Entering the Vietnam War
Vietnam is a beautiful, highly varied country with a very long history of struggle for independence. For thousands of years, the vietnamese had fought to preserve their distinct language and culture against invaders by first repelling the Chinese, the Japanese, the French and then finally the US. Few arguments about the Vietnam war take into account all aspects of Vietnam's two thousand year history of hard-fought existence. And that is what most people believe is the essence of the Vietnam tragedy. The Vietnam war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided, in 1954, Vietnam at the 17 North Lat. into the Demorcratic Republic of Vietnam, North Vietnam, and into the Republic of Vietnam, South Vietnam.
In part, the war was a legacy of France's colonial rule, which ended in 1954 with the French army's catastrophic defeat at Dien Bien Phu and the acceptance of the Geneva Conference agreements. The United States and many anti-communists did not support the accords. The US thought that the political protocols of the accords gave too much power to the Vietnamese Communists. To prevent the south from being over taken by the communists the US created the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, or SEATO. Elections scheduled for 1956 in South Vietnam for the reunification of Vietnam were canceled by President Ngo Dinh Diem. His action was denounced by Ho Chi Minh, since the Communists had expected to benefit from them. After 1956, Diem's government faced increasingly serious opposition from the Viet Cong, insurgents aided by North Vietnam. The Viet Cong became masters of the guerrilla tactics of North
Vietnam's Vo Nguyen Giap. Diem's army received U.S. advice and aid, but was unable to suppress the guerrillas, who established a political organization, the National Liberation Front (NLF) in 1960. The Unite...
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