Modern Impact on Politics
• Mistrust of the government
• LBJ, Gulf of Tonkin, Nixon, domino theory
• Impact on political elections
• immigration connection
• U.S. public will not tolerate long wars
• impact of time + casualties
• need for clear intro and “outro” strategies
• establish clear goals
1964: Gulf of Tonkin
1968: Tet Offensive
“I'm not going to be the ﬁrst American president to
lose a war.” Richard Nixon (1969)
• Military power does not triumph over will
• 7,000,000 tons of bombs dropped on Vietnam
or one 500 lb bomb for every person in the
“Tell the Vietnamese they've got to draw in their horns or
we're going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.”
--Gen. Curtis LeMay (1964)
• U.S. gov. will try to control images/stories
• ex. imbeds in Iraq War; cofﬁn pictures
• Importance of web, cable and satellite TV
• Know the pre-history and culture of the
region BEFORE getting involved
• communicate--Ho Chi Minh letters
• different understanding of time
• standards of living
• Watch out for nationalism and racism
“It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in
the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country
and put parking stripes on it and still be home for Christmas.”--
Ronald Reagan (1965)
• Why did the U.S. lose the Vietnam conﬂict?
• Why would the Vietnamese choose communism?
• Will we ever be able to trust our leaders?
• How does the U.S. view the world?
• What is the purpose of U.S. foreign policy?