Prior of the USA. The effect of

Prior to the
succession of Lyndon B. Johnson over the former president of the USA JF Kennedy,
the Vietnam War was well under way and had been progressing since November of
1955. Introduced in 1963 as the 36th president of the USA, Johnson
faced many social issues within the American society largely because of the increased
awareness of the media. The media played a significant role in contributing to
the withdrawal of the USA from the Vietnam War as uncensored media caused
controversy and anti-war feelings amongst the American public. Events such as
the Mai Lai massacre and the secret bombing of Laos and Cambodia reached mass
awareness and thus riots and protests continued. However increased taxes to pay
for war and death of relatives somewhat contributed to a lesser extent to the
withdrawal of the USA from the war by 1975.

After Johnson’s
victory as the new president of the USA he expressed his opinion that the war
could only be won through a massive increase in American involvement into
Vietnam, however this opinion was not shared by activists living in America and
thus the development of criticism of the US involvement in the Vietnam War
began. Nevertheless within only a few months of his presidency Johnson used the
Gulf of Tonkin incident to justify the increase and thus implemented the policy
of Escalation and Operation Rolling Thunder. His bombing campaign proved to be
a disaster for the USA both economically and socially as it was the costliest
bombing campaign in history and consequently caused social unrest in America
and affected the global image of the USA. The effect of this bombing campaign
lead to a degree of doubt within the American society, as the people began to
question why so much money was being used for a campaign that failed to
accomplish its objectives. The media played a significant role in the increased
awareness of the failure of the bombing campaign as articles and photographs
were published for the American people to see the consequences of the policies implemented
by Johnson. The increased awareness of what was going on in Vietnam was due to
the media, and these social pressures lead to the withdrawal of the USA. Furthermore,
in 1968 during the Vietnamese New Year the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army
launched an attack known as the Tet Offensive. Several towns, cities and
military bases across southern Vietnam were attacked by these two armies. The
offensive was not a military success for the Vietcong and the NVA but its size
and intensity shook the confidence of many Americans who believed that the war
was coming to an end. The USA claimed a military victory but the American
people had seen the horrors of the offensive as the destruction of Vietnam and
mass killings were evident in the media. The aftermath of the battle saw the
American people lose support for the effort in Vietnam as the public turned
against Johnson as the people began to see what was happening in Vietnam. The
social unrest was caused due to the media as the entire battle was broadcasted
across the nation, and thus the use of media lead to the people becoming more
vocal in their beliefs about the war and ultimately to the withdrawal of the
USA from the war by 1975.

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shortly after the beginning of the Tet Offensive, in March of 1968 the Mai Lai
massacre proved to be a defining moment in the Vietnam War as this incident saw
the American citizens lose complete trust in their government. The American
government tried to cover up the massacre but the images of this atrocity
eventually reached mass awareness in America several months later. Photographs
and reports on the massacre immediately sparked a widespread horror and distrust
among the American society. Consequently protests increased drastically as the
public expressed their view that the USA should not be in Vietnam and should
withdraw from the war. As a result the year of 1968 was a turning point in the
Vietnam War as the use of media allowed people across the world to see the
atrocities performed by the USA. Thus the criticism of Johnson and the anti-war
feelings lead him to refrain from running for a re-election in 1969. Moreover
in 1969 Richard M.Nixon was elected as the new president of the USA, and
immediately began withdrawing troops from Vietnam. This policy was known as the
policy of Vietnamization and its aim was to rather train the South Vietnamese
troops to fight against the North Vietnamese and to withdraw the American
troops from Vietnam. However in April of 1970 Nixon started bombing North Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia. The bombing of Laos and Cambodia was done in secret as by
this time in the war the media had uncovered many battles fought by the USA and
if the bombing campaign was made public there would have been a huge opposing
reaction. Despite the war being unpopular in the USA Nixon secretly began
bombing in hope of destroying the Ho Chi Minh trail. In addition to his bombing
campaign Nixon ordered for the first deep-penetration bombing raids which
resulted in further money being used and destruction of Laos and Cambodia.
However in 1973 the secret bombings became public through the media and the
American public were outraged and a further increase in anti-war protests
occurred within America. Thus Nixon immediately stopped his bombing campaigns
and a ceasefire was agreed on which meant the withdrawal of the USA from the
Vietnam War. As a result of the use of media throughout the Vietnam War, the US
government and the various presidents experienced not only political and economic
pressures but most of all social pressures. These social problems were caused
because of media, as the media exposed the president’s true intentions and the violence
created throughout the war and thus ultimately the media played a major role to
the withdrawal of the USA from 1963-1975.

However from
1963-1975 there were many other factors other than the use of media that
contributed to the withdrawal of the USA from the Vietnam War. As the war
progressed the American population became restless because of increased taxes.
The people developed anti-war feelings and wanted the withdrawal of the USA
from the war due to the high costs of the war. Large sums of money were being
used for the war and the American population became critical of their intervention
as the people felt that their money was being wasted in a foreign country and
for no real definitive purpose. Secondly the death of relatives and friends had
a massive effect on the people sitting back at home as this feeling of loss was
far more influential than that of media. The people were more concerned about
their loved ones and thus wanted the USA to leave the war so that their loved
ones could return home. These feelings of possible loss lead to uprisings in order
to create awareness of how they felt about the war and why they wanted the USA
to withdraw from the war. Furthermore the American population became
increasingly irritated with the US government mainly based on the tactics used
in Vietnam. The conventional warfare and search and destroy tactics proved to
be disastrous for the US army. As a result of these tactics used by the US
army, the people developed anti-war feelings as it was evident that these tactics
weren’t working in defeating the Northern Vietnamese armies. Lastly the
anti-war veterans contributed to the withdrawal of the USA from the war as they
expressed their experiences in the war. Veteran anti-war movements were created
so that people would understand the conditions in Vietnam and to further spread
the message that the USA must withdraw from Vietnam. Thus the increased taxes,
death of relatives and non-successful tactics used to fight against the
Vietnamese contributed to the withdrawal of the USA as well as the Veterans who
created awareness of the conditions and atrocities that were evident in Vietnam
from war from 1963-1975.


Thus even
though the unconventional tactics and death of relatives lead to anti-war
feelings which ultimately lead to the withdrawal of the USA from the war, it
was the role of the media that significantly affected the feelings and attitudes
of American society towards the War which lead to the withdrawal of the USA
from the Vietnam War from 1963- 1975.