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LBJ and The Vietnam War
Transcript of LBJ and The Vietnam War
1959 Ho Chi Minh By: Katie Fisher Credibility Gap Students for a Democratic Society The Johnson Years Vo Nguyen Giap General Nguyen Khanh
1964-1965 Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Resolution July 30th-August 7th 1964 Vietcong Attack Bienhoa Airbase November 1964 LBJ Defeats Goldwater Operation Rolling Thunder March 1965-November 1968 Operation Rolling Thunder was apart of an operation that consisted of two Phases.
Rolling Thunder was Phase two within this operation.
Rolling Thunder in itself was a bombing campaign launched against North Vietnam.
The Johnson Administration thought that this campaign would give America more of a headway in South Vietnam. Also to persuade the North to stop supporting organizations such as the Vietcong and NLF.
The campaign's other goals were to destroy transportation systems, military defenses, and industries within North Vietnam
The campaign surged American citizens into an uproar. Many protests formed because of the unjust bombing on North Vietnam.
By bombing North Vietnam the U.S. government lost much American and South Vietnamese support. The U.S. government should have never unjustly bombed North Vietnam. Danang Drang Valley November 1965 Vietnam "Teach-ins" May 1965 B-52'S Battle of Hue February 1968 Veteran's Anti-war Rally March 1966 Cedar Falls January 1967 Sihanouk Cambodia January 1968 Tet Offensive November 1967 My Lai Massacre March 1968 Paris Peace Talks May 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago August 26-29, 1968 Agent Orange
1968-1961 Central Office of South Vietnam May 1959 Napalm 1965-1972 1960 Westmoreland June 1965 Robert McNamara January 1961- February 1968 Robert Kennedy 1960's- 1970's May 1965 Cointelpros were covert operations designed to infiltrate political organizations.
Sometimes illegal and false evidence was gathered in order to deteriorate the foundation of said organizations.
The main purpose of cointelpros was to mess with the opposing organizations by using psychological warfare.
The use of cointelpros during the Vietnam war was unjust and unethical because North Vietnam was often the target of this kind of warfare. The Credibility Gap was a term created during Lyndon Johnson's administration.
While Johnson's administration reigned supreme a kind of gap was created that made it difficult for United States civilians to determine what was really happening in Vietnam, compared to what the government was saying was happening in Vietnam.
His administration tended to continuously lie about the the progress in Vietnam, so the American people had the right to be suspicious of the U.S. government. The SDS was a student activist group created by American college students at the beginning of the Vietnam War.
This group advocated for the freedom of people and the end of the Vietnam War.
They wanted their voices and opinions to be heard by the Johnson administration during their reign.
SDS was a great organization that's opinion should have been more widely sought after because preventing a war is better option then continuing one. 1945-1969 Ho Chi Minh had been the North Vietnamese president since the fall of Indochina in 1954
He was the biggest advocate for the reunification of Vietnam, and the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam.
He was extremely goal oriented.
Ho Chi Minh died in 1969 before seeing his goal achieved, but the North eventually was able to overcome the South and rename Saigon in honor of his impressive leadership.
Ho Chi Minh was a man who had only wanted freedom for his nation and had a just cause for fighting in order to achieve this freedom for not only himself, but for all Vietnamese citizens. 1960-1975 Giap served as North Vietnam's commander throughout the Vietnam.
Giap suported the reunification of Vietnam and American withdrawal from Vietnam.
He served as head commander within the battles of Dien Bien Phu, Tet Offensive, and the Easter Offensive. He and Ho Chi Minh not only defeated the United States in combat, but also the French.
Giap's driving force had been to lead Vietnam to freedom, and had the right to do so because the Vietnamese people deserved to be in control of their own nation. The COSVN was known as the command center for South Vietnamese communists.
COSVN was said to be the headquarters of the Vietcong and the People's Army of Vietnam in the South.
Many were not sure if COSVN actually existed.
If the COSVN actually existed then this office was quite the commanding force in South Vietnam that had surely helped win the Vietnam War for the communists. McNamara was the Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
He worked within the Pentagon to gather intelligence and oversee defense operations against North Vietnam.
He favored American involvement in Vietnam greatly at first.
Eventually McNamara's view of the Vietnam War shifted and he no longer was in support of American involvement in Vietnam.
He played a major and unnecessary role within the Vietnam. While he still favored the Vietnam War he did little to prevent American failure and did nothing to stop American failure after realizing that Vietnam was a loss cause. Khanh was appointed leader of South Vietnam after staging a successful coup against Commander Duong Van Minh.
The Johnson administration let Khanh do this because he was both anti-communist and anti-neutralist.
Not long after taking control of South Vietnam Khanh attempted to consolidate his power by proclaiming himself President of South Vietnam. The Buddhist community went into an upheaval and staged protests against Khanh and the Americans.
Eventually the Americans had to remove khanh from power in order to keep the peace in South Vietnam.
Khanh should have never been given power because South Vietnam could not afford to have another power hungry leader who had only their own interests in mind. The U.S. government did the right thing by removing him from his position. the American ship Maddox was attacked by two North Vietnamese torpedo boats on August 2, 1964, while performing a De Soto Patrol within the Gulf of Tonkin.
Maddox quickly defeated the torpedo boats after only being hit by one bullet.
Two days later, during a thunder storm the captain of Maddox thought that the ship had once again come under attack from North Vietnam, and fired needless shots while radioing the incident into the U.S.
The captain then reported that the only threat that Maddox had actually faced was the thunderstorm itself.
The entire Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a needless act of war that was used only as an excuse for Johnson administration to further declare war against North Vietnam. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed on August 7, 1964.
This resolution gave Johnson the power to take any measures necessary in preventing future attacks against the U.S. troops in Vietnam.
The resolution also gave him the power to launch new attacks in order to supposedly protect America's best interests.
Johnson used the Gulf of Tonkin Incident as a reason for more American military intervention within the Vietnam War, which was unlawful because the incident was clearly blown extremely out of proportion. The Vietcong launched an attack on the Bien Hoa Airbase in South Vietnam.
They attacked using rockets and mortars supplied to them by North Vietnam.
The attack wounded seventy- six people, killed four U.S. soldiers, and killed two South Vietnamese citizens.
North Vietnam knew that if the Vietcong attacked the airbase instead of the North then the American's would have a hard time retaliating. November1963 Lyndon Johnson was appointed president the day of Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963.
Since being in office Johnson had done more then Kennedy had within his presidential term.
During the election Johnson became most worried about how democratic view on the Civil Rights Movement would prevent Southerns from voting for him.
Johnson appointed a Mississippi delicate as his vice president and won the Southerners over. Goldwater made the fatal mistake of ainsulting the Democrats on their strategy towards the Vietnam War.
He suggested that when he became President that he may use nuclear weaponry on North Vietnam to ensure victory.
The Democrats took this opportunity to bash Goldwater and announce to the public that he was a dangerous Zealot who only wanted death and destruction. Both Candidates should have advocated for looking for a solution to end the Vietnam War peacefully instead of trying to destroy North Vietnam altogether. Da nang was the home of a South Vietnamese airbase that 3,500 U.s. marines were deployed to on March 8, 1965.
The troops were armed and ready for a battle upon arriving, but were surprised to find a warm welcome from the South Vietnamese officers upon arrival.
This scenario seemed to have paned out well for the American forces. They learned that some of the South Vietnamese had started accepting the United State's role in their government.
The American's had a right to be in Danang, and to finally be excepted because of the amount of supplies, funds, and protection they had currently been giving South Vietnam. The battle of Drang Valley is known as the first major battle in the Vietnam War between North Vietnam and the U.S.
U.S. troops arrived in the Drang Valley and were met by North Vietnamese troops on November 14, 1965.
The battle lasted for three days.
For most of the battle the North Vietnamese troops had the upper hand until reinforcements from the U.S. arrived.
The U.S. was then allotted the opportunity of ambushing the North Vietnamese and achieved a swift victory.
Only 500 men had been in the original battalion that had landed in Drang Valley. Out of those five hundred only 150 had survived and eighty-five were able to return to active duty immediately.
1,000 North Vietnamese were confirmed dead after the battle.
The battle of Drang Valley consisted of an abundance of needless bloodshed that only lead to more needless bloodshed in the future. The chemical weapon napalm was often used during this time period by U.S. troops in the midst of battle. The troops would normally put Napalm in bombs. Napalm is referred to as a jelly like substance made from the ingredients hydrocarbon benzene, gasoline, and plastic polystyrene. This substance is meant to stick to opponents then send them to a fiery death after ignition. It was able to burn up to twenty minutes after being ignited. Napalm led to many cruel and agonizing Vietnamese deaths. The First teach-in occurred in May of 1965 at the University of Michigan.
A teach-in is like an educational forum, but instead the professor would have explained current political problems to the students.
The Michigan Teach- in was set up by the Students for a Democratic Society.
The teach in included musical events, debates, lectures, and was centered toward protesting the Vietnam War.
Teach- ins were a fantastic way for the students of America to find out the truth about the needless war that their county, and some of their fellow students were fighting in. Westmoreland served as U.S. commander during the Vietnam War.
He had been a soldier in both WWII and the Korean War.
He worked with U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam until after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and was then appointed Military Assistance
Westmoreland was the leading cause for more American troops being sent over to Vietnam.
Westmoreland was an unimpresive commander who sent many American men to their deaths in needless battles. B'52's were used many times during the Vietnam War. They were used in operations such as Rolling Thunder, Arc-light, and Linebacker 1 & 2. The U.s. used B'52's on specified North Vietnamese targets and supply routes.
B'52'S gave U.S. an unfair advantage over the North Vietnamese. The North Vietnamese never had a chance of escaping the B'52 bombers. June 1965-August 1973 Veterans from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War staged a large scale protest of the Vietnam war in March of 1966.
The Rally took place in New York City.
The Veterans burned separation and discharge papers in order to show their distaste for the Vietnam War and the Draft that came along with it.
The Veterans did a courageous thing in order to show the injustices that the Johnson administration was inflicting on U.S. citizens. Cedar Falls consisted of 16,000 U.S. troops being sent out to on find and abolish Vietcong supply sites.
One of these sights were found just out of Saigon.
U.S. troops stumbled upon a plethora of underground supply tunnels that were later dubbed with the name Iron Triangle.
The troops believed that these tunnels were the headquarters of the Vietcong.
U.S. troops in Vietnam saw this discovery as a kind of turning point because now U.S. troops had the upper hand on the Vietcong, and planned to use that upper hand to eliminate them. After the Tet Offensive was launched the American's began to pursue the North Vietnamese and Vietcong. Both the North and Vietcong fled to Cambodia in hopes that the Americans would not be able to follow. To their dismay the leader of Cambodia, Sihanouk, allowed the U.S. to continue their pursuit into Cambodia. Sihanouk turned a blind eye to the U.S. pursue of the communist and denied knowing of their existence to the citizens of Cambodia in order to get into the American's good graces. The Tet Offensive was a surprise attack launched by North Vietnam on the South.
The Tet Offensive was made up of two distinct phases.
Phase 1 was to launch attacks on the borders of Laos and Cambodia in order to draw U.S. troops away from cities. Phase 1 of the Tet Offensive worked flawlessly.
Phase 2 of the Tet Offensive consisted of the North and the Vietcong capturing the vulnerable major cities on the coast of South Vietnam. The North hoped that the South Vietnamese citizens would rise up and join their crusade against the U.S.
Even though the U.S. troops were caught off guard they were still able to drive the communists out of all the cities they had occupied. The citizens in the cities did not rise up to join the communists like they had planed. Though, the biggest reason behind the North's Tet Offensive was to psychologically mess with the U.S.
The Tet Offensive made American officials aware of the true strength behind the communist's cause, which made them more cautious when it came to dealing with the North and Vietcong. Agent Orange is a deadly herbicide that was used during the Vietnam war. This herbicide was sprayed on plants and spread through water supplies in North Vietnam. The U.S. used this toxic herbicide in order to get the North Vietnamese citizens to relocate to the South. Instead of succeeding to do so the U.S. instead caused 400,000 children to be born with birth defects, and 4.8 million Vietnamese deaths. By doing this the U.S. killed or permanently scared innocent Vietnamese citizens and deserved whatever the North and Vietcong decided to throw at them next. The Battle of Hue was a twenty-six long day battle between North Vietnam and South Vietnam, and with the U.S.
North Vietnam had succeeded in capturing the city of Hue during the Tet offensive.
Eventually the was is able to recapture Hue.
After recapturing Hue U.S. troops found that the communists had held a mass execution of the Hue's civilians.
Thousands of dead bodies were found in graves throughout the city.
The U.s. should have expected a retaliation from the North after operation "Rolling Thunder". During the bombing of the North Vietnam the U.S. had also caused thousands of civilian deaths . On March 16, 1968 Charlie Company entered the village of My Lai.
The company had then began to massacre the innocent civilians inhabiting the village.
The Charlie Company were on a Search and Destroy mission to find Vietcong members and their hiding spots. The company was frustrated because they were only able to locate villages full of innocent civilians.
Their failure to locate the Vietcong enraged Charlie Company and led them to open fire on innocent bystanders in the village of My Lai.
The company killed between 200-500 innocent civilians.
The company only stopped the massacre after being discovered by a U.S. helicopter pilot who had been flying by.
The Charlie Company members deserved being imprisoned for their crime because of the despicable acts they had done to innocent civilians. Democrats wanted to concentrate on cracking down on anti-war protests in America, so the Democratic party held a televised convention in Chicago.
In the surrounding areas around the convention violence soon erupted.
The American people had the right to be angry. The Democrats were trying to take away American citizen's freedom of speech. Robert Kennedy served as Attorney General during the Johnson administration.
After nine years of doing so Robert and Johnson had a discrepancy over the Vietnam War, and Kennedy resigned from his position.
Robert then became a member of the U.S. senate.
In March of 1968 he entered himself into the running for President of the United States.
On June forth he was shot and died twenty-six hours later.
Robert Kennedy's assassination seemed a bit peculiar. Seeing how Kennedy was known as an anti- war activist. The circumstances almost suggest that Robert was killed so that he would never have the opportunity to end the Vietnam War. America and North Vietnam began to negotiate Peace between themselves.
W. Averell Harriman represented the U.S, and Xuan Thuy represented the North.
No solution was found that could be agreed upon by the two nations during the 1960's.
Peace between the U.S. and North Vietnam needed to be sought after because if peace was not established soon then there would never be peace in Vietnam. Martin Luther King Jr. April 1967 On April 4, 1967 King gave a speech at a New York Church in protest of the Vietnam War.
He believed that U.S. citizens should evade the draft and come together as equals, blacks and whites, and stop the Vietnam War.
He continued advocating against the war until his death in 1968.
King was a courageous man who fought for the rights of those in peril and had the right fight against the Vietnam. Search and Destroy A Search and Destroy operation happened whenever U.S. ground troops were put into hostile territories in order to locate said enemy and then destroy said enemy. After destroying their enemy the troop would then immediately evacuate from the area. Search and Destroy missions were suppose to be equivalent to the Vietcongs strategy of Guerrilla Warfare.
Search and Destroy missions often failed because the Vietcong were able to spot American forces before they reached them, and were able to get away.
U.S. troops in Vietnam should not have went in search of a fight. If the U.S. would not have implemented such missions many more American soldiers would have survived the war. 1966-1967 Richard Nixon January 1969 Nixon became President on January 20, 1969.
He was best known for further escalating the Vietnam War by launching more deadly attacks on the North Vietnamese.
In 1972 Nixon withdrew U.S. troops from Vietnam and permanently ended the Vietnam War.
Nixon was right to do this because the Americans were never going to be able to eliminate communism in Vietnam. He was right to call it quits before more American lives were taken. http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/vietnam/vwatl.htm Amount of U.S. Troops in Vietnam through the Years Approximately 760,000 tons of supplies for the American troops arrived in Vietnam each month. The cost of a single B-52 was $30,000. The cost of artillery rounds used per day in Vietnam was $1,000,000. 71,000 tons of ammunition was used each month. The U.S. spent about 61.8 billion dollars per year in Vietnam on supplies and other resources. President Johnson was wrong to further escalate the Vietnam War. Johnson should have never allowed Operation Rolling Thunder to be implemented. Johnson should have instead withdrew American troops from Vietnam altogether. It was obvious from the beginning that Vietnam was a loss cause. Neither North Vietnam or South Vietnam had wanted American interference. Both sides had only wanted the country to be reunified, and to be able to establish an independent government of their own. This fact alone gave Vietnam the right to fight off an American take over. William Fulbright August 1964 Fulbright was a Southern Democrat during Johnson's administration.
At first Fulbright advocated for the Vietnam War but soon changed his position.
Fulbright lead many televised hearings against the Vietnam War.
In 1966, Fulbright published a book entitled the Arrogance of Power, which bashed the Vietnam War and congresses handle on it.
Fulbright had every right to advocate against an unneeded war. Sources for Information Used