Negative Effects Of The Vietnam War

Decent Essays

War crimes committed during the course of the Vietnam War had irreversible effects on the perception of the United States military. The US military stood divided, unsure of what were atrocities and what were normal orders to be followed. Distorted interpretations of orders, anger, confusion, and negligence all had a part in war crimes like the massacre at My Lai. The single greatest element responsible for what happened at My Lai was a racial bias that lurked at the heart of the War itself.
US involvement in Vietnam began on the coattails of World War II. At this time, the US adopted a stance of isolationism and released the Philippines as a colony. With the exceptions of Guam and a few small territories, the US relinquished its reigns of empire. Many old empires continued down this path as well. France on the other hand, following humiliation and destruction in WWII, clung tightly to Vietnam. As France struggled against the North Vietnamese will for independence, the US was prompted to stick up for its allies. The war in Vietnam quickly became another issue altogether. As bodies stacked, racist attitudes towards the north and south Vietnamese people increased as well. Whether due to losing comrades, or ideological differences, US soldiers did not need to look hard to find reasons to hate the enemy or see them as less than human. Rage from having squadmates being picked off undoubtedly loaded a physiological strain on conscripted soldiers, who had already been sent half the

Get Access