A Trip Through the Sixties – The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War
We should declare war on North Vietnam. . . .We could pave the whole country and put parking strips on it, and still be home by Christmas.
– Ronald Reagan, 1965
The Vietnam War was something that affected everyone in America. If you didn’t get drafted, you knew someone who did, who probably got sent to ‘Nam. Over two million Americans were involved in the war and many, almost 60,000, didn’t return alive.
Tell the Vietnamese they’ve got to draw in their horns or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.
– Gen. Curtis LeMay, May 1964
The war started when we sent over advisors to help the South Vietnamese military fight the VietCong who were communist. In 1965 this escalated to sending in ground troops, and before you know it thousands of G.I.s were getting orders to go to Southeast Asia. Although it seemed at first our involvement would be limited, the boys at the Pentagon had other plans and soon we were involved in an intractable war we could not win.
US dropped Napalm on Vietnamese Children
– The musical ‘Hair’
The U.S. was in no way threatened by the North Vietnamese. They didn’t send terrorists to America. They just wanted to reunify their country, under communism of course. The U.S. countered with the domino theory which stated that if we let one more nation fall to communism, the rest of Asia would follow. They pointed out how the Soviets had occupied one eastern European country after another.
This military action (Congress never declared war) was not limited to Vietnam. Operations took place in Laos and Cambodia (many of them covert), and Thailand supported huge military bases and served as R&R central for the GIs.
The imperialistic or capitalistic system occupies areas. It occupies Vietnam now. They occupy them by sending soldiers there, by sending policeman there. The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishments hand. They make the racist secure in his racism. The gun in the establishment’s hand makes the establishment secure in its exploitation.
– Huey P. Newton
Buddhist Monk Immolates Self In War Protest
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