The Vietnam War. Andy O’Brien, Charles Leech, John Shaw, Chris Lawrence, Brian Hornbeck, Darren Meade, Jeff Pritchard. Perspective - Journalist.
Andy O’Brien, Charles Leech, John Shaw, Chris Lawrence, Brian Hornbeck,
Darren Meade, Jeff Pritchard
As a journalist, my main concern with the Vietnam War is the underlying issues and major events during the fighting. I have been on perilous missions into the heart of Vietnam to find out just how it affects the people involved, and the people back in the United States. Naturally, the overall viewpoint of the citizens back home depends on what I tell them, so I have to try to maintain an objective perspective, which isn’t always easy.
In a sense, Tim O’Brien, writer of The Things They Carried, was a journalist of the war – he documented what the experience was like for himself and his friends, spread the information to his readers. Journalists such as him are, so to speak, keys to the war for the citizens – without them, what would the people know?
Websites regarding Vietnam journalism:
Lies, Deceit, and Hypocrisy
Look Back – Vietnam 1969-71
Vietnam – Stories Since the War
-From the information on these website, what would you say are the different forms of journalism that inform us about the war? What were the most important things to a journalist covering the Vietnam war? Were all of these journalists whole-hearted and honest, or were there problems? What did some of them do to combat these problems?
As a musician during this time I wrote songs about the people and events that affected my life and the lives of the American people. I wrote songs about the Vietnam war. Many other musicians such as: Bob Dylan, CCR, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Seeger, Jefferson Airplane, and Neil Young also wrote songs about the war. There were many types of war songs during this era. Some were of protest against the war, some were about patriotism and our continued involvement in the war, and other were about combat.
The Vietnam War shaped the music of the time. When people look back on the 60’s and 70’s one of the most prominent aspects is the music. The music changed peoples lives and brought them closer together, united in a common cause.
The book The Things They Carried is like the lyrics to the music. The events and stories in the text are like the songs that a musician would write about. Some songs were lively and supporting of the war and other talked about the atrocities that took place.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Songs of Americans in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War Retrospective: Music
Music from the Vietnam War
The sites above have lots of good information about music of the war. The last one has activities to test you and make you think about the music during the time.
As a colleges student in the late sixties I am looking forward to my future as a family man and a working member of society. My knowledge of the war is limited to what I read in the news or hear on the radio, I am intelligent and concerned with finishing my education without being drafted. Would you be willing to risk your future and hard work to fight a war you know little about?
Some students were not willing to fight a war they did not believe in. These people became known as “Draft Dodgers”. In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien relates a story of a younger Tim contemplating a move to Canada to avoid the draft, In real life moving to Canada to avoid fighting became a serious choice, and many took this option in opposition to fighting in the war.
Sites relating to the Vietnam draft.
The Vietnam war draft survey and lottery
What advantages do college students have compared with other Americans when faced with avoiding a draft? What system prevented someone from using deferments to avoid the draft?
Do you believe our country has the right to force someone to fight and die for a cause they do not believe in? Should our country be able to end our plans for the future legally with a draft?
Although our nation is not currently on active draft a major conflict could result in a draft, would you support it?
The life of a soldier such as I is a very hard one; Especially at the time of the Vietnam War. Many of my colleagues have been emotionally scared by this terrible war. Many times I have seen women and children killed and many times I have seen children who have killed my fellow soldiers. It is so hard to tell the difference between civilian and Vietcong.
I am constantly trying to reassure my family that everything is okay here but in reality it is hell. The worst part is never being able to question your orders but I’m in the army so that is expected of me. I am nothing but a helpless pawn in this political war.
Links to information about Vietnam
During the Veitnam War years Politicians were spilt on the issue of war. The first president during the engagement was John F. Kennedy. At first Kennedy was supportive of the war. Then his views changed. The South Vietnam president Ngo Dinh Diem grew increasingly; reclusive. Kennedy concluded that america could no longer afford tp prop up Diem’s doomed administration. Kennedy grew more and more opposed to a land war in Asia. These views were changed when Kennedy fell to an assassin’s bullet and Lyndon Johnson became president.
Lyndon Johnson took a cautious position on Vietnam. “We don’t want to… get tied down in a land war in Asia. This changed when he asked Congress to grant him extraordinary powers to take “all necessary measures” in repelling attacks against the US Military force. This was known as the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. In March of 1965 Operation Rolling Thunder comenced with 3,500 marines landing at Da Nang. This only escalated the land war and the United States sank deeper into the Vietnam conflict.
The last President during the Vietnam Conflict was Richard Nixon. In June of 1969 Nixon announced a troop reduction of 25,000 men, by the end of 1970 the US military strength was down to 334,600 from 540,00 men. Yet every move pulled America deeper into the war. Then he dropped a bombshell on the American Public, he was sending troops into Cambodia. This enraged the public. Shorten the war by escalating it? The Senate repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The invasion of Cambodia was met with strong resistance and at Kent State 4 students were killed in a protest. The president grew more and more supportive of the war when he said “ I will not be the first president of the United States to lose a war.”
So overall Kennedy opposed the war and wanted to pull out of Southeast Asia. Lyndon B. Johnson didn’t have these views and escalated the war after he lied to the American People about the Gulf Of Tonkin. Nixon also lied to the people about the war in Cambodia and how he wanted to end the war when actually he supported the war and escalated the war like Johnson.
President Lyndon B. Johnson
President John F. Kennedy
President Richard NIxon
Information regarding Politicians
This site has very much information on Lyndon B. Johnson’s views as well as background information.
This site was very useful because it gave a lot of information on Nixon and is a very good site for information on him.
This was a good site because it is the official White House web page and all sorts of information on the President as well as his family.
During the 1960s and 1970s, many Americans, most notably the younger generation, began a strong opposition to the war America was fighting in Vietnam. Many of these Americans were members of the “counter-culture”, a strongly liberal group of Americans who rebelled against the traditions and dominant values of their parent generation. They showed their opposing views in many ways, wearing longer hair, avoiding steady work, and even experimenting with illegal drugs. Some of these Americans went further in this mentality and joined the pacifist movement. This wing of the counter-culture advocated peace, love, and harmony, and often protested against war and violence, no matter the cause.
One of the largest anti-war protests ever took place on November 9, 1969, when over a quarter of a million Americans marched on Washington, D.C. in protest of the Vietnam war. The demonstration was compared to the civil rights marches of the earlier 1960s, although there was no unifying speaker such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with his “I have a dream” speech. The protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, although a small number did resort to rioting and violently protesting near the Justice Department.
Another event with great historical significance to the pacifist movement was the war protest held at Kent State University on Mar 4, 1970. A large group of protesters were protesting America’s involvement in the Vietnam War when National Guardsmen were called in to keep order. The guardsmen were inexperienced, and fired on the protesters. Four college students were killed.
The Kent State Massacre
These events are only two of the many protests and events significant to the pacifist movement and war protests in general. There were several protests all throughout the Vietnam wars, as pacifists and other groups openly voiced their disagreement to the fighting in Vietnam. It is interesting to note that there was no comparable movement during previous wars, such as World War II. Vietnam was an unpopular war, and it helped to give rise to the pacifist movement for this reason. Had the war been felt as justified by the American people, there may not have been such a widespread pacifist movement against it.
Websites Related to Pacifism
-- Information on the Kent State Protest
-- Lots of information on the Vietnam War
-- Information on many Vietnam War protests
As a feminist during the sixties my main concern is to earn equal rights for women. The Vietnam War is a perfect time to escalate our battle. All the attention of the nation was set on the War. The media liked to write about big protests, so we thought it was a great time to escalate it.
The war for equal rights for women has gone on since the abolishment of slavery. Equal rights are still be fought for today. The most important part of the fight was during the Vietnam War. They felt that it was a good time to escalate the battle. This battle during the was a major turning point in the battle for equality.
Y&M Magazine - American Women and the Vietnam War
This website is from Y&M Magazine and has a lot about Women and there involvement in the war.
This website has a lot on the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Y&M Magazine - American Women and the Vietnam War. 28 June 2001
maryellen'spage. 28 May 2001 <http://www.eagle3.american.edu/~zj4749a/maryellen'spage.html>.
O'Neil, Tom. The Selective Service During the Vietnam War. 27 May 2001 <http://njvvmf.org/History/SelectiveService/SelectiveService. htm>.
Lupton, Shaw B. Draft Dodging. 27 May 2001 <http://www.ci.shrewsbury.ma.us/Sps/Schools/High/TownCri er/tc_web/Editorials/ROW/draftdodging.htm>.
Andresen, Lee. Battle Notes: Music of the Vietnam War. 24 May 2001
Neil Young Pictures. 21 May 2001
Wit, Wiebo De. The Dutch Creedence Clearwater Revival / Fogerty Tribute Pages. 21 May 2001 <http://ccr-tribute.sverige.net/>.
Yahoo! Music. 22 May 2001 <http://musicfinder.yahoo.com/shop?d=hc&id=1800021697&cf=10>.
Zahnen, Jeff. Fly Jefferson Airplane... 22 May 2001
Harvey, Edmund H., ed. Our Gloriuos Century. Pleasantville, New York: The Readers Digest Association, 1994.
John F. Kennedy Library. 25 May 2000 <http://www.cs.umb.edu/jfklibrary/pictures.htm>.
Lyndon B. Johnson. 25 May 2001 <http://www.ilheadstart.org/historical.html>.
“Modern Pacifism." Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Redmond, 2001.