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U.S. Failure in Vietnam

This paper will discuss why the United States failed in Vietnam. The roots of U.S. involvement in Vietnam will be briefly described, and an analysis of why U.S. policies failed in Vietnam will be presented.

There is one view that perhaps the media, with its vivid coverage of the atrocities, had a role in undermining U.S. foreign policy. When the Public Broadcasting System broadcast a 13-part documentary in 1985 that examined the role of the television media in covering the Vietnam War, there was a protest and the Accuracy in Media group tried to obtain airing of a documentary which re-butted the program. Accuracy in Media and such books as Tet: Turning Point in the Vietnam War by Don Oberdorfer, Big Story by Peter Braestrup, and Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam: the Unmaking of a President by Herbert Schandler made an argument in disagreement. They portrayed the media and it's television coverage of the Vietnam War as tasteless, sometimes inept, and too often ignorant and going for sensationalism. The Accuracy in Media documentary, "Television's Vietnam: Impact of the Media," calls the Vietnam War a commercial joke where the television medium reasoned that they could make money if there was smoke in the picture. It was argued that coverage of Tet was simplistic, while Khe Sanh was exploited as a television hit. The networks claim that television was a mirror in Vietnam, while others claim that television launched visual missiles that caused pessimism in the U.S. and undermined the war effort (Kowet 78-79).

In an interview, celebrated television newscaster Walter Cronkite, whose commentary accompanying television footage of the Vietnam War was familiar to people during the 1960s, noted that television coverage had a major role in shaping United States opinion and response to the Vietnam War. Watching all that death on television news made the United States people question the viability of war as a means of pursuing political ends. The ...

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U.S. Failure in Vietnam. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:12, August 21, 2019, from