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Vietnam War Era Page 69 NCSCOS Goal 11
Ballad of the Green Beret Fighting soldiers from the sky Fearless men who jump and die Men who mean just what they say The brave men of the Green Beret Silver wings upon their chest These are men, America's best One hundred men will test today But only three win the Green Beret Trained to live off nature's land Trained in combat, hand-to-hand Men who fight by night and day Courage peak from the Green Berets Silver wings upon their chest These are men, America's best One hundred men will test today But only three win the Green Beret Back at home a young wife waits Her Green Beret has met his fate He has died for those oppressed Leaving her his last request Put silver wings on my son's chest Make him one of America's best He'll be a man they'll test one day Have him win the Green Beret.
EVE OF DESTRUCTION By: Barry McGuire The eastern world, it is exploding Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’ You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’ You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’ And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’ But you tell me Over and over and over again, my friend Ah, you don’t believe We’re on the eve of destruction. Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today? If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy And you tell me Over and over and over again, my friend Ah, you don’t believe We’re on the eve of destruction. Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’ I’m sitting here just contemplatin ’I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation. Handful of senators don’t pass legislation And marches alone can’t bring integration When human respect is disintegratin This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’ And you tell me Over and over and over again, my friend Ah, you don’t believe We’re on the eve of destruction. Think of all the hate there is in Red China Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama You may leave here for 4 days in space But when you return, it’s the same old place The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend You don’t believe We’re on the eve Of destruction Mm, no no, you don’t believe We’re on the eve of destruction.
TRUMAN DOCTRINE • -wars of national liberation??? • U.S. fight for independence? • -French Indochina • Ho Chi Minh- Communist who wants Vietnam independent • -containment- stop communism • domino theory- if one Asian nation falls, they all will • -sent advisors?? • -Ngo Dinh Diem cancels elections- corrupt government in S. Vietnam • -Viet-Cong begins fighting • Communist opposition group in South Vietnam • Supplies through Ho Chi Minh Trail According to the Geneva Accords following WW2, Vietnam was to be divided along the 17th parallel, with the North Communist and the South Anti-Communist. Elections to unite all of Vietnam under one ruler would be held in 1956. With the rise of Ho Chi Minh, supported by various peasants in the North, Diem fears that in an all-country election, he would lose. Therefore, he cancels the elections. The U.S. continues to back the S. Vietnamese government, though, following its policy of containment.
Even with American military and political support, the Diem administration in S. Vietnam was losing support. Diem’s popularity plummeted because of ongoing corruption and his failure to respond to calls for land reform. To combat the growing VC presence in the countryside, the Diem administration initiated the strategic hamlet program, which meant moving all villagers to protected areas. Many villagers deeply resented being moved from their homes and villages where they had lived for generations and where ancestors were buried.
Diem intensified his attack on Buddhism. Fed up with Buddhist demonstrations, the S. Vietnamese ruler imprisoned and killed hundreds of Buddhist clerics and destroyed their temples. To protest, several Buddhist monks and nuns publicly burned themselves to death. Horrified, American officials urged Diem to stop the persecutions, but he refused. It was clear that for S. Vietnam to remain stable, Diem would have to go. On November 1, 1963, a U.S.-supported military coup toppled Diem’s regime. Against Kennedy’s wishes, Diem was assassinated.
GULF OF TONKIN • -Diem’s gov’t unpopular • -Diem is assassinated • U.S. supported killing • -limited bombing already begun - secretly • -Gulf of Tonkin • U.S. ship attacked • LBJ asks for action (war) • Congress allowed the Pres. to have all power in Vietnam • -statement was prepared before the attack • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution • -Operation Rolling Thunder begins bombing Vietnam • Troops sent to fight VC The alleged attack on U.S. ships prompted Johnson to launch bombing strikes in N. Vietnam. He asked Congress for powers to take “all necessary measures to repel any harmed attack against the forces of the U.S. and to prevent further aggression.” Congress approved Johnson’s request, and adopted the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. While not a declaration of war, it granted Johnson broad military powers in Vietnam.
DIFFERENT WAR • -US War Leaders • Increase number of men in Vietnam • -Sec. Robert McNamara • -William Westmoreland • Requested more troops; 500k sent by 1967 • -Viet Cong used guerilla tactics - quick ambush in jungle; tunnels, land mines, traps • -hard to differentiate friend from foe • Never knew who the enemy was; Could be civilians
DIFFERENT WAR • -American search and destroy tactics • Seek out enemy, find, call in reinforcements • -napalm- gas bomb to burn jungle and expose tunnels • -Agent Orange- toxic chemical to kill leaves • Both weapons deadly to civilians and at times, US soldiers
American soldier walks amongst and is careful to avoid Vietcong “punji” traps
American soldier being helped underground to “search and destroy” a Vietcong tunnel
COSTS OF WAR • -low morale of soldiers • Many turn to drinking, drugs, and murder as war goes on • -Great Society spending is reduced to pay for war effort • War more important • -first television war • War images brought into homes; public opinion changes • -credibility gap develops • People not sure if they believe what Johnson says or what they see on TV • -protests begin
OPPOSITION • -Hawks • People who supported the war and were patriotic • -Doves • People who spoke out against the war; seen as unpatriotic • -No end in sight to the war – more people began to oppose the war
WAR PROTESTS • -why are we fighting this war??? • -working man’s war • 80% of soldiers from lower economic levels drafted; many were black • -unfair practices • draft • deferments– more time before you showed up to fight (college students) • objectors • Oppose war on moral grounds; drafted and assigned to noncombatant positions • dodging– burning cards; fake doctor’s notes; moving away
To help quell the protestors and make the draft more fair, the U.S. began a lottery draft on December 1, 1969. From this lottery, numbers were drawn to represent birthdates. All those registered for the draft with that birth date were to report when called up.
“We were taking the young black men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia or East Harlem…We have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I’m bitter…It’s people like us who give up our sons for the country…The college types, the professors, they go to Washington and tell the government what to do…But their sons, they don’t end up in the swamps over there, in Vietnam. No sir. They’re deferred, because they’re in school. Or the get sent to safe places. What bothers me about the peace crowd is that you can tell from their attitude, the way they look and what the say, that they don’t really love this country.” A Firefighter quoted in Working Class War
Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival It aint me, it aint me, I aint no millionaires son, no.It aint me, it aint me; I aint no fortunate one, no.Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,Ooh, they send you down to war, lord,And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more! yoh,It aint me, it aint me, I aint no military son, son.It aint me, it aint me; I aint no fortunate one, one.It aint me, it aint me, I aint no fortunate one, no no no,It aint me, it aint me, I aint no fortunate son, no no no, Some folks are born made to wave the flag,Ooh, theyre red, white and blue.And when the band plays hail to the chief,Ooh, they point the cannon at you, lord,It aint me, it aint me, I aint no senators son, son.It aint me, it aint me; I aint no fortunate one, no,Yeah!Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,Lord, dont they help themselves, oh.But when the taxman comes to the door,Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,