Lack of loyalty to the Diem government was more subtly apparent in the unwillingness of ARVN soldiers to fight. They were supposed to fight to the death for the government of South Vietnam (GVN), in a Washington-scripted play that divided the Vietnamese people into “good” non-communists and “evil” communists. Yet most had no cause for animosity toward the communist-led NLF and only wanted to survive and be paid. Hence when called to action, the results were often disappointing to U.S. military advisers. A case in point was the battle of Ap Bac on January 2, 1963, in which 350 lightly armed guerrillas routed a larger force of 2,000 ARVN soldiers equipped with Colt AR-15 rifles and light-weight jungle radios, and backed by aircraft and armored vehicles. The ARVN had one of the highest desertion rates in the history of modern warfare. Sixty-five percent of ARVN soldiers were forcibly conscripted, and many ARVN officers were patronage appointees who served the French and used their positions for personal gain.
To regain the initiative on the war front, President Johnson signed off on Operational Plan 34-A on January 19, 1964. The plan called for graduated pressure on North Vietnam, proceeding in stages from surveillance and small hit-and-run raids by South Vietnamese commandos, then in operation, to more destructive “airborne and seaborne raids on important military and civilian installations” such as bridges, railways, and coastal fortifications, then to large-scale “aerial attacks conducted against critical DRV installations or facilities, industrial and/or military,” designed to destroy North Vietnam’s infrastructure and incapacitate its economy. This secret plan, now declassified, amounted to a declaration of war against North Vietnam. Although U.S. officials were well aware that the insurgency in the south was largely sustained by the rural population rather than by Hanoi, they reasoned that increased pressure on North Vietnam could reduce the flow of weapons and supplies to the NLF and, in any case, punish the DRV for supporting the NLF.
Surrounded by members of Congress, President Johnson signed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution at the White House on August 10, 1964 (Senator Humphrey is second from left)
On October 31, 1968, with the antiwar movement in full-swing and public opinion having turned against the war, President Johnson ended Operation Rolling Thunder, hoping to boost the presidential prospects of his vice president, Hubert Humphrey. Republican candidate Richard Nixon won the election and continued this official halt, while increasing the bombing of South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He nonetheless wanted DRV leaders in Hanoi to believe that he was ready to employ all means necessary to win the war, perhaps even nuclear weapons. According to Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, Nixon had confided to him:
[tags: Personal Narrative Essay Example]
The phasing out of the American chemical war in Southeast Asia was the result of an expanding ecological awareness as well as specific studies of chemical agents. The insecticide DDT, which was widely used in American agriculture, was banned in 1972 after a ten-year movement that began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. In a similar way, reports of birth defects and other deleterious effects of Agents Orange, Blue, and White in Vietnam led to scientific studies that correlated these effects with toxic ingredients, particularly 2,4,5-T. Scientific experiments produced malformations and stillbirths in mice.
a Woman s Beauty By Susan Sontag Essays 1 - 30 Anti …
Am I coming off like something of a crank here? Maybe. Oscar Wilde, who is almost never wrong, suggested that it is perilous to promiscuously contradict people who are much younger than yourself. Point taken. But one of the lessons that consumer hype tries to insinuate is that we must never rebel against the new, never even question it. If it's new -- a new need, a new product, a new show, a new style, a new generation -- it must be good. So maybe, even at the risk of winning the withered, brown laurels of crankdom, it pays to resist newness-worship and cast a colder eye.
Women [Susan Sontag, Annie Leibovitz] ..
When questions are invited from the audience, Susan Sontag rises and, in a reasonable, even friendly voice, says that she has a “very quiet question” for Mailer.