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Do you agree with this interpretation of the problems faced by United States soldiers in Vietnam?

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Introduction

Do you agree with this interpretation of the problems faced by United States soldiers in Vietnam? Q3 During the late 1960's and early 1970's the anti-war protest movement swiftly gathered momentum. Many groups protested for numerous reasonsm, yet all of the groups had the same ideal, an end to the Vietnamese war. Through evaluating the sources and using my own knowledge I hope to provide an answer to why there was an anti-war movement in the US. Source A is concerned with US soldiers in Vietnam. It tells the reader how many of the new recruits scored low on intelligence tests and they would have 'never been let into a normal peace-time army'. This source suggests the high death rate of soldiers led to a severe drop in standards of would be soldiers. The draft army of soldiers appeared to be performing incompetently. The soldiers were faced with harsh conditions on arrival and were forced to tackle experienced guerrillas when they themselves had little or no experience of a war environment. 'Soldiers were most likely to die in the first month' this quotation tells us the severe terrain and lack of basic knowledge of the terrain lead to many deaths. ...read more.

Middle

The unconventional warfare the US soldiers were forced to fight. One britallion had 600 of its soldiers injured yet had never met the enemy. One soldier said, 'every time you took a step, you didn't know if you were going to loose a leg, a limb or a life' The second part of the source is concerned with the indoctrination and educational issues of combat needed to win the war and the difficulties in persuading 'the rightness of ones cause' to the civilians when using napalm bombs on them. This source does not tell us of how frustrated US soldiers murdered civilians, an example of this would have been the My Lai massacre when US troops famously unmercifully searched and destroyed the village with no regard for life. This source does not show any effects of US involvement in Vietnam therefore it would not provide us with any evidence as to why there was an anti-war movement in the USA. Source B shows a photograph of napalm victims, yet to the US and the rest of the world the media war began to indicate the humanitarian crisis in Vietnam. ...read more.

Conclusion

The author of the source also suggests that America would 'never be able to fight a war, however just' as the citizens were blinded by the humanitarian crisis and would forgot the causes for war. As the source was written for an audience of the 'British armed forces' it could be argued that the author was more biased to the problems the US faced than the good the war had done. In conclusion, I do realise these sources are limited in the information they give but they do give some reasons as to why there was an anti-war movement in the US. These sources show that the media was very influential in the Vietnam War however they do not show the audience it most effected which was 'middle America' - the voting public. The sources also do not indicate as to why black people protested against the draft or why Vietnam veterans threw their medals on Washington. Therefore I believe these sources provide us with some information but not enough to sufficiently prove why there was an anti-war movement in the US. Philippa Halliday 11H Mr Mackenzie ...read more.

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