• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Vietnam Coursework Comparing sources

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Vietnam Coursework 2 Many historians assert that media coverage of the war in Vietnam was the major reason for the inevitable withdrawal of American and allied forces from the conflict. This is the theory presented in Source M, a statement made by a prolific British media commentator in 1970 which asserts that the advent of cover television and mass media will make it impossible to wage any kind of long-term conflict. The first source, Source D, is a North Vietnamese propaganda poster depicting a group of American soldiers hunting for Vietcong partisans or other enemy combatants. Forced to leave their vehicles behind, the Americans are depicted as black silhouettes against the white backdrop of the Vietnamese jungle. In the foliage around them they are surrounded by invisible Communist soldiers, waiting for the right time to strike the group of Americans. All though the reliability and accuracy of the source is dubious due to it's use as a propaganda poster, the source does present the theory that America's inexperience with guerrilla warfare was the main reason for the failure of American forces in Vietnam. America was accustomed to waging wars that revolved around decisive battle engagements, whilst they were fighting the North Vietnamese in their own land where anyone in the North or South could be a possible Vietcong combatant. ...read more.

Middle

Many were shocked, stunned and horrified by the crimes - some so horrified that they refused to believe that American troops could have been responsible for such an act, instead choosing to belief that the story was fabricated. Following the events at My Lai public opinion turned massively against the war, possibly explaining the fact that it came to a conclusion seven years later. It is also worth noting that First Lieutenant William Calley, the man who ordered the attack, was the only participant to be convicted of any crime. Whether or not Source G supports Source M is debatable - one the one hand, it attributes defeat largely to crimes such as those committed at My Lai but at the same time it represents the impact the media had on the war effort by exposing those crimes. It is logical to assume that Source G can be used to support Source M, all though it does not support the theory as explicitly as other sources do. Source H, the fifth source, depicts the impact of the war on the American home front. A satirical cartoon drawn for the British magazine Punch a year before My Lai in 1967, it depicts a train representing President Johnson's vision for the 'Great Society' - a State where the vision to "Feed and shelter the homeless [and] to provide education and medical care" has been realised. ...read more.

Conclusion

The majority of the sources agree, at least fundamentally, with the idea that the media held enough power over the public to force the American government to capitulate on their position. If it were not for the media's readiness to expose the horrific crimes committed by the American armed forces in coalition with South Vietnam, the war may well have continued for a long time afterwards. Nonetheless, we must also consider the superior fighting capabilities of the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong partisans, both of whom established their doctrine of warfare based off those developed by Mao Zedong in the People's Republic of China and Kim-Il Sung of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The inability of the Americans to earn the support of the South Vietnamese people also further fuelled the fires of war and made it increasingly difficult to maintain an effective military presence in the South. One must also consider the vastly superior social and economic policies of the Communist North which played a key role in winning over the South Vietnamese people who came to see the Americans as an occupying force of aggression. All though it was the media that inevitably brought an end to the war, America would not have been able sustain the conflict in the long-term regardless of the level of media intervention in the conflict. Peter Gaffney - R11 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. What was the impact of the My Lai massacre?

    a good boy, and they made him a murderer." The very statement depicts how the experience of Vietnam War made soldiers go through a dramatic metamorphis which apparently robbed them of empathy and compassion - though it could be argued that the traumatisation of the Vietnam War itself could have had some effect.

  2. Vietnam war, representation work. In this essay I will evaluate the content, accuracy ...

    a clear understanding of how the "Committee to Help Unsell the War" used presentational devices to deter conscription into the US army. The depiction that is interpreted through this poster is that too much life is being lost there, and that death is inescapable is you join.

  1. This statement suggests that television was an important reason why the United States lost ...

    They thought it was a n**i thing slaughtering all those people who were innocent. This would have maybe contributed to television losing the war for America if it got shown as an interview on television. It may not have been shown on television so may not have helped contribute to television losing the war.

  2. using the sources available, why did America loose to Vietnam?

    be doing this for a good reason", all of these thoughts would make people start to turn and eventually see the true scale of how bad things had got in Vietnam, then these people would start to demonstrate, this effect would then happen all across America and if this was

  1. John Keegan, a modern military historian suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    Source G is written in 1918 by a historian named S.Warburton for GCSE studies. Source G is a bit pro-Haig but tries to balance it out by trying to be fair. Warburton writes that blaming Haig for all the failures in the war is a bit harsh also he believes

  2. Is there sufficient evidence in sources A to F to explain why there was ...

    I think this source is quite reliable to explain why there was protesting as Johnson forgot about the people he really needed to help and spent the money on weapons in order to win a war.

  1. John Keegan, a modern military historian, suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    The video also used this quote so we know that Haig wrote it as a memo to the press. He was realistic and knew that the casualties would be large. This source does not seem biased because there does not seem to be a hidden motive.

  2. How useful are the sources A to G for explaining why there was an ...

    A consequence of lack of planning and poor skill within soldiers trained, spontaneously affected those back home who saw lack of progress, especially at a time when the taxes were being increased by Johnson. With regards to the question, how useful is it for demonstrating why there was an anti-war

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work