Vietnam And Gardens Of Stone Movie Essay

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Vietnam And Gardens Of Stone Movie Essay, Research Paper Gardens of Stone Francis Ford Coppola s Gardens of Stone provides three different perspectives on the Vietnam War. There were young men such as the character Jackie Willow who believed that it was their duty to serve their country. This soldier wanted to serve on the front lines because he believed that a soldier in the right place at the right time could make a difference. Other characters in the film, Sgt. Clell Hazard and Sgt. Major Goody Nelson, argued a different position. Although they did not seem to mind fighting for their country, these men saw the Vietnam War as political and unnecessary. Clell said that nobody hates this war more than those who have to fight it. Journalist Samantha Davis played by Angelica

Huston represents the majority of American citizens in the 1960 s and 70 s who opposed the war in every sense. Public opinion in the U.S. seemed to be that the war was a complete loss. I have to agree. Vietnam was never our war in the first place. France wanted to maintain control of Vietnam as a colony but was surrounded by Vietnamese Nationalist troops which led to the Geneva Peace Accords. The U.S. believed that this actually granted too much power to the Communist Party of Vietnam. Afraid of a Communist domino effect, the U.S. supported the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization of which a separate republic was formed in South Vietnam under the leadership of Ngo Dingh Diem. Providing the help of military, political and economic aid, the U.S. was now very much involved in this

civil conflict. Diem began imprisoning anyone who he believed supported Communist ideals. Soon, The Party began using force to try to overturn Diem s corrupt rule. Opposition in the South led to the forming of the National Liberation Front or the Viet Cong. Vietnam was now in an all out civil war. This was no business of the U.S. government. In 1961, President Kennedy s advisors were split on whether or not the U.S. should increase their aid to Diem command or simply withdraw altogether. Instead, Kennedy decided to find middle ground by aiding the South Vietnamese with more machines and more advisors but would not commit to supplying U.S. troops. Back home in the U.S. and across the world, there was great discern when Diem s Catholic Moral Laws resulted in the protesting and

self-mutilation by Buddhist monks on the streets of Saigon. Diem was soon captured and assassinated but three weeks later, President Kennedy was also assassinated. This led to the appointment of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The president gained war powers from Congress once two American ships were fired upon in the Gulf of Tonkin. In March of 1965, Johson sent over combat troops to Vietnam. The Party believed that it could beat the U.S. in a military war due to conditions favorable to the Vietnamese. The U.S. seemed to have no clearly defined objectives in Vietnam. The Party also knew that the large majority of Vietnamese people supported the Party. The U.S. seemed to be as confused about their objectives in Vietnam as they did about their combat power. Willow stated in the film

that the U.S. could win the war with fire power. He said that U.S. helicopters showed signs that archaic bows and arrows were being used by the Vietnamese. Clell told him that this was na ve in that Vietnamese farmers could survive one-hundred days on no food or water. This was difficult terrain in a jungle that U.S. troops were unfamiliar with. The war was a lost cause in terms of the United States physical obstacles in Vietnam terrain. The only way the U.S. could improve their chances were to up their kill power. Back home in the U.S., the number of young men volunteering for the army was decreasing so a national draft was instituted. Two hundred of these troops were sent into the unarmed village of My Lai and five hundred villagers were massacred. Our country did not know who