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To what extent was Ho Chi Minh(TM)s leadership of North Vietnam the reason why the Vietcong was able to defeat the US Army in the Vietnam War?

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Introduction

To what extent was Ho Chi Minh's leadership of North Vietnam the reason why the Vietcong was able to defeat the US Army in the Vietnam War? The Vietnam War lasted until 1973 before the US began to finally withdraw their armed forces from Vietnam. The Vietnam War began when America was fighting in the Cold War against the USSR, and the threat of wide-spread Communism was evident. It was decided at the Geneva Conference that Vietnam would be temporarily partitioned, and North Vietnam would become Communist under the rule of Ho Chi Minh. This worried the US as they feared that this would lead to Eisenhower's Domino Theory, in which every country in South East Asia will fall under the ruling of Communism due to the overwhelming influence of both China and the USSR. The US became involved in Vietnam when it became clear that Ho Chi Minh would continue his Communist regime. Many believe that, under Ho Chi Minh's political and military leadership, the Vietcong was able to defeat the Unite States' Army, thus winning the Vietnam War. However, there is equally enough belief that suggests that there were other reasons why the Vietcong won the war, or why the US Army lost. These reasons include: military mistakes made by the US Army, a lack of public support for the US Army, and the fears of the US Government and the mistakes it made. ...read more.

Middle

As the Vietnam War was the first war to be media broadcasted, the American public were able to witness to events occurring on the other side of the world. Pictures taken of monks protesting, one even setting himself on fire, showed the public the horrific extent of the war. Pictures and footage taken of the My Lai massacre were used as evidence by opponents of the war that America had gone too far in their regime. Neil Jamieson states that "acts as cruel as the My Lai massacre cannot be tolerated in society. How America can stand back and watch, I don't know"5. My Lai is an important turning point of the Vietnam War as it "generated a lot of civilian recriminations and bad publicity for the military" 6. This in turn lowered the morale of the US Army. The main opponents of the Vietnam War were the under 30s, with over 66% of the under 30s population publicly opposing to the war in 1968 7. To illustrate their opinion, protesters held demonstrations, with one major protest held in Ohio on November 5th 1970, where 4 students were shot dead by the National Guard. As a result of the huge outcry that the shootings caused, Nixon declared that American troops would start retreating from Cambodia in June 1971. This demonstrates how public opinion was able to influence American politics and the decisions it made. ...read more.

Conclusion

both Russia and China, as well as planning guerrilla warfare tactics, such as the pits in the jungle and the Ho Chi Minh Trail. However, Ho Chi Minh was not the main reason for the defeat of the US Army in the Vietnam War, but the lack of public support. Though there was initially more support for the war than opposition at the beginning of the war, opposition soon rose as the brutalities of the US tactics, as well as the conditions of the soldiers, soon arose. The media aided to the opposition by broadcasting images and video footage of the war in newspapers and news bulletins. By showing the images and footage, the American public were made aware for the first time of the extremities of war. During the Vietnam War, American were shown how innocent Vietnamese people were being massacred, like at My Lai, or burned and disfigured due to the effects of Napalm and Agent Orange, and how US soldiers (many of whom were family or friends to those watching) were physically or psychologically damaged, killed, Missing In Action (M.I.A), or Prisoners Of War (P.O.W). The horrifying images sparked the opposition 'movement', leading to mass protests, campaigns and demonstrations. Without the lack of support from the American public, plus opposition to the war with other countries, the US Army would have remained in South Vietnam, and continued fighting against the Vietcong, without any further progress and to even bigger consequences. Word Count: 1, 827. ...read more.

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