A. Plan of Investigation: The Tet Offensive was a psychological turning point for many Americans during the Vietnam War. This investigation will access what role the media had in shaping the negative opinions the American citizens had after the Tet Offensive of 1968. This investigation will focus on the public opinion of US involvement in the Vietman War and the trust and support Americans had for their military and government after the media’s portrayal of Tet Offensive. I will use the method of focusing on the misconceptions the press expressed to the public, false interpretations of the Tet Offensive regarding American military and government as well as facts that the press failed to express to the media.
The anti-war movements and protests reflected on the soldiers in Vietnam and led to the defeat of the US armed forces. The media portrayed war in such a negative manner that resentment is still present today. The introduction of televised news coverage of the Vietnam War set a precedent of fear of war within the American culture. The vivid footage and images of combat educated the American people of the true horrors
The United States was torn in many factions at that time period, Civil Rights Movement being a major one. We learned that we can rise up and be heard as a people to our leaders, that even one person can make a difference. We became more aware of the secrets our government had been keeping, and their ability to do so, and by the end of the Vietnam War made attempts to make sure this would not happen again. References Barringer, Mark. (2009).
A common theme arises in the letter arises in a sense of “Why Am I Here?” as America starts to question “Why are we fighting the war?” Neither knows what the purpose of the war is and those who fought in it question why it has to be them. Many of the combatants seek comfort in believing they are fighting the war for the future of the children of Vietnam. This is mainly influenced by their guilt in feeling responsible for the death of their parents. Despite the differences of situations between the large conservative body of America and the soldiers of Vietnam, they did share the same opinion or uncertainty of the purpose of the
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.
Because the American government openly supported the Christian Diem, the South Vietnamese were almost as against American involvement as the North Vietnamese by the time of the Tet Offensive. The Americans’ failure to keep the North Vietnamese at bay only added further tension between the United States and the people they were trying to help. Back in the U.S., protest was growing to the point that full engagement in Vietnam was becoming difficult. Opposition to the draft was an extremely crucial form of protest. Literally, “tens of thousands fled to Canada or Europe to avoid the draft” (Wills 29).
It has hurt our credibility across the world and caused a loss of faith in government by its citizens. Although the necessity of the war is argued by many, it is only done in an analysis of its occurrence. Had it not happened and the world possibly fell under Communism, then we would be arguing the exact opposite. The United States did what it felt it had to do at the time, given the information it had. To go to war in Vietnam was a risk the US felt it had to take in order to contain Communism, thus securing its economic prosperity and worldwide dominance.
Thus leaving American’s to become conspirious about the truths of war and ethics in the Federal Government. In my opinion the arguments made against the government’s way they misled the public were true and interesting. The government having not told Tillman’s family the truth up front I believe was a cowardly thing to do. The way the Bush administration portrayed him out to be a hero, in which I believe he was, he shouldn’t have been made out to be more heroic than any one of his fellow soldiers. Just because Tillman was a NFL football player shouldn’t have given him any more starlight than other soldier who also gave up their lives to fight for this country.
Aiming to win back support from the American’s, as many people did not support the Vietnam war due to the bad media that was publicised. This was the first War to be so publicised and it shocked many of the people back home. This lead to Anti-War protest, which became one of the US governments aims to stop. However they still stuck to the aim to try and contain Vietnam from the spread of communism and supporting the SV defeat the VC in nearby country Cambodia. On the other side the aims of the NV government and their terrorist organisation the VC did not alter as they still aimed to persuade the SV government to vote for Vietnam to become a communist country.
Even if the US-planes bombed North Vietnam they didn’t really damaged the North Vietnamese Military so much and the poison gases weren’t so effective against them but it was probably less good for the civilians of North Vietnam and the US-soldiers fighting the Viet Cong. Also the antiwar propaganda taking place in USA at that time used pictures were you could see American soldiers burning down small North Vietnamese villages. This had two main effects, the first one was that the people of USA didn’t support the war so much and the fact that many soldiers died in North Vietnam decreased the support even more. Also there weren’t any hopes on victory in a long while since the war was going pretty badly and the US-government always sent more and more troops to North Vietnam but the Vietnamese didn’t want to surrender to the US. The second more direct effect these had was that the Viet Cong did get more support from the civilians and the more support you get from the civilians the more likely it is to win the war because the civilians are prepared