In Zinn’s chapter The Seventies: Under Control? Zinn illustrates the distrust that the public experienced with our nation’s government following the Vietnam War. Americans were finally becoming more vocal about how the government was flawed after hundreds of years of letting the system take its course, and only serving the self-interest of a large population of the wealthy elite. Despite this obvious public disapproval of how our government ran, the government continued to act with moral blindness and poor intentions.
The story regarding the Mayaguez, the American cargo ship that was captured by Cambodians illustrated America’s selfish nature of trying to constantly prove its dominance and strength by getting into unnecessary acts of violence against other counties. It was made clear that the Cambodians treated the Americans with grace and put them in no harm, yet President Ford bombed the Cambodian ships, causing a multitude of casualties. When the Secretary of State was asked why this action was taken, it was described as a “necessary risk” to protect American citizens. The people who deem what actions are “necessary risks” seem to be getting it wrong on multiple occasions, as seen with the Vietnam War. With a country that is so rooted in profits, capitalism, proving military strength, etc. how do we get our leaders to truly think morally and ethically when intervening with other countries? Can a nation act morally and politically at the same time and still remain a global power? What nations can we look to learn, since we clearly cannot learn from our own mistakes?