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Propaganda. The image of the American Military

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 555
  • Category: Veterans

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Only care about the image of the American military and declined to control ally actions. The American public questioned that the government would allow torture of prisoners and not put a stop to it. Further tarnishing the soldier’s reputations, one of the most damning events during the war, the massacre in the My Lai village, which was brought to light in February 1970, American forces slaughtered over 400 old men, women and children in.in March 1968. Once these events went public it ignited worldwide outrage. Newsweek put the event on the cover of magazine with words “An American Tragedy”. This sole event ramped up the anti-war movement and brought American values into the picture.

Not only were celebrities influence public perception of the war, former soldiers were speaking out against US involvement in Vietnam. During the summer of 1970 and 1971 John Kerry, meet with the communist delegations. Kerry, an accused communist sympathizer by many veterans and leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, assisted Hanoi in anti-war activities and represented their goals in Paris during the accord. Kerry admitted while testifying to the Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971that, “he had probably broken the law by going to Paris and meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong leaders. ‘I realize that even my visits in Paris . . . in a sense are on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera. I understand these things. The prohibition against private individuals negotiating–which has been on the criminal statute books since John Adams was President–is contained in 18 U.S.C. Section 953 and is a felony.” His and Hanoi’s idea was to force Nixon into a date to end the war and release American POWs. Also, if Nixon had agreed to the seven-point peace plan it would have been an admission of guilt and surrender to North Vietnamese.

America would have had to pay reparations to the communist as the wrongful aggressor and immoral acts commit and the atrocities committed by the United States. In a Memorandum from President Nixon to the White House Chief of Staff (Haldeman) on January 25, 1973, the President stated “In essence, the simple points must be made that our opponents in the Congress and in the media wanted to end the war in Vietnam with dishonor and what amounted really to an abject surrender and defeat for the United States. We persisted in seeing it through until the war was ended with honor. Peace with honor means peace with independence for South Vietnam and peace for the people of Southeast Asia”. Kerry’s testimony before Senator Fulbright’s Foreign Relations Committee and protest was televised nationally. Kerry spoke for the veterans by saying “They relived the absolute horror of what this country made them do. They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country”. 

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