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The on the Vietnam War - Research Paper Example

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Martin Luther King’s A Time to Break Silence and Vietnam In the fall of 1990, a conference was held in the Columbia University to bring about a long procrastinated discussion of both American and Vietnamese viewpoints regarding the Vietnam War. In their work titled The Vietnam War: Vietnamese and American perspectives, Jayne Werner and Luu Doan Huynh observe that this collaborative effort brought to light the fact that many things that are popularly known about the war have little fact in basis…
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The research paper on the Vietnam War
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Download file to see previous pages The chief objective of this paper, however, is to analyse this historic war in relation to Martin Luther King’s seminal anti-war sermon “A Time To Break Silence”. While many tend to view the war as one that was ‘revolutionary’, King sought to critique the very underlying principle of war. At every level, he expressed his solidarity for those members of the clergy and the laity who critiqued the war and were sympathetic to the Vietnamese civilians. Though King’s speech is a clear articulation affirming the value of human life and liberty, my analysis would attempt to both analyse and question his perspective regarding the Vietnam War. King’s views regarding the land reforms that Ho Chi Minh had carried out during his tenure have been contested and attested by various thinkers. This paper shall try to incorporate these views into the body of the work and provide a balanced argument. The paper shall also look at the position of the poor peasants in Vietnam who bore the brunt of the war. The land reforms in Vietnam, initiated as a means of the communist revolution in the nation was directed at the distribution of land among the peasants of the society and the displacement of the elite of the village that existed before the revolution. Through these, a new class would arise that would enable the birth of a free and noble nation, one that would be egalitarian in its principles. King’s concern for the rise of such a nation is partially a result of the Christian perspective of egalitarianism that he adopts in his speech as David Bromwich argues. He goes on to locate the root of king’s concern as the need for viewing the people of Vietnam as brothers, in an explicitly Christian manner, without the arrogance of the western man that king argues was responsible for the attitude of the people who wanted to recolonize Vietnam, namely the French and the Americans (Bromwich). This causes him to however, take up a stance that is heavily in favor of the Ho Chi Minh administration. In an effort to assert the importance of the Christian point of view, King belittles the importance of the forces of nationalism that were instrumental even in the resistance that the Vietnamese peasants offered to the occupying forces. King, in his speech gives a dominant position to religion. Even this position is not free of its own political implications. King imposes his beliefs while talking of a population that is hardly Christian in its beliefs. Even though King refers to a quotation by the Buddhist leaders of Vietnam, the passage that he chooses to include is one that has no religious overtones. Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism. (King) This is characteristic even of the earlier proponents of colonization, whose methods and ideologies ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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