Vietnam as Lyndon Johnson’s War
United States involvement in south East Asia started from World War 2, which lead to the fall of Saigon in 1975.(1) In Vietnam it is still known as “Resistance War against America”. (2) This clearly indicates how much United States was involved in South East Asia especially in Vietnam. Beginning in 1940 In 1950s it became evident that France has no longer hold on Indochina so United States took that nation’s place; if we look at “U.S.domino theory” (3) then this was a part of a wider strategy with the stated aim of stopping the spread of communism. After the death of President Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson took the presidency and in its early stages he was not considering Vietnam as a priority but he was more concerned about his domestic programs ‘Great Society’. (4) In late 1964 the situation in South Vietnam was becoming deteriorated which motivated the newly elected President of United States to take action by saying “We Should stop playing cops and robbers and get back to winning the war, tell the Generals in Saigon that Lyndon Johnson intends to stand by our words to win the contest against extremely directed and supported Communist conspiracy”.(5) Johnson maintained a moderate policy until August1964 ( Hunt, 79). when the situation changed dramatically. Early that month, two U.S. Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin (off the coast of North Vietnam) reported that North Vietnamese gunboats attacked them unprovoked. The American public was incensed, and Johnson requested from Congress the authority to take “all necessary steps” to protect U.S. interests in Vietnam. Congress complied and passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in August 1964. Out of the 535 total members of Congress, only two voted against this resolution, which policy makers considered a declaration of war in everything but name. Indeed, Johnson ordered bombing runs on North Vietnam not long after the incident.(6) Taking Gulf of Tonkin resolution in account Johnson...
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