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HIS344Y1 Lecture Notes - Nikita Khrushchev, Tet Offensive, Army Of The Republic Of Vietnam

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Ebba Kurt

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anti-Americanism – in all Western European states that experienced turmoil in 1968 there was a
unity in anti-Americanism
origins can be found in Vietnam
lengthy record of Americans siding with the good, fighting for democracy – however, American
lives sacrificed fighting for liberty
the war in Vietnam ruined this image completely
second world war – Japan defeated France in Vietnam
after the war, for the French to go back, created a serious problem
France was a defeated imperial power and pro-fascist – should never have been allowed
to go back to Vietnam but many turned a blind eye
Viet Minh defeated France is 1954 at battle of Dien Bien Phu
Geneva Conference 1954 – this victory didn't transform into Communist rule over the
entire peninsula
Khrushchev pushed for South Vietnam to remain independent out of Communist
control for detente
changed his mind after war in Korea, Eisenhower administration hell-bent on
preventing Communist spread – domino effect, the entire Southeast Asia would have
fallen under Communist control
create defensive alliance – created military organization, SEATO
could be no question of free election for South to join North
regime that emerged under Ngo Diem undermined the American objective
very similar development as in Republican China – corrupt, ineffective leader
South Vietnamese were either supportive of Communist movement or were
members of Viet Cong
French being defeated, clearly understood that someone had to come to the aid of South
Vietnam, otherwise South Vietnam is lost to the Communists
Kennedy made public statements that Americans wouldn't get involved with the war
but steadily increased number of American advisers in the South Vietnamese army
Kennedy was assassinated and Johnson had to take over
Johnson didn't understand the situation and had no FP experience – his primary
concern was domestic policy issue “Great Society”, understood this required
there is a conflict that had to be addressed – South Vietnamese regime could not
sustain itself, could not prevent Communist takeover
could not allow this, would have ruined Johnson's presidency, had to stand
up to the Communists (state incapable of keeping up with their
commitments) – out of the question for Vietnam to fall
August 1964 – major international incident at Gulf of Tonkin
3 North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked a US war ship
great debates – what really took place, was there an attack, what were the Americans doing
America was spying on North Vietnam
this action challenged the American warship
two of the torpedo boats were damaged or sunk by the Americans
two days later, a second attack that was unprovoked
it is this attack that provoked Johnson to get involved in the war and teach the North
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