It is widely understood that this war is the most unpopular war that the U.S.A has ever fought. Here the fight was perceived not to be against American soldiers but it was perceived to be against the government policies that sent them there. Its effects ranged from massive loss of lives with more than 58,000 Americans and between 900,000 and 1,900,000 Vietnamese losing their lives (A letter to the wall: R.F Guisepi).There was a massive destruction of property and over 200,000 American soldiers who were injured. It all started with arrival of a few advisers in the year 1955; then in the same year a few marines came who were combat troops and finally an army of a million.
1. KEY DEVELOPMENT PATTERNS THAT INFLUENCED THE WAR
The Return Of French Rule
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese leader, failed to convince the USA of his revolution against the French rule. The French together with Americans thought that the Ho’s guerrillas would be easily defeated, something which turned out to be long, tedious and expensive. Consequently the French lost the battle.
America’s Government Project
Since the Americans wanted to counter the spread of communism in South Vietnam, they replaced the French with a dictator by the name Dinh Ngo Diem but his own generals turned against him.
Lyndon Baine’s Determination in Preventing the North and South Vietnam from Reuniting
Contrary to Ho’s determination, LBJ was determined to disintegrate the Vietnamese empire. This therefore set a platform for massive explosion of Vietnam War.
America’s dispatching of over 1.5 Million Soldiers
Lyndon’s administration decided to dispatch these troops to fight in a war which turned out to be unforgettable and tedious.
Foes of America
The Vietnam War was viewed from a different perspective by Viet Cong’s guerrillas and the North Vietnam’s leaders. Thus each party was fighting its own war.
The Program by Richard Nixon
His program entailed vietnamiziation of the war. This was by withdrawing the American troops and stepping up bombing and ferrying weaponries to Saigon.
The Wars Spread To Small Neighboring Countries
Cambodia and Laos were slowly but steadily drugged into the war. This was despite their technical neutrality on the war.
2. LESSONS THAT VAAN AND OTHERS TOOK ACCORDING TO SHEEHAN
Vaan came to learn the fact that a country may fight a wrong war, in the wrong place and for the wrong reasons. Due to its casualties, America’s opinion declined from general approval to general disapproval and it was also learnt that a country’s leadership can be elusive.
To Americans the war was really detrimental to their economic and social welfare. This was due to the loss of almost 60,000 lives and close to $ 1.5 billion.
Vaan’s traits are also painted in two folds: firstly as a noble face and the dark face due to his sexual promiscuity and rape charges. This gives a clear lesson to others that every bright being has his or her dark side. In this position he was one of the masterminds of pacification and vietnamization programs.
3. LESSONS LEARNT BY VIET CONG COMMANDERS
The Viet Cong commanders had a lot to learn with regard to the lives of Vietnamese lost. There was a massive destruction of the property both in the north and south empires with one of the most destructed states being Saigon. They realized the effects of living with suspicion and mistrust among one another. They learnt of the financial blows they had incurred in fighting their fellow Vietnamese.
While the Vietnamese and Americans were busy fighting, diplomats in France were busy crafting a peace deal. After a period of close to five years they came into a consensus to stop the war. To date the wounds of Vietnamese have not been fully healed but surely they serve as an example of importance of maintaining peace.
Jacobs, C. L. & Seth, K. (2006). Cold War Mandarin: Ngo Dinh Diem And The Origins Of America’s War In Vietnam. Retrieved from http://www.vietnam_war.html.
Truong, Truong V. (2010). Vietnam War. The New Legion. Victoria BC: Trafford.