The war in Vietnam was a altogether horrific war, both in physical and mental aspects. Soldiers, like in other wars got horribly killed and injured in extremely inhumane ways, and like other was soldiers also experienced mental problem, both on the filed and after the fighting but the main differences between this war and other wars was the reaction of the people on the home front when the soldiers returned.
Unlike other wars before when although the war had been terrible, the soldiers had returned to a war welcome and had been treated like hero’s this time the soldiers were treated like murderers because of the number of innocent civilians that had been killed. and found life at home, in some case, worse then while they were fighting. This led to an alarming statistic which is that moor soldiers committed suicide after the war in Vietnam then were killed in it. By the time the war in Vietnam had got started television had became common property in most peoples houses in America.
This enabled they American public, for the first time, to see the true horrors of war In graphical, full colour detail. In a statement a BBC commentator said ‘the war on colour television screens in Americans living room has made Americans far more anti-war than anything else. The full brutality of the combat will be there in close up and in colour, and blood looks very read on colour television screens’ this statement suggest that television was one of the main reasons why America lost the war in Vietnam In this essay I am gowning to look at source D-K to see if this is an accurate statement.
Source D is a north veityenmess poster form the time showing the problems faced by the Americans fighting a gurilar war it shows the Vietnamese soldiers blending into the back ground surroundings, because of they wore civilian clothing and they had good stragey. It also shows they American solider as being black colourd solders on a Wight plane which ilstreght them standing out and being esey targets because of there lesser tactics and there uniforms which made them obvyes targets.
Because of this there were many American cashlteys because they were esey target and as a result they Americans often killed civilians because it was impossibly to tell the diffrens between them and the veitumness soilders;. This source goes against the statement that says television was a cause for they Americans losing the war because it is highlighting the fact that it is a very difficult war and they Americans are losing because the Vietnam solders have they upper had tactically (as I have described erlyer in theis paragraph. ) It is saying that the Americans were losing on a purely tactical basise.
Aloght the fact that this poster is a north veitymens poster must be taken into consideration and the north veitymens are gowning to be byes towards there owen people. Also it must be take into consideration that if this poster was put in the American media then it would make the American people relise what a helpless war it was and go against it. Source E is a pitcher showing 2 little girls that are both victims of napol, a terrible chemical weapon, it was published in America at the time of the veitnmess war. This pitcher shows the girls running from there homes crying in pain after beying effected by napol.
This soures was published to show haw horrific the war really was. It was hoped that the source would tern most Americans against the war. This source supports the idea that television was the reson why the Americans pulled out of the war because from my owen knowledge I know that this image had a big effect on the American public and images of the same kind of ting and very simler would be put on television through out the duration of the war. This soures in not byest becaue it is a pitcher. Source F is an account by Richard Hammer, an American journalist.
This source is describing the difficulty’s of fiting the veitymens because they look so much like civilians ‘did one of them (the pesents lob the morta? if so which one? Should we kill all of them or none of them’-sorce F the source is highlighting how much of an imposable war it was to fight and how they American solders were left to make desitions that they couldn’t make. This can be seen as being aginsed the idear that television lost the war for the American solders because again it is describing the hopelessness of the stare of the warfare.
This soure is farly reliable because it is whiten at the time by an American journalist and he wouldn’t want to make the affair seem any worse then it was. The source could, again, also be preserved as beying for the augment that television was responsible because again if this statement was put in the media it would convince the American people of the hoplness of the war and how is was a waste of life and money. Sorce G is the reaction of an American solider when he was told about the massacre of 347 unarmed civilians at My Lai.
The source talks about how the solider who mostly had never been away from home, and who had gone for the ‘American ideal’ had hat to slaughter whole villages of women and children. It says how they felt like nazis. This sorce support the argument that television was to blame for the American solider pulling out because events like this mascring were constantly on television and it made the American public very anti war. It is also showing that America is pouring money into a war that is just slaughtering insent people and making the American people look like ‘nazis’.
Source H is a cartoon published in 1967. it shows they effects of president Johnsons war polcey on the ‘great society’ the cartoon shows a train driving down a railway line. The train represents the American economy in the carriages are all his dreams like ‘a great society’ it shows him chopping up all these dreams (or the money that would be use to fulfil them) and putting them into the fire. This shows that to keep the American economy (the train) gowning Johnson has to break up his dream of society (the wagons) and put them in to keep the war gowning (the smoke) which wasn’t really worth wile.
This sorce is not about the war on television it is about the reason that Johnson pulled out of the war. It appers it was because he was making himself a bad name because he was plouing all of his money that he had promised to make a ‘great sosilyet’ was being put into to The Vietnam War. This source is again not the idear that television was the reason that they Americans pulled out because it is saying that is was Johnson falut becau he couldn’t afford it. Source J is a photo from an American school text book showing anti-war demonstration in 1970. it shows an accumulation of people protesting against the war.
The are holding up banners saying words like ‘peace’ and ‘stop all bombings’ this shows that the television broadcasting had had an effect on the American people and because of the images they had seen they had chosen to protest against the war. Source K Is an Australian opionu poll asking if they wanted their forces to remain in the conflict or to be brought back home. It shows that in April the leading opion was fro the forces to continue to fight the war, this was winning by 8%, then In May it shows a big change, where bring back the tropes is winning by 12%, then in October bring back the troops is still winning but only by 8%.
This sorce shows that they australien public became anti-war probly as a result of media and television an alogh the austral public could be seen as simler to to the American public it must be taken into consideration that it is the Australian public and not they American public and alogh it shows the opion of the westen world a a whol it can not be serisly taken into considration because it is not direly related to the Americans.
In conclusion I believe that alogh the televisation of the war had a big part to play in the American retreval and the unpopularity of it among the citizens I do not think it was solely to blame for the Americans pulling out. I think it was a part of a combination of events. First of all as described in source D and F a gorrilar war was veary difficult to fight. It cost they Americans huge loss of life and led to them killing civilians which leads to the second point which is converge by television of the war which ternd the public against it which was another major facto.
But I think the main reson was president Johnson whished to stay popular with the people. And he could do this in 2 ways by ending the war, he could make all the protesters happy that had been ternd agains it by the median and he could also stop spending the countries valubvul money that he had promised to spend on improving the county. All in all as you can see television did play an important part in the ending of the war, both directly and indirectly but it certainly wasn’t soly responsible.