American History

There are also no social classes like the working classes, aristocracy etc. ” Goldfield (2010). ” It has been demonstrated that this system cannot work and usually becomes a dictatorship” Goldfield (2010). “In the beginning in 1949, fear of domestic Communists gripped America. The country spent most of the asses under the influence of a Red Scare, led by the virulently anti-communist Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy saw Communists everywhere in America, and encouraged a witch hunt-like atmosphere of hysteria and distrust’ Kigali Capeskin (2010).

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Following World War II country after country in Eastern Europe had fallen under Communist rule, as had China, and the trend was spreading to other nations in Latin America, Africa and Asia as well. The US felt that it was losing the Cold War, and needed to “contain” Communism” Goldfield (2010). “It was against this backdrop, then, that the first military advisors were sent to help the French battle the Communists of Northern Vietnam in 1950. (That same year the Korean War began, pitting Communist North Korean and Chinese forces against the US and its U.

N. Allies}’ Goldfield (2010). The France was fighting in Vietnam to keep control of their colonial power. They were not worried about communism. What was the nation’s justification for its actions in South Vietnam in the asses and its determination to abide by the outcome of free elections there only if those elections yielded a non-communist leader? “It would be worth drawing a distinction between justification with 30-40 years’ hindsight, or justification within the political and cultural climate of the late asses & early asses” Goldfield (2010).

It is very easy to say the war was not justified because neither our homeland security nor our vital national interests were threatened by the Vietnamese communists, that we had no business getting involved in what was essentially a civil war halfway around the globe, or that, since our opponents won, we sacrificed 58,000 American lives for nothing’ Goldfield(201 0). ” But the eventual cost of the war could not be anticipated by the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations as they gradually responded to the growing political necessity of supporting the French in Indochina (as

Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos were collectively known), the French being a strategically vital, if difficult, ally in the increasingly tense “cold war” standoff in Europe between nuclear-armed superpowers, the US and USSR” Goldfield(201 0). ” It was essential, moreover, to demonstrate American resolve to both our allies and our potential enemies, and possibly influence neutral (“non-aligned”) nations in our favor, by defending South Vietnam against communist aggression.

So although moral justifications were used at the mime, the real justification was political (and thus economic as well, though not exclusively so, as a Marxist would insist). “It was this gradual nature of our response to the deteriorating situation in Vietnam that undermined any chance for military success, so much so that our sense of purpose was eroded and eventually forgotten” Goldfield (2010). When the Johnson administration (with which the war is most closely associated in the popular imagination) realized that “escalation” was not producing measurable results On the ground, saving face and maintaining political “credibility” became its win justification, and at that point, in my opinion, ended any real justification to keep feeding troops into the fire with no end in sight, and no goal to keep fighting for” Goldfield (2010).

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