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Similarities Between War in Iraq and Vietnam

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Essay title: Similarities Between War in Iraq and Vietnam

Similarities Between the war in Iraq and the Vietnam War

As time passes, every society endures situations which stress its’ very fabric. Each societies’ history is sprinkled with these situations. One such situations which the United States underwent was the Vietnam war. For years this particular event has been hotly debated. Hardly anyone who was present at the time agrees on any point concerning this war, except that they regret it. It has become “the greatest American foreign policy calamity of the century.” . Now the United States finds itself entangled in another war. A war in Iraq which is beginning to resemble more and more the events of the Vietnam war. Many analysts, and even the public have begun to wonder if the current situation is the same as what took place in Vietnam. The answer is a disturbing yes. The current military engagement in Iraq is showing signs that it will become for this generation what Vietnam was to that generation.

While there are many similarities and differences between these two engagements, there are more similarities. One of the most visible similarities between the two situations are the situations of the current and past Presidents. The President in charge at the beginning of the Vietnam war was Lyndon B. Johnson. The current President in charge of the war in Iraq is George Bush. Both presidents were launched into situations which they were unprepared. Johnson was catapulted unexpectedly into the presidency after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Bush also was launched into an unexpected war on terrorism after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. While their goals differ the outcome of their decision ended up the same. Johnson’s goal was only to do enough in Vietnam in order to avoid losing Vietnam to communism. Bush’s goals are to fight terrorism and prevent other possible terrorist attacks.

In both cases public opinion of the president and of the military engagement went down. Polls of American society showed that Johnson’s popularity, at just 35 percent had fallen lower than any other president since Truman. Currently Bush’s popularity has fallen to the mid 40 percent. Increasing numbers of citizens are beginning to believe that his handling of the Iraqi threat has only increased the overall terrorist threat. Public opinion which was once heavily in support of the war in Iraq, has fallen to 57 percent, just barely a majority. In the case of the Vietnam war the next president’s first order of business was to remove the troops from battle, and already the talk is of how to disentangle the troops and get them home. Presidential candidates during the Vietnam era placed heavy emphasis on their commitment to withdrawing troops, while present Presidential candidate John Kerry has been quoted as saying “We need to set a new course in Iraq,…we need to…put an end to the American occupation.” During the Vietnam Era, there were numerous protests. Thousands of Americans

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