Images Of Vietnam


The United States of America prides itself as the self proclaimed leader of the free world. Since the end of World War II the United States has chosen to use force in order to insure this so called ?freedom? of other less fortunate nations who do not have the ability to defend themselves. According to the United States these infieor nations ?freedom,? has been in jeopardy since the beging of the cold war. Webster's dictionary defines a democracy as a government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. Since the start of the cold war, the United States has undertaken the policy that if you are not a democracy than you are not truly free. *~The government wants use to think that a democracy is pure and good where as a communist society is corrupt and harmful. The fact remains both a forms governments to control the inhabitants and to lead them so that their life might become better.~* The United States gives its citizens the right to periodicly elect their leaders. When the United States entered Vietnam after the French lost the war in 1954, why did it feel, it was necessary to choose to fight the Ho Chi Men lead communists, without even allowing the Vietnamese people a chance to elect their own leader under a free parlimentory electoral system.
The Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1968 Robert McNamara saw the Vietnam conflict escalate from 100 American advisors in 1961 to over 275,000 troops during the time of his departure. Vietnam was caught in a revolution, not unlike the civil war, split in two, north versus south. The battle lines where drawn, the 17th parellel the boundry, the communist state split to the north and a democratic state to the south. However, Southeast Asia was considored one of the most sensitive places at this time durning the cold war. Therfore North Vietnam's communist neighbors' China and Russia, both supplied Ho Chi Men forces. While the south was backed by the United States(which had been funding the war effort since the French conflict). McNamara's memoirs In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam describes his powerful position in the Cabinet under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. According to McNamara, the United States policy towards Southeast Asia was defined when President Eisenhower delivered his now famous, and ?widely publized? 1956 speech. In which he declared Loas to be the cornerstone to a free world in Southeast Asia. He continued on to explain to the American people if Loas fell to communism it would lead to a domino effect in the rest of Asia and soon onto the rest of world. At the time of this speech Loas political leadership was in turmoil and in danger of turning into a communist state.
McNamara uses his memoir as a chance to explain to both the American people and himself what went wrong in Indochina. He starts his story with a brief explanation of where he came from and how he came about to become the Secretary of Defense. McNamara studies extend from University of California at Berkley then to the Harvard business school. He then went on to work for the Ford Motor company where he was selected to be one of the ?whiz kids,? a group of men selected to keep pace and compete with the newly formed General Motors cooperation. McNamara only prvious service for his country came during his time at University of California in the Army ROTC program. Other than that McNamara had no political or public service record up to that point. In a meeting in early December 1960 President elect John F. Kennedy at his home in Georgetown, Whasington D.C. asked Robert McNamara to serve in his cabinet as Secretary of Defense. McNamara describes himself to be at least timid to accept such an important role in Cabinet, questioning Kennedy to find out why the President elect would want to select him. McNamara upon hearing the request tried to explain to the new president that he was not qualified for the position. Kennedy simply responded with a retorical question ?Who is?? McNamara's lack of