American Soldiers In The Vietnam War

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The Vietnam Soldiers Secret Enemy COMM/215 June 4, 2012 The Vietnam Soldiers Secret Enemy Usually when someone thinks of a soldier’s enemy, they expect them to be wearing a uniform and carrying military weapons. Sometimes the enemy is disguised, and they may be carrying cameras and microphones. Even though they have freedom of speech, the media's exaggeration of military facts was almost criminal. Their lies caused more casualties than the American public realizes. The country's support for the military was being affected negatively, and the soldiers fighting in the war were unaware of the lies being spread by the media back home. On January 31, 1968, the TET offensive began. Up to this point, the American support for the…show more content…
Anchors and reporters quickly became trusted, household names because the public turned to them every night for the day's information about the war. Walter Cronkite was even referred to as the "most trusted man in America" throughout the war ( Hallin, 1986, p.106). Even though the American viewers thought the images they were viewing were accurate accounts of the Vietnam War, they were actually watching, were edited thirty-minute versions of an extremely complex war. The most damaging statement came from the "most trusted man in America", Walter Cronkite. In a CBS special, Cronkite concluded, "To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past, to say we are mired in a bloody stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory conclusion" ( Hallin, 1986, p.170) This did not help increase the support for our troops in Vietnam. The overall support for the war was diminished by Cronkite's report. The negative coverage of the war influenced politicians, the public, and the American soldier. Concerned with losing support, politicians started to really get involved. The TeT offensive was a last ditch effort for the communists. They knew they were losing the war and needed to go to the peace talks. They were ready to end the war. Since the anti-war movement was pressuring the U.S. government to stop bombing North Vietnam, the politicians, scared of losing votes, ceased bombing. Once the communists realized this, they thought they would wait before going to the peace talks. The communists were ready to surrender, and because of the anti-war movement and the media's coverage, they changed their mind. At the time this started, less than 21,000 military personnel had died. From the time the government stopped bombing the North, and the communists got a second wind, 37,500 more personnel died. Because of the skewed

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