Saving Vietnam from Vietnamese

Skyler Dunn

Back in 1955, President of the United States Lyndon B Johnson was given notice that South Vietnam was in danger from their own people. Ho Chi Minh, and the Viet Cong, are attempting to push the spread of the Communism belief across Vietnam, even through war. With this turn of events, what would happen to America after this course of action? Was it the best move to put a stop to the Communism spread, or did this only lead to a wave of hate from inside our backyards?


The year is 1858, the French colonials have taken over indo-china, boasting about making roads and building upon the lands; However, the Vietnamese were not as happy with the idea. After some beatdown from China, Vietimese’s were struggling to find independence. It was shown that despite the year gap, President Woodrow Wilson acknowledged the petition of the Vietnam Nationalists to Wilson, begging that Vietnam can too become an independent country. It was promised that Woodrow would hear it while he was helping France rebuild a new world, but it was unsure if anything had come through. Ho Chi Min, a well-known man, fought to have freedom but was exiled soon after. His main fuel was to spread the potential of Communism and Independent Vietnam.


Time skips to 1940, the time of WW2. Ho Chi Minh gets word that, after the German Nazis have taken over France, Japan occupies Vietnam. With this, Minh takes this as an opportunity to join a revolutionary group known as “The Vietnam Independence League.” Profession to Guerrilla Warfare, this would show to be a challenge towards those who oppose them. It was not long until after Pearl Harbor, the Americans supplied Ho with weapons, which they found impressive how easy they handled them.


When the two nuclear bombs dropped, Japan was forced to surrender, giving Ho Chi Min a chance to get Vietnam’s independence done. In which, they succeeded in getting their independence. By 1953, with the help of America, The Viet Minh fought against platoons of French, until 50 days of fighting, the French would surrender. Soon, they split Vietnam, with North and South, and created the “Ho Chi Minh Trail”, a road that connected both North and South Vietnam. With this, 900k refugees would run the Republic of Vietnam, or the south to not be part of Communism. With this, it caused multiple wars between both Vietnams, creating bands of armies to help and fight one another. The ARVN (Army of Republican Vietnam), fought alongside Americans, The Viet Cong.


JFK, when he was shot and killed, Lyndon B Johnson, the main face and to be blamed for the actions from this, would soon change this moment of history into a dark page. Throughout it, it started as a few warning shots between America and North Vietnam, but it would soon start to give a dim reason for retaliation. Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh took this chance to start pushing the line with the help of the Viet Cong. With this, Johnson signs the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution,” a treaty that America will assist any South East Asia from any Communist aggression, with legal justification to place troops and military equipment in the south. This would only be the few to begin.


Lyndon didn’t send his troops on the ground, believing that if he continued to send aerial attacks towards Viet Cong, they would surrender. This would only be pointless, as the Viet Cong would start killing Americans. With it, Johnson announces Operation Rolling Thunder. This bent Johnson’s arm as more and more planes would be struck down by Viet Cong, which gave him no choice but to keep pushing into the war and begin placing ground troops as an all-out attack. The reasons for this, according to the Pentagon papers, “This was no longer about the stop of Communism. This is to prevent humiliation.”



In 1966, 2,344 US soldiers would’ve died at the beginning of the year, with 200,000 were designated there, with more on the way. The Ho Chi Minh Trail would be the main use towards the help of the Viet Cong, as it helped move weapons through Vietnam. By then, ¾ of South Vietnam would be taken by the Viet Cong. Fun Fact: 3 million tons of explosives would drop on Ho Chi Minh Trail along, which is 1 million more than what was dropped on Germany and Japan during WW2. With this continuing on, the American people soon found that this fight was never meant to be.


The American people, mothers, fathers, and all races rallied and cried out that they want their sons and brothers back from the war. Protestings, outcries, and music were made towards the return of their brothers, sisters, and children to return. One of the things to point out from this was Woodstock’s “Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music.” The festival, that many people have known as one of the main spots of hippies, is also known for multiple accidents of deaths, two birthings, and with around 30 famous stars coming to play their tunes, almost like the last time in their life. With 2 million dollars on the line to throw a large festival to not only about the tension towards Vietnam, but to also shine the light towards the continued segregation and hate crime to blacks.


At the end of the war, America lost about 53 thousand deaths, according to Military Records to how many deaths, where they came from, and statistically, how they died. It was a tragic loss, and what felt to be is an insult towards America, as North Vietnam took over the South. It was shown to have an effect on the insight of how dirty and inhumane a war can take. Some of the tactics used in Vietnam, i.e. punji traps. In my opinion, alike to others back then, it was a lost cause. Though, it allowed for music to be revived, including rock. You can learn more by figuring out the hidden message of Don Mclean’s “American Pie”.