Kennedy and Commies President Kennedy confronts communism in a few different ways: Peace Corps: Sent volunteers to help with projects around the world Alliance for Progress: gave $20 Billion to Latin America to prevent communism What were the two military ways we talked about last week? Bays of Pigs invasion and Cuban Blockade
Imagine this… It is 1965, you are elected to Congress. Congratulations! Voters are concerned about events in Vietnam, and you are carefully following the events so far. No one knows what will happen if the U.S. gets more involved. It might help stop communism, it might also kill thousands of American troops. Would you support sending U.S. troops? Why or why not?
President Johnson Some said he wanted this war 1964- USS Maddox is fired upon in the Gulf of Tonkin Johnson asks Congress to allow him to take action = Tonkin Gulf Resolution “to take all necessary measures to repeal any armed attack against the forces of the U.S.”
Questions… Did the Congress ever declare war on Vietnam? Why might there be issues with giving the President the powers given in the Tonkin Gulf Resolution?
Ho Chi Minh Trail Ho Chi Minh Trail- Supply route used by VC
Search and Destroy Tactic used in Vietnam to search for enemies and enemy camps, and quickly leave. Once gone they could dump massive amount of explosives on that area.
U.S. Soldiers in Vietnam 2 million served 18-21 on average Soldiers everyday had to worry about land mines and traps “You simply trusted absolutely no one. I mean, from a 5-year-old kid to a 75-year- old woman.” Many false myths about soldiers Enlisted vs drafted Racial Suicidal and Drug use
Turning Point American military leaders thought we were nearing the end of the war 1968- New Year (Tet) normally meant cease-fire Tet Offensive: Vietcong launched surprise attacks all over South Vietnam Uh Oh! Enemy is still really strong
Tet changes minds After the Tet only 33% of Americans believed the U.S. is winning the war 49% said we shouldn’t have gone in.
Popular opinion “Living room war” Hawks Doves Search and destroy mission goes wrong My Lai incident