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tv   Lectures in History Vietnam War Lessons Learned  CSPAN  March 31, 2019 12:00am-1:03am EDT

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you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming every weekend. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest news. >> next on lectures in history, college professor edward white teaches a class on lessons learned from the vietnam war and how films and documentaries have portrayed the conflict. his class is about one hour. prof. white: today is the last class in our eight part course called vietnam war, history, movies, and music.
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normally i begin with a brief review of the previous class. today, let's take a quick summary of the course as a whole and then we will focus on the lessons learned with the topic of today. vietnam was part of a decision-making process of six presidents. from franklin roosevelt in 1945 to gerald ford in 1975. in the early sessions, we reviewed the historic dislike of the vietnamese people for the chinese. and as it turned out, the vietnamese disliked any foreign power. whether it was the mongolians, french, or japanese. we learned that franklin d. roosevelt was convinced that
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vietnam, or indochina, as it was called at the time should be a trusteeship until governments could be formed. harry truman was pressured from conditions in europe. so as to let france re-colonize indochina. france would not last and pulled out of indochina after the defeat. the overall context of our involvement in vietnam was the cold war. the u.s. needed to fight back any soviet incursion throughout the world. truman was funding any anti-communist government. we also need to recall that in the 50's, it was a time that the catholic church was very anti-communist. later, senator mccarthy was finding communists in the state department, or so he said. eisenhower then started talking about the domino effect. that is if one country in
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southeast asia falls, they all tumble. he elaborated this idea in a press conference. kennedy also repeated this theory of the domino effect. he did not believe it. dwight eisenhower continued to support south vietnam. after the geneva accords, he continued to agree to put a small amount of advisors in vietnam. john kennedy continued to increase the number of advisors. he increased military aid to south vietnam. we learned in a prior class that kennedy would not have had the united states remain in the vietnam. in fact, he had specific plans for a withdrawal of the advisors. after john kennedy's assassination, lyndon johnson rescinded the jfk order of withdraw.
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in the case of kennedy, johnson was concerned about the upcoming election to guide his options in vietnam. even after winning the election of 1964, lyndon b. johnson was not clear about what to do with what he called the little shit country in asia. the tapes and documents of the time indicate he knew he could not win in vietnam. he nonetheless chose war. when nixon was elected in 1968, he ordered the strong-armed technique of massive bombing, to bring the north vietnamese to the peace table. from the statistics we reviewed in class, we learned the bombing became unconscionable, particularly when nixon admitted in what was dubbed the zilch memo that the bombing had no
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effect in the conduct of the war. nonetheless, nixon continued the bombing to have an effect on the upcoming elections of 1972. as has been our practice throughout the course, we have used music and film as examples of the culture of those who served in vietnam and the united states. it is a reflection of social history during wartime. let's listen to some music, quietly. there are other classes going on and right next door, they are giving tests. ♪
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♪ prof. white: for today's class we will cut short our normal playing of the song and movie. from our last musical example, let us turn to marvin gaye and his popular song "what's going on?"
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it was released in may of 1971. it was originally written by obie benson. benson witnessed antiwar activists beaten by the police and posed the key question, what is going on? this idea was picked up by marvin gaye and a concept album that was further developed from letters he received from his brother, who was serving in vietnam. at the time, marvin gaye was experiencing domestic troubles, going through divorce, and his lead singer was dying. what was later voted as one of the best albums of the 20th century, the song received numerous awards. the library of congress designated it as one of the best 50 recorded. the lyrics reflects a combination of antiwar sentiment and racial injustice.
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now, for our last movie, "good morning, vietnam." >> good morning, vietnam! this is not a test. this is rock 'n' roll. time to rock from the delta to the dmz. does that sound like an elvis presley movie? is it a little early for being that loud? it is early. speaking of early, thank you marty for the silky smooth sounds. ♪
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prof. white: this film, good morning vietnam, is perhaps the lightest theme of the movies we have seen during the course. the film was released with a budget of $13 million and box office receipts of $124 million. the plot is about a dj, landing in vietnam from the island of crete to served in the armed forces radio. this is the fact. the rest of the film is pure hollywood. he died in july of this year. he was really a conservative guy. in the movie, robin williams depicts him as a funny, un-soldier like character. good morning vietnam portrays a guy who meets a vietnamese girl, who happens to be the sister of a local soldier.
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the vietcong brother pulls the dj out of a bomb plot in a bar. in the hollywood version, he is portrayed as wildly popular because of the antics he uses when he plays records. robin williams improvised all the scenes as the dj. the first sergeant is jealous of his antics and sends him into the field, knowing or hoping he might get killed. the vietcong brother saves him yet again. the late robin williams won a golden globe award for best actor. he was nominated for an academy award. the film is number 100 on the 100 funniest films of american films. let's turn to the lessons learned from vietnam. to do this, we will look at six perspectives.
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political, military, veterans, peace activists, scholars, and the commercial media. beginning with the political lessons, we learned in prior classes what lbj thought of the vietnam war. he continued with the overall idea of fighting communism. he was endlessly complicated. and a lot of other things. when he became president, he really did not know what to do. early on, robert mcnamara, the secretary of defense also had no idea what to do with vietnam. together, they plunged forward. frankly, lbj was looking forward to the election. he won legitimately by a
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landslide, not like the election where he gained the name landslide lyndon for a last-minute dubious counting. i think we went into class how that worked. johnson could have withdrawn from vietnam. after all, kennedy had set in motion plans to withdraw advisors in a 1963 and later. he had planned to withdraw all advisors by the end of 1965. as a matter of fact, johnson's vice president, hubert humphrey, strongly suggested withdrawing. the people had elected someone who said in the campaign that he will not send american boys to do the fighting of asian boys.
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lbj disagreed with humphrey. instead, what with the hawks in the cabinet. particularly the secretary of state. despite all the advice of those around him. johnson was the president and the final decision was his to make. johnson chose war. ironically, he died on january 22, 1973. the paris peace accords were signed five days later, on january 27, 1973. saigon and the south vietnamese government fell on april 30, 1975. sadly, what lessons could johnson have learned that would make a difference for the next president? when winston churchill said behind every extraordinary man is an unhappy childhood, nixon
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comes to mind. richard nixon was far more explicit on the lessons of vietnam. president gerald ford pardoned nixon, it gave the 37th president more time to ponder his administration. particularly, the vietnam war. in his book, on the subject titled no more vietnam's, nixon simply stated the united states had won the war but lost the peace. nixon claimed the media distorted the truth. the antiwar movement was misguided. then there was congress. nixon went on to write the united states needs to side with authoritarian governments who do not protect human rights. so as to keep from power, the totalitarian regimes that deny
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all human rights. he and henry kissinger kept up this hairsplitting throughout their time together. henry kissinger was someone who wormed his way into washington power circles from harvard. wormed is a washington employment term, indicating how business is done in d.c. he was a sergeant in the intelligence corps in world war ii, interrogating germans. he played both sides. the democratic side with april hammond, and the republican side finally with nixon. nixon and kissinger, the subtitle is partners in power. very apt, one played off the other. nixon was the decider in relationships.
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i attended the vietnam war summit at the lyndon b. johnson library in april, 2016. one of the sessions was an interview with kissinger. the executive director of the library asked very direct questions. one of them was what is the biggest lesson of the vietnam war? as is kissinger's way, he weaved many lessons. the one i thought was telling related to moderating domestic debate. in effect, he was saying we should not be extreme, we should have moderate debate. kissinger said if you call leaders immoral, you will teach americans that the government is run by criminals. i will not even start to analyze that statement in the context of the vietnam war or today.
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for me, the quintessential kissinger quote is the illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer. that says it all about the nixon administration. later, presidents referred to vietnam with explicit lessons -- without explicit lessons learned to apply to their administrations and the wars they got into. reagan did call the war a noble cause. he said this in front of the veterans of foreign wars convention. a very safe place to say that. george h w bush said that with the win in the gulf war, we finally kicked the vietnam syndrome. this particular picture is probably during ronald reagan's time. it is interesting to see in the
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photograph that nixon is here because by this time obviously he had resigned in disgrace but brought back. maybe it was ronald reagan telling one of his notorious jokes. now to the military. here we have the secretary of defense robert mcnamara, in the middle is colin powell. at the end is david petraes. robert mcnamara served as secretary of defense under john kennedy from 1961 until november of 1963. he continued with lyndon johnson until february, 1968. after that service. mcnamara served as president of the world bank for 13 years.
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as we have covered before in this class, mcnamara instigated the pentagon papers in order to ascertain the origins of the vietnam war. as he wanted the papers to serve as a historical study and be used by future leaders. after leaving the johnson administration, mcnamara remained silent about the war. in 1995, he came out with a book entitled "in retrospect." one chapter is called the lesson s of vietnam. in one chapter he states that the united states should have withdrawn from vietnam in late 1963 or late 1964. he may have been referring to the proposed kennedy withdrawal. he goes on to state 11 major causes for the disasters in
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vietnam and cites five goals nations should aim towards before going to war. in the book, he also goes into why we should intervene in other nations. he states the military and civilians did not play well together. he concludes all of his lessons and goals with a final analysis. that is, the vietnamese had to win the war themselves. mcnamara was featured in a documentary called the fog of war, produced in 2003. in this film, he offers 10 more lessons with additional commentary on 11 other lessons. perhaps in all of these lessons, the one that stands out the strongest is his lesson number nine in the first 10 lessons.
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not the following 11 lessons. are you getting the message that mcnamara has a lot of explaining to do? his ninth lesson goes as follows. in order to do good, you may have to engage in evil. where have i heard this before? colin powell graduated from city college in new york in the reserve officer training corps. he served in vietnam as an advisor from 1952-1963. after returning from vietnam, colin powell earned an mba from george washington university. he rose in the army ranks to be the first four-star african-american as chairman as the joint chiefs of staff as well as the youngest, 52, and
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the first rotc graduate. powell served in the nixon, carter, reagan, h w bush, and clinton white house. he served as secretary of state during the george w. bush presidency. this distinguished professional says -- said the lessons of vietnam was to make sure the united states knows what we are getting into before our country goes to war. he went on to say don't fight a war with another country that has greater investment in it and a greater cause than ours. this advice is known as the powell doctrine. powell has said after the united states invests a military force in a war, both political and diplomatic efforts are considered.
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colin powell has said the objective of war needs a political base. finally, he says that once there is a sound military objective, there has to be decisive force to support it. the last military person, david petraeus, was a major in the army when he received his phd from princeton university. his thesis was entitled "the lessons of history, and the lessons of vietnam." david petraeus worked his way up the army latter to become a four-star general and rector of director of the cia. he said that senior generals have drawn three lessons from the vietnam war. one, there are finite limits of american public support from u.s. involvement in a protracted
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conflict. two, civilian officials are responsive to influences other than objective conditions on the battlefield. finally, the military recognized there are limits of military power when attempting to solve certain types of problems in world affairs. let's hear from the other side. as we saw in prior classes, various veterans groups started up during the vietnam war. one group is vietnam veterans of america. as we have learned, the organization gained backing from bruce springsteen. in part, because of his financial support it was due to
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the 30 million copies of his song born in the usa, where the lyrics detail the military-industrial complex and inadequate health from the veterans administration of returning veterans. as we have mentioned, it was odd that the conservatives and the right wing supported born in the usa and had it in many elections. moving right along, veterans for peace was started in a 85. it was a group that included world war ii, korea, vietnam, and gulf war veterans. added to its roles as the u.s. entered other wars. veterans for peace has an ongoing project called the vietnam disclosure project. various authors contribute to the ongoing discussion of topics
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relating to the vietnam experience. in a report, wd earnhart, a phd summarized one major viewpoint by saying the one lesson that no one in power, in washington seems to have learned is that no amount of military might can achieve goals that are incompatible with the beliefs, desires, and cultures of those at the other end of the rifle barrels and the hellfire missiles. they are unrealistic and unachievable. earhart continues to say if vietnam did not drive home that lesson, certainly subsequent u.s. forays into somalia, afghanistan, libya, and now syria should have made that lesson clear.
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vietnam veterans against the war or vvaw started in 1967 in new york city. the organization grew as veterans return from the war. the organization sponsored the winter soldier conference in detroit, michigan, to talk about the various atrocious these that happened in vietnam. one of the high points was in april, 1971 when john kerry testified before the senate foreign relations committee when he posed the question, how do you ask someone to be the last man to die in vietnam? the vietnam veterans against the war message was among other ideas, that the war was a mistake. the military-industrial complex ruled the conduct of the war.
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in may of this year, i attended a two day conference at notre dame on peace studies. it was the first time the antiwar movement got together in an academic setting to discuss the impact of the antiwar movement within the military during the vietnam war. it also covered the iraq war as well. i was not aware of the "g.i. press." it was a newspaper circulated on military bases. i also met susan, and active duty navy nurse who was court-martialed for her war
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resistance work. who knew? finally, perhaps the mansfield amendment could be put into the column. probably this is my choice. on june 22, 1971, the amendment called for the mandatory withdrawal of u.s. forces from indochina, nine months after the senate bill was passed and the end to all military operations after the release of all american pows. the vote on the amendment was 57-42. let's spend time with those who spend all of their time on this particular topic. tim snyder, a historian at yale has said people think historians are off reading dusty books.
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after you read all the dusty books, you see certain patterns. what fits together, and what doesn't? a historian will never look at a problem and say this is entirely new. a historian will try to find familiar aspects of a problem. let us bring in three diplomatic historians to get there assessment of the problems of vietnam. our first, on your left, is a cornell historian and a pulitzer prize-winning author. he wrote "choosing war," and "the embers of war," two books on the vietnam war. he has said, the u.s. of administration, which includes the military establishment, made two mistakes in vietnam -- hubris and ignorance.
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with hubris, leaders were telling themselves the u.s. had not lost a war before. the north vietnamese were wearing pajamas. we were the mighty. he wrote that our ignorance spoke volumes of not understanding the history of vietnam and the consequent mistakes for not knowing this history. in the end, he writes, "there was a permissive content to the vietnam war on the part of congress, the press and the american public." the senate was skeptical. members did not act on that skepticism, nor did congress want to challenge the administration. stopped questioning
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the war once the troops were committed. acceptance of the war became a rally around the flag. the american public was largely apathetic. they were too busy in their daily lives. the war was far away in a jungle. it was better to trust the leaders. i emphasize that in terms of trusting the leaders. the key lesson of the vietnam war, he says, is to educate ourselves as citizens and to demand of our leaders that the military option should be a weapon of last resort. the middle scholar is marilyn young. the late marilyn young, professor of new york university, has written numerous books, including one entitled "the vietnam wars, 1945-1990,"
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and dr. young has said, what leaders should have learned from vietnam is that advanced technology and military force cannot solve political problems. -- problems that arouse during and before the old colonial era when europe ruled the world. she posed the question: if the concept of credibility had injured the discussion, would be u.s. be a superpowered? and if they had not defended the south vietnamese against communism. in her book, dr. young quotes ,ne of mcnamara's assistants john mcnaughton. perhaps he said it best when he described why the u.s. was in vietnam. he said 70% to avoid a humiliating defeat, 20% to keep
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the south vietnamese territory out of chinese hands, and 10% to permit the people of south better, freeroy a way of life. kind of different from the messages we received during that period of time. in another book, marilyn young also describes how little most americans in and out of the corridors of power really new vietnamy knew about itself during the war. there was little scholarly attention given to the vietnamese history. the third scholar, dr. christian happy. he teaches at the university of massachusetts. he is the author of a number of books on the vietnam war. the most recent book, "american
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reckoning," develops the idea that the vietnam war shattered the tenant of american national identity. meaning, the broad faith that the united states is a unique force for good in the world, that the u.s. is superior, not only in its military and economic power, but in the quality of its government and institutions. he further writes that the character and morality of its people and its way of life, a common term for this belief is american exceptionalism. happy says the hawkish americans saw the vietnam war as lamentable decline in the national will. defeat was attributed not to the weakness of the american cause, but to the weakness of american character on the political and
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cultural left. they feared that the social movements of the 1960's had engendered a permanent revulsion to the use of military force. it was as if the antiwar sentiment has infected the country's spine and heart with a debilitating disease. in 1980, the hawks found a diagnostic label for this syndrome.the vietnam how would the average citizen learn about the history of the vietnam war? this brings us to the commercial section. in 1998, cnn produced a 24 episode series called "the cold
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war." one episode is called vietnam, 1954-1968. in this episode, there's an interview with clark clifford, who succeeded robert mcnamara as secretary of defense during the johnson administration. clifford was a supporter of lyndon johnson and the war until he interviewed the generals in the defense department. the interview creates great drama. the courtly lawyer, asking questions. when will the war end? the generals do not know. how many more men will we lose? they don't know. what is our plan to win the war? they didn't have one.
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other than staying with the current plan and hoping the enemy would finally give up. after those interviews with the generals, clifford turned against the war. he advised johnson that his only choice was to negotiate. a month after his advice was offered, johnson told the nation that he would not seek another term as president in the 1968 election. in 2012, oliver stone, the fellow in the middle, who served in vietnam by the way, in 2012, he made a film called "the untold history of the united states." he produced three vietnam films as well. he also produced a book by the
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same title. in the dvd, just cited, the section on the vietnam war covers more of the antiwar movement and opinions than the other series that we've spoken about. in the film, noam chomsky states that the war is called a defeat because the military did not achieve turning vietnam into the philippines. most recently, in december of 2017, ken burns and lynn novick produced an 18 hour pbs documentary, "the vietnam war." supposedly the documentary reached 34 million viewers. this documentary had a $30 million budget. the series was passed over in
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the nominations for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking, but burns and novick won the primetime emmy awards for directing for nonfiction programming and jeffrey ward for writing the script and the book. the award was for episode eight, onward."73 and james russell, a professor at portland state university, series's mainthe message is that the troops fought valiantly in a mistaken and losing war. he notes, there was an absence of academic experts. academics hate that. weighing in on the meaning of the war. russell notes that the antiwar movement was suspect in their motives.
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they were being mildly unpatriotic and anti-soldier. the burns-novick series prevents -- presents the vietnam war as a well-intentioned mistake by american policymakers. or, as ken burns said, it was begun in good faith by good men. when the average citizen views the commercial approach to the war through the various commercial productions, something is missing and incomplete, and in some ways, biased. before we go on to the next and, the last section, are there any lingering questions from what we've talked about so far? student: can you repeat your last question?
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prof. white: the last question. student: the last line you just said. -- when the ok average citizen views the commercial approach to the war through the various commercial productions, something is missing and incomplete, and in some ways, biased. ok. say again? student: what is missing? prof. white: [laughter] the academics. what's missing is an analysis of the war. if you've seen the ken burns film, he has one veteran after the other describe what happened, the circumstance, etc. at best, only one fellow is the
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closest to an expert as such in the series. i think there's also one other. it is a story.-- ken burns goes into that in a big way. ken burns says, i'm not making history. i'm telling a story. he does tell a story. do you agree with the story or is the story fiction, nonfiction, or nice to hear from those who went to war? or is it, in terms of what a citizen should get out of this thing called the vietnam war? what are the lessons? there are people back and forth, carping about the way certain things were handled. but there isn't a cohesive analysis of what happened. again, he is in the business of
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being a commercial filmmaker. maybe he does not want to get veryechnical nor controversial, so as maybe his next film wouldn't be funded. that's probably a cynical view. he has great history in terms of the lewis and clark trail and jazz, fdr, etc. maybe it's because the vietnam war is very close to me that he doesn't have those who may be could add some analysis to what the lessons were. student: he leaves the analysis to the viewers. prof. white: yes. i don't know how many have seen the whole series, and whether or not you saw it as a citizen, you said, well, that explains the
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whole war. thank you, ken burns. i suspect not. it's a war, and it is something that ought to be analyzed. why do we get into it? etc. student: it makes war sound stupid. and evil. prof. white: mmhmm viewed hmm.ent: -- prof. white: mm the makers ofkes war sound stupid, or self-serving. i don't know. over several classes, there are things that could been done differently.
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we brought out the one vision that jfk would've gotten out of the war and had specific plans. i brought in the documents from the national archives saying that. way, henry by the kissinger, at the summit, about that question. do you think jfk had any plans to get home? no, no, not at all. in his usual austrian thick accent. there is more that can be done. we are giving our troops up to harm's way. that is my opinion. steven? student: would you like to summarize what you see as the lessons of vietnam? prof. white: no. [laughter] prof. white: not right now, oddly enough, that's the next section, that you can see from that.
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what lessons i have learned. in part, as my wife says, a lot of the biases come out in terms of describing various positions. manny? student: you being the scholar in the room who experienced the vietnam war, followed it passionately for all of these years, and studied for this pointfor our benefit, the comes to mind the biased portion , do you think that somehow, by mistake, we have slid into the same bias that western colonials had about the other people who should be civilized and saved and christianized? did we slide after the second world war into that position in korea and then again, in vietnam? they had to fail and leave in
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embarrassment, the same as previous colonial powers. do you get that bias brought us into it and we had to come out in embarrassment? prof. white: not a bias as much as -- remember we had dr. koon come in and talk about the southern baptists, they were supporters of the war. god is on our side. that kind of thing. i believe that for the vietnam war, even today, it comes down to, and i have asked veterans all the time, do you think we should have gone in? and do you think it was the right war to have fought? it is split right down the middle. this is a topic that will go on
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to maybe even rival the books on the civil war. it has grown that large. the noam chomsky quote about "we wanted to make it like the philippines," is an interesting quote. but i think there's a lot more evidence into, we didn't really know what to do. then again, those in power were always facing the next election. that seems to be a part of our problem in terms of our government. we get just the next person in. , i next person could decide won't go into it, but the next person could decide totally different from what our normal policy would be all along. i don't think we have been a colonial power in the sense of britain. although we do have 800 bases around the world. we have more of an attempt to
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keep up with the superpower idea without occupying land. i would not say it is colonial, it's an odd inexpensive way of conducting being a superpower. as president eisenhower said, the military-industrial complex just keeps going. it is what it is. all of these, what we learned from the vietnam war, you have emphasized political, assessmentd scholars and commercial media. in any war, for the common citizen, it is the loss of life that we see. also, the financial gain and loss is such a major thing.
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usually, the financial gain is only in certain companies and some people. which is such a big factor in the war. if you would like to say anything about that? prof. white: yes. we seem to have done very well. although other european countries as well have been good in terms of arms development. israel being one today. it's not the normal european, france, germany, britain, who developed the arms sales besides the united states, the united states being the highest arms sales dealer in the world. but it is, i think, our uniqueness, and perhaps going to colonial times when george washington said to not get
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involved in entangled alliances. we should trade with everybody. i think the subsequent generations down the line have picked up and ran with that. but particularly in terms of arms development. particularly in terms of arms sales throughout the world. it's not as manny had said about colonial, staying in one area as great britain, but it is the almost colonialism of arms sales that we really specialize in building the latest and greatest weapon to blow somebody up. we will sell to anybody. we are getting into any number of embarrassing circumstances currently. one last question. student: is there any analysis going on between the lessons
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learned in vietnam and what is going on in afghanistan? prof. white: yes. there is. i have not gone into it as much as the vietnam war. but there is similar lessons in terms of the nationbuilding concept. we had wanted to save the south vietnamese from communism to build up their nation to be anti-communist and we wanted to build up afghanistan similarly against whatever jihadist or group that we did not like at the time. in a sense, it is that. and in a sense, the insurgents we created as a result of all
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the bombing in south vietnam is similar to all of the bombing that goes on in afghanistan. we are creating in iraq and syrian and on and on, more insurgents as we blow people up. smart bombs are not smart. we are working on that and the military-industrial complex will come out with a new and better weapon very soon. let's get into the legacies of war. what can be said about these legacies of the vietnam war? or anywhere? -- or any war? other than death and destruction. here are several legacies that stand out to me as someone who studies vietnam.
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the vietnam war memorial in washington, d.c. currently has 58,318 names. the memorial is one of the most often visited sites in our nation's capital. then there is the legacy of agent orange. president john kennedy first approved the use of agent orange in vietnam. there are many colors to the toxins. there is a blue, purple, a white. the color orange was used to te the jungle. today, the vietnamese still suffer the effects of agent orange. physicians and medical researchers are finding out, the toxins last over many generations. it's not just those who had inhaled it or got it on their skin, but it is their children and they are finding their grandchildren. one recent piece of legislation proposes disability coverage to
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sailors who served on ships off the shore of vietnam. while it took years for the veterans administration to admit the impact of toxins on soldiers, who had put boots on the ground in vietnam, they now realize that the navy also suffered the effects of agent orange. the toxin flowed into the soil. and into the rivers. and then, out to sea. the navy used the water with minimal filtering for cooking and washing on the ships. now the v.a. has recognized agent orange in naval personnel, or as they are called, the bluewater veterans. the environmental degradation in vietnam is extensive. this is one of the lasting legacies.
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perhaps the domino theory, which formed the early reasons for committing troops to vietnam, remains just that, a theory. nonetheless, the defeat of the united states by insurgents, encouraged others throughout the world. makes a good case for the energy created in the movements in third world countries. he cites che guevara, calling for more vietnams. the palestine liberation drew lessons and strength when america's enemies won the vietnam war. he has said that overall, 14 revolutions ensued worldwide in seven years after the u.s. -- extrication from vietnam in 1973.
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in effect, the domino theory is of no consequence for the mere six countries it was going to conquer. the creation of a sense of, "we can actually defeat a superpower" occurred throughout the world. as he has detailed in his books. the press had a free reign in vietnam to go anywhere in the country. as a result, the journalists's first-hand experience told a different story than the military press releases coming out of saigon during the war. the military learned this lesson well. after vietnam, journalists are now embedded into combat units to protect them, but also to protect the stories they write.
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the unpopular army draft ended in 1973. now the military consists of only those who want to be in the rank and file. the all volunteer army goes anywhere they are ordered without dissent of the mission. on july 12, 1995, president william clinton was the first president to recognize the socialist republic of vietnam. in april 1997, pete peterson at a prisoner of war in the hanoi prison, was the first u.s. ambassador to serve in the socialist republic of vietnam. he served as ambassador until 2001. on march 15, 2018, the u.s. aircraft carrier visited vietnam for the first time since the end of the vietnam war.
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here in illinois, the standard textbook for high school students is entitled "the americans, illinois addition." it has a section on the vietnam war and contains a section on the legacy of the vietnam war. it sets the positions of the hawks and doves and mentions the war powers act. the war powers act, passed in november 1973, stipulated that a president must inform congress within 48 hours of sending forces into a hostile area without a declaration of war.
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