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Re: Ch. 9 - See No Evil: Choosing Not to Look at the War in Vietnam
Chapter 9 Discussion Questions
1.) In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the US treated Vietnamese civilians as enemy combatants in the war. Do you feel the American people learning of this violation was the turning point in public opinion against the war? Why or why not? Is this even the most reprehensible policy enacted by the Department of Defense during the war? If not, which was?
2.) How did Vietnam change American culture and society? What about the American government? What lasting effects of the war do you recognise both contemporaneously and at the present?
3.) Vietnam is a good example of foreign intervention by the US in another nation’s affairs. How does Vietnam relate to the first and second Iraqi wars? How about Afghanistan in the post 9/11 era? Is it a mistake for the US (or any country) to step in if a country is struggling with regime progression/change? When is it acceptable/unacceptable? How does your opinion inform the events occurring in Venezuela apropos the regime struggle between Guaidó and Maduro?
4.) What were the US’ big problems in Vietnam? The assumption of a post-colonial problem in France? A warm war being fought by proxy with the PRC? Misinformation about the PRC’s level of involvement in Vietnam? Mismanagement of the war? Misinforming the American public? In essence, Vietnam is widely regarded (apolitically) as a poorly executed military action widely in the US: what were the reasons it went so badly?
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