Blog 6: Gooood Morning Vietnam

The Vietnam War was new ground for America in many ways. It was at the time, and still is to this day the most deadly war we have ever participated in with over 58,000 US Military casualties.  The way this war was fought by American’s was new territory, facing guerrilla warfare and Vietcong tunnels and traps created much difficulty and altered the way we approached our attacks. America was forced to use what was known as the most heavy handed air attack ever on the Ho Chi Minh trail and adopt the use of chemical warfare such as napalm which was a chemical agent that would catch on fire on impact. This kind of war was nasty and gruesome, and is the only war to date in which the United States can’t claim victory.

In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson, after the assassination of Kennedy, asked congress to move forward with involvement in the Korean War. President Johnson was given approval by congress to take any action needed to stop any aggression towards America. This approval of this was known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution after Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked US Naval ships in the Gulf of Tonkin.  On March 6, 1965 troops landed on the northern coast of South Vietnam to aid in the war against the spread of communism.

During the first part of the Vietnam War, the Men of the United States were asked to fight for our country in this fight against communism, and all were expected to help except for men with families or those who were going to college. Those particular men were offered pardons to not fight in the war. Going to war with Vietnam was not something that everyone supported, in the 1960’s young people and civil rights minded populations were responsible for a large group of anti-war activist.

The time frame on the Vietnam War seemed to be a particularly interesting one to me. I understand why we as a country went to war; the stopping of the spread of communism was a very important factor in the mid 1900’s. I however find myself to be one who during this time frame would have been an anti-war activist. The act of going to war for others interests, pouring money and lives towards a cause that was simply act of fear for the domino effect of communism. The stories I have heard in the past of people such as Muhammed Ali being incarcerated for refusing to go to war is something to me that seems appalling. As much of a piece of history as the Vietnam War was to America, I think the two most important things that came out of this particular war were anti-war activism and the War Powers Resolution. I believe no single man should have the authority to take a country to war, and the War Powers Resolution was indeed an act that needed to be followed through on during the Vietnam War when presidents were acting out militaristic actions based on saving face and stopping communism.

10 thoughts on “Blog 6: Gooood Morning Vietnam

  1. We seem to take a similar stance on the Vietnam War. If I was a young adult during this time I definitely would have been an anti-war activist. The War Powers Resolution really is an amazing thing that came out of the Vietnam War. It is amazing to me that there was nothing really like this in place before. Thanks to this resolution, the president can not commit the United States to fight in a war. Without the consent of the United States Congress, the president can not throw us into another war based purely on the fear of something (like the fear of communism).

  2. Very good post! You did a good job explaining the war and why went. I have talked and worked with people that have been in this war, it was definitely traumatizing to America and to the citizens.

    1. Thank you. I can not imagine being forced to go to war for something I couldn’t back. Then going to Vietnam for your country and fighting a war in a way that had not been done before had to be terrorizing.

  3. I agree that the War Powers Resolution was definitely one good thing that came from this war. Going to war is not a decision one person alone should be allowed to make for an entire country.

    1. I can agree with this, one person shouldn’t have the power to send our entire nation into war. This will keep our country safe from one person that might want to start a war that no one else wants.

    2. I definitely agree that one person shouldn’t be able to risk countless lives on a war without anyone else being able to stop them. War should be something that many people are involved, just like any other government process we have today. War out of all things should be the most scrutinized and have a good checks and balances system to ensure that risking American lives is necessarily and worth doing. The world wars, for example, needed American intervention, but things like Vietnam and Afghanistan, I would argue did not need American soldiers or at least not a full fledged war.

  4. After learning about some of the horrible things we did during war it really makes you wish that as a country we would’ve conducted ourselves better during the war when it came to our government and troops.

  5. Like you said the Vietnam war was a war that was unlike any other war, not only did it have thousands of deaths on our side (American lives) but it was the longest war to this day that we took part in. I don’t understand how official gave orders to killing hundreds of innocent Vietnamese people. For example the village of My Lai where 500 unarmed women and children were slaughtered. I agree with you during that time period I would be a anti-war activist. Especially after finding out millions of people were killing each other. I think that the presidents had good intention when joining the war they thought that it was going to be just like WWI or WWII but that wasn’t the case. If one of the presidents would’ve decided to talk about a peace treaty with the Soviet Union or China (like they did in the end) they many lives would’ve been saved.

  6. It’s defi a tough war to swallow. Trying to understand why we became involved can be difficult. But what if the work we live in has less communism because of this? I’m not stating it does, but it is very possibly this war made a greater impacting the world than we thought. So sad to see so many American casualties as the cost,though.

  7. Great post! We have a similar stance on this topic. I would have probably been an anti-war activist in this time too. Despite the dangers in going against the war, someone needed to stand up against the government. One person definitely should not have that much power or authority. It’s scary to think people like Jane Fonda that held protests against the war still receive hate to this day for their stance. I also agree the War Powers Resolution was the only good thing that came from the Vietnam war.

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