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Gulf of Tonkin History IA

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Introduction

In what ways did the United States government manipulate the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to gain public support for intervention in Vietnam? Jorge Hernandez 002320-061 John A. Ferguson High School May 2009 Word Count: 1,714 Table of Contents A. Plan of Investigation............................................................................2 B. Summary of Evidence...........................................................................2 C. Evaluation of Sources...........................................................................4 D. Analysis............................................................................................5 E. Conclusion.........................................................................................7 F. List of Sources.....................................................................................8 A. Plan of Investigation In what ways did the United States government manipulate the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to gain public support for intervention in Vietnam? All of the information used on this paper will come from two books: The Vietnam War: A History in Documents and Our Vietnam: The War 1954-1975. The Vietnam War: A History in Documents is my only primary source since it contains a plethora amount of documents and articles written during and some time after the war. Our Vietnam: The War 1954-1975 is a secondary source; it has many bias views of what occurred during the war and will be handled as such. By examining these two sources, a conclusion on whether the US government manipulated the details of the Tonkin Incident to gain public support for intervene in the Vietnam War shall be created. B. Summary of Evidence The Vietnam War was a major conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam for struggle of power. ...read more.

Middle

This is a secondary source, since it was written in the year 2000. D. Analysis While reading both selected books, I came across one similar detail about the Tonkin Incident. To recap on what the Tonkin incident is, it was basically when the US destroyer, the USS Maddox engaged in combat with three North Vietnamese torpedo boats, in which the three torpedo boats suffered immense damage and had to retreat. A second battle engagement occurred two days later, which later resulted as false. This is where the similar detail occurs. As mentioned above, the second engagement resulted false later on, which means that the US government manipulated the USS Maddox's report to gain support to intervene in the Vietnam War. "It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. [...] In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged."10 This quote clearly states how the second attack, which was on August 4, 1964, was completely false. "I maneuvered close to the water, unencumbered by a wing man, lights off, trying to find whatever boat the destroyers were talking about [...] no wakes or dark shapes other than those of the destroyers were ever visible to me"11 stated Admiral James Stockdale, a US Navy pilot on duty flying over the USS Maddox on August 4th (the following quotes will be about what he saw and lived through). ...read more.

Conclusion

Pratt, John Clark, compiler. Vietnam Voices: Perspectives on the War Years, 1941-1975. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999. Reeves, Richard. President Nixon: Alone in the White House. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. Sheehan, Neil. The Bright and Shining lie: John Paul Vann and American in Vietnam. New York: Random House, 1988. Wells, Tom. The War Within: America's Battle over Vietnam. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Young, Marilyn B., John J. Fitzgerald, A. Tom Grunfeld. The Vietnam War: A History in Documents. New York: Oxford, 2002. Young, Marilyn B. The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 1 Langguth, A.J. Our Vietnam: The War 1954-1975. Pg. 83 2 ibid pg. 89 3 Young, Marilyn B., John H. Fitzgerald, A. Tom Grunfeld. The Vietnam: A History in Documents. Pg. 26 4 Langguth, A.J. Our Vietnam: The War of 1954-1975. Pg. 106 5 Young, Marilyn B., John J. Fitzgerald, A. Tom Grunfeld. The Vietnam War: A History in Documents. Pg. 28 6 ibid Pg. 28 7 ibid Pg. 29 8 ibid Pg. 36 9 Langguth, A.J. Our Vietnam: The War of 1954-1975. Pg. 29 10 Young, Marilyn B., John J. Fitzgerald, A. Tom Grunfeld. The Vietnam War: A History in Documents. Pg. 74 11 ibid Pg. 75-76 12 ibid Pg. 76 13 ibid Pg. 77 14 Langguth, A.J. Our Vietnam: The War of 1954-1975. Pg. 310 15 ibid Pg. 316 16 ibid Pg. 331 17 Young, Marilyn B., John J. Fitzgerald, A. Tom Grunfeld. The Vietnam War: A History in Documents. Pg. 77. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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