Why do we go to war? Part 3 Vietnam

So I can’t help but continue to ask this question although I’m afraid of the answer because as I daily study and teach on this subject I’m concerned about the answers I find. I’m shaken by the documents I’ve analyzed over and over again.

I don’t think our leaders mean for our soldiers to be in harms way. They maybe seeking what in the end is the greatest good for the salvation of the United States. They don’t see nor want to reflect on the soldier as an individual, but on the “greater good”, that being the enduring political, economic, and military power of the United States.

I use to think that U.S.A. placed the needs of its people first. It’s decisions were based on the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all humankind, that the U.S.A. was the most humanitarian nation on the planet. That with its strength it would, if necessary, fight for the rights of all people in the world. But I’ve seen enough throughout my life to admit to myself that I was wrong.

Spock said, “The needs of the many outway the needs of the few.” We are the few in comparison to the future many of America.

I wondered why we didn’t help the victims in Rwanda during the mass genocide in 1994 where 500,000 to 1,000,000 died, or the Black South Africans during the apartheid, or the vast number of other horiffic violations of human rights around the world.

I can write about the various wars involving the United States and maybe in some future blogs I will, but America has been at a serious turning point in regards to the motivations which drive it to risk the lives of it’s people after World War 2.

The Vietnam War has been on my mind so I will just skip to there. At some point I will blog about the wars prior to that one. For now I am going to try to be brief using the words of past Presidents to explain why we went to Vietnam.

You can read the documents below. I will just give you the brief version of what our leaders said.

President Eisenhower stated that Indochina was important to “the whole world” because of its resources like tin, tungsten,and rubber plantations. We also had to make sure that communism didn’t continue spreading. Then we would also lose obtaining those materials.

President Johnson said that presidents prior to him, since 1954, made a promise to Vietnam to help them gain their independence. And China would continue to “swallow up” all the nations in Asia. Which would mean that whole area would become communist.

President Nixon said that as the most powerful nation in the world we had an obligation to help bring “peace and freedom” to a country suffering under totalitarianism.

I guess that President Nixon didn’t mention the “Red Scare” because most Americans after McCarthyism weren’t frightened by the communist bogey man anymore.


So I think I had my answer for why we went to war in Vietnam. When soldiers left the whole country became communist. So I guess we lost, but no one in government used that word. We just left.


The “domino theory” , a saying just before the war was that as one country becomes communist, they all fall to communism wasn’t necessarily true. And I wonder if the U.S. government really believed that America would become communist? And why does the USA always make communism seem like a villain in a Batman movie? Yes, some communist countries have dictators who give their people no freedom and the people suffer, etc… But lately, I am not sure how much better capitalism is. It’s great for the rich, but it doesn’t seem to be working out too well for the poor. That’s a question for another time.

Thanks for reading my musings………..

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