The Problem With Vietnam Essays

1660 Words7 Pages
The Problem With Vietnam

Wartime in the United States has always placed pressure on the government and the citizens of the country to provide support by whatever means to the situation. During World War II, that support was propagated by the government in the form of censorship and a strategic public relations plan to maintain the public opinion in favor of the cause. Glorification of America's involvement in the war helped America maintain the image of "a cause worth fighting for." Technology and de-censorship would later transform America and the world's image of war, which had been formed by such propaganda as seen during WWII, into the truth about war as seen in the media's coverage of the Vietnam War. During this period,
…show more content…
However, the flip side to the censorship, the side that is not often seen, is the fact that this helped to break down many barriers in the country, including race, gender and even religious. Its effects on the outcome of the war cannot be measured by traditional means, but indeed it created an atmosphere of pride and loyalty for one's country. World War II may have been a censored war, but that censorship may have indeed won that war. According to Philip Knightley's The First Casualty during World War I, censorship was so tight that even reports of a gift of wine cases to American troops by the French were not reported for fear of making the American's look unsavory (Alter 38). An after effect of World War II's propagation can be seen in the tremendous press coverage of the Vietnam War. Feelings of mistrust and betrayal toward the US government could very well have been why Vietnam had so much coverage. American citizens wanted the truth, feeling that they had been lied to for so many years. The truth was what was received thanks to Television (Alter 38). Nicknamed the "Living Room War", images of death and destruction could be seen first hand. Uncensored images filled the TV screens as millions of Americans watched their country battle communism in a foreign land. For the first time, many people could see the truth about war. Their ideas of war being no longer being shaped by the government,
Get Access