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Blog Post 10/28

Throughout this chapter, Zinn talks about US involvement in the Vietnam War and how the United States ultimately failed. Zinn talks about the reasoning to why the West was so persistent in controlling Indochina from the rebels. The United States, as well as the rest of the western countries, were scared of the “domino theory.” The domino theory is the concept that a political event happens in one country, neighboring countries would follow. The West was scared of communism spreading, so they took more drastic measures to try and stop the rebels. Eventually, in 1954, the French withdrew from Vietnam; however, the United States stayed. The United States took control of South Vietnam to prevent them from joining the north in the rebellion. The United States had other reasoning to be persistent in this war. The United States did not want to lose business in Southeast Asia. This is another example of the United States fighting for different intentions then what first is shown to the public.

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson declared war on Vietnam over a stretched truth. He, as well as other powerful officials, lied to the public by saying that Vietnam attacked some of the American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin. This to me is where the divide between the public and government really started to get out of hand. The United States started bombing Vietnam in attempts to destroy their morale, but instead, the bombs mostly hit the civilians. 1968 is when the common people really started to get tired of the war and doubted the chances the United States had to win. Protests started emerging in the United States and young men started to refuse to join the draft. Eventually, this strong opinion created by the people influenced the United States to pull troops out of Vietnam. Overall, this was a terrible move by the United States to join and stay involved in this war for so long. All it created was mass suffering for civilians in Vietnam and for families of dead soldiers in America. The United States was defeated in this war, and it was entirely their fault for joining a war with an impossible chance to win.

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  1. Julia Borger Julia Borger

    I was also very surprised to learn that LBJ declared the war on Vietnam over a stretched truth regarding the event in the Gulf of Tonkin. It is just another name to add to the list of leaders starting conflicts over fabricated ideas that were not the full truth we are taught in our history classes. Coupled with the fact that this specific conflict is one of the most controversial wars in history makes it even more unfathomable.

  2. Tess Keating Tess Keating

    I agree with you that the United States should not have gotten involved in this war. It seems much more harm than good was caused and it was unnecessary and avoidable. The people were clearly (smartly) against it, and the government should have listened.

  3. Zariah Chiverton Zariah Chiverton

    I think it’s interesting that you point out that the United States went into the war because they didn’t want to lose business but they ended up losing so much more. They lost the war which cost them a lot of resources and money with no gain from it. And they also lost the trust and backing of the people. They tried to lie to the people to justify the war but the people saw right through it and didn’t allow for it to go on without them fighting against it. In the bigger picture, they lost so much in the war when they were trying to gain from it for the wrong reasons.

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