How Was The Vietnam War Different From The Korean War

How Was The Vietnam War Different From The Korean War – The struggle for civil rights in the 1960s was fought on many fronts, not least in the US military. As an executive producer for the National Geographic Channel special, Brothers in War, I spoke with several Vietnam War-era soldiers from Charlie Company of the 9th Infantry and discovered that the military provided many African Americans with their first experience of white friendship. done

Brothers in War was inspired by Andrew Wiest’s book ‘Boys of 67’, which tells the gripping, personal story of one of the last combat infantry companies to be drafted, trained and sent together to fight in Vietnam. Like a World War II movie, Charlie Company is made up of soldiers from different races, ethnicities, and geographies. Although American society was in the grip of racial strife in 1967, Charlie Company operated largely without racial prejudice.

How Was The Vietnam War Different From The Korean War

Two stories stand out in particular. Willie McTeer and James Null were both African Americans who grew up in a small segregated town in the South. After being arrested and accused of calling the sheriff’s wife, 12-year-old McTeer feared that he or his father would be threatened by the Ku Klux Klan. Nell, who grew up in a three-room house with 10 siblings, remembers being repeatedly warned by his family not to “look” at white women.

Vietnam War And The Media

When they arrived for basic training at Fort Riley, neither McTeer nor Nell knew what to expect. Neal never shared the facilities of the integration or drank from the “white” water fountain, and McTeer said that he was initially more white GI than Viet Cong. was afraid of

It would be wrong to suggest that there were not occasional racial tensions among enlisted soldiers. There was also mistrust between northern and southern blacks, who had grown up in different circumstances. But Neal and McTeer discovered that the stakes were too high for Charlie Company to allow racism or other divisions to affect morale, training or field operations. When young white Lt. Col. Jack Benedick declares, “No blacks, no whites, just soldiers,” McTeer feels betrayed. Without listening to the sentiments of the white people, became free.

The company soon found that the violence of battle brought men closer as brothers, regardless of their background. Soldiers must trust each other. McTeer said they learned that “I need you, you need me; it’s a different story in combat (than civilian life). According to Neal, “You can’t think you’re black and I’m white. Yes; You have to watch each other’s backs.”

Because of their segregated childhoods, both McTeer and Nell never had much contact with white people before joining the army. To their surprise, both made their closest connections with white or Hispanic soldiers. They become emotional talking about their friends who did not survive the war.

Studying The Vietnam War

Forty-five years after shipping off to Vietnam, the survivors of Charlie Company are closer than ever. They hold annual meetings and celebrate milestones in each other’s lives. One of the most important lessons of the war became the deep bonds that formed in international conflict. Was America’s war in Vietnam a noble struggle against communist aggression, a tragic intervention in a civil conflict, or an anti-imperialist attempt to destroy the national movement? Salvation? Those competing explanations sparked heated debate in the 1960s and remain unresolved today. The way we name and define the most controversial of these American wars is not a narrow academic exercise, but deepens public memory of its meaning and continuing importance to American national identity and foreign policy.

During the war years, American leaders insisted that military force was necessary to protect the nation’s sovereignty. As President Lyndon B. “The first fact is that North Vietnam invaded the independent country of South Vietnam,” Johnson said in 1965. Its aim is to win all.”

Even more troubling, Johnson soon added (following lines written by his predecessors Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy), the Communists in Vietnam were supported and led by the Soviet Union and China. was Therefore, the war in South Vietnam was not an isolated, localized conflict unrelated to American national security, but one that was imperative to the country’s highest priority—the Cold War to control communism around the world. Further raising the stakes, policymakers warned that if South Vietnam fell to the Communists, neighboring countries would inevitably undergo change, much like the Dodo Group.

Three decades later, Robert McNamara, a key architect of the Vietnam War who served as secretary of defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, repudiated those war claims—what he and others called an end to the war. . In two books, “In Retrospect” (1995) and “The Endless Controversy” (2000), Mr. McNamara admitted that the United States had committed a “serious crime” by intervening in Vietnam. He attributed the failure to lack of knowledge and judgment. If only he had understood the fury of Vietnamese nationalism, he wrote, if only he had known that Hanoi was not the capital of Beijing or Moscow, if only he had known that the domino theory was wrong, he could have convinced his presidential superiors. was Withdrawal from Vietnam. Millions of lives will be saved. If only.

Enemies And Allies

In fact, however, in the 1960s, when McNamara advocated a massive military build-up in Vietnam, he dismissed or ignored any evidence that contradicted the Cold War tradition. Not that there aren’t opposing views. In the work of scholar-journalist Bernard Fall, I. F. In the pages of Stone’s Weekly, speeches at universities and antiwar conferences, and countless other venues, critics point out that after World War II, the United States made a clear choice to support. France sought to reestablish its colonial rule in Indochina, and ultimately incurred most of France’s costs for the First Indochina War. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Vietnamese revolutionaries recognized the United States as a neo-colonial power when they mobilized their military forces in the ensuing war.

In addition, critics have argued that the mainstay of opposition to the US-backed government is in Saigon, where indigenous tribes have deep roots, not only in North Vietnam, but throughout the South.

Indeed, from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, the struggle led by the Communist Party was led by southern fighters of the National Liberation Front, who knew their enemy as Vietnam. As the war progressed, a large contingent from North Vietnam moved south. Anti-war parties also challenged the claim that South Vietnam was an “independent country” as established by the 1954 Geneva Accords.

The partition of Vietnam would soon be implemented with nationwide elections to choose a single leader to unify Vietnam. When it became clear to Saigon and Washington that Communist leader Ho Chi Minh would win a landslide victory, the government of Mr. Ngo Dinh Diem, backed by America, decided to cancel the election.

How Americans Lost Faith In The Presidency

Therefore, the creation of a permanent country called “South Vietnam” began two decades after a failed temple. The government in Saigon was never a puppet of the United States, but it nevertheless depended on American military and economic support to defend its enemies, including many non-communist parties and groups in the South.

Armed with these criticisms, many opponents of US policy in the 1960s characterized Vietnam as a civil war—not unlike the North-South divide of the American Civil War, but a nationwide conflict between Communist forces in the South. The North against the US-backed government in the South. By 1966, this analysis was also accepted by mainstream politicians, including Senator William Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Eugene McCarthy, who ran as an anti-war presidential candidate in 1968. Both called it “South Vietnam”. .” Civil War” to emphasize the strength of the southern insurgents and the failure of the Saigon government to gain widespread support from its own people.

By 1972, the idea that Vietnam was a Cold War threat to America had become so discredited that at times it seemed that America’s remaining war goal was to get the P.O.W.s back (President Richard Nixon strangely claimed that Hanoi was using them as “negotiating simulators.”) Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to Beijing and Moscow is more questionable. Many Americans doubted that Nixon could offer peace to Mao Zedong and Leonid Brezhnev while still waging the war in Vietnam. As journalist Jonathan Schell put it, “If these superpowers weren’t real enemies,” the Vietnam War “was really a civil war in a small country, as the adversaries always say, and united.” The state has no business participating in it. “

But with the “civil war” interpretation, a more serious critique developed—the view that the United States’ enemy in Vietnam participated in a long-term struggle for national liberation and independence, first from France and then from America. According to this situation, there is war

Ken Burns Returns To Take On Vietnam

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