The Significance of Vietnam War

Topics: Vietnam War, Cold War, Korean War Pages: 5 (1736 words) Published: April 21, 2002
The Significance of The Vietnam War
Within one generation, The United States have experienced The Second World War, The Korean War and fifteen years of The Cold War crisis. The Vietnam War was the last drop into the cup of American patience. The costs of The Vietnam War were intolerable, because they contravened traditional American values and hopes. In the year 1965, American government announced, with public support, that America is going to win the guerilla war and defeat the "global communist conspiracy". It also promised to build free institutions in South-East Asia. Two years later, in the year 1967, the same affair was considered not only as unsuccessful, but also as a gruesome action of the politicians. In one moment, the intellectuals glorified the arrival of a young and freethinking new president, but almost immediately, they blamed his successor of cruelty, continuous lies and desire of war, although the new president's strategy was basically the same as of his mourned-for predecessor. Richard Nixon's governing season did not bring much serenity either. Heated resistance against war became even stronger. Nixon wanted to negotiate an honorary departure, which he considered to be almost anything - apart from leaving millions of people, to whom America promised help, to North Vietnamese communists. He took reliability and honor seriously, because he knew that American ability to create peaceful international order depended on them. Nixon and his special advisor claimed that they had a secret plan how to reach "honorable peace". But peace came slowly, and when it finally arrived, no one could talk about honor. The longest war in the history of The United States ended and left a bitter heritage behind. The war, commenced as a noble quest for democratic ideals showed that it is not easy to bring democracy to the region of the third world, which lacked any historical experience with liberal values. The war, which was supposed to be a parade of American military power, harmed her dignity so seriously, that many young Americans started to see the army as a completely rotten and wrong institution. The war, that was supposed to show the world how strong the United States are in their conviction, actually divided America more than any other event in the twentieth century. The wounds were so deep that even the peace did not bring much joy. The Vietnamese War had cost 57 000 dead Americans and 150,000,000,000 dollars. No wonder that the most perceptible view after the end of the war was to forget about Vietnam and incline to a un-interventional foreign policy.

On March 29 in 1973, the last American troops left Vietnam, leaving thousands of missing behind. The same day, a few hundreds of war prisoners were released in Hanoi. Within a couple of months, the war between the North and the South was restored and it was soon apparent that the communists are more unified and have a military dominance. In Cambodia and Laos, where the fights were not so strong, the communist victory also seemed unavoidable. In March 1975 the northern Vietnam commenced a complete military invasion in the South. Southern president Thieu asked Washington for help, but the democratic majority in the Congress refused and on March 30, the Americans could watch on TV how North-Vietnamese tanks enter Saigon, which was soon renamed to Ho-Chi-Min's town. Scenes in American embassy in Saigon, where thousands of scared Vietnamese fought for places on board of last American helicopters were a sad ending of the biggest American foreign policy catastrophe. The Vietnam War caused one of the great shifts in U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. would no longer be the "world's policeman," which was how she viewed herself since the Second World War. She would no longer recklessly jump militarily into the affairs of other countries, even if major problems occurred, including Communist uprisings or human rights violations. The U.S. government would make more careful...
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