The Vietnam War: Good or Bad?

Brittaney Marsico

            When people talk about the Vietnam War, they often can’t decide if the war was a good thing or a bad thing for America to become involved in. The controversy over the spread of communism, which is covered in our history books, says this war was important to the U.S. In 1954, Ho Chi Minh, a North Vietnam elder, wanted Vietnam to be a Communist country, and, with the Truman Doctrine in mind, the United States stepped in to stop the Communist uprising. The U.S. stepped in because it was believed that if Vietnam became a Communist country the other countries around it, Laos and Cambodia, would also follow and would become Communist countries, which President “Ike” Eisenhower called the Domino Theory.

I think it’s a good thing that we fought with The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and tried to stop other countries from becoming Communist like North Vietnam, and it is also good that we helped the people in South Vietnam who didn’t want to be part of the Communist party. However, despite the good intentions, I believe that this was an unsuccessful war.

The casualties of the Vietnam War were just too high and too senseless. The United States sent more than 500,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam over the years and more than three million people were killed (half of them Vietnamese civilians). An example of this is the MyLai Massacre when troops were ordered by Lt. William Calley to round up all the villagers and then the American soldiers killed about 200 to 500 innocent people. Also, American soldiers were called “baby killers” because they killed women with children (even though it’s now known that Vietnamese women would run up to a soldier and hand him what seemed like a baby but was a grenade instead and so the soldiers became afraid of women carrying babies). Because of stories like this, that were printed in the press, when our troops came home, they were treated with little to no respect.

In the end, we withdrew our troops, leaving the ARVN and South Vietnam civilians to fend for themselves. In 1975, Ho Chi Minh’s communist forces got control of the southern capital Saigon which ended the war.

It’s awful to think that so many American troops died for “nothing,” but that’s what happened since the Vietnam War did not stop the spread of Communism.