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Vietnam War and Lbj

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Essay title: Vietnam War and Lbj

To many, the 1960's could definitely

be considered one of the most controversial decades of this century. It was a time in which many mistakes were made evolving around the Vietnam War which resulted in the immense suffering of two nations. The war had many casualties; along with the death of soldiers and civilians, LBJ's presidency and the 'Great Society' also were killed by the war. The US's fear of the domino theory led them in an attempt to control the spread of communism in North Vietnam, whose government was led by Ho Chi Minh. This attempt had failed in many ways because of an inexperienced president and his unarticulated ideals of how to control a war and satisfy his country at the same time. After the unfortunate assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, his successor, vice-president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, or LBJ, was forced to take the plunge into presidency at a crucial time. The Vietnam War had already been ignited and US involvement was apparent. Because Johnson was an insecure man, and with that insecurity came a fear of being ridiculed, he wanted to show the American people that he could be the best president in US history. Although his intentions to create a 'Great Society' and to win the war in Vietnam were probably for the best, he still managed to make more mistakes that anything else. In August of 1964, LBJ, wantin to look serious about the halt of communism, bombed the North Vietnamese for carrying out attacks on US warships, however, this was mainly to look tough in front of his rival Goldwater. This incident became known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. "We knew that the hostile actions against the US ship on the high seas of the Gulf of Tonkin, have today required me to order the military forces of the USto take action and refire." (LBJ) This incident triggered the Viet Cong to try and overtake South Vietnam so in retaliation LBJ sent in 35,000 troops to stop them even after he had promised, upon his election, that no Americans would have to fight in Vietnam. During this time that the war is in progress Johnson is still forking out billions to try and improve education, create jobs, and public housing for his 'Great Society' but this is yet another dream of LBJ;s that will soon become a nightmare. The biggest mistake that Johnson ever made was quite possibly the underestimation of the tenacity of the Vietnamese. Johnson simply didn't understand the roots of their culture. The North Vietnamese wanted one nation under one government while the US wanted a North and a South, and the South Vietnamese seemed to be caught in the middle - all they wanted was a democracy in which they owned their own land. The demands for troops grew greater and greater and soon money that should of been invested in America's economy was spent keeping the war in progress and order in South Vietnam. Martin Luther King in one speech, dictated that America spent about $332,000 to kill a Viet Cong while a poor person in the US only costed about $53. With the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the consistent

bombing by the US on the Vietnamese eventually resulted in a mass build up of turmoil in America.

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