After the well known Bay of Pigs fiasco, he felt he was advised that he needed a foreign policy success. The arena in which he was to succeed was to be Vietnam. President Kennedy wanted to be strong in Vietnam, to show off America's power. The president's role in the Vietnam War remains the most controversial aspect of his public
Instead, the military fought with great pride for their country and pushed the American troops back to the landing site. The American forces either surrendered or fled to safety. By April 20, most of the troops had either been killed or captured. In many minds, the invasion was a complete failure for the American military. It embarrassed the young Kennedy administration and Kennedy was blamed for not giving it adequate support.
Although both leaders shared a common goal of independence and freedom for the people of Vietnam their manner in which they chose to display their leadership styles differed, making them a favorite among their followers. Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh, whose name means “bringer of light” envisioned a unified Vietnam that would be governed under communist ruling. The war left North Vietnam in a complete state of destruction. Ho Chi Minh immediately focused his attention on rebuilding the nation. He wanted a nation that had not only a strong foundation internally (Devry, 2014), but also one that would be “economically self-sufficient”, (Moss, 2010, p.64).
Firstly, the Vietnam war was undoubtedly a very significant factor in the increased protests during the 60's. For example, the excessive bombing of North Vietnam lead in 1965 lead to many student protests, as so many civilians including women and children were being purposefully killed in order to ultimately, win the was by flattening Vietnam. This caused outrage amongst the student rebels. In particular, the student rebel group called Students for Democratic Society (SDS) used the Vietnam war to suggest that the US government was corrupt. The cause struck a chord with those at university more so than other groups of people due to the immense number of students that were made to go and fight.
Lyndon B Johnson served as the president of the United States after the killing of John F Kennedy in 1963. Some analysts remember Johnson for the role he played during the Vietnam War. Johnson was determined to assist general Khanh, the leader of the South Vietnamese army, to overcome the threat of the NLF. After winning the 1964 election, Johnson increased the number of the United States troops in Vietnam. Nevertheless, this move did not get the support of some Americans.
Related to this aspect was the preoccupation of U.S. political elites with the reputation of America as a respected world power. As a result of these forces, President Johnson was hardly presented with any option to overcome the difficult situation in Vietnam other than by committing troops, and making the U.S. a direct actor in the war. When the presence of a North Vietnamese Army regiment was spotted in southern Vietnam, and the subsequent decision was made to use air power to combat them, the fate of U.S. troops’ involvement in Vietnam was sealed. One of the most important factors that drove President Johnson to commit troops to Vietnam was the unstable state of the South Vietnamese government in Saigon. Essentially, the U.S. was embattled by the same problematic political relationship with the Vietnamese politicos as the French were when they exerted control over Vietnam.
Gulf of Tonkin Incident In 1955, NGO Dinh Diem organized the Republic of South Vietnam and made himself the new president. In 1960, Ho Chi Minh the communist leader of North Vietnam had been able to mobilize nationalist sentiment with the citizens of South Vietnam. These South Vietnamese Guerilla forces, Vietcong, launched attacks in opposition to the new Diem regime and the support sought from western countries. The democratic country of South Vietnam was the United States end of the United States-Russian proxy war between North and South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese had relied on United States support more and more as the war was getting started.
Throughout the course of the Great War, the production and circulation of all forms of media, both audio and visual, and all forms of literature and poetry were heavily censored by the governments of all the nations involved in the war. The reason behind this censorship was to keep up the moral at the home front. For obvious reasons, which will be discussed throughout this essay, the government did not want the general public seeing and hearing the true accounts of the war. As well as censorship being used to keep up morale, propaganda was a key feature of keeping p support for the armies fighting in the war. By examining the various forms of media and literature that were produced during the period of the Great War the extent to which censorship and propaganda will become clearly evident.
This compelled a sense of unity, which in turn helped groups organize to change how the nation viewed the war. Country Joe McDonald’s song emphasizes a misunderstanding between the young radicals of society and their leaders, “And it’s 1,2,3, what’re we fighting for? / Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn” (14-15). An increasingly noticeable ‘generation gap’ started to widen as U.S. News & World Report “assured its readers that Vietnam was a “local war... Big war is not threatened” (Lynskey 89). However, when President Johnson and other military advisors mixed-up events, possibly deliberately, to claim that North Vietnam had just attacked the US naval force in the Gulf of Tonkin- an incident which later proved to be a minor naval clash (Prados 1) and used this conflict as a premise to launch a full scale invasion of the communist state, the antiwar movement consolidated with great speed.
On the other hand, people believed that behind the fatherly smile was a diabolical mind that was deceiving the entire world, leading them to believe that he had the country’s best interest in mind. There are varying opinions towards whether Ho Chi Minh used communism to help his main nationalist goals or vice versa. Many historians argue that Ho was first a nationalist and then a communist. Historian Alden Whitman stated, ‘... Ho Chi Minh was remarkable both for the tenacity and patience with which he pursued his goal of Vietnamese independence and for his success in blending Communism with nationalism.’ However, it is undeniable that he wanted to free Vietnam from being stuck in a French colony. Ho Chi Minh was the driving force without which the unified Vietnamese state would never have been achieved.