How did the Vietnam War impact America?

The Vietnam war was a very misleading and destructive war for the United States. When the war first began the United States had an impact on the war long before America “joined” the war. The United States provided support for the French (who then was in control of South Vietnam at the time) by providing funds and material to them. Once America took over South Vietnam to try and turn the tides, troops were eventually sent to help try to win the war. America first joined the war because it was feared that once Vietnam was in communist control the rest of Asia would follow. During the 30 years that the war was going on, none of the presidents that were in office and the office officials told the truth to the people in the United States through the media. The Vietnam war was the first war that the people were able to follow the war/see the impact of the war through their televisions and radios from start to finish. The presidents during the majority of the war told the press and people that the war was in their favor and that America was gaining on North Vietnam and their allies, where in reality there were thousands of not only solders but  innocent Vietnamese people who died in the cross fire.

Once photographs of the death that was occurring everyday in Vietnam was shown in magazine articles and the cruelty that was happening on both sides of the war was discussed on news channels on televisions people found out some of the truth. Thousands of innocent Vietnamese people were being bombed and gassed. Personally, I don’t understand how the troops where commanded to kill thousands of innocent people. For example, what happened in My Lia a small village which was the largest search and destroy missions the American troops had. When they had thought that they would be able to attach a large group of Vietcong (South Vietnamese communist) and would encounter very few civilians, when they raided the village that morning no Vietcong were found and only unarmed innocent women and children where there at the time. The troops tortured and slaughtered 500 of those women and children. How could people do that? During the war it was very hard to keep track of the death of the enemy on both sides. One commander told his solders “If it’s dead and it’s Vietnamese, it’s Vietcong.”

Once people found out how the government had been painting the picture that America was winning the war but was losing it people were outraged and it tore the nation itself apart. People who protested the war had many different reasoning whether it be they didn’t think it was right that innocent people were dying and that there was a better way of ending the war. People argued that working with North Vietnam communist leader Ho Chi Minh to create a peace treaty would be more effective them millions of people dying (people on both sides). Many public lectures were held along with debates protesting the war in many colleges and places across the United States. When relations between China and the United States began to improve drastically it was hard for the government to justify the war since America was attempting to contain communism in Southeast Asia due to it would conflict our interest overseas. This was the beginning of the end of America being in the war.

It is awful to think that one of the longest wars in Americas history could’ve been ended sooner if one of the five presidents said enough is enough and back down and just talk to China and the Soviet Union. During the entire war America spent 173 billion, there was a total of 2 million deaths of Vietnamese people both in the south and north and just over 60 thousand American solder deaths. To think it could all be ended with one good decision and someone taking a different approach.


8 thoughts on “How did the Vietnam War impact America?

  1. It’s terrible that the government would lie to the American public. Also it is crazy to think that the United States would kill 500 innocent women and children, like why would you do that.

  2. It’s sad to know that the United States has killed 500 innocent women and kids. After learning about the horrible things that happened during this war, it really makes me wish our country had held itself together just a little bit better.

  3. The use of media during this war was a crucial difference from any other war, having the availability of nightly news showing the acts of the day in Vietnam did not allow the government to keep America totally in the dark and lead them to believe something that was not true. If you think about this in our day and age, we find out about gun shootings on twitter within minutes. We have gotten to a place with social media and up to the minute news where we are now experiencing the shock of nightly news stations talking of the Vietnam war during this time frame.

  4. It is heartbreaking that this war wreaked so much havoc on our nation. We lost so many lives, and we lost unity. For what? The world may not even be different because of this war. Maybe it’s vastly different. But such a violent conflict.

    1. I agree that this was such a big war, both in terms of body count and impact on American life, all for really nothing. I don’t think much really changed because of the war and America getting into it was probably a mistake from the start and didn’t need to be there. Lives were lost for no good reason and there was really no winner in the end so it was all basically a waste.

  5. I think that it was awful that the government was lying to the people saying that we were winning the war when we were really losing it. I think that the media is what fueled this and this led the American people to start to hate the war. I think that it is possible that if the people were told the truth, they’d have actually given more support for the war or it would’ve ended earlier with less casualties.

  6. I do agree with your opinion on this war being destructive for our nation. We should’ve left it alone, wonder how that would change history? I also think media was a huge aspect during the war, it really influenced citizen’s views on the war. Great and organized blog. I enjoyed reading it

  7. Very informative post! I didn’t realize the U.S. had killed 500 innocent children and women in My Lia. I’m sure thats just one small example of all the horrible encounters during this tragic time. In my opinion, the Vietnam war is definitely something the United States will never be able to make up for. All the havoc wreaked on the Vietnamesese and misfortunate caused to families was all based on fear of communism.

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