U.S. and Vietnam’s Misperceptions during the Vietnam Conflict
This paper explains how the U.S. and Vietnam’s misperceptions of each other affected the way they fought the war, mentioning the My Lai massacre and the affect this had on the way Vietnamese perceived the United States.
Because of the way the Americans fought this war, the Vietnamese had different perceptions or misperceptions of the United States. All of the assigned readings make this point valid. Many of the Vietnamese civilians saw the American soldiers as instruments for America’s leaders wanting their war machine to defeat the North Vietnamese, not to help Vietnam, but just to win. American leaders were making their decisions by listening to certain people who didn’t really know what they were dealing with. This paper explains how the Americans misunderstood the Vietnamese and what went wrong when they tried to take over the fight between North and South Vietnam.
After reading the assigned books for this paper, I have come to the conclusion that the way the US fought this war was not very honorable. The American military leaders back in the United States did not know enough about what was really going on in Vietnam and as a direct result, they underestimated the power of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Regular Army. Herr makes this evident when he says there is a point of view that the United States got involved in the Vietnam War … simply because we thought it would be easy.1
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