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Introduction: Vietnam, huh?

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Andrew Hartman

on 3 April 2014

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Transcript of Introduction: Vietnam, huh?

1886: Vietnam becomes a French Colony
17th century Jesuit missionaries attempt to convert to Christianity
18th century Europeans also visited the region to trade and bring goods to Europe
19th century France and England competing to control the Far East. SE Asia (Indochina) became a French colony.
1886-1954: Rebellions and wars to gain independence from French rule.
Imperialism at its finest...
1941: Viet Minh (Vietnamese communists) formed to overthrow French Colonial government.
Ho Chi Minh was the leader.
He downplayed communism.
Fought the Japanese occupation during WWII with US support.
1945: Ho Chi Minh asserted independence.
End of WWII: Japanese surrender to Viet Minh.
Ho Chin Minh declares independence--The Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
Agreement is reached: French can return to Vietnam, but must recognize Vietnamese right to self-determination.
Vietnamese had hoped that U.S. would recognize and support their independence.
Instead U.S. sides with WWII ally France, and against possible communist government.
TWO Events Lead to American Escalation in Vietnam:
1949: Communist Revolution in China
1950: North Korea invades South Korea
Why would this cause the U.S. to increase military aid to support the French against the Viet Minh?
1954: Battle of Dien Bien Phu
1. French Defeated at Dien Bien Phu.
2. Geneva Accords treaty signed ending French occupation.
3. Country temporarily divided at the 17th .
4. National elections scheduled for 1956.
Northern Leader:
Ho Chi Minh
Southern Leader:
Ngo Dinh Diem (un-democratic, oppressive, unpopular)
1956: Diem refused to hold elections, knowing that Minh and communists would win.
US supports this.
President Eisenhower: "Possibly 80% would have voted for Ho Chi Minh" had the election been held.
Insurgency in the South begins:
The Viet Minh/Viet Cong begin attacks again the Diem regime in the South.

Diem asked Kennedy for help, he sent 1,000 military advisers in violation of the Geneva Accords

U.S. now has 16,000 military personnel in Vietnam.
• Diem Assassinated with tacit US support.
• Kennedy assassinated 3 weeks later--Lyndon B. Johnson becomes president
Escalation of US involvement
1964: Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Johnson continues to send more troops, but he has misgivings about the possibilities of success.
Gulf of Tonkin:
• U.S. sends a battleship, the Maddox, to collect intelligence about North Vietnamese defenses
• North Vietnamese patrol boats fired on the ship. U.S. said it was an unprovoked attacked
• 2 Days later another alleged attack on a U.S. ship, but this was likely due to a malfunctioning radar.
• Johnson asked congress for permission to “take all necessary measures” against North Vietnamese---no formal declaration of war.
Robert McNamara
President Johnson
U.S. begins massive bombing campaign in North Vietnam. 200,000 troops by the end of the year

“We fight because we must fight if we are to live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny.”
– President L.B. Johnson, 1965
US anti-war protests begin

Marches, teach ins, sit ins, burned draft cards, 500,000 refuse to fight--Some flee the country to avoid the draft
500,000 U.S. Troops in Vietnam
The type of combat experienced by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam was like nothing the military had ever seen before.
The U.S. military was not prepared to fight a guerrilla war, in difficult terrain, against an enemy that was difficult to identify
1968: Tet Offensive
70,000 communist soldiers attacked over 100 cities across the country during Vietnamese New Year.
Surprise Attack: U.S. troops were caught off guard.
Eventually the communist troops were defeated, but it was a huge blow to U.S. morale.
Single worst day for casualties for U.S. armed forces (approx. 4,000 killed and 20,000 wounded.)
U.S. Support for the war erodes...
Johnson decided not to run for reelection due to exceedingly low approval ratings and frustration at the Vietnam situation.
Nixon elected on the promise to “end the war and win the peace” and to have a “peace with honor”.
1968: Johnson bows out...Nixon elected.
My Lai Massacre revealed: U.S. troops had attacked and killed 200 unarmed South Vietnamese villagers (mostly women, children, and elderly). Global outrage.
Nixon begins secret bombing campaign in Cambodia
Massive protests on college campuses, two students killed in Mississippi and 4 in Ohio (Kent State)
Cease Fire agreement signed.
Paris Peace Accords = prisoner swap, NV maintain troops in SV.
Pullout of US troops, halt to bombing in Cambodia and Laos.
Fighting continues between North and South.
1973: Light at the end of the tunnel?
1975: Vietnam War Ends
South Vietnamese Leader resigns, US pulls all Americans out of Saigon embassy via helicopter, and South surrenders.
Vietnam is united as one country.
US Embassy in Saigon was overrun...
American media largely report that the U.S. is losing the war in Vietnam.
1971: “Pentagon Papers” (NY Times)-
Reveals the truth about Vietnam and the Tokin Gulf Resolution
-Inaccuracies of military intelligence
-Reports of things “going well” in Vietnam
-Johnson ordered the T.G. Resolution drafted months before the incident
Fall of President Nixon…The Watergate story
War Powers Act (1973) passed by Congress.
The President must notify Congress within 48 hours of sending troops into a foreign country and give a full accounting of his decision.
The President can have the troops there for 60 days without an official declaration of war. The time can be extended 30 days for a total of 90. But, Congress can order the troops returned home.
This is a correction to the Tonkin Gulf Resolution
November 11, 1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (“The Wall”) designed by a 21 year old architecture student, Maya Lin, is dedicated in Washington, DC on Veterans Day.
Results of the Vietnam War
All of Vietnam fell under the control of the Communist government in Hanoi.
400,000 South Vietnamese are forced into “re-education camps”.
Neighboring Laos and Cambodia also fall to communism.
Approx. 58,000 Americans killed; 300,000 wounded. 1.1 million North Vietnamese killed during the war.
The U.S. spent $165 billion on the Vietnam War plus an additional $24 billion in aid to South Vietnam between 1955 and 1975.
Overthrew Bao Dai
Catholic, anti-communist, educated abroad
Won’t hold elections because he knows he won’t win…U.S agrees! Increases military and economic aid
Unpopular with S. Vietnamese-favoritism towards Catholics, abolishes village elections, repressive gov’t
Vietcong grow!
Ngo Dihn Diem
The Geneva Accords divide the country at the 17th parallel, creating a North and South Vietnam. (N= Ho Chi Minh)
United States assumes the chief responsibility of providing aid to anti-communist South Vietnam (Bao Dai)
Elections to be held 2 years later with the goal of unification…doesn’t happen
Geneva Accords (Spring ’45)
President Bush’s Approval Rating upon leaving office in January 2009.
Lowest approval rating of any outgoing president.
Aug. 7th 1974-Nixon is advised that he will be impeached and probably convicted
Aug. 9th- Nixon resigns-Ford becomes president
Ford pardons Nixon in 1974
“full, free and absolute”
Nixon is gone!

March 1973-Federal Judge Sirca receives letter from James McCord
-McCord admits to lying under oath and “names names”
Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns-under investigation for bribery, extortion and tax evasion
-replaced by Gerald Ford
Nixon is ordered to turn over tapes (some are found to be missing and parts erased)
Watergate Cover Up Begins to Unravel
Sept. 1972: Seven are indicted
CRP (Committee to Re-elect the President-Creep) pays them “hush” money.
Little is said about Watergate (most voters had not even heard of it)
Oct. 1972: Washington Post (Woodward and Bernstein) accuses the Whitehouse of political spying
Nov. 1972: Nixon is re-elected
Jan. 1973: Trial of Watergate 7-all are convicted or plead guilty
Watergate Cont.
Justice Department asked the court to stop publication on grounds of “national security”
Supreme Court rules against the Justice Department -Papers are released to the public
Nixon creates the “plumbers” to keep gov’t secrets
Break in at Watergate (Headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in D.C.)
Whitehouse begins cover up
Nixon asked the CIA to urge the FBI to stop the investigation as a matter of “national security”
Watergate Continued…
Modern war technology is not always strong enough to defeat the force of nationalism.
Successful military efforts require the support of the American people.
If you’re going to fight—See a victory, make it quick and decisive, .
If you don’t level with the people in the beginning, they won’t follow you in the end.
An unrestricted press can limit a nation’s ability to fight effectively in a long and complex war.
Don’t go it alone when you go to war.
The United States is not all-powerful.
Lessons of the Vietnam War
January 27, 1973: At the Paris Peace Accords, the U.S., North Vietnam, sign a cease-fire agreement. By the end of March, the last American troops leave for home. Civil war rages on!

April 30, 1975: The fall of Saigon. The North Vietnamese army enters the southern capital and takes the city. U.S. officials at the American embassy evacuate, along with those Vietnamese who had worked closely with them.
L.B.J. is overcome by grief as he listens to a tape recorded account of U.S. losses in July 1968.
Johnson was responsible for major domestic initiatives including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. His ambitious social programs known as the “Great Society” were overshadowed by the war. In the end, funding the war took precedence over all else.
A network of jungle paths that allowed the North to send weapons and supplies to the South. It wound its way through neighboring Laos and Cambodia.
Ho Chi Minh Trail
Ho Chi Minh-Communist
Vietmihn-Guerilla forces

Ngo Dihn Diem
Vietcong-Guerilla forces working against Diem
So… what’s going on??
United Airlines now flies to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city three times a week.
In 1986 some elements of capitalism were introduced and a stock exchange was set up in 2000.
Vietnam is still largely agricultural and is one of the world’s main rice exporters.
The Communist Party still holds most power.
Human rights organizations continue to criticize the government for suppressing free religion, speech, political dissent, and its treatment of ethnic minorities.
Vietnam Today
Members of the U.S. Army enter the village of My Lai on a search and destroy mission.
The American GI’s rape, mutilate and kill more than 300 unarmed civilians on the presumption that they are Vietcong soldiers. No shot is ever fired at the Americans.
Commander, Lt. William Calley is court-martialed and sentenced to life in prison, but is let out on appeal after serving 3 ½ years under house arrest at his quarters in Ft. Benning Georgia.
My Lai Massacre – March 1968
Plaque on the south-side of Sterling Hall. Dedicated on May 18, 2007.
Sterling Hall Continued…
Photograph taken after the 1970 explosion
Once home to the physics department at UW-Madison, Sterling Hall also housed the Army Mathematics Research Center which made it the target of student protests.
Sterling Hall Bombing - UW Madison
College campuses became focal points for the anti- war movement, at times erupting in violent clashes between demonstrators and police.
Doves (opponents) argued:
The U.S. was trying to impose an American solution
on a foreign people.
Vietnam was of little strategic importance to the U.S.
The Conflict had turned into an “endless war”.
The draft system was unfair, favoring the privileged over the poor.
Thousands of Americans were being killed at a cost of about $25 billion a year.
The war deeply polarized the American people.
The War at Home
U.S. troop strength in Vietnam steadily increases.
Peaks out at 536,100 men by early 1968.
Bombing campaign against N. Vietnamese and Vietcong
bases and supply routes intensifies.
“Search and Destroy” Missions.
America’s War – 1965-1975
North Vietnamese patrol boats fired on US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 7, the U.S. Congress approves the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, granting President Lyndon Johnson authority to send U.S. troops to South Vietnam.
1964 -- Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Percentage of men sent to Vietnam that were from the lower/working class
Total number of women that served in Vietnam
Number of POW (Prisoners of War) who died in captivity
Average age of U.S. combat soldier in Vietnam, 1968
Vietnam…By the Numbers
In November, 2000, President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. President to visit Vietnam since 1969. The purpose of the visit was to begin to re-establish relations between our two countries. “I think it’s time to write a new chapter here,” said Clinton.
Vietnam Today
March 18, 1969: Nixon orders secret bombing of Cambodia to weaken the North Vietnamese supply routes and storage areas. Months later the President would defend his action in a televised announcement. In response, more than 1.5 million college students protest, shutting down 1,200 campuses across the country. September 2, 1969: Ho Chi Minh dies at age 79.
1969: Nixon calls for “Vietnamization” of the war and declares “peace with honor”.
“There is division in the American House now…accordingly…I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”
Republican, Richard Nixon, defeats Johnson’s Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, to become President on November 5, 1968.
Faced with sharp criticism over his handling of the war Johnson tells a stunned nation that he will not seek reelection in November, 1968. Johnson also announces a halt in bombing of Vietnam.
Johnson Bows Out – March 31, 1968
Why was the Tet
Offensive a turning
point in the war?
After 3 years of bombing by the U.S., the North Vietnamese and Vietcong launch a major surprise attack on more than 100 South Vietnamese cities during Tet, the lunar New Year.
The Tet Offensive – Jan. 30, 1968
Why was Operation
Rolling Thunder
Operation Rolling Thunder
Sustained U.S. bombing of North Vietnam
The Operation
lasts for 3 and a
half years.
America’s War – 1965-1975
Percent of Americans who approved of President Johnson in June 1967
Percent of Americans who approved of President Lyndon Johnson’s performance as President in Dec. 1963 (Pre-War)
Total U.S. costs of the Vietnam War (738 billion in current dollars)
$165 billion
Current number of Vietnam soldiers still MIA (missing in action)
North Vietnamese military Personnel killed during Vietnam War
U.S. military personnel killed during Vietnam War
Total number of U.S. men who served in Vietnam
The Vietnam War
1. Finish A.A. worksheet.
2. Vietnam Plaque Sign-up
(Due: 11/7)
3. Vietnam by the numbers...
4. Introduction to the Vietnam War
5. Ch 25. Section 1 Vietnam Map Activity (Due: 11/1)
Altogether the communist forces had attacked about 90 towns and hundreds of villages
According to US figures, 4,959 Vietcong have been killed and 1,862 captured while 232 American and 300 South Vietnamese troops have been killed with 929 and 747, respectively, wounded.
Hawks vs Doves
Robert Kennedy
Hubert Humphrey
Richard Nixon
Nixon Wins Presidency
Nixon Elected
"...to expand, equip, and train South Vietnam's forces and assign to them an ever-increasing combat role, at the same time steadily reducing the number of U.S. combat troops."
-Richard Nixon
South Vietnam Falls
Paris Peace Accords 1973
January 27, 1973 both sides signed an agreement "ending the war and restoring the peace in Vietnam
The Deal:
U.S. withdraw completely
POW exchange
South Vietnam future????
Direct involvement in longest U.S. war is over.
After 1972 election negotiations break down.
President of South Vietnam refused to agree to any plan that left N.V.A. troops in the South.
Henery Kissinger and "Winning the Peace" through "linkage".
Did not work and Communists broke off talks
"Christmas Bombings"
Day after negotiations broke off:
Nixon administration began the most destructive air raids of the entire war.
American B-52 dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs on North Vietnamese targets for 12 straight days
1. Finish ending notes...
2. Video: The Fall (30 min)
2. Introduce Summative Asssessment
*Due Nov. 19th
3. Lab time to meet with partner(s) and begin thesis building
Percent of troops that were drafted (75% volunteered)
Robert McNamara
U.S. Secretary of Defense

The Fog of War: Lesson #7
"Belief and seeing are both often wrong" - The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Watch Clip then discuss:
1. Why did the Tonkin Gulf incident represent a turning point for U.S. policy in Vietnam?

2. Why did the Tonkin Gulf Resolution encounter no opposition in Congress?
3. What lesson does Robert McNamara draw from the events of the Tonkin Gulf?
4. What lessons do you draw from this event in U.S. history?
Full transcript