Vietnam by dffhrtcv3


Descent Into the Longest War
   History of Vietnam
   Beginning of U.S. Involvement
   The Sides Are Drawn
   Fighting the War
   Disadvantages For the American soldier
                    A Little History

   Who ruled Vietnam until WWII?

   The French

   Why?

   Colonialism: Rice, Rubber, Tin, Tungsten, Teak
    You Say You Want a Revolution
   Who took over Vietnam during WWII?

   The Japanese. During this period, a group of
    Vietnamese got together to fight the
    Japanese; to kick out this foreign power, and
    let Vietnamese rule Vietnam.
   What was this group called?
   The Vietminh
                     Uncle Ho
   5. Who was its

   Ho Chi Minh
       We’re glad he’s on our side!
   It’s interesting to note that the U.S. worked with Ho to fight the
    Japanese. And most who worked with him commented on what
    an exceptional leader he was - hard working, dedicated,
    absolutely devoted to the notion that Vietnam should not be
    dominated by an outside force.

   He was not someone that
    you wanted as an enemy.
               Free at last?
   So after the war, the Japanese are
    defeated, and Ho Chi Minh is seemingly
    going to get his wish.

   Then what happens?

   The French move back in to reclaim
    “their” territory.
   What do the Vietminh do?

   Start fighting the French. More and
    more people join them. At this point, Ho
    believed that the U.S. would actually
    help him.

   Why?
    When in the course of human events
    Because the U.S. had a tradition
    of revolutionary activity. They
    were colonized and dominated
    by the British, and fought a war
    for self-determination (the right
    to rule themselves). He had
    studied history, and had been
    deeply influenced by the
    Declaration of Independence.
    So he naively assumed that the
    U.S. would support the Vietminh
    struggle for independence.
“Can you help out, Harry?”
                He sent a letter to
                 Truman requesting
                 aid. Pretty ironic,

                So, why did the U.S.
                 decide to aid the
                 French instead?
       Because he’s a commie rat!
   France was a strong ally
   Raw materials. The U.S. decided that if the
    French were in control, it would make sure
    that the U.S. had access to the raw materials
    (rubber, tin, manganese, etc.)
   Ho Chi Minh was a communist (not a puppet
    of the Soviet Union, not trying to take over
    S.E. Asia. But he was a communist, and in our
    Cold War thinking, that was unacceptable.)
   So we came in on the side of the
    French: We recognized the puppet govt
    they set up, and we began to fund the
    French war against the Vietminh. By
    1954, we had spent 2 billion in Vietnam,
    78% of the cost of the French war.
               Butt Whipping
   10. But what happened?

   The French got their butts kicked.

   11. Why?
      “…People got to be free…”

   Because people fighting for their
    freedom usually fight harder than those
    who are acting to deny freedom. The
    French were imperialists who were
    fighting for dominance and economic
    gain. The Vietminh were fighting to end
    decades of foreign domination.
Can you spell “Dienbienphu”?
   When did the French finally give up and go
   After a particularly nasty defeat in 1954 at
    Dienbienphu. They set up an outpost in a
    wide valley and fortified it with 13,000 troops,
    hoping to provoke the Vietminh into open
    battle. The Vietminh responded by amassing
    49,000 troops around the valley.
   Within two months it was all over. Sacre Bleu!
            Geneva Conference
   What happened next?

   There was a peace conference in Geneva,
    Switzerland: France, U.S., Russia, Britain,
    China, Laos and both Vietnamese govts - that
    of Bao Dai, the French puppet, and that of Ho
    Chi Minh. Both claimed to represent the
    Vietnamese people

   Something very significant happened here.
    What was it?
               Divided We Fall
   *Vietnam was
    divided in two.

   Did you know that
    Vietnam was one
    country until 1954?
             Winner Take All
   It was, and here was the deal: these
    countries agreed that the nation would
    be split in two, with Bao Dai in power in
    the South, and Ho in the North. There
    would be elections in 1956 between
    these two. The winner would be
    President of all Vietnam; the country
    would be re-united.
                 In This Corner
             Bao Dai              Ngo Dinh Diem

   Ngo Dinh Diem, prime minister of South Vietnam,
    was able to do away with the monarchy. He held
    an election in which he mysteriously received
    99% of the vote. The Emperor Bao Dai was
    stripped of all power.
               Ngo Against Ho
   So 1956 rolls around. The election is supposed to
    take place that will determine who will rule a
    reunited Vietnam. The election will pit Ngo Dinh
    Diem against Ho Chi Minh.

   So what happened?

   The election never took place.

   Why?

   *Because Ho Chi Minh would have won! He
    was very popular. He had led the Vietnamese
    people against imperialist domination.
           Not A Nice Guy
 Ngo Dinh Diem, the U.S. choice to
  replace Bao Dai in the South was very
***He was a Catholic in a nation of
***He was corrupt.
***He was dictatorial.
        Election? What Election?
   He would have lost, and so when Ho Chi
    Minh called for elections in ‘56, Diem
    refused and the U.S. backed him up.
    The country remained split, and the war
    was on. Had the Geneva accords been
    respected, 20 years, billions of dollars,
    and over two million lives wouldn’t have
    been spent.
          Who’s Fighting Who?
   With the election called off, and Vietnam
    remaining divided in two, Ho Chi Minh led
    his followers back to war – this time to get
    rid of Diem and reunite the country.

   So who was on each side of the conflict?
    Who was fighting who?
              In This Corner
   North Vietnamese      South Vietnamese
      Army (NVA)            Army (ARVN)
      (Led by Ho)           (Led by Diem)
         &           VS           &
     Viet Cong             The United States
(National Liberation
    Front – NLF)
          Uh…..Say That Again
   The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong
    wanted to re-unify the country under Ho Chi
             They fought against…..
   South Vietnamese who we’re loyal to Diem,
    and the U.S., both of whom wanted
    Vietnam to remain divided and Ho to stay in
    the North.
          Who Are Those Guys?
   So who were the Viet Cong?

   South Vietnamese
   The VC were South
    Vietnamese peasants who
    didn’t like Diem and wanted
    the country reunited under
    Ho Chi Minh. They also the
    United States gone.
            But I Thought…..
   How does this contradict what most people
    think about the Vietnam War?
   Well, what is the standard line about why
    we fought the war?
   Communist North Vietnam was trying to
    take over democratic South Vietnam, and
    we came in to save the day for freedom
    and democracy.
   But how can that be true if the Viet Cong
    were from the south?
   It means that many people in South
    Vietnam sided with North Vietnam in the
    struggle to kick out Diem (and those who
    would follow him), get rid of the U.S., and
    make Vietnam one country again.
   So, really, what kind of war was Vietnam?
   It was not really a war between two
    countries, one communist and one
    democratic, but more accurately, was a
    civil war between the followers of Ho Chi
    Minh - who lived in both the north and the
    south - and Ho’s opponents, who lived in
    the south and didn’t want to see
    communism in the whole country.
      Let me pop the question…..
   So I’m forced to ask you:
   If the Viet Cong were from the south.
   If South Vietnam was not democratic in any
    way, run by a string of unpopular dictators
    propped up by the U.S.
   And if, as the CIA’s own reports claimed,
    that Ho Chi Minh would have been elected
    by the Vietnamese with 70% of the vote.
We Thinking?!
           Let Them Eat Cake
   After ‘56 when Ho leads the NLF against
    Diem, we give Diem a massive amount
    of aid which, by the way, he squanders.
    He and his buds live in palaces while
    most of the population lives in grass
          No, Let Them Eat Lead
   *We send “advisors”
    so that by 1963 there
    are 16,700 advisors.
    I’m not sure what the
    exact definition of
    advisors is, but most
    of them carried
“Put Silver Wings Upon My Chest”
                  Even though we
                   supposedly only had
                   advisors in ‘63, I have
                   a friend who was a
                   Green Beret on patrol
                   along the Cambodian
                   border in ‘63, calling
                   in airstrikes against
                   anything that moved.
   So by 1963, we had:
   many advisors,
   some soldiers out in the field,
   and limited bombing (which started as
    early as 1961)
   a major campaign to take villagers out
    of their villages.
         To Be Or Not To Be…
 Thiswas called
 the “Strategic
 program. It
 lasts for quite
   Why do you think that we would want to take
    people out of their villages and move them to new
    ones, surrounded by barbed wire (sort of like
    concentration camps)?

   To isolate them from the Vietcong. Since the VC
    has much of its support in the villages, we wanted
    to do away with the villages.
So you take them out of this…
Or this…
   And move them into an ugly village with
    barbed wire and gun towers, far from their
    rice paddies and much further than they
    wanted to be from ancestral burial grounds.

   We turned many villagers who just wanted
    to be left alone into VC recruits.
   In the cities, Diem isn’t
    doing much better. His
    repression of political
    opponents and Buddhists
    caused some monks to
    burn themselves in
    protest. This produced
    some of the most
    dramatic photos of the
        You Reap What You Sow
   By this time, late 1963, Diem is so
    unpopular that the CIA secretly encourages
    a coup, and he is assassinated by South
    Vietnamese military guys (taken out of town
    and shot in the head).

   Three weeks later…..
             Hey, Hey, LBJ…..
   And so
    Johnson is
    sworn in as
Saying Good-bye

     And a
LBJ: A tough talkin’
Texan who comes
into office boasting
that “No raggedy-
ass little 4th rate
country like
Vietnam is going to
push around the
United States.”
    I Just Want To Kick Some Ass!

   The campaign against Vietnam is
    progressing, but in 1964, Johnson really
    wants to turn up the heat - to escalate the
    war. He wants something to happen that
    will get the American people firmly behind
    the war effort, and that will get Congress to
    give him the green light for escalation.
                 How Could You?
   And that brings us to

   The Gulf of Tonkin

   What happened?
   The N. Vietnamese
    supposedly launched an
    “unprovoked” attack on the
    U.S.S. Maddox.
   Johnson went on television to tell the
    American people about this outrageous
    action. Congress immediately passed the

 Gulf    of Tonkin Resolution
                  Green Light!
   …authorizing Johnson to “take all necessary
    measures to repel any armed attack against the
    forces of the United States and to prevent further

   This is what Johnson wanted. It was not a
    declaration of war, but it was a blanket of approval
    for anything that Johnson wanted to do.
       Bomb, Bomb, Bomb,
       Bomb Bomb the Nam

 Massive
 of North
           Heroes or Villains?
Only two members of congress stood up to Johnson and
 voted against the resolution:
Wayne Morse of                       Ernest Gruening of
    Oregon                                 Alaska


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