Beginning with the end of WW II in 1945, trace America’s growing involvement in Vietnam, paying particular attention to the 1965-75 Vietnam War. Be sure to give emphasis on Ho Chi Minh, Tonkin Gulf resolution (1965), 1968 TET offensive, anti-war demonstrations, and the early 1970s Paris Peace Talks. At the end of the paper, state YOUR opinion on whether or not America should have become so heavily involved in Vietnam in particular and Southeast Asia in general.
End of WW II 1945
In France, the landing of 6 June 1944 and the liberation of Paris on 25 August seem to mark the end of the Second World War. In fact, it will take another eight months before the conflict officially ends in Europe with the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, signed May 7 in Reims, which will take effect the next day May 8, 1945 at 11:01 pm. Before reaching this point, the most deadly fighting of the conflict will take place.
The junction of Soviet and Anglo-American troops took place on 25 April 1945 in central Germany. On April 30, Hitler’s suicide in his Berlin bunker with his last followers put an end to German hopes. Admiral Dönitz, successor of the Fürher calls for the end of the fighting with the allied powers.
He had first tried to negotiate a separate peace with the Allies to stop the advance of the Soviets in Germany. Eisenhower had refused and threatened to resume the offensive and subject Germany to a flood of fire. For months, German cities are crushed under the bombs. Dresden lost 30,000 inhabitants after a massive bombing. In the East, the Russians progress inexorably, pushing before them a terrorized population. Dönitz no longer has a choice and sends the Wehrmacht chief of staff to General Eisenhower’s allied forces headquarters to sign, on the night of May 6 to 7, at 2.41 am, surrender without condition of Germany. The chief of staff of Eisenhower and the Soviet general Sousloparov sign the act of capitulation on behalf of the victors. The French General Sevez,
But Stalin protests, he demands a solemn ceremony in Berlin, occupied by the Red Army. This takes place on the night of May 8th to 9th at 11:16 pm (local time), 0:16 (Moscow time). Marshal Zhukov invites the Nazi Marshal Keitel to sign the act of capitulation, in the presence of General De Lattre de Tassigny, which explains why the Soviets commemorate the German capitulation on May 9th. Keitel will be hanged at the end of the Nuremberg trial, for abuses he ordered.
The Allied Heads of State and Government, including General De Gaulle, announce the end of hostilities in Europe simultaneously on radios. As soon as the news spreads around the world. In Paris, London, New York, huge crowds invade the streets and squares. Germany capitulated, the victory is total, after 6 years of war, on the fascists and the Nazis.
Never in the history of humanity has there been such an outburst of violence and destruction. Europe is ravaged, Germany is in ruins. Tens of millions of people were killed (60 million dead), mostly civilians. The Nazi regime executed hostages, mass tortured, enslaved populations, deported millions of people, exterminated 6 million Jews by industrial means. To shoot it down, the Allies bombed civilians, razed cities, sacrificed millions of soldiers, most of them Russian. The United States is becoming a global power and the USSR is about to “swallow” half of Europe. France and Great Britain have suffered and are bloodless. We are laying the foundations for the post-war period, which will have to create a balanced society based on democracy, free trade, social reforms and international cooperation. From May 8, 1945, a new world will be born on the rubble of fascism.
But the ally of Nazi Germany, Japan, is continuing the war in the Pacific Ocean against the Americans. The atomic bombs launched on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 6 and 9, 1945, will force the Empire of the rising sun to surrender, 4 months after Germany. On September 2, 1945, Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the surrender of Japanese forces on an American ship in the port of Tokyo
The May 8 was declared a public holiday to commemorate France on 20 March 1953 . The holiday character of this day is removed in 1959 by De Gaulle and Giscard d’Estaing also removes the commemoration in 1975. It is François Mitterrand who will restore the two aspects in October 1981.
America’s growing involvement in Vietnam after the end of WII
American involvement dates back to the early 1950s when they supported France’s attempts to maintain its colonial presence in Indochina in the face of the Vietminh’s communist forces. The French defeat at Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Accords of 1954, which consecrated the partition of Vietnam into two, led Washington to turn its support to the anti-communist regime of Vgo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam, which faced Vietnam from Communist North, the latter supported by the USSR and China. From this moment it can be said that the American stage of the Vietnam War begins. This period will also be constituted by different phases, which can be distinguished from the different approaches that the North American governments had before the war. We have already seen that in the French stage of the War (1946-1954), the Government of Harry Truman indirectly became part of the conflict, granting a program of military and financial aid to France. Next we will analyze the development of the conflict during the governments of D. Eisenhower, J. Kennedy, L. Johnson and R. Nixon.
1965-75 Vietnam War
The Vietnam War, also known in the United States as “Second Indochina War”, is a long and deadly conflict, a real civil war, which bloodied the former French Indochina, formed of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In Vietnam, the war spread from September 26, 1959, date of the first armed action of the Vietcong against the South Vietnamese government, to April 30, 1975, day of the fall of Saigon and the end of the nationalist regime of Nguyen Van Thieu .
The Vietcong, or “National Front of Liberation of South Vietnam”, depends largely on the military and financial assistance of North Vietnam, itself maintained by China and especially the Soviet Union. The South Vietnamese government, for its part, is overwhelmingly supported by the Americans, in the name of the policy of “Containment”, that is to say, the fight against the expansion and influence of Communism. Southeast Asia, as well as by several other Western countries (Australia, United Kingdom) or vice-communist (South Korea), but on a much smaller scale than the United States.
The first US military “advisers” landed in South Vietnam since the creation of the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) in October 1955, but it will be ten years before Lyndon B. Johnson engages massively the combat units of the United States. US Army alongside this one.
The TET Communist offensive, launched in late January and February 1968, psychologically marks the turning point of the Vietnam War. Although in the end, the Vietcong guerrilla and the units of the North Vietnamese Army (ANV) involved come out virtually destroyed, this large-scale attack completely surprises the US military and causes a terrible shock wave in the press and the public opinion in the United States. Thus the administration of President Richard Nixon, seeking a diplomatic solution to get out of this “quagmire”, begins the same year peace talks with North Vietnam. 1969 marks the beginning of the military withdrawal and the “Vietnamization of the conflict”. The last American fighters leave South Vietnam at the end of March 1973.
But these talks between the United States and North Vietnam have dragged on since 1968, in parallel with ongoing fighting on the ground. In June 1969, the “Provisional Revolutionary Government” (GRP) was created by the South Vietnamese Communist Party, and absorbed what remains of the FNL / Vietcong destroyed the previous year. Despite the “Paris Agreement”, initially signed on January 27, 1973 by Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, and then by the other two parties (GRP and South Vietnam), the conflict will last for more than two years. The North Vietnamese, learning from their previous failure of the Passover 1972, break these agreements and launch in early 1975 a final offensive lightning, long and carefully prepared, invading South Vietnam, and for it , it is the beginning of the end. The conflict ends on April 30 with the capture of the southern capital, Saigon, by North Vietnamese troops.
This “dirty war” that involved more than 3.5 million young conscripts aged 19 to 23, and who was “lost” in the corridors of the White House and public opinion in the United States, is 20000km from the theater of operations, continues to presently traumatize American society.
Ho Chi Minh,
The victory of Hanoi the Communist will be celebrated with great pomp this Thursday in Saigon, renamed Ho Chi Minh City. Forty years after the end of the Vietnam War , the Communist Party remains at the helm of an administratively reunited country, but its ideological victory is half-hearted.
Capitalism, inequality and corruption. This alliance, set in contemporary Vietnam, casts doubt on some of the legacy of communist values for which the North Vietnamese soldiers fought, until Saigon fell pro-American on April 30, 1975.
A large military parade is scheduled for Thursday in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. President, Prime Minister, members of the Single Party … All must make the trip for this celebration of reunited Vietnam, broadcast live on national television, in tribute to the millions of Vietnamese killed during the war.
Tonkin Gulf resolution (1965)
in the Law 7 of August of 1964 the Resolution of the Gulf of Tonkin was the measure that caused the expansion of the American participation in the war of Vietnam. Also known as the Southeast Asian Resolution, Gulf of Tonkin resolution was legislation passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in the United States Congress. The joint resolution was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.
Shortly before its introduction, a naval battle occurred in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2, 1964 between the USS Mdox destroyer of North Vietnam and the Squron 135 torpedo navy. Although there were no American casualties, they suffered, an American plane was damaged and four sailors from North Vietnam died. This was followed two days later by an attack by the USS Mdox and the USS Turner Joy on presumed North Vietnamese ships. Although the event is collectively known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the evidence shows that the second shot attack most likely involved an imaginary enemy since no remains or bodies were ever found. Despite this fact, it was reported that the incident at the time was authentic and has become a reason to intensify the conflict.
Gulf of Tonkin resolution was not a formal declaration of war. INSTE, gave the commander in chief for permission to use conventional military force in Southeast Asia, at will. President Johnson h alrey has ordered the use of aerial attacks in retaliation and called the resolution in a television suit. The approval of the joint resolution itself was only a formality to give the president full control of the situation without legal problems that carry out a military operation without the approval of Congress. In particular, a previous agreement called the Collective Defense Treaty Southeast Asia is now capable of being carried out by any means the president has deemed appropriate.
Very little opposition to the resolution of the Gulf of Tonkin occurred in the short time between its introduction and the final vote. Congressman Eugene Siler Kentucky opposed the measure of the House of Representatives; However, he was not present in the vote. Senators Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Arkansas are opposed to escalation in the Senate. Despite these officials fighting against their passage, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed dramatically, giving the president the opportunity to initiate a significant buildup of forces.
Because of the legislation, the conflict in Vietnam went on for another 11 years before the United States finally withdrew during the fall of Saigon in 1975. In the same resolution it was repealed in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. Additional limits on presidential war powers were established in 1973. Nixon vetoed the first War Powers Resolution in 1973, but was ignored by Congress, making it a law that is still in effect today.
1968 TET offensive
Tens of thousands of people marched on Saturday, January 27, in Washington, at the call of the collective United for Peace and Justice to demand the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq . The demonstrators, from all over the country, carried placards on which one could read : ” made back the troops now! ‘‘, ” The reinforcements are a lie ‘‘, or ‘better clean water only bombs’’.
This event, the most ambitious since the one that mobilized 100,000 to 300,000 people in September 2005 in Washington, was organized near the Capitol, not the White House. Because it is the members of the Congress, which sits on the Capitol, that wish to address the opponents to the war. “Congress has the power to put an end to this war,” spokesman for the United for Peace and Justice Group said on the eve of the rally , recalling that “the will of the voters[who inflicted a crushing defeat on Republicans in the November parliamentary elections] must be respected, listened to and applied ” .
Many speakers expected to succeed at the podium, including Jane Fonda – muse of the mobilization against the war in Vietnam – the actors Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, religious leaders, parliamentarians and veterans.
They want to pressure Democratic parliamentarians to demand the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Because the Democratic staff has excluded cutting the funds of the war, for fear of further aggravate the dangers facing the military on the ground, and for the moment only one or more non-binding resolutions denouncing the new strategy announced by President Bush could be voted in the Senate in about ten days.
Early 1970s Paris Peace Talks
The Peace of Paris Agreements of 1973 are armistice agreements signed on 27 January 1973 in Paris to end the Vietnam War . They were concluded between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam ( North Vietnam ), the Republic of Vietnam ( South Vietnam ) and the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam ( Viet Cong ).
The action of the negotiators, Le Duc Tho for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Mrs Nguyen Thi Binh for the FNL and Henry Kissingerfor the United States put an end to 10 years of war. The agreement provided for the withdrawal of US ground forces within 60 days. In exchange for what, Hanoipledged to release all his prisoners. But the Vietnamese problem has not been solved: the United States withdrew from the conflict to avoid a “formal” defeat and the armed struggle continued until the unconditional surrender of the Saigon Government on April 30, 1975 Henry Kissinger’s maneuver was to retire before the final defeat, in an honorable peace for the United States. The problem with prisoners of war was that there was no war, just a step-by-step escalation from Military Aid Advisers (MAAG) to combat troops and aerial bombardment. the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
Initially, the United States did not recognize the role of the FNL, as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam did not recognize the role of the Republic of Vietnam. The preamble of the negotiations was played in pairs between Hanoi and Washington, the two main belligerents, to end up integrating the two parts of the southern zone of Vietnam.
Since the Vietnam War never existed legally under international law , a “belligerence” or ” war”, a rule of law with its clearly identified and defined belligerents, its laws and regulations , had to be instituted retrospectively. than its space and time.