Impacting Vietnam and American war


The Vietnam and American war was one of the longest wars. During this war the United States had 5 presidents involved. This war took a lot of casualties. They believed that they were winning the war by how big the body count was, but little did they know they could barely tell who was who.  There was even a political cartoon made about how they knew what the body count was. There is a lot of different things that impacted the war for example, the media, American protesters, and presidential power.

The media was an impact of the Vietnam and American war. The media use to take pictures of what was happening. When the My Lai massacre happened Ron Haeberle took photos of the scared women and children as he walked away, he could hear the guns going off. Later Haeberle sold his pictures to Life that wrote about what happened there. (26.3.2) Another way the media caused an impact would be when they did political cartoonist. David Levine made a political cartoon about Johnson when he pulled up his shirt to show his scar. The cartoon is proposing that Johnson is lying about Vietnam and he is hiding secrets from the people. The media plays a big role of what goes on in the world. They write about what is happening in the world, so everyone knows what is going on in that part of the universe.  The media also liked to stir the pot. Making Political cartoons can make the person their about really upset and do something irrational. (25.1.5).

Another thing that impacted the war would be the American protest. When the peace activists were together, they would burn their draft cards because they were against the war and they wanted it to end. When a couple of men tried to burn their draft cards, another man stopped them. That man told them that they should just set themselves on fire instead of the cards. (26.3.1). At Kent State University there was a rally. The students were protesting when the National Guardsman started shooting. Four students were killed and nine were wounded. The National Guard stated it was self-defense because the students were throwing rocks at them. The protesters were tired of the war. They believed it was to much money and taking away our loved ones for no reason. To send troops over there to fight would cost more lives and money the people were tired of losing. (26.4.2).

Have you ever thought about how much power the president had during this time? Johnson wanted to win the war so bad. Johnson kept fighting the war until he was done being president. Johnson said, “Believing that a final push against a weakened enemy could finish the job.” Johnson send more troops in and it was the biggest search and destroy mission. Johnson was in charge when My Lai massacre happen. The soldiers claimed they were just following orders. (26.3.2). When in 1973 peace treaty withdrawal American troops. The war would still continue but with out America’s help. Nixon tried to say that the law interferes with the president’s role of commander in chief of the armed forces. (26.4.3). As time goes on presidential power has decreased. Congress has put n laws in place, so the president has work together as one.

Keene, Jennifer D. Visions of America: A History of the United States. 3rd ed., vol. 2, Pearson,2017.

7 thoughts on “Impacting Vietnam and American war

  1. When discussing the media’s influence on the American mindset during the Vietnam War, you mentioned the photographer who took pictures of the My Lai Massacre, Ron Haebarle. I wonder what these scenes caused Americans to think about the war? Did they turn Americans against the war? I also compare this to images we see in the modern day of the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan. When we (as Americans) see pictures of devastation and death, does it affect us in the same way as it did back then?

  2. The power that the media has is crazy, they had the power to turn Americans against the Vietnam War. When people back home see pictures and articles about what is happening, it can impact how they feel about the situation. The My Lai Massacre for example, that probably changed the opinion of many Americans and protest against the war began.

    1. This time period certainly marked a change in the power that journalism (television news, particularly) had in American society. Seeing photographs, footage, and constant updates on the war in Vietnam over the TV screen undoubtedly had a major effect on the public perception of the war, and no doubt had a great effect on the antiwar movement. This also extended to political campaigns – we see the change to political ads on television (discussed in last week’s reading with Dwight Eisenhower) and how appearance and mannerisms matter in debate (with Nixon versus Kennedy in 1960). That is not to say that print mediums and radio did not continue to impact citizens’ views of current events, however.

    2. I agree, the media has an amazingly massive influence over the general public. Much of what the public based opinions on was what the media portrayed to them, and what they saw in the stories the media related. Even today, the effect of media is startling, with many people even favouring news organisations for the side of the story they portray. Vietnam was one of the first major wars that the public could just sit and watch at home, it is no wonder that people took so strongly to one side or the other.

  3. I do believe the media impacts people all around the world, it impacts the people who is being affected by the situation the media is publishing most. Like the images and political cartoons that were published during the Vietnam and American war. Reading this blog made me realize how media has advanced with the growth of technology. We as Americans read and see so much from the media everyday, we now have a lot more means to spread new reports all around the world and a variety of different days. it makes me wonder because the media was corrupted during the Vietnam and American war…how much more is it corrupted not compared to than?

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post. It really showed just how against the war people were and just how bad of a response people were giving to the protesters. Like you said, when people were attempting to burn their draft cards, people were saying that they should burn themselves instead, which referred to the monks who set themselves on fire and died in protest. The other really good example you stated was the national guard shooting college students for protesting, claiming “self-defense”.

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