1. What are the similarities and differences in the events that led up to the conflict and events that you have seen on TV or read in the newspaper in today’s world?
The United States’ first involvement in the Vietnam War was not direct military action, but merely to supply the French government with men and weapons to resist the establishment of a government that they believed was supported by the Chinese communists. The United States involvement in the Iraq war was quite different. After the attack on the world trade centers, a group of people within our government tried to convince the American public that terrorists from Iraq were responsible for the attack as well as trying to convince the public that the Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction. And they had no proof to support their position.
Unfortunately, the government succeeded in convincing the American public that it was necessary to invade Iraq. We now know that the Iraqi government does not have WMD and that all of the terrorists that were responsible for the attack were from Al qaeda and none of them were from Iraq. The huge difference that I am trying to explain is that one of these wars was caused by a terrorist attack combined with a un-truthful government. And the other war was caused by the United States’ believes about communism. I cannot think of any similarities in the events that led up to the Vietnam War and the Iraq war.
2. Did the end of the conflict justify the means? In other words, was it right or just when the united states ________?
The aftermath of the war was not what the United States or South Vietnam intended. After the North Vietnamese communists had taken over the government, hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese officials, particularly ARVN officers were imprisoned in reeducation camps.
Tens of thousands died and many fled the country after being released. Up to two million civilians left the country, and as many as half of these people perished at sea. Therefore, in the big picture of the war we did not prevent the establishment of the government by the North Vietnamese. Which was our overall goal in the war. I do not know if invading Vietnam was the right decision.
3. What social movements were associated with the conflict you are studying? What protest movements? How did these movements affect political decision making (if at all)?
The opposition of the Vietnam War began slowly and in small numbers in 1964 on carious college campuses in the United States. One of the reasons so many people opposed the war was attributed to greater access to uncensored information compared to previous wars. An example of how strongly some people felt about the war was when two anti-war activists set themselves on fire in November 1965. On May 5, 1965, student activists at the university of California, Berkley marched on the Berkley Draft board and forty students staged the first public burning of a draft card in the United States.
Opposition to the Vietnam War in Australia followed along similar lines to the United States. These draft card burnings did affect the war because a few months later President Johnson doubled the amount of young men who would be drafted each month, along with signing a law making it a crime to burn a draft card.