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Comparing source A and B on the vietcong

By LUKE268424 Dec 04, 2013 522 Words


Source A shows us that the Vietcong used a mixture of compassion and mostly ruthlessness to get the support of the Vietnamese civilians for example “Unfriendly people were taken outside and often clubbed to death”. If you look at source B however it says that the Vietcong were already popular and didn’t need to use violence, this could have been because their policies were popular to win over the people of Vietnam, an example of their policies were “to bring an end to the American puppet”. The Vietcong did appeal to some civilians because American soldiers would have destroyed their homes previously, so sometimes it was the Americans who created more NLF, not the actual NLF itself, this would probably be where the Americans lost the war in that aspect. If you look at both sources agree that joining the NLF was more beneficial to the peasants than offering a fairer distribution of land ‘Saigon’ introduced fewer benefits as well. The NLF having better benefits for civilians would be fair to say, American methods e.g. a ‘strategic hamlet’, the Strategic Hamlet Program was a plan by the governments of South Vietnam and the United States during the Vietnam War to combat the Communist insurgency moving the Vietnamese civilians to specific compounds. This simply angered the peasants or ‘alienated’ them so to speak, this meant that they could not leave these compounds to visit other villages and they couldn’t make any money from their crops as they couldn’t grow any. They would have been better off joining the communist regime. Both sources agree that the Vietcong were very popular, Source A says that “the Vietcong were very good at winning over the hearts and minds of the peasants” Source B also says that communist activity was spreading from village to village you can see this from the quote “Movement was deeply entrenched” meaning that nothing was going to stop it falling. The Vast majority of South Vietnamese civilians supported the VC which was mainly due to the fairer policies that they offered, but the support that they offered was not always entirely genuine, sometimes the VC had to resort to ‘bully’ tactics. Another thing you must consider is the civilians fate when the VC arrived in one of their villages, Source A simply says that the VC simply killed any civilian who stood up to them whereas source B shows the VC use compassion and the peasants actually joined the NLF. If we look at the source it uses sentence structures like “3000 bodies in or near the river” and “Clubbed them to death” most civilians would show respect to the VC as they would like neither to happen to them. This would also prevent them from helping the Americans, if the VC found out a civilian was helping the Americans then they would be killed, most likely beaten to death. As the Americans did mostly treat civilians poorly e.g. the My Lai massacre civilians would want to ‘get their own back’ or stand up to the Americans and one way to do this was to join the NLF.

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