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Vietnam War

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on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of Vietnam War

Where is Vietnam?
3.8 million civilians dead
(In US Vietnam War and following civil wars)
US soldiers dead - 58,000
US Soldiers injured - 300,000
South Vietnam soldiers dead – 430,000
South Vietnam solders injured – 1.17 million
North Vietnam soldiers dead – 1.1 million
North Vietnam soldiers injured – 600,000
111 billion
738 billion (inflation)
The Cost of War
The Cost of War
Official reason:
Part of Cold War
Stop the spread of communism across the world
Domino Theory:
If Vietnam falls to communism so will India, Pakistan, Japan, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Australia etc.
Theory stated by Ike, JFK and LBJ
Real Reason?
Maintain economic and political dominance of East Asia
Why Vietnam?
Geography of Vietnam
Southeast Asia
Long skinny country
Bordering Laos, Cambodia and China
Resources: rubber / rice / oil / coal / tea
Optional 7min
History of Vietnam
(Find the Pattern)
Vietnamese let China take major cities, hid in the jungle/mountains and ambushed the Chinese
Chinese leave
China tried many times to conquer Vietnam
200BC - 1500AD
Vietnamese let French take major cities, hid in the jungle/mountains and ambushed the French
France colonizes Vietnam
(French Indochina)
Vietnamese let Japanese take major cities, hid in the jungle/mountains and ambushed the Japanese
Japanese leave
Japan conquers Vietnam (WWII)
Vietnamese let French take major cities, hid in the jungle/mountains and ambushed the French (cause Civil War – North vs. South)
French leave
Promised elections for unification- south dodged them
France reclaims Vietnam
Vietnamese let Americans take major cities, hid in the jungle/mountains and ambushed the Americans
Americans leave
USA takes over for France
Optional 8min
warning: graphic
Anti French-Imperialism
Age 22 fled country for 30 years seeking support for Ind.
London, Paris & Moscow
Asked US to help (due to American Revolt against Eng. Colonialism )
US would not hear him
Ask USSR to help
Would not help – Vietnam civilization not advanced enough to be communist
Ho Chi Minh
Society Progresses to Communism
Tribal to
Slave to
Feudal to
Capitalism (industrialization) to
Socialism to
Vietnamese had not industrialized – still a farm culture
Evolution to Communism
Ho Chi Minh becomes communist
Ho Chi Minh leads rebellion against French imperialism
Most Vietnamese cannot define communism
War for Independence
China Supports Vietnam
Vietnamese Dec. of Ind. Preamble word for word US Dec. of Ind.
Fance defeated: Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Vietnam split into two countries (N and S)
US begins to support France and South
First Indochina War: 1946-1954
South Vietnam ruled by Ngo Dinh Diem
Ruthless imperial dictator (Catholic)
Enacted strict religious law
Treated lower class and Buddhists terrible
Landlords and business owners grew rich
Lower class grew poorer
Second Indochina War –
US Vietnam War 1955-1975
optional - 2 min
Buddhists monks denied basic freedom of speech and assembly
Public Buddhist displays and holidays outlawed
Thousands jailed
Turn to self-immolation
(US will have Diem overthrown and killed) Failing to ever create a stable government in the south
Failed Tyrannical Government
Peoples Army of Vietnam (NVA) North Vietnamese Army
The Conflict
US Military - Volunteer and Drafted (1.7 Million)
2.5 million will fight in Vietnam
South Vietnam ARVN
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
South Vietnam Rebels VIET CONG (Charlie)
NLF National Liberation Army
Civilians rebels - ambushed
JFK sends in Special Ops and 11,000 advisors to train ARVN forces
11/1963 Diem removed assassinated
LBJ begins full scale invasion
Group USSR / China / Vietnam together
How to declare war?
Escalating the War
Bobby Kennedy LBJ Friction
US Navy engages in 1 real and 1 false battle with NVA ships in Gulf of Tonkin
August 2nd 1964 – USS Maddox defeats 3 NVA torpedo boats
August 4th 1964 – US fights false radar images
LBJ:  "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there. (1965)" 
Led Public to believe 2nd attack really happened
False Flag – When the gov’t creates a situation as an excuse for war
Gulf of Tonkin Affair
Robert McNamara's Account
False Flag
LBJ asks congress to war: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Does not ask for Declaration
Instead congress gives President power to unofficially declare war and send military

1973 War Powers Act officially passed asking presidents to 1st ask congress for permission before starting wars (still no declaration)
War Powers Act
Operation Rolling Thunder - bombing N. Vietnam
Bombed Vietnam 8x more than all of WWII
Napalm and agent orange eradicate jungles
Many US soldiers and Vietnamese given cancer
½ million US soldiers deployed
MIC and USA go back to war
Agent Orange
Explosions in bases
VC are civilians and blend
Ho Chi Minh Trail – North brought VC supplies through Cambodia and Laos
US bombs Cambodia and Laos
Guerrilla Fighting
US military wait to ambush
Sweep villages
Concentration camps to separate VC from Population
Impossible to tell
Combating Guerrilla Fighting
Soldiers jaded – many turn to drugs
US TV’s bring war to the living room – constant images of dead soldiers
South Vietnamese don’t like Americans
At home-country begins to split pro-war and anti-war
Middle class draftees could get deferments to go to college
Lower class kids did most of the fighting
Blacks seeing more combat and death
MLK turns anti-war
American Morale
And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God." 
Draft adjusted to lottery to stop inequalities
Middle class drafted and opposition grows
Anti-war movement will make US a political battlefield never before seen and play a major role in ending the war
(More on anti-war Movement next unit)
Selective Service System
While LBJ claims US is winning…
NVA attacks 41 major locations and bombs embassy in Saigon (South Capital)
NVA took heavy losses and was repelled but won a tactical victory
US pop and US army knew NVA and VC not done
Tet Offensive
General Westmoreland
Rep. Nixon runs again
LBJ announces he will not
Anti-War Eugene McCarthy runs
Robert Kennedy Runs (Assassinated (MLK too))
Hubert Humphrey runs and loses to Nixon
1968 Democratic Convention turns into a televised police riot (more next unit)
1968 Presidential Race
“Peace with Honor”
Refuses to let North and South unify
Continues bombing
Pulling US troops – let ARVN control
US Soldiers massacre 500 Vietnamese civilians
My Lai
New York Times leaks Gov’t secrets
US Gov’t knew US losing but telling public they were winning (lying to congress)
Nixon tried to block the story but Supreme Court ruled Freedom of Press
US population has lost A LOT of faith in US Gov’t
Pentagon Papers
January 1973 US military leaves
Spring 1975 North invades South unifying Vietnam
Saigon becomes Ho Chi Minh City
A memo from the Defense Department under the Johnson Administration listed the reasons for American persistence:

70% - To avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat.
20% - To keep [South Vietnam] (and the adjacent) territory from Chinese hands.
10% - To permit the people [of South Vietnam] to enjoy a better, freer way of life.
ALSO - To emerge from the crisis without unacceptable taint from methods used.
NOT - To 'help a friend'
Full transcript