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Critical Thinking about the Viet Nam Conflict - Research Paper Example

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America’s military involvement in Vietnam ended nearly 40 years ago but this dark period in history remains a benchmark by which we measure other conflicts, most recently Iraq and Afghanistan. The general consensus it that Vietnam was a debacle, an unnecessary war that cost…
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Critical Thinking about the Viet Nam Conflict
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Download file to see previous pages The media was allowed more unfiltered access to this war than any previous and was extremely instrumental in shaping opinion back home. The reporting during the first part of the conflict essentially mimicked the government’s “domino theory” justification, that the U.S. was preventing the spread of communism. However, events during the later part of the war such as My Lai and the Tet Offensive turned the media and therefore public opinion against American involvement. The close-knit relationship between the media and military turned adversarial which affected public opinion and ultimately brought an end to the war. The debate continues whether or not the reporting was unbiased and accurate, if the folks back home knew the real story and if history has recorded the war according to fact or an agenda driven fiction.
Media accounts of war consisted mainly of photographs during the First World War. The public saw only what passed the Press Bureau’s censorship guidelines however, a move to ensure public opinion stayed positive. Moving pictures in the form of newsreels shown prior to movies depicted America’s involvement in the best possible light. The people back home saw their soldiers bravely gaining ground against the fascist and Japanese menaces that threatened to take over the world and end the American way of life. In these days before television, these accounts helped theater goers to feel a sense of pride and security. Support for the war was practically unanimous. Everyone wanted to pitch-in for the war effort. The stories coming out of Vietnam were similar at least at first. The general public bought into the idea of America’s fighting men fighting and dying to preserve freedom and democracy in another foreign land.
“This attitude stemmed from the journalistic style that had been used in the preceding American wars of the twentieth century and also from sheer patriotic support for the United States” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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