The Vietnam Wars
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The Vietnam Wars Mr. Daniel Lazar. Lecture Outline. Imperial Roots On the Back of a Tiger The Arrogance of Power Opposition Peace with Honor Legacies. The Mission to Uplift and Civilize. The Mission to Uplift and Civilize. A foot in the door for gains in the future The China Market

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The Vietnam Wars Mr. Daniel Lazar

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The vietnam wars mr daniel lazar

The Vietnam Wars

Mr. Daniel Lazar


Lecture outline

Lecture Outline

  • Imperial Roots

  • On the Back of a Tiger

  • The Arrogance of Power

  • Opposition

  • Peace with Honor

  • Legacies


The mission to uplift and civilize

The Mission to Uplift and Civilize


The mission to uplift and civilize1

The Mission to Uplift and Civilize


Roots of the war la mission civilisature in the age of imperialism 1887 1954

A foot in the door for gains in the future

The China Market

French influence in Indochina (Nam, Laos & Cambodia)

Reform: government, education, land and economic

No free speech

No self-determination nor nationalistic sentiments

Roots of the War: La Mission Civilisature in the Age of Imperialism, 1887 – 1954


Rebellion phan boi chou 1867 1940

Rebellion: Phan Boi Chou (1867-1940)

  • Reformation Society (Duy Tan Hoi)

  • 1921, Phan studied Socialism and the Soviet model of modernization

  • 1925, French agents seized him in Shanghai. Convicted of treason and spent the rest of his life under house arrest in Hue.

  • 1940, died 1 month after Japan’s invasion

  • Streets named after him in every town


Uncle ho and the icp

1919-1923, while living in France, Ho Chí Minh (born Nguyen Sinh Cung) embraced communism

Following WWI, under the name of Nguyễn Ái Quoc (Nguyen the Patriot), he petitioned for civil rights for Vietnamese people in French Indochina to the Western powers at Versailles

Citing the language and the spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Ho petitioned Woodrow Wilson for help to remove the French from Vietnam and replace it with a new, nationalist government. His request was ignored.

Uncle Ho and the ICP


Uncle ho and the icp1

Uncle Ho and the ICP

  • 1930 - Ho helped est. the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP).

  • 1931 - Arrested in Hong Kong and incarcerated by British police until 1933. Then to USSR, where he spent years recovering from tuberculosis.

  • 1938 - To China. Served as adviser to CCPs PLA

  • 1941 - Ho returned to Vietnam to lead the Viet Minh independence movement. He oversaw many successful military actions against the Vichy French and Japanese during World War II. Supported by US OSS

  • 1942 - Jailed in China for months by Chiang Kaishek's local authorities. After his release in 1943, returned to Vietnam. He was treated for malaria and dysentery by American OSS doctors.

  • Following WWII, Ho petitioned Truman for support for Vietnamese independence, citing the Atlantic Charter, but Truman never responded.


Bao dai the christmas tree falls

Ho persuaded Bao Dại to abdicate on 25 August 1945, handing power over to the Viet Minh

Bao Dại was appointed "supreme advisor" to the new government in Hanoi

He explained his abdication in 1945 saying "I would prefer to be a citizen of an independent country rather than Emperor of an enslaved one."

Bao Dai: The Christmas Tree Falls


Victory for ho and the vietminh

Victory for Ho and the Vietminh

  • WWII influenced desire for self-determination

  • French troops arrive in 1946

    • French occupy SVN

    • Vietminh in NVN

  • Ho & Vietminh = Communism + Nationalism

  • Won Battle of Dien Bien Phu (5/5/54)

    • Guts vs. Firepower: French surrender

    • Ho declared an independent Vietnam on 9/2/46

    • The international community learns no lessons?


The us reaction

The US Reaction

  • SEATO (1954) justifies US involvement

  • Truman, with NSC-68 & SEATO support, provides $20 million

  • IKE ups the ante to $2.6 billion


The geneva accords 1954

Cease hostilities

No foreign involvement in internal Indochinese affairs

17th Parallel

NVN/Hanoi/Ho

SVN/Saigon/Diem

1956 Elections…

The Geneva Accords (1954)


The new puppet

The New Puppet

Anti Buddhist

  • Over 60% of northern Catholics moved to SVN, providing Diem with a source of loyal support.

  • Diem used slogans such as "Christ has gone south" and "the Virgin Mary departed from the North"


The new puppet1

The New Puppet

No 1956 Elections

  • A referendum rigged by his brother Ngo DinhNhu saw Diem gain 98% of the vote, with 133% in Saigon.

  • American advisors suggested that he win by a lesser margin

  • After pressure from Vietnamese and Americans, Diem agreed to hold elections in August 1959 to form a national legislature.

  • Newspapers not allowed to publish names of candidates or their policies and political meetings exceeding 5 people were prohibited.


The new puppet2

No Land Reform

Mass Corruption

His most trusted official was his brother, Ngo DinhNhu, an opium addict and admirer of Hitler. He modeled the military wing of his political party, Can Lao, marching and torture styles on Nazi methods

Used Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to work on his personal construction projects.

The New Puppet

  • Ngo’s wife, Madame Nhu enacted 'morality laws‘-- outlawing abortion, adultery, divorce, contraceptives, dance halls, beauty pageants, boxing matches, and animal fighting, and closed down the brothels and opium dens.


Opposition to diem

Opposition to Diem

  • People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN)

  • National Liberation Front (NLF) aka The Vietcong (VC)

  • Led by Ho

  • Ho Chi Minh Trail


The kennedy response

Democrats accused of being “soft” on communism

JFK deploys “advisors” and “flood crews”

The Strategic Hamlet Program 

Diem Coup (11/2/63)

likely by ARVN soldiers

Kennedy assassinated three weeks later

The Kennedy Response


The diem coup

The Diem Coup

  • The McNamara-Taylor Report (from Retrospect)

    • ‘There are serious political tensions in Saigon. . . . Further repressive actions by Diem and Nhu could change the present favorable military trends. . . . It is not clear that pressures exerted by the U.S. will move Diem and Nhu toward moderation. . . . The prospects that a replacement regime would be an improvement appear to be about 50-50.’

  • Time Magazine 6/30/75:

    • ‘The coup against Diem was planned with the knowledge of Dean Rusk and Averell Harriman at the State Department, Robert S. McNamara and Roswell Gilpatric at the Defense Department and the late Edward R. Murrow at the U.S. Information Agency.’


The johnson administration the tonkin gulf incident

The Johnson Administration: The Tonkin Gulf “Incident”

US was carrying out covert naval commando attacks against NVN with Johnson’s support since January 1964.

There was fighting during the day of 4 August. But the "second attack“ is uncertain at best.

No physical evidence for the August 4 attack claims. No wreckage nor bodies of dead sailors. No photographs. Radar and sonar sightings provided an exceedingly confusing set of data at best.


The johnson administration the tonkin gulf incident1

The Johnson Administration: The Tonkin Gulf “Incident”

  • Secretary McNamara had a conversation with LBJ. Their discussion reflects McNamara's knowledge of the scam when, referring to the U.S. destroyer, he states, "this ship is allegedly, uh, to be attacked tonight."

  • McNamara and LBJ went on to discuss what retaliation they could carry out for the attack (that had not yet happened), including bombing targets in North Vietnam.

  • An hour later, when McNamara called in the first report that the alleged attack had begun, he was already prepared with a list of options.


The johnson administration the tonkin gulf incident2

The Johnson Administration: The Tonkin Gulf “Incident”

  • As a result of McNamara’s testimony, on 7 August, Congress passed a joint resolution (H.J. RES 1145), titled the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted LBJ authority to conduct military operations in Southeast Asia without a declaration of war.

  • The Resolution gave LBJ approval "to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom."


The johnson administration the tonkin gulf incident3

The Johnson Administration: The Tonkin Gulf “Incident”

  • Squadron commander James Stockdale was one of the U.S. pilots flying overhead during the alleged attack. Stockdale wrote in his 1984 book Love and War:

    • "[I] had the best seat in the house to watch that event, and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets—there were no PT boats there…There was nothing there but black water and American fire power." Stockdale said his superiors ordered him to keep quiet about this.”

    • "There was absolutely no gunfire except our own, no PT boat wakes, not a candle light let alone a burning ship. None could have been there and not have been seen on such a black night."

  • The history of U.S. destroyers carried on the Navy's official website no longer contains any reference to a naval engagement having occurred on August 4.


The johnson administration the tonkin gulf incident4

The Johnson Administration: The Tonkin Gulf “Incident”

  • In 2005, it was revealed in an official NSA declassified report that there was no North Vietnamese boats at the August 4 incident. The report said:

    ‘It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night.’


Mr johnson s war

Mr. Johnson’s War


Lbj operation rolling thunder

Four Objectives:

To bolster the sagging morale of the Saigon regime in the Republic of Vietnam

To convince North Vietnam to cease its support for the communist insurgency in South Vietnam

To destroy North Vietnam's transportation system, industrial base, and air defenses

To interrupt the flow of men and material into South Vietnam.

LBJ & Operation Rolling Thunder


Lbj operation rolling thunder1

LBJ & Operation Rolling Thunder

Results:

  • Mar 1965 - Nov 1968

    • Air Force flew 153,784 attack sorties against NVN

    • Navy and Marine Corps had added another 152,399.

  • 31 December 1967, the DOD announced that 864,000 tons of NVN during Rolling Thunder!

    • 653,000 tons dropped during the entire Korean Conflict

    • 503,000 tons in the Pacific theater during WWII

  • 1 January 1968, CIA estimated on that damage inflicted on NVN totaled $370 million in physical destruction, including $164 million in damage to capital assets (factories, bridges, and power plants).

  • 1,000 casualties had been inflicted on NVN population per week, or approximately 90,000 for the 44-month period, 72,000 of whom were civilians.


United we stand

Hawks

Robert MacNamara—Secretary of Defense

Dean Rusk—Secretary of State

William Westmoreland—Commander of ARVN forces

Doves

John McNaughton—Assistant Secretary of Defense

George Ball—Undersec. of State

William Fulbright—Senator on Foreign Relations Committee

United We Stand…

LBJ between Rusk & Mac


The arrogance of power

The Arrogance of Power

  • Bombing to the Negotiating Table

  • Body Count: US never lost a battle

  • Search and Destroy--“destroy the city in order to save it”


Battle of hearts and minds two sides one war

Battle of Hearts and Minds:Two Sides. One War


Battle of hearts and minds agent orange

Battle of Hearts and Minds:Agent Orange


A people s war

A People’s War


Us soldier morale

US Soldier Morale

  • Drugs

  • Fragging

  • Deserting

  • Race Relations

  • UUUU: the unwilling, led by the unqualified, doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful

  • A civil war within a civil war left the soldiers mystified


Living room war the media turns

Living Room War: The Media Turns


The war at home

The War at Home

  • Living Room War & The Credibility Gap

  • Working Class War (85% from lower SES)

    • MLK and the “Cruel Irony”

    • Blacks were 15% of combat deaths 1965-69

  • Civil Rights Movement

  • Women’s Rights Movement

  • Student Movement: Tune In, Turn on, Drop Out

  • The Great Society? Maybe Later.


The new left

The New Left


Peace with honor

“Peace With Honor”

  • Jan-Sept 1968 - Tet Offensive –joint NLF and PAVN offensive

  • 3/1/68 - My Lai Massacre - mass murder of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens in SVN, mostly women and children

    • Numerous massacres perpetrated by South Koreans

  • 11/5/68 – Nixon Elected

  • Vietnamization

    • gradual withdrawal and shifting power

    • bombing to Negotiating Table (troops out planes in)


Peace with honor1

“Peace With Honor”

  • Mar- Oct,1972 - NVN’s Easter Offensive- 1 mil SVN refugees

  • 1972 Christmas Bombings - 11 days/100,000 bombs

  • 1/27/73 – Paris Peace Accords

  • 3/29/73 - Last US troops go home

  • 4/30/75 - NVN takes Saigon with little resistance


Peace with honor2

“Peace With Honor”

  • US Casualties

    • 58,286 KIA or non-combat deaths

    • 153,303 WIA

    • 1,643 MIA (originally 2,646)

    • 725-837 POW

  • Vietnamese Casualties

    • ARVN - 171,000 - 220,000

    • VC – 1,100,000 (US counts 950,765)

    • SVN Civilians – 200,000-400,000

    • NVN Civilians - 50,000-75,000

    • Cambodians – 200,000-300,000…


Honor cambodian genocide 1975 79

Honor? Cambodian Genocide, 1975-79


Legacies

Legacies


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