Courseworks

Tonkin

a) Source A and B both talk about 2 attacks on the American destroyers called Maddox and Turner Joy this was called the Tonkin incident. Both of the sources also say that the boats were in North Vietnamese waters. Both also mention the same boats the Turner Joy and the Maddox. And also in both essays the Maddox gets attacked. Source A never says that the second attack happened because he says ‘the commander believed’ which then agrees with source B which says there was no attack.There are many differences in the sources such as. Source A mentions the Turner Joy being attacked as well but source B calls it an ‘outright fabrication. Using my own knowledge I can say that the Maddox was attacked but the Turner Joy never had any evidence to prove that it was attacked.Another difference is that source B says that there was no visual evidence of an enemy attack where as source A says they sunk a patrol boat and damaged 2. If there was no visual evidence how would they know if they damaged or sunk an enemy boat?Source B doesn’t actually say that any of the US destroyers returned fire. Source A says that they were ordered to return fire but source B ignores this fact. I know that the Turner joy did return fire as they were ordered.Source B also does not mention the destroyers damaging or sinking any enemy boats. Source A says they were 2 damaged 1 sunk but source B does not mention an enemy patrol boat. Source B also mentions the radar on the Maddox having no contact with any vessel other than the Turner Joy.In conclusion the sources have many differences and similarities. Source A is however mainly saying that both attacks happened and source B says the second didn’t. On the other hand both sources talk about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and both are talking about the same boats.b) In 1961-1964 Kennedy and Johnson got more involved in the Vietnam War. They sent more military advisors in and Kennedy introduced the Green Beret to train South Vietnamese to fend for themselves.Anti-communism was a big factor to Kennedy and Johnson increasing involvement in Vietnam. America did not like the communist ideas because they believed in no rich people and everyone equal with no religion. Americans did not want to change because they liked capitalism. This was where you had rich people and you could have a religion and you have social class. The cold war was still going on at this time and like any war would cause fear. This one had lasted so long and there was a theory both Kennedy and Johnson both believed was true called the domino theory. This is where one country falls to communism the rest of the countries would fall. Both tried to stop this with containment where troops are sent in to stop the spread of communism. Kennedy lost Cuba to communist leader Fidel Castro in a failed invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961. At this time the soviet leader was Khrushchev who started a Cuban missile crisis in 1962 which was where Soviet Union and America nearly started world war 3 because the soviets wanted missiles on Cuba. However America agreed to get rid of there missiles in Turkey if soviets got rid of theirs in Cuba. Lastly china had been taken by communism which agrees with the domino theory and china also started to give aid to Vietnam. Source C also agrees with this because Kennedy says that ‘the enemy is the communist system its self’.During Johnson’s rule there was an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. 2 American destroyers were attacked by Vietnamese patrol boats. This shows that there now was American lives in danger. However no one knows if both attacks did happen and if they were ‘unprovoked’ I do know that Johnson passed a bill which let him wage war on Vietnam.In South Vietnam the circumstances are bad. Diem has been overthrown on November 1st 1963 and now a revolving door republic has set in with military generals in power. These are not liked by many people as they focus far too much on the welfare of the army and defence then on the actual people who live in the country. General Minh is liked by the South Vietnamese people because of his welfare programme but is disliked by America for wanting them to have less involvement in Vietnam. Kahn is liked by America for wanting more help of them but disliked by South Vietnam for not helping them out and focusing on the armies needs. However less people join the Army and more quit it. North Vietnamese has started to march in to South Vietnam by 1964.South Vietnam could not stop the communist threat of Ho and his North Vietnamese army. This is because many south Vietnamese wanted communism so would gladly help North Vietnam and because North Vietnam are getting help from china so no have better equipment. The South Vietnam army wasn’t well trained either so Kennedy did send the green berets to train them in guerrilla tactics.The quagmire theory was that each president got too involved to be able to pull out of the war. It started with Truman helping the French out in Indochina Kennedy inherited the war from Eisenhower when he becomes president. When Kennedy then didn’t want to seem soft and thought he had to prove himself to the public because of his young age he decided to get himself more involved and send in more advisors. Johnson made it worse by continuing and sending 2,500 more advisors. Johnson also had to get the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to show he is firm. This also gives him credibility because he did not get elected until November 1964 so showing he is firm will give him credibility and get him voted in which is what happens.In conclusion anti-communist beliefs were important in explaining Kennedy and Johnson’s involvement however many other factors played the part to. This includes that there were bad circumstances in the whole of Vietnam which would force America to act if they wanted to stay as the peace keeping nation they said they were.

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