Essay on Johnson's War: The Domino Effect

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In 1947, President Harry Truman made a vow to the nation, later known as the Truman Doctrine, to contain communism in Europe and elsewhere. President Truman’s successors continued to make the vow that they would do whatever it took to stop the spread of communism and prevent the “domino effect.” President John F Kennedy increased the number of military advisors and Special Forces in South Vietnam but President Johnson made the decision to engage in full warfare in the region. Because Johnson decided to engage in full warfare, it is fair and truthful to dub the Vietnam conflict, “Johnson’s War.” After President Johnson finished JFK’s term, he was in a bit of a “pickle.” Johnson wanted to stay the course in Vietnam but he feared that a…show more content…
As a result of Johnson’s request, the Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution with only two dissenting votes. Decades later, the National Security Agency reported that the report was faulty. Although this intelligence was not reported to the public until after the conflict, it is evidence that the Johnson Administration was not always truthful to the American public. Johnson’s approval rating soared after the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution but his favorable ratings declined shortly after because he was accused of not being honest with the American people. Johnson was perceived as untruthful by the American public which caused unrest and frustration with Johnson’s constituency. In the election of 1964, Johnson campaigned on a platform that called for restraint in Vietnam. Johnson stated that, “we are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves” (Buhle, 854). While Johnson was voicing a message that called for restraint in Vietnam, Goldwater, Johnson’s opponent, called for a bombing campaign against North Vietnam as a prelude to invasion. Because of Johnson’s campaign for restraint in Vietnam, he won a landslide victory. In February 1965, the Vietcong had dispatched a suicide bomb to a U.S. military in Pleiku, which resulted in seven American deaths and more than 100 injured. President Johnson had
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