Vietnam Wars 1945-1990
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The first book to give equal weight to the Vietnamese and American sides of the Vietnam war.
people who insisted it was America the Bad. The massacre at My Lai, they accused, was neither impossible nor aberrational. The values a majority of people had thought made America great—hard work, individualism, family morality, and discipline—were being criticized as rationalizations for exploitation and oppression. Some critics put it differently: the values which had made America strong and prosperous were the very values which would destroy the world, either through nuclear war or massive
president.” As promised, the president seemed to be turning the war over to the Vietnamese. Only ten days before the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, another 150,000 combat troops were ordered to come home. And the war was disappearing from the nightly news, surely a sign that it was nearly over. Yet while the absolute number of American combat troops declined, direct U.S. participation in the war did not. And the disappearance of combat footage from the news did not mean it was not being filmed in
a prospect, was of limited utility. Far more important was Nixon’s effort to obscure what it was they protested. As far as possible, the war’s ongoing reality had to be kept at a distance from the American public. “The American voter is willing to vote for Nixon now,” one television news executive told a British journalist, “because the voter, who is also the viewer, thinks that Nixon has ended the war. And he has ended the war, because you don’t see the war on the tube any more. So the war has
increased their military aid; but at the same time the Chinese had begun to suggest that Hanoi consider stepping down the war in the South, settling in for long-term guerrilla warfare rather than looking toward victory in the near future. It was clear that in the future Hanoi could expect growing pressure from both allies for major compromises with the United States. If Hanoi felt under pressure from Beijing to settle on terms it considered unacceptable, Nixon and Kissinger faced a different but
implementation of its provisions. Indeed, by 1957 the Soviet Union seemed ready to ratify a permanent division between North and South Vietnam: in response to an American effort to allow the Republic of Vietnam into the United Nations, Khrushchev, anxious to strengthen détente, suggested the admission of both, since “in Vietnam two separate States existed, which differed from one another in political and economic structure.”27 Southern members of the Viet Minh resistance, awaiting their promised