99conbon99
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I am currently studying History GCSE and were studying Vietnam i would just like some information on Vietnam and some peoples opinions on America joining.

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Kallisto
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Do you mean with America joining the involvement on Vietnam war, don't you?
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99conbon99
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(Original post by Kallisto)
Do you mean with America joining the involvement on Vietnam war, don't you?
Yeah i do
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Kallisto
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(Original post by 99conbon99)
Yeah i do
Do you know cold war? vietnam was one of some locations which America and Soviet Union were used in fighting for dominance. Both America and Soviet Union were trying to establish their ideologies there.
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viddy9
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(Original post by 99conbon99)
I am currently studying History GCSE and were studying Vietnam i would just like some information on Vietnam and some peoples opinions on America joining.
Information on Vietnam: After the Second World War, Vietnam was occupied by the French, who wanted to make it a colony of theirs again. The Vietnamese people, led by independent nationalist movements, such as Ho Chi Minh's (which happened to be communist), resisted this and fought the First Indochina War, and expelled the French in 1954. He also tried to unify Vietnam and give them a Constitution similar to that of the United States's.

The United States, however, tacitly supported the French, and when the French withdrew, they came in.

My opinion on American involvement in Vietnam:
To understand the Vietnam War as we know it, we have to look back to 1954. Under the terms of the Geneva Conference, Vietnam was to be split into two parts: North and South, but it also stipulated that free democratic elections were to be held.

Unfortunately, the United States had other ideas: U.S. involvement started off with the subversion of the democratic process. That is, in light of what the U.S. State Department called the “unpleasant fact that Communist Ho Chi Minh is the strongest and perhaps the ablest figure in Indochina” and the fact that Ho Chi Minh had established himself as a “symbol of nationalism and the struggle for freedom to the overwhelming majority of the population”, the U.S. installed a brutal authoritarian regime in South Vietnam, which had killed tens of thousands of people in state terrorism and had “crushed all opposition of any kind, however anti-Communist it may [have been]… because of the massive dollar aid [it had] from across the Pacific” – its supporters were “found in North America, not in Free Vietnam”.

Therefore, my opinion clearly is that the US shouldn't have got involved. As for the U.S.'s own use of violence, from the perspective of the Vietnamese people, the United States joining in the terror inflicted upon the Vietnamese people was catastrophic.

When the military cannot sufficiently distinguish between civilians and enemies, attacks become ‘indiscriminate’ according to international humanitarian law. This was exactly the case in Vietnam. It started in the early 1960s, where, as Guenter Lewy, in an account attempting to justify the war in Vietnam, says, U.S. air operations involved “indiscriminate killing” and “took a heavy toll of essentially innocent men, women and children” – villages in “open zones” were “subjected to random bombardment by artillery and aircraft so as to drive the inhabitants… [to] the strategic hamlets”. The indiscriminate murder of civilians continued throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s; indeed, some U.S. commanders even openly welcomed civilian casualties: General William Westmoreland, head of U.S. operations in Vietnam, was famously unconcerned with civilian casualties, remarking that the aerial bombardment “does deprive the enemy of population, doesn’t it?”. Another general explained, “the best way [to conduct the war] is to blast the hell out of [the peasants’] villages “. Many of the attacks on civilian areas simply should not have taken place. Even former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, in his postwar memoir, concedes that the bombings could not distinguish between combattants and neutral civilians.As a Yale University study concluded: “the available evidence strongly confirms that bombing in Vietnam was indiscriminate: it could not target individual VC supporters while sparing government supporters or the uncommitted”. Specifically, in Cambodia (the US government also conducted secret wars in Laos and Cambodia, without telling Congress), 8,238 areas which were bombed had "no target at all", while 3,580 of the bombing sites were "unknown targets". Additionally, approximately 44 percent of the 8,000 sorties flown in Cambodia struck targets outside the authorized zone. This led to a policy of falsifying the reports of missions carried out beyond the boundary. In a nutshell, the U.S. engaged in warfare that is punishable by international and customary humanitarian law.

In sum, at least 150,000 civilians were killed in the secret bombing campaigns in Laos and Cambodia, while at least 300,000 were killed in South Vietnam alone due to “military operations” according to Lewy. At the very least, hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed as a result of the illegal U.S. invasion of Vietnam and the subsequent aggression; at the very most, more than a million may have been killed. As Richard A. Falk, professor of international law at Princeton University and Special Rapporteur for the UN Human Rights Council said, “if the US government had abided by international law, the dreadful experience of the Vietnam War would not have occurred”.
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ee123
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(Original post by 99conbon99)
I am currently studying History GCSE and were studying Vietnam i would just like some information on Vietnam and some peoples opinions on America joining.

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Don't know how much you know about the French in Vietnam (I don't remember doing much about it at GCSE) but Truman gave them aid and from there on it seems to me like the war just continued to escalate further and further out of control. In my opinion the US should never have become involved, however it is easy to see how they did in the cold war context, with all the paranoia about communism and the influence of the 'China lobby'. Hope that helped, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
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kara394
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Regarding other peoples opinion on Vietnam, France was most vocal. Charles De Guelle ( French President) tried to reason with america and tell them not to get involved further. With the French being in their before the Americans as they were previously colonising there. Britain wasnt a fan either but werent as vocal in their opinion against Vietnam.

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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by viddy9)
Information on Vietnam: After the Second World War, Vietnam was occupied by the French, who wanted to make it a colony of theirs again. The Vietnamese people, led by independent nationalist movements, such as Ho Chi Minh's (which happened to be communist), resisted this and fought the First Indochina War, and expelled the French in 1954. He also tried to unify Vietnam and give them a Constitution similar to that of the United States's.

The United States, however, tacitly supported the French, and when the French withdrew, they came in.

My opinion on American involvement in Vietnam:
To understand the Vietnam War as we know it, we have to look back to 1954. Under the terms of the Geneva Conference, Vietnam was to be split into two parts: North and South, but it also stipulated that free democratic elections were to be held.

Unfortunately, the United States had other ideas: U.S. involvement started off with the subversion of the democratic process. That is, in light of what the U.S. State Department called the “unpleasant fact that Communist Ho Chi Minh is the strongest and perhaps the ablest figure in Indochina” and the fact that Ho Chi Minh had established himself as a “symbol of nationalism and the struggle for freedom to the overwhelming majority of the population”, the U.S. installed a brutal authoritarian regime in South Vietnam, which had killed tens of thousands of people in state terrorism and had “crushed all opposition of any kind, however anti-Communist it may [have been]… because of the massive dollar aid [it had] from across the Pacific” – its supporters were “found in North America, not in Free Vietnam”.

Therefore, my opinion clearly is that the US shouldn't have got involved. As for the U.S.'s own use of violence, from the perspective of the Vietnamese people, the United States joining in the terror inflicted upon the Vietnamese people was catastrophic.

When the military cannot sufficiently distinguish between civilians and enemies, attacks become ‘indiscriminate’ according to international humanitarian law. This was exactly the case in Vietnam. It started in the early 1960s, where, as Guenter Lewy, in an account attempting to justify the war in Vietnam, says, U.S. air operations involved “indiscriminate killing” and “took a heavy toll of essentially innocent men, women and children” – villages in “open zones” were “subjected to random bombardment by artillery and aircraft so as to drive the inhabitants… [to] the strategic hamlets”. The indiscriminate murder of civilians continued throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s; indeed, some U.S. commanders even openly welcomed civilian casualties: General William Westmoreland, head of U.S. operations in Vietnam, was famously unconcerned with civilian casualties, remarking that the aerial bombardment “does deprive the enemy of population, doesn’t it?”. Another general explained, “the best way [to conduct the war] is to blast the hell out of [the peasants’] villages “. Many of the attacks on civilian areas simply should not have taken place. Even former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, in his postwar memoir, concedes that the bombings could not distinguish between combattants and neutral civilians.As a Yale University study concluded: “the available evidence strongly confirms that bombing in Vietnam was indiscriminate: it could not target individual VC supporters while sparing government supporters or the uncommitted”. Specifically, in Cambodia (the US government also conducted secret wars in Laos and Cambodia, without telling Congress), 8,238 areas which were bombed had "no target at all", while 3,580 of the bombing sites were "unknown targets". Additionally, approximately 44 percent of the 8,000 sorties flown in Cambodia struck targets outside the authorized zone. This led to a policy of falsifying the reports of missions carried out beyond the boundary. In a nutshell, the U.S. engaged in warfare that is punishable by international and customary humanitarian law.

In sum, at least 150,000 civilians were killed in the secret bombing campaigns in Laos and Cambodia, while at least 300,000 were killed in South Vietnam alone due to “military operations” according to Lewy. At the very least, hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed as a result of the illegal U.S. invasion of Vietnam and the subsequent aggression; at the very most, more than a million may have been killed. As Richard A. Falk, professor of international law at Princeton University and Special Rapporteur for the UN Human Rights Council said, “if the US government had abided by international law, the dreadful experience of the Vietnam War would not have occurred”.
Interesting take on the politicL front. Except the US and numerous other countries git involved because it was the communist north that was trying to undermine the non communist south.
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viddy9
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Interesting take on the politicL front. Except the US and numerous other countries git involved because it was the communist north that was trying to undermine the non communist south.
Yes, nothing to do with the fact that the United States prevented a democratic election from taking place, installed a brutal dictator in South Vietnam and then stepped into defend its puppet totalitarian regime when, after unification was denied to Vietnam via the ballot, unification was attempted through other means.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by viddy9)
Yes, nothing to do with the fact that the United States prevented a democratic election from taking place, installed a brutal dictator in South Vietnam and then stepped into defend its puppet totalitarian regime when, after unification was denied to Vietnam via the ballot, unification was attempted through other means.
There were dictatorships both side of the border. Ho Chi Minh wasn't exactly a benevolent leader.

There are some quite striking similarities between the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict. The main difference being that one used an insurgency to fight it's battles.

There are also some parallels with the Malaya conflict and Borneo. Different outcomes with different approaches.

Where the US and it's allies struggled was it tried to fight the war conventionally and didn't take the softly softly approach.
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meld98dog
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I would love to study this. I do causes of WW1, peace making and causes of WW2. Of course, they are still interesting topics yet the Cold War allows more opinions etc

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Soldieroffortune
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Well what do you want to know about vietnam? to explain the entire war for you would take forever and a day it was a huge conflict involving many countries and countless important facts on an international scale..
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