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HIS378 Lecture Feb 27th.docx

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Candice Sobers

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HIS378 Lecture Feb 27 , 2014 Perspectives on Vietnam Outline I. Introductions: The Longest War II. The “Bitch of a war”: LBJ and Escalation III. Perspectives on Vietnam a. The Young Man’s War b. The White Man’s War c. The patriarchal War d. The living room war e. The liberal war (?) IV. The Quagmire: Nixon, Vietnamization, and endgame Lecture: I. Introductions: The Longest War • Nguyen Ai Quoc, 1921--- Ho Chi Ming (Uncle ____) • Visits Paris to talk to Roosevelt but is refused • The French clearly have no intention to give up Vietnam • So Ho declares dependence but nothing happens • French end up in conflicted war. During this time ho sends over 8 letters to the US reminding them that they stand for self-determination without any reaction • Not an issue of the French but the west!! The anti-communist west has lost against this communist government • They already lost china and are worried about what will happen to the rest of Asia • So they have a conference in Geneva—with the hope of sorting out conflict in Korea and Vietnam. On Korea not terribly useful but on Vietnam they decide to divide a line between the two countries • 1954: • French defeat at Dien Bien Phu th • Geneva conference – temporary division at 17 parallel • 1955-1956: • US MAAG trainsARVN (S) – to train the south Vietnam army. They don’t want elections because they know they will lose. • Idea that the hand of the soviet union is present and apart of the idea. So they don’t want to have elections because they fear that they will elect a communist government and they feel that human nature would not allow that- so the soviets must be doing something—so for the nations on good they will elect the correct player. • They are essentially aiding the French to hold on to the colony. • Idea of western block banding together to help fight against the east • Idea of domino theory is that they feel that once ne eastern country turns communist all will, and the biggest fear is that India will cause real fear • Elections • Domino Theory II. The “Bitch of a war”: LBJ and Escalation • See posted slide on black board • Self-immunate and pictures are circulated all over world which is a master disaster. Diem is then assassinated and Kennedy a week later will also be assassinated. • Come LBJ:  1964-1968:  pretty much all the people around him at the time are convinced that they can win. He knows something has to be done but does not know how to have a pretext for engagement. This is created through the:  Tonkin Gulf Incident (August 1964): blank check  Amount of lying is massive around this agreement.  3500 Marines arrive (March 1965)  Op Rolling Thunder and Pleiku: massive bombing (all justification for getting involved in the war).  Tet Offensive  My Lai  McNamara resigns  LBJ declines to run  Sustained reprisal George mcdungy?  What is the problem with a gorilla type war? There is no real strategy—you can’t win a gorilla type war without killing millions of civilians etc.. the problem is that they already own the territory , the goal is not like a conventional war, the goal is to win hearts and minds which is really hard to tell who is winning in that kind
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