There are many reasons why the United States lost the war and I think the media had a large part to play in it. The media weakened support for the troops by showing bad pictures of what was happening and I think that if people in the United States hadn’t seen half the pictures they saw then I believe morale would have remained higher and given the United States a better chance of winning the war.
To answer the question about whether TV was an important reason why the United States lost the war. I will look at each source in turn, explain them and state whether it is reliable and if it could have been a cause of why the United States lost the war. Source D is a North Vietnamese poster from the time showing the problems faced by the Americans fighting a guerrilla war.
The source shows you that the United States had a very large problem fighting the war because they could not see who they were fighting and they were surrounded by the guerrillas. This shows two of the easons why the Americans lost the war in Vietnam and is a reliable source for showing why America lost the war because I know from my own knowledge that the reasons shown in this source are correct because I know that the Vietnamese used guerrilla warfare and ambush tactics to fight the war.
There is no evidence to suggest why this source could have been a cause of why the Americans lost the war because it shows neither morale or support weakening material and as I stated in my introduction I believe that the Americans lost due to low morale and lack of support but it does show support for the part that the media played during the war. Source E is a photograph of two napalm victims published during the Vietnam war. I believe this could have played a major role in loss of support and morale of the Americans because the two napalm victims were children around the age of9.
This would give the impression that what the Americans were doing in Vietnam was wrong and as a direct result was hurting innocent people and children. This would make people think that war was not worth it and that is wasn’t really a war but a conflict causing damage to innocent people. This supports the statement because it shows what is going on, you can also see camera men in the background, linking this source back to the media. Source F is an American journalists publication.
This source shows you that the tactics the Americans used were all wrong because they never knew who they were attacking and when attacking if they were attacking the right people, they were also not trained to fight using guerrilla tactics this gives the Vietnamese a clear advantage. This source would have weakened support for war to continue because the information given about American tactics shows great destruction and death to people guilty or innocent. This source is reliable U because it was written by an American Reporter with an unbiased opinion on the war.
It is also useful for explaining why the Americans lost the war in Vietnam and supports the statement because it would have been published in the newspapers, this would have increased the support for the Anti-war movement. Source G is the reactions of an American soldier after being told about the assacre of 504 innocent women, children and elderly men at My Lai. This shows us that when the American soldier went to war the believed they were fighting for freedom and for their country but instead they were forced to kill innocent people.
This lowered morale as they then realised that it wasn’t a war for a cause. Source G is reliable as it came from an American soldier who served during the war at Vietnam, it is also useful because it shows how the Americans operated and what they did that people thought was wrong. This is a useful source for explaining why the Americans lost the war as the source would have been published and the Americans would have lost a huge amount of support for the unnecessary slaughter of these people.
This would have lowered morale and left soldiers not wanting to fight or kill anymore. For example, Lt Calley was in charge at My Lai and he asked a soldier to “finish off’ the dying people but the soldier refused, the soldier was then threatened with death and his response was to pullout his gun and say “Well I guess we’re both going to die then! . This shows that the soldiers thought what they were told to do was wrong and they didn’t want to fight a war without a cause.
This source however does not show any information supporting the statement that television was an important reason why America lost the war. Source H is a cartoon published in the British magazine “Punch” showing the effects of President Johnson’s war policy on the “Great Society”. This shows money being taken from Taxpayers and being used to fuel the war in Vietnam when it should ave been spent on feeding and sheltering the homeless.
When this was published it It probably turned support away from the President as a result this increased the support of the peace movement, meaning less support and eventual failure of the war. This source is useful for showing what helped to increase support for the peace movement and why the war failed. This doesn’t show any information supporting the statement. Source J is a photo from an American school textbook showing the anti-war demonstrations at Kent State University in 1970. This shows us that people of all ages U and races supported the anti-war movement.
This source is useful because it shows us another reason why the Americans lost the war. This shows information to support the statement because the Anti- War campaign grew because of the pictures and, information published on television and in the media. Source K is a public opinion poll of Australians. This shows us that from April 1969 to October 1969 support from the war dropped by 9% but later went back up by 3%. This shows us that NOT everybody wanted to stop the war and that peoples opinions did change.
But this does not mean Americans felt the same way, the Americans may have had the total opposite view of what the Australians did and if so then it would show lack of support. But with the information we are given it doesn’t show anything suggesting that the media was an important reason why America lost the war. America lost the war because of a number of things, one reason was that they couldn’t fight a guerrilla war effectively because they had not been trained for one. Another reason was the Ho Chi Minh trail.
The Ho Chi Minh trail was a supply trail, used by the Vietnamese to keep supplies going, The Americans tried to destroy this trail by using defoliants on the trees around it but because the trail branched off in many directions there was no way they could have defoliated the whole trail this meant that supplies kept going. Lack of morale Is another reason America lost the war, morale was low amongst the American soldiers because of the things they had to do, they were forced to murder innocent people. They thought they were going to fight for their freedom but felt like “Nazi’s” because of what were actually doing.
Lack of support also caused morale to lower. This lack of support was due to pictures of what was happening being shown on television, and from the information published in the media. Most of the publications promoted the anti-war movement, this increased the anti-war movement and lowered support for the war mission even more. I believe that America lost the war due to them not being very well trained or prepared to fight against the guerrilla tactics. I also believe that low support and low morale had a large part to play in the failure of the Americans in the war.
The low more and lack of support was caused by what was seen in the media and on the television, linking television to the failure of the Americans in Vietnam. In conclusion television was an indirect cause of the failure of Americans in Vietnam and an indirect cause why the Americans lost the war. I do think that the sources show sufficient evidence to support the statement and that the media played a big part in lowering morale and support therefore making it a reason why the Americans lost the war.