Influence on American Society

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wimaa

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Oct 13, 2003, 5:24:13 AM10/13/03
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Dear Sir, Madam,

I have to make an assignment for school about the Vietnam War.
The specific assignment is: what influence had the Vietnam War
on the American Society.
I have searched the internet for information on this topic but I
can't find very usefull information.
Could you help me with internet sources dealing with the influence
that the War had on America, during and after?

Sincerely,
Marsha de Nooijer
The Netherlands
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Barb Beier

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Oct 13, 2003, 8:22:54 PM10/13/03
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Hello, Marsha:

I can't help you with Internet sources on this and am not sure
Internet sources would be that valuable as none would likely be
impartial enough for research: this is a very general topic that
is easily spinnable.

After reading some of Shelby Stanton (_Rangers At War_ and _U.S.
Army Uniforms of the Vietnam War_), I do wonder if a couple of
influences on our society might have been:
1) light-weight, high-endurance materials (fabrics like rip-stop
nylon for clothes and tents and ballistic nylon for footwear, for
example, or titanium pack frames that began to appear around that
time as outdoor gear for the newly popular sports such as hiking);
and
2) the "team" framework, now so common in business, complete with
team leader, that is described as developing in the ranger units
in Vietnam.

It's hard to tell because nobody wanted to say "this is a spin-off
from the war." That would have just gotten everybody upset.

There are a lot of people here who are much more qualified to
discuss the war; since you ask about society, though, here's my 2
cents.

I was born nine years after the first fully equipped, regularly
operating TV station went on the air in 1944; it was also a little
over eight years after the end of World War II and also after the
death of the second American casualty in Indochina (Lt. Col. A.
Peter Dewey, who was shot and killed at a roadblock by the Viet
Minh on September 26, 1945 -- the first American casualty in
Indochina that I know of was one of the Flying Tigers, shot down
over Hanoi by the Japanese during WWII); and my birth date was a
little over three years before the Politburo in Hanoi issued a
directive in June 1956, restructuring revolutionary cells that had
been illegally left behind in South Vietnam.

In other words, there was so much already going on before I even
got here, all of which had repercussions down through the decades,
it's a little difficult to neatly describe the influence of that
war on American society.

I mentioned TV first because that is what all kids like me grew up
with, and I think that strongly influenced both society and the
war.

I don't mean the "news bringing the war into everybody's homes"
thing; I mean just the medium itself. It really raised your
expectations and sense of self-importance. You really learned to
be aware of your sense of self, because there were people who
wanted to cater to your needs...for a price; the price usually was
worth it because "you" were at the focus of it all. That's not
how it is in the military, and I've wondered if the development of
that conflict in some people between newly raised expectations and
hard reality was part of the difference between general viewpoints
in the early and later stages of the American military involvement
in Vietnam.

Anyway, there was quite a lot going on in addition to TV. It's
hard to describe what it was like to grow up in America after
World War II: we had so much, and we took so much for granted.
A lot of that is gone now, or changed; that's why it's hard to
describe. And much of the upheaval occurred around the time of
the US involvement in Vietnam, so people associate "Vietnam" with
that. But that doesn't mean the war itself was the influence. It
was the people here at home that influenced the home society; the
soldiers were out there doing their thing, just as they have
always done.

"Vietnam" was just the hinge of the door we opened as we passed
from the "golden age" to the leaner and meaner times of today.
Had it not been there, likely something else would have served the
same purpose.

The polarization and bitterness of those years, and the subsequent
desire of many people my age not to talk about it at all, is what
one first thinks of in looking around for effects on society, but
I think one of the biggest influences on America to come of it all
is the influx of new immigrants that the troubles in Vietnam sent
to us and continue to send to us even today. Politics come(s) and
go(es) [is "politics" single or plural?], but people make a real
difference, especially in America. Many of the children of those
first immigrants, both Vietnamese and minorities, are now
energetic American professionals and entrepreneurs. Our group
base has been widened considerably and we're all better off for
it.

Barb
Who broke the window?
Who broke down the door?
Who tore the curtain,
And who are they for?
Who'll heal the wounds?
Who'll heal the scars?
Open the door...open the door....
-- From "Tomorrow" on _October_

redvet

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Oct 13, 2003, 8:22:55 PM10/13/03
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"wimaa" <wi...@zeelandnet.nl> wrote in message
news:7lrkovovk4m5lskbg...@4ax.com...

>
> Dear Sir, Madam,
>
> I have to make an assignment for school about the Vietnam War.
> The specific assignment is: what influence had the Vietnam War
> on the American Society.
> I have searched the internet for information on this topic but I
> can't find very usefull information.
> Could you help me with internet sources dealing with the influence
> that the War had on America, during and after?
>
> Sincerely,
> Marsha de Nooijer
> The Netherlands


Aloha,

I have a much different perspective than many of the vets who may
be contacting you . We were certainly losing the war when I left
in February of 1970.

In 1971 the Armed Forces Journal published a shocking (and now
famous) article on "The Collapse of the Armed Forces." In a note
accompanying the piece the Journal's editors wrote that they had
some reservations about running it, but they said these were minor
when compared to the importance of solving what had become a
dire problem for the Army. The opening lines of this article
penned by Col. Robert D. Heinl capture some of the crisis
atmosphere in the upper reaches of U.S. war planners at the time:
"The morale, discipline and battle worthiness of the U.S. Armed
Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at
any time in the century and possibly in the history of the United
States. By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains
in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual
units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers
and non-commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where
not near-mutinous.

Elsewhere than Vietnam, the situation is nearly as serious. (1971,
p.30)" You might be interested to learn that as early as 1969,
Vietnam veterans became active in various anti-war groups and by
1970 they had begun to take a role in the leadership of the
movement. One group of vets who have remained politically
active from that era is Vietnam Veterans Against the
War/Anti-Imperialist. We sponsor a web site at; www.oz.net/~vvawai
There you can find an on-line version of "StormWarning",
V.V.A.W./A-I.'s quarterly magazine. Issue number 31 would
be most relevant for your interest in that period. It is a
compilation of some of the actions which took place during that
time by returning vets as well as the experiences of vets 'on the
ground' during their tour.
Another fascinating source is the "Broken Rifle Press" web site.
'Broken Rifle' has books and videos of the GI and veterans
anti-war movement. Among them is a video of the "Winter Soldier
Investigations". It paints a disturbing picture of what it was
like to fight a losing guerrilla war by the grunts who were
there.
My favorite video from that collection is the vets demonstration
in Washington D.C. which was called 'Dewey Canyon III'. In April
1971, thousands gathered as 'Nam vets threw their metals back at
the U.S. government on the capital steps and demanded an immediate
end to the war. The "Broken Rifle Press" web site address
is; http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/brp A further
resource that is available is Michael Searcy's history of that
demonstration and the event's which lead up to it. The paper is
approximately ten pages in length and we can email you a copy
upon request. A more civilian orientated approach to that era can
be found at "The '60's Project". Its web address is
http://lists.village.virginia.edu/sixties/ . If there is time,
here is a short book list. These books are available, or can be
ordered, through any 'chain' bookstore.

The Tunnels of Cu Chi
Tom Mangold, John Penycate

Days of Decision: An Oral History of Conscientious Objectors
Gerald R. Gioglio

Busted: A Vietnam Veteran in Nixon's America
W.D. Ehrhart

Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans
Wallace Terry

Let the Good Times Roll: Prostitution & the U.S. Military in Asia
Saundra Pollock

My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre & Its Aftermath
Seymour Hersh

Fire in the Lake
Frances Fitzgerald

Finally, you may wish to check out "Hearts and Minds", which won
an Oscar for the best documentary in 1975

redvet

John Ramsay

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Oct 15, 2003, 4:15:15 PM10/15/03
to
wimaa wrote:

> Dear Sir, Madam,
>
> I have to make an assignment for school about the Vietnam War.
> The specific assignment is: what influence had the Vietnam War
> on the American Society.
> I have searched the internet for information on this topic but I
> can't find very usefull information.
> Could you help me with internet sources dealing with the influence
> that the War had on America, during and after?
>
> Sincerely,
> Marsha de Nooijer
> The Netherlands

Sounds like you did not adjust your search terms.
'Vietnam War' is too general.
Using your full title is too specific.
I just did a Google search for
'Vietnam War American Society'
and came up with items you would find useful.

John Hughes

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Oct 15, 2003, 4:15:15 PM10/15/03
to
Check out the War Powers Act of 1973, which requires regular
consultation (by the President) with Capitol Hill in contemplating
military action, written notification within 48 hours of such
action and its "estimated scope or duration" and congressional
consent through either a declaration of war or "specific statutory
authorization." If such approval is not granted in 60 days, the
president is supposed to withdraw U.S. forces within 30 days.
http://www.luminet.net/~tgort/wpa.htm

This in my opinion is the opposite of the Gulf of Tonkin
Resolution of 1964
http://www.luminet.net/~tgort/tonkin.htm
which gave LBJ (and later Nixion) a blank check to wage the war.

John Hughes

"wimaa" <wi...@zeelandnet.nl> wrote in message
news:<7lrkovovk4m5lskbg...@4ax.com>...

> Dear Sir, Madam,
>
> I have to make an assignment for school about the Vietnam War.
> The specific assignment is: what influence had the Vietnam War
> on the American Society.
> I have searched the internet for information on this topic but I
> can't find very usefull information.
> Could you help me with internet sources dealing with the influence
> that the War had on America, during and after?
>
> Sincerely,
> Marsha de Nooijer
> The Netherlands

-----

Matt Osborn

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Oct 16, 2003, 6:55:46 AM10/16/03
to
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 16:15:15 -0400, json...@yahoo.com (John
Hughes) wrote:

>Check out the War Powers Act of 1973, which requires regular
>consultation (by the President) with Capitol Hill in contemplating
>military action, written notification within 48 hours of such
>action and its "estimated scope or duration" and congressional
>consent through either a declaration of war or "specific statutory
>authorization." If such approval is not granted in 60 days, the
>president is supposed to withdraw U.S. forces within 30 days.
>http://www.luminet.net/~tgort/wpa.htm

The War Powers Act is of doubtful legality. The contention is that
the legislature cannot enact laws that are binding upon either the
executive or judicial branch of governement.

Ted Gittinger

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Oct 16, 2003, 4:40:08 PM10/16/03
to

"John Ramsay" <jra...@mergetel.com> wrote in message
news:rfarov4n1c60s0h1g...@4ax.com...

> wimaa wrote:
>
> > Dear Sir, Madam,
> >
> > I have to make an assignment for school about the Vietnam War.
> > The specific assignment is: what influence had the Vietnam War
> > on the American Society.
> > I have searched the internet for information on this topic but I
> > can't find very usefull information.
> > Could you help me with internet sources dealing with the influence
> > that the War had on America, during and after?
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Marsha de Nooijer
> > The Netherlands
>
> Sounds like you did not adjust your search terms.
> 'Vietnam War' is too general.
> Using your full title is too specific.
> I just did a Google search for
> 'Vietnam War American Society'
> and came up with items you would find useful.

Please note that the War Powers Act has not inhibited any
president from doing what he pleases in Bosnia or the Middle East.

ted

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