Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vietnam: An Independent Study (July 17)

The Vietnam Wars - Chapter 8 (1965-1966)
This chapter ("The American Invasion of South Vietnam") is about how the US further decided to move into South Vietnam (with political action and the increase of ground troops). Young demonstrates there were more memos and internal discussions about what to do about the problems in Vietnam.
A key problem was the inability to permanently secure an area: After a long battle the US would ‘win’ and then leave... and then the VC would be back.
In April 1965 Johnson has said "Our objective is the independence of South Viet-nam and its freedom from attack. We want nothing for ourselves - only that the people of South Viet-nam be allowed to guide their own country in their own way. We will do everything necessary to reach that objective, and we will do only what is absolutely necessary." It's like Johnson doesn't realize what he is saying, as this would mean that the US wouldn't be there; that, as Young states, this statement would mean "the complete withdrawal of the United States, negotiations among the South Vietnamese participants, and, ultimately, between North and South." Indeed, this is what critics argued. It’s like the US just couldn’t let a country’s people decide their own path – the hypocrisy is sickening actually.
Johnson would repeatedly state that he was willing to begin unconditional negotiations, but that was a lie as there were conditions such as VC operations ceasing, that the South continue its separate existence, that the NLF couldn't be involved in political negotiations...etc.
The chapter also discussed a disturbing incident where the unpopular US backed government brutally put down Buddhist protesters who just wanted the elections they were promised.
It's like the US just couldn't realize that most of the people just didn’t want them there.


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