Conflict - Dear America.

Topics: Vietnam War, United States, Cold War Pages: 2 (552 words) Published: October 1, 2010
“War has a damaging effect on all those involved” Do you agree? I agree with this statement whole heartedly, the text’ Dear America’ edited by Bernard Edelman, demonstrates the damaging effect of the war in depth. The compilation of letters writer by soldiers serving in Vietnam to family and friends home in America establishers the varying effects war has on the people involved. I will outline the significant cases. War is both brutal and brutalising, its dehumanising influence can bee seen in the way which the Vietnamese are described as ‘gooks’ or ‘dinks’. Louis E. Willet reflects on a battle, after which ‘a lot of guys did asshole things and didn’t think anything of it at the time – then later on realised it’. After the battles is when they get the time to reflect, then feel a great sense of guilt for their actions, some of which will haunt and damage them for the rest of their lives. The populations of both North and South Vietnam suffered greatly as a result of the war and may of the letter writers describe this suffering with sympathy. ‘Collateral Damage’ would be the correct term for this as many non-combatants died, were injured and many children orphaned as a result. The Americans presence was supposed to be helping the people of South Vietnam, while at the same tome the presence has damaged the country and its people. Bruce McInnes writes of children who ‘are orphans as a result of the assistance we have given to their country’. Soldiers in Vietnam referred to the united states as ‘the world’, suggesting that Vietnam was an alien place. It was a frighteningly unfilmiliar country for Americans who served there. Many things such as the history culture and landscape had never been experienced by the Americans before. This made it even harder for the soldiers as it is very detrimental to their mental health, having to endure extreme loneliness and homesickness exacerbated by the foreign surrounds. This damages the soldier’s sense of wellbeing and the long...
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