The Vietnam War was not the first war to ever have people protest against it. However, the Vietnam War was by far the most unpopular war in American history. Certain people felt that the United States was immorally engaged in imperialism. Some people continued to have faith in the United States government, but still thought a terrible mistake was being made.
Certain people only marched in the antiwar protests because they were in fear of their loved ones being dragged off to war. During the Vietnam war 53 million American’s came of age to be drafted into the war. Half of these people were women, who were immune to the draft. Only 6,000 women went into the military, none saw combat. From 1964 to 1973 over fifty-one thousand American’s lost their lives.
As young teens were growing up during the war, they knew there was a chance they would be drafted into the war. Some young teens looked forward to enlisting in the military, they knew it was the manly thing to do. Other young teens tried to avoid the draft in all ways possible. This generation however, fighting for one’s country was not seen as a source of pride, it was seen as misfortune.
Avoiding the draft did not mean a person’s life went unharmed. Many young men engaged in hurried marriages, unwanted children, misdirected careers, or physical harm to impair themselves. The draftees who fought and died in Vietnam were primarily society’s “losers”. These were the same men who were left behind in school, jobs, and other forms of social competition. The discriminatory, social, economic, and racial impact of Vietnam cannot be fairly measured against other wars in American history, but American people were never before as conscious of how evenly the obligation to serve was distributed.
It is clear to me now why many of these people protested the Vietnam War. I probably would have been out there too if it was my husband, son, or father who was forced to do these things.
“Light at the End of the Tunnel” by Andrew J. Rotter
So this is my last week, and I’ve focused solely on working on the paper. So far this hasn’t been going so well. It’s not so much that the paper is hard, and more that I’m procrastinating a little bit. Writing isn’t quite as cool as emailing a Pulitzer Prize winner. I am on the second page though.
On Tuesday my group mates were gone, so I really just thought about the organization of the paper. I start with the intro (duh), which is done, and then start off with some quick backstory on Kent State and what led to the shooting, which is partially done. From there I detail the shooting a little bit, then focus in on John Filo and the process of him getting the picture. After that I the paper will focus on the media’s treatment of the tragedy, the effect of Filo’s photo, and the reaction he and the photo got.
During this paper I am going to weave in what Alan Canfora (the survivor that I interviewed via phone with my group) talked about, as a different view point. On Tuesday Dr. Renoff suggested maybe asking him a couple more questions, which I may very well do. If I do they will be 1) What was your opinion of the photo? and 2) Were you ever captured in a photo taken that day? Obviously the first question would be of bigger importance.
Like I said I’m on page two. I’m starting to get into this a little more, so hopefully I will get the rest typed up a little bit faster. I also realized while typing this that I still have to do my worked cited page, which I should probably do before I get back to the paper itself. My goal is to be done before Thanksgiving break is over, that way I can take it to the writing center. Realistically I’m not getting much sleep that Monday, since I have another 8-12 page paper due the next day.
In my upcoming paper, I’ve been trying to decide the position I would take and how I could argue said position. For my outline, I believe I can divide up the sections into a few different topics. For the first part, I would go through the events that transpired the day of the march of Thich Quang Duc. From there, I’d like to explain the past of self-immolation and how it relates to the Buddhist religion. That is, I’d tie the past of it into the actions of the Buddhist monks in 1963. I’d be going into the statistics of self immolation and how it has been an act used for centuries by people for political or religious reasons. In most times however, it is both political and religious.
With all of this information presented, I would delve further into the relevancy of self-immolation in today’s society. The newest and most relevant act of self-immolation sparked an entire revolution in Tunisia that spread throughout the Middle East. This single act created the rising and falling of nations and created a new form of protesting via the internet. This caused widespread international interest and was extremely relevant to the United States’ international diplomacy. From there, I would go onto my final conclusions for the paper. For this entire work, I would use the citations from my previous posts as well as a few others. I feel as if this format will be able to cover the topic in an acceptable manner
I finished my outline, or at least a rough guideline for ideas. After that I began working on my paper, and trying to figure out how to use the Chicago style.
media differences-open in Vietnam, more closed in Iraq- absorption/consumption by the public
Attention span of the newer generations-way media seen, pictures seen etc
Troop differences-volunteer vs. draft
peoples support of the troops
Fighting style-use of munitions, visibility, mobility
Fear in Saigon, vs ? in Iraq
Reason for being in the countries
Jobs after/integration of troops
This is the photo i found for the comparison. In the top it is the helicopter leaving Saigon, in the bottom it is the trucks leaving after the hand off to the Iraqis.
Since my paper deals a lot with Nixon’s decision to invade Cambodia and the response this generated from the American public, I wanted to spend part of my paper discussing the Nixon Administration’s policies in general.
I found a useful article by Jeffrey Kimball that outlines Nixon’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia during this time. The article focuses mainly on what is called the Nixon Doctrine, which was basically the idea that the United States would continue to honor its commitments in Southeast Asia and protect those countries from external threats while at the same time avoiding another situation like Vietnam (70). The Doctrine was created during a press conference in Guam in July of 1969. While answering reporters’ questions, Nixon found himself having to both assure Western allies that the US was not going to get involved in another Vietnam-type situation, while at the same time reassuring other Southeast Asian countries that America was not going to renege on their other commitments in those countries. This idea had grown out of the de-Amercanizing aspect of Vietnamization. The comments that Nixon made in Guam were unofficial and unplanned. He did not mean them to turn into a legitimate doctrine for how his administration conducted itself in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, the Nixon Doctrine became a very popular idea worldwide.
Nixon soon found that he could not live up to the Nixon Doctrine on every occasion. He was already being hypocritical in the way he was presenting his views of the Vietnam War to the American public. He won the election partly because he had appeared to promise to withdraw troops from Vietnam. However, his intention was never to just get out of Vietnam, but to win it. Kimball remarks that “vietnamization…would primarily serve the political purpose of buying time on the home front for the other elements of their strategy to take effect” (67). These other elements included escalation in order to squeeze the enemy into negotiations. This escalation policy eventually led to the invasion of Cambodia, which sparked the Kent State protests.
Kimball, Jeffrey. “The Nixon Doctrine: A Saga of Misunderstanding”. Presidential Studies Quarterly , Vol. 36, No. 1, Presidential Doctrines (Mar., 2006), 59-74.
Today I worked on my outline for the paper. After talking to the other members of my group, we discussed the presentation and our ideas on how to make it flow. Parker gave me some good pointers, and got me thinking. One of the biggest aspects is not only the difference in the wars themselves, but also in the way in which they are received by the public. Americans attention spans have gotten shorter than they were before, and they were short to begin with. When the announcement came that we were pulling troops out of Iraq by Obama, everyone was up at arms and excited. But it was a quick subsidement, the attention being quickly diverted once he was elected, to only ask why he hadn’t fulfilled his promise in the electoral run for election.
In Iraq, we had less reporters, and less coverage. In Vietnam it was the first war that the media was allowed to film and shoot, so the public followed it very closely, picture by picture, and video by video. In Iraq, most of the information was sensitive, and would have gotten people killed if released in the papers or in any media form. Most of the coverage was done by people that were actually enlisted in the military, or affiliated with it. And the stuff that was released to the public was not only fewer in number, but in a different way.
People absorb the information differently now. In the past, people got their news from the papers, magazines, or the nightly news on television. Today people get their information on such a variety of ways. Some from the internet, some from radio, some from the older sources. There is so much diversity today in reception of news. And not only that, but more scepticism.
When the troops were actually pulled out of Iraq, people had already focused their attention elsewhere. There was scant attention paid to it, so as a consequence, there were not the same photo styles or representations. We weren’t reliant upon the photographs to tells us what was goings on there as the older people were in the Vietnam era. We had other information, as well as multiple sources. I think this is why there is no correlating photo to the evacuation of Iraq. That and the fact that the pullout of Iraq was slower and more planned. It wasn’t a day or couple weeks venture, it was over years, and planned well far ahead of time.