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Why did the US get involved in Vietnam

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How useful are sources A to C to explaining why the United States became involved in the war in Vietnam? Source A Source A is a speech that the American President Johnson gave. As it is a speech we can say that it is a primary source. This source was produced by President Johnson for a number of reasons. Firstly and most importantly he wanted the people of America to know and believe that it was right to go into Vietnam. He is doing this by saying that he is not the only American President to have done this he is actually taking a page out of the previous president's book. He is also saying that not only the people of South Vietnam but also everyone around the world are counting on America. He is saying this as he wants the people of America to be on his side not against him. This speech was heard in April 1965 one month after Operation Rolling Thunder. It was also less then a year after US destroyer Maddox was attacked by North Vietnam on 2nd August 1964. Other then President Johnson's own opinion it tells us about his fear of the domino theory. The domino theory is about how America thought that if one country turned Communist then soon all the nearby countries would do so as well. ...read more.


Besides this there could be a number of reasons of what motivated this person to record the conversation however the two above are the most likely. This source was published when America was planning to get involved. Therefore the publication of this source was bound to raise a few eyebrows. In this source it is clear that President Johnson is completely against the idea of America entering the war as he does not see any relevance for them entering. Once read by the people they will think that if the ruler of our country is not sure about going into war and thinks it is pointless then obviously it can not be right. It was also published before the American destroyer Maddox was attacked by North Vietnam. This then gives us an insight as to the real reason for why America entered the war. It is then acknowledgeable that if America was not bombed then there is a possibility that they would not have gone to war. Therefore I think that the only specific reason for America going into war was them being attacked. Though it tells us al the reasons of why America should not enter the war it does not tell us why they should enter the war. However if common sense is used it is perceivable that the main reason that Johnson changed his mind about entering the war was when they were bombed. ...read more.


I think that I would also have to do research on Professor Noam as it is not clear who he is. It would be important to know more about him as he might not be a real war critic and he might even not be American. This source mainly consists of Professor Noam's emotions and opinions. This is evident as he takes every opportunity to strike out at the Americans saying that they were completely unjustified for entering the war. And that they were lying about the reasons for why they were entering the war as they said they would be protecting the South from the North yet they only destroyed the South as they could not tolerate them standing up on their own two feet. I would say that this source is mainly biased as it is only giving one side of the argument. This can be said as he is just undermining the Americans and say that they no justified reason for what they were doing. In conclusion I would say that this source could be quite useful if someone wanted to look at why America entered the war from a different perspective. After studying all three sources I think that it is pretty clear that the main reason that America entered the war was because their destroyer the Maddox was bombed and I think that if it was not bombed then they would not have entered the war. ...read more.

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