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Coursework on discussing whether television was an important reason why the United States lost the war in Vietnam using sources D to K (provided by centre)

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Introduction

The statement below suggests that television was an important reason why the United States lost the war in Vietnam. Is there sufficient evidence in Sources D to K to support the interpretation? Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer. NOTE: THE SOURCES D TO K WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE CENTRE WHERE THE COURSEWORK IS SET. In this essay I will be studying Sources D to K and saying weather they support what the statement above says and weather they agree with my own knowledge to why the United States lost the war in Vietnam. The United States lost the war in Vietnam for several reasons including the United States soldiers finding it difficult to cope with the Vietnamese Guerrilla tactics because they were not used that way of fighting as they were a conventional fighting army. The weakness of the United States army contributing to the fact that the American troops used drugs which further reduced the effectiveness of United States forces in Vietnam. In 1971 5000 men were treated in hospital for combat wounds and 20 000 for drug abuse. The fact that the American troops used drugs and sometimes 'fragged' their own officers suggests low morale among them. The troops often didn't know what they were fighting for or didn't believe in their cause while on the other hand the morale of the Vietcong and North Vietnamese troops was much better this was because of their belief in their cause of what they were fighting for. Another reason why the United States lost the war in Vietnam was because of the media showing the public harsh images of the US tactics including the development of chemical warfare and its use by the Americans in the Vietnam War which led to student and protest movement. Particular events which caused opposition of public opinion are The Tet offensive, students being shot at Kent State, The My Lai Massacre, images of the harsh US tactics used against the Vietnamese and the publication of Operation Phoenix and the Pentagon Papers. ...read more.

Middle

The demonstrators were not following them and they were seconds away from being out of sight of the demonstration. The four students killed by members of the Ohio National Guard were: Alison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. The Guardsmen were never prosecuted by the State of Ohio, for any crime. President Nixon announced any number of investigations, none of which reached any clear conclusions. White House tapes released later showed that Nixon thought demonstrators were 'bums', had asked the Secret Service to go beat them up, and apparently felt that the Kent State victims 'had it coming'. Source F is an American journalist, Richard Hamer, writing in 1970. He writes about his experiences about being a journalist during the Vietnam War. He describes the Vietnamese peasants in a particular point in time and then when a bomb is dropped by the Americans. The source then goes on and states that the United States tactics in Vietnam were wrong and unnecessary. Overall this source partially supports the statement that colour Television was an important reason to why the United States lost the war in Vietnam. Because it describes harsh United States tactics and those harsh tactics would have been constantly shown on Television. Therefore the public would have seen them and then start protesting. This protesting would then lead to more pressure on the United States Government to leave Vietnam. The source agrees with my own knowledge when it describes the harsh United States tactics. The US tactics involved working closely with the Army of the South Vietnamese (Arvin's) the Americans tried to make it difficult for the Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists - 'Victor Charlie') to gain support from the South Vietnamese peasants. 'Strategic Hamlet' attempted to place peasants in fortified villages at night, where they couldn't be 'infiltrated'. This backfired badly. It was very unpopular with the peasants who resented being so far away from their rice fields and ancestors. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion sources E, G and J support the statement that colour television was an important reason why the United States lost the war in Vietnam while sources F and K Partially support the statement and Sources H and D do not support the statement. There may be sufficient evidence in some of the sources and some evidence in others to support the interpretation that television was an important reason why the United States lost the war in Vietnam because the sources and my own knowledge tell me this. On the other hand there may not be sufficient evidence in the sources as some of the sources suggest, along with my own knowledge to support them, that there are other reasons why the United States lost the war in Vietnam other than colour television. Overall I think there is sufficient evidence in the sources to support the interpretation that television was an important reason why the United States lost the war in Vietnam. My reasons for this are that my own knowledge agrees that it was a factor that lost them the war because television in the 1960s included your average sitcoms, comedies, and other genres. Shows such as "Get Smart," "Dragnet," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Andy Griffith Show," and "I Dream of Jeannie" were just a taste of the wide variety of televised shows. Then along came a war that would change how people would look at television forever. The Vietnam War was the most dramatic and vivid war ever televised at that time. Shown to the American public daily, it earned its name as "the living room war." This imagery was so detailed that it shocked and amazed its viewers of the harsh tactics used by the US soldiers. Because of the intense detail and graphics, the reactions were quite strong and led to protest in the United States. While some believe that the use of the television medium was a negative turning point for America, there were others who believed that it gave citizens a new perspective on the war. Page 1 of 6 Vietnam Coursework ...read more.

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