The Vietnam War Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:56
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The Vietnam War and the current War in Iraq are similar in that the United States military was involved in both operations in spite of little popular support. The reasons for getting involved in each war, however, were different. During the 1950s, the influence of Communism appeared to be rapidly spreading across the world. The USSR swallowed up many countries in Eastern Europe, China, and now Viet Nam. The United States government was in an arms race with the Soviet Union at the time, and were alarmed that the Russian sphere of influence was growing by leaps and bounds.

Fearing that Communism would gain a foothold in the Hawaiian Islands and the Western United States, the powers that be decided that America would be much better off fighting the Communists in Asia rather than letting them expand eastward toward the United States. Internally, the political situation in Vietnam tensed after the French withdrawal in 1954. The Communist Party begun to gain popularity among the downtrodden and impoverished souls in the North. The Vietnamese were divided between the Communist Viet Cong forces in the North and the anti-Communist constituency of South Viet Nam.

The 2003 Invasion of Iraq begun on the premise that Saddam Husseins government was in violation of a U. N. resolution banning chemical weapons in the region. Subsequent searches uncovered no such weapons, but the U. S. and British military forces continue to occupy the region. After the death of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Sunni and Shia Muslims, kept from each others throats because of his strong-man tactics, have become embroiled in a national civil war.

Kidnappings, disappearances, and decapitations are par for the course and thus far, there are thousands of American casualties and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths. The premise for this invasion was the same as the one for Vietnam: fight the enemy on their own soil in order for to avoid fighting them at home. The Americans were directly involved in choosing the leadership for South Vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem was their chosen president because he was staunchly anti-Communist and a Vietnamese nationalist, paralleling Americas ideological stance (McNamara et al, 200-1).

This was not the first time that the Americans interfered in another countrys politics, nor would it be the last. In the U. S. , massive protests against the war began as more Americans questioned the appropriateness of their role in the battle for Vietnam, a battle the military retreated from after the fall of Saigon. According to a retrospective on the Vietnam War, It was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the twentieth century.

It resulted in nearly 60,000 American deaths and an estimated 2 million Vietnamese deaths. Even today, many Americans still ask whether the American effort in Vietnam was a sin, a blunder, a necessary war, or a noble cause, or an idealistic, if failed, effort to protect the South Vietnamese from totalitarian government(Digital History). Now, we are wondering if the same fate is in store for American troops in Iraq. During the 1970s, the political situation in Iraq was beginning to settle down.

Saddam Husseins Baath Party sought to unite Iraq and quash the sectarian violence that was always brewing, Saddams first goal was to unify his country around him by pacifying internal strife and providing national symbols attractive enough to rally the people behind his personal leadership(Israeli, 1). However, his regime was not a peaceful one for the Kurds of Iraq as he launched numerous poison gas attacks against them killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people (Voigt).

But in the stage of world politics, that did not matter because it was an internal affair. In the aftermath of September 11, government officials have declared a War on Terror”determined to hunt down the forces of terrorism around the world and stamp them out. Unfortunately, it would appear that there wa Like Communist leaders, today, Americans fear the spread of Islam around the world, and are currently doing everything in their power to combat terrorism. Ousting Hussein from power was a major goal.

The principal stated justifications for this policy of regime change were that Iraqs alleged production of weapons of mass destruction, and purported ties to terrorist organizations, amounted to an imminent threat to the U. S. and the world community. Bushs advisers, notably Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, even went as far as alleging that the Hussein government was responsible for the September 11 attacks (National Comission on Terrorist Attacks, 10. 3). Now Americans find themselves in the same position today as they did thirty years ago, demanding why our leaders had gotten us involved in another pointless war.

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