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Joseph S. Nye Jr. in his article Why the Gulf War Served the National Interest published in the Atlantic Journal, 1991: Why did majority of the people living in the central part of North America think it in their interest to send half a million soldiers 6000 miles away to the…
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How The Gulf and Vietnam Wars Affected America Joseph S. Nye Jr. in his article Why the Gulf War Served the National Interest published in the Atlantic Journal, 1991: Why did majority of the people living in the central part of North America think it in their interest to send half a million soldiers 6000 miles away to the Persian Gulf? The simple answer is one word: oil…Like most slogans, however, that one oversimplifies the truth. Persian Gulf accounts for less than five percent of America’s energy consumption… so oil is not the answer. Other possible aspects of the answer include “a new world order,” (56)
America, unlike other powers before it, was declining in both power and influence at a fast rate. It therefore needed an event that could restore it back to its former glory as the strongest in the world. Contrary to the popular belief that the war was about oil, the gulf intrusion was not. The Gulf catered to only five percent of America’s oil needs. Therefore, losing five percent of oil in the process of gaining super power status was not be an issue for America.
Joseph S. Nye Jr. “Why the Gulf War Served the National Interest.” The Atlantic Monthly 1991: 56-64. Print.
2. John McArthur in his book Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the 1991 Gulf War: The press has its pimps as it has its policemen. The pimp debases it, the policeman subjugates it, and each uses the other as a way of justifying his own abuses… but in another sense the press is better than intelligence or progress; it is the possibility of all that and other things as well. A free press can of course be good or bad, but most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad. (199)
Citizens are easily manipulated by the media and it is due to this factor that the government controls and manipulates the media, especially in times of war. The public may be denied information or duped into believing that an invasion would be good to them.
McArthur, John R. Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the 1991 Gulf War. California: University of California, 2004. Print.
3. “The notion that the press lost the war in Vietnam remains, especially among military people, one of the most persistent and pernicious of the many myths of that war. (Neu, p. 78)
The military uses the American civilians as the scapegoats as to why they lost. They still believe that due to constant pressure from the media and civilian intrusion, they lost the war.
Neu, Charles E. After Vietnam: Legacies of a Lost War. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2000. Print.
4. “..driven by the imperatives of a rapidly globalizing cold war, the United States quickly dropped all pretense of championing decolonization, particularly in Southeast Asia. American policy makers not only encouraged, they actively intervened to facilitate France’s return to colonial domination in Indochina.” (Adas, p. 29)
In a bid to win the war, America was forced to accept colonization in order to avert the growing influence of communist china and Russia. The nation even assisted France in re-colonizing Indochina.
Adas, Michael. A Colonial War in Postcolonial Era: The United States’ Occupation of Vietnam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, July 14, 2003. Print.
5. “It is a budget of both opportunity and sacrifice. It begins to grasp the opportunities of the great society. It is restrained by the great sacrifice we must continue to make in order to keep our defenses strong and flexible.” (Campagna, p. 32)
The Americans were forced to allocate a lot of funds to continue sustaining the soldiers in Vietnam. This is despite the fact that most people were opposed to the war as they did not see the relevance of it.
Campagna, Anthony S. The Economic Consequences o the Vietnam War. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan. 1, 1991. Print.
6. “In Vietnam, racism became a patriotic virtue… all Vietnamese became “dinks”, “slopes”, “slants” or “gooks”, and the only good one was a dead one. So the Americans killed them when it was clear that they were Vietcong… and they killed them when it was clear that they were not Vietcong.” (Knightley, p. 424)
One of the major propaganda spread during the war was that Vietnamese were less humans. It is due to this racial profiling that many Vietnamese were butchered by American soldiers. The situation escalated to the point that even non-Vietnamese were also killed in massive numbers.
Knightley, Philip. The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Kosovo. United Kingdom: Prion Books, 2000. Print. Read More
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