Thursday, April 01, 2010

Domino theory and a gorilla in the living room: the Vietnam conflict

Originally uploaded by vietquocnet
Domino theory - Pres Eisenhower's fear that if communists were successful in taking over one Southeast Asian nation, that more nations would follow suit.

Gorilla in the living room - China.
US leaders knew that to provoke China into entering a conflict would be to unleash a giant foe.

The basic points you must know -

- Geneva Accord - an international agreement that - in 1954 - divided Vietnam into 2 nations: the communist N Vietnam and democratic S Vietnam.

- Gulf of Tonkin Resolution - Following an attack by N Viet vessels on a US warship, LBJ asked Congress to allow him to pursue military action in 'Nam.

Ho Chi Minh - Communist leader who led Vietnamese people in repelling 2 powerful nations: France and the US.

Asian guerilla warfare - no uniforms, no supply lines, hit & run, ambush, booby-trap: these are elements of guerilla warfare.

Anti-war protest movement - in the beginning, young people dominated the movement. Later, a wide coalition of ages came to rethink the situation and oppose the war.

NVA (North Viet Army - basic communist force)
VC (Viet Cong - guerilla troops in S Vietnam)

Tet Offensive of 1968. The communists were quiet for several months, and gave US leaders the feeling that the US was winning the war. But when the Vietnamese New year arrived, the celebration called Tet, the communists unveiled a massive attack. It was seriously disheartening to the US.

Counterculture movement - it was a time of the hippie movement, the anti-war movement, the tail-end of the civil rights movement and long hair for all. See additional notes.

My Lai village massacre

Vietnamese refugees: "boat people"

Mekong River

Armaments of the Vietnam conflict