declaration for independence in 1945, and the subsequent signing of the Postdam agreement which allowed the British control of the south while Saigon remained under the control of Vietminh. The British not pleased by this armed French troops who fought a ferocious battle and won back Saigon (Schoenherr, 2007).
The US in the spirit of curbing the spread of communism entered into a war that they never intended to win. The Northern Vietnam was well organized and due to the disorganization and the lack of intent we can therefore conclude that the US could not have experienced victory in Vietnam. The Chinese forces started a systematic rape of the north by looting it of its various resources and then left, leaving a trail plunder behind them. I was then that Ho Chi Minh using his Viet Minh movement established his ruling base in Hanoi (Schoenherr, 2007).
He had a relationship with the US by coming to the rescue of U. S. airmen shot down. He had went on establishing committees everywhere in Vietnam and finally announced that Vietnam was independent. This made every Vietnamese happy and proud of their newly acquired status. ” This was the nationalist aspect that U. S. forces in Vietnam would be fighting. In spirit, Vietnam was independent of foreign rule” (Kissinger, 2006) In 1954 the Geneva Agreements ended the war in Indochina. The provisions in the agreement, in part excluded outside intervention in maters concerning the Vietnamese.
No country was to establish a military ledged not to enter into any alliance in Vietnam except the French. The agreement did not last long as Laos fell to internal strife which was inspired by foreign influence (Modern History source Book). When finally the French left Vietnam after the north adopted communist principles and installed a government in Tonkin. The Americans who had helped the British in the second world war in Asia, afraid of the loss of the gains made by the west, took the opportunity and came in with full force to support the forces in the ground that were fighting the expansion of the communist ideology in south Vietnam.
In a speech by the American president Lyndon B Johnson expressed his reasons for going into war in Vietnam. Citing the pledge made to Vietnam since the beginning of the war in 1954, Johnson told the America public that he was not going to “… dishonor that pledge, to abandon[a] small and brave nation to its enemies, and to the terror that must follow, would be an unforgivable wrong”(Schoenherr, 2007). Like his predecessors, Johnson believed that, the US especially after the Second World War had a duty to strengthen world order.
This, he attributed to the fact that countries around the world pegged their well being on the belief that they could count on them for protection and support. And therefore it followed that to leave Vietnam to its fate would be to shake the confidence and erode the belief that the United States are undependable (McNamara, 1964). The United States, having considered itself the defender of the world against communism, failed to get approval from the international community about the same.
According to President De Gaulle “Washington wanted to put this State in a position to protect itself… fulfilling a sort of vocation, the aversion which they had to any colonial work which had not been theirs, and finally the natural desire in such a powerful people to ensure themselves of new positions…” something which drove the Americans to take the place of he French in the area (Modern History Source Book). American policy in Vietnam was one of a mixed bag. Having initially supported the Diem government back in 1954, and imposed Washington agenda which was later rejected by the people.
This led to military “putsch” which succeeded each other some sponsored and engineered by Washington (Modern History Source Book). American authorities expected to carry on with the war to the North. Though this was not the sentiments equally shared by the Vietnamese, Washington still continued to pursue it. The American presence it seemed to the people was only justified in as far as the communist presence in the north was still a threat. The Americans would not come in to help economically if the threat of communism was not real.
The American presence in Vietnam was a statement to the other opposing powers such as the Soviet Union and China which were busy selling the communist ideology and threatening the influence America had in some of the countries in Asia. The US could never have emerged victorious in a war that had its objectives not quantifiable and gains not calculatable. The fact that the people who the United States were claiming to protect from aggressive powers were in the beginning not feeling threatened by the presence of these powers and did not categorically request for American help like the way Britain did during world war two.
Without the support of the people, it was very hard for America to know who was really communist or who was not. The re-emergence of the Vietcong, a gang skilled in Guerrila war fare which fought the invasion of the French and the British also complicated things for the US (Garrison, 2000) The US could not have won the war because they had completely ignored the wish of the Vietnamese people and went about their agenda without considering what the Vietnamese wanted to do with their own country. Furthermore, the fact that the Vietnamese saw the leader of the Viet Minh as a hero while the Americans was busy fighting him.
The Viet Minh came into sharp conflict with the US forces and the war rage on. It is not hard to see how the US could win the war when the people were supporting the Viet Minh. Though “some Americans saw the issue in Vietnam as simply communism, and a few of them were eager to drop atomic weapons on the Viet Minh forces or to send in U. S. troops rather than see a communist victory there”. This showed how the American objectives to the war were mixed up and therefore the victory could not be realized (Kissinger, 2006)
Washington got into trouble for supporting Ngo Dihn Diem who was unpopular against the leader of the Viet Minh Ho Chi Minh. In the elections which almost embarrassed the US when the Viet Minh Candidate was winning, they employed dirty tricks such a beating up voters of the opponent and stealing ballot papers (Kissinger, 2006) Though the Americans had tried to impose the government led by Diem it was rejected from the start. In a letter by President Kennedy to Diem, the reasons for the war seem to have changed from protecting the Vietnamese against communism.
President Kennedy remarked that “the campaign of force and terror now being waged against [the people of Vietnam] and [Diem’s] Government… supported and directed from outside by the authorities at Hanoi” (pbs. org, Kennedy) By pursuing enemies that clearly the people of Vietnam did not welcome, America failed to see that it had become the enemy. In order to attain victory, the goals of America and the goals of the people it was fighting had to be same. Because the Vietnamese people had different goals from what the Americans had, it was difficult to attain a victory (McNamara, 1964)
Though America had received news of guerrillas getting support from the local people It refused to give attention to the signs that that showed the people did not influence from outside in their own affairs. Besides , the fact that the American forces could not tell who was a guerilla and who was not it became hard to fight groups who would “ fade back into their local communities “ in addition, the Saigon regime had already subdued and plundered villages and continued to do so creating hatred for the Saigon agents.
The Americans continued their offensive against the communist regime in the north. In the course of this event America would bomb towns where the suspected that some of the villages supported guerrillas. This created more hatred for the Americans by the people such that one American against the war remarked that “Americans destroy a town had to be destroyed to save it from communism. ”(Kissinger, 2006) The US could have been misled by the government they had imposed on the people of Vietnam.
In a letter written to Dinh Diem, president Eisenhower told Diem that he was going to assist in a humanitarian effort of which Diem had asked for “aid…for the formidable project of the movement of several hundred thousand loyal Vietnamese citizens away from areas which are passing under a de facto rule and political ideology which they abhor, are being fulfilled. ” They had assumed that the people abhorred the ideologies which the Americans wanted to protect them from (pbs.
org, Eisenhower). When the United States used arms to fight against the ideology, they were preparing to lose that war especially when they were face by a situation of a population that did not support what they were doing. The recent stories that established in 1998 that “ the United States had committed acts during the Vietnam era – specifically the use of lethal nerve gas “ something which has been repeated in Iraq with the same results (Rupert, 2000)
The war in Iraq has also not been won and the same reasons apply. While the United States has not been able to find any weapons of mass destruction which was the main reason why the Bush Administration launched the offensive against Saddam. However the losses in Iraq have far surpassed what US spent in the war in Vietnam and the results have been the same. Many US Soldiers have died in the conflict but the war though not categorically stated has been lost and like the one in Vietnam could never have been won.Sample Essay of Custom-Writing