Vietnam War | The 20th century | World history | Khan Academy

In order to have a respectable
understanding of the Vietnam War, we have to rewind all
the way back to the late 1800s when France was
colonizing Southeast Asia. And in particular, it colonized
what is now Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia– and
they were collectively called French Indochina. You can see Cambodia here,
Vietnam along the coast, and then, Laos, right over here. And France stayed the
colonizing power– I have a little gap
in my timeline here– and they stayed a
colonizing power all the way through
World War II. And so you can imagine,
during World War II, France was quickly
overrun by the Germans. The Vietnamese wanted
their independence, and so you have a liberation
movement that rises up. And it was led by the Viet
Minh, and the Viet Minh were led by Ho Chi Minh. This right here is a
picture of Ho Chi Minh. And besides being a
liberation movement, they were also communist,
which, you could imagine, later on during the Cold
War will kind of bias the United States against them. But you fast forward
through World War II. Eventually, the Japanese
take control over Indochina, over Vietnam. But by the time ’45
rolls around, or at least the end of ’45– and we know
that the United States defeats Japan– now, all of a
sudden, the Viet Minh are able to declare a somewhat
temporary independence. And it’s temporary
because shortly after that– and the region
is occupied temporarily by the Chinese in the north, and
the British in the south, who were part of the Allied
forces against the Axis. But eventually, you have
the French coming back, and they want to
reassert their control over their former colony. And you have this war that
develops– the First Indochina War between the
French and the people sympathetic to the
French– the Vietnamese who were loyal to the
French– and the North. And the French–
just to make it clear how it sets up, at the
end of World War II when you had the temporary
occupiers, the British and the Chinese, the
Chinese, obviously, had more influence in the North. The British had more
influence in the South. When the French come
back they, essentially, are able to reinstate
control over the South. So right when the
Indochina War is beginning, the French already have
more control over the South. And actually,
historically the French had more influence in
the South, as well. During French colonial rule it
was really the southern third of Vietnam where you had
a lot of French influence. And this is a current
map, and the current map does not have this
orange boundary over here that we’ll talk
about in a second. Vietnam is now unified. But before the Vietnam War,
this was not Ho Chi Minh City, this was Saigon. And Saigon was kind of where
most of the French control was centered. But you fast forward
to 1954, this ends up in a bit of a stalemate. And so you have the
Geneva Conference of 1954 that partitions Vietnam along
the 17th parallel between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. And the whole point
of this partition was, really, to just
allow for a cooling off period, a period
where you can have thing settling down, and
then having elections. It wasn’t meant to be
a permanent partition. But there was a
300-day period where people could move
across the partition. And during that
partition, you actually had 900,000 people, mainly
Catholics, move from the North to South. You also had several
hundred thousand people moving from the
South to the North, so it wasn’t a one-way movement. But net net, most of the
movements by Roman Catholic Vietnamese was from
the North to the south. You fast forward a little
bit, you eventually have– and I’m sure I’m butchering
the pronunciation here– Ngo Dinh Diem take control. He starts off as
prime minister in ’54, eventually he takes control,
and becomes president in ’55. This is him right here. He takes control
of South Vietnam, and this guy is not a big
fan of things like elections, or non-corrupt government,
and all the rest. And he takes control
of South Vietnam. But you could imagine that the
United States is positively inclined to him. One, he dresses in nice
Western suits and all of that, and had nicely combed hair. But he was also anti-communist. And at this time period,
the United States is starting to think in
terms of the Cold War. And in terms of, how
do we stop communism? How do we contain it? This whole theory
of containment– that the best way to
stop the Soviet Union is to just make sure that
communism can not spread. That it gets contained. We have the domino theory
in the United States that if one country falls
to communism in a region, that the rest of the countries
will eventually fall. And that is not good
for containment. So we did not want
South Vietnam to fall. We essentially start supporting
these characters over here. And even from the early
’50s, the United States starts supporting
the anti-communist. And at first, this
support, it’s in the– I guess we should say–
the guise of advisers. But these advisers–
one, we start sending more and more aid,
and more and more advisers. And these advisers started
getting more and more involved in the actual conflict. And so after this
partition, you can imagine, that you still have
an ongoing conflict between the North and the South. And on top of that,
you have actors who are sympathetic
to the North, sympathetic to the Viet Minh,
sympathetic to Ho Chi Minh, in the South. Some of them were in the North,
they come back to the South. Some of them were
just in the South. And they did not like
the Diem government. Besides just being
sympathetic to Ho Chi Minh, Diem was a fairly
corrupt autocratic ruler, who wasn’t a big
fan of democracy. And so these
players in the South who started to rise up against
President Diem or the Viet Cong. And so this really sets up what
the Vietnam War is all about. You have the communist Ho
Chi Minh-controlled North that was fighting a conventional
war against the South. You have this partition
on the 17th parallel. And on top of that, you have an
unconventional fighting force– I guess you’d call
them guerrillas– in the South of Vietnam
called the Viet Cong. So it was, kind of, a
double– There were two things that the South had to fight
against– the North officially, and also this insurrection that
was occurring within the South. And so the whole time
the United States did not want this insurrection
to succeed– they did not want all of Vietnam
to become communist. We keep sending more
and more advisers. It actually started
even before Kennedy, but Kennedy he starts
sending– he escalates the number of advisers
that gets sent. It’s still not, at this point,
it’s still not a formal war. We haven’t officially
declared– where we don’t have, officially,
soldiers in battle. You fast forward to
1963, besides all of the great characteristics of
Diem that I already mentioned, he also was into
persecuting Buddhists. So to make matters worse,
not only was he corrupt, not only did he
not like elections, but he liked persecuting
his own people. And by 1963, this
kind of got out of hand, his level of
persecution of the Buddhists. He started toward storming
temples, and all the rest. And so he was assassinated. And not only was
he assassinated, it kind of leaves
this power vacuum, and you have all these
people jockeying for control, none of these really
especially savory characters inside the South. These two guys eventually
come to power, Nguyen Cao Ky and Nguyen Van Thieu. Wait a few years,
Nguyen Van Thieu is able to get this
guy out of the picture. And then by 1967–
I don’t have it over here– you have Thieu
has now taken control. But during that
period– or actually, before Ky and Thieu
take power– in 1964, you have one of the shadiest
incidents in American history. As you can imagine, we, in
our function as advisors, we had sent ships into the
Gulf of Tonkin, right off of the coast of North Vietnam. So the original
story goes– and this is a very suspect
original story– in 1964, the US Maddox– and this is
the original story– claimed to that it was
attacked, or it was claimed that the US
Maddox was attacked by North Vietnamese
patrol boats, and that there was a
little skirmish– there was an exchange of fire. And it was also claimed that
a few days later another boat in the Gulf of Tonkin,
another US vessel, was attacked by a
North Vietnamese boat. That was the original story. This angered Congress, this
angered the American people. How dare they attack ships that
are sitting off of the coast, warships that are
sitting off the coast. And so this kind of
gave the emotional fuel to pass the Gulf of
Tonkin Resolution. So these incidents, or these
purported incidents– this, kind of, attack
on the USS Maddox, and this other thing that
might have happened– these were called the Gulf
of Tonkin Incidents. This angered Congress,
angered the American people, so we passed the Gulf
of Tonkin Resolution, and what’s relevant about it
is that it gave LBJ, here, it gave him the
authority to officially engage in a war in Vietnam,
to officially escalate it to an actual war that
the US was involved in. And this whole time
I’ve been saying it’s shady, because
it’s now been shown that one, the Gulf of
Tonkin– well it’s not clear that really anything happened. There might have been some
firing from the USS Maddox. They might have actually engaged
the North Vietnamese patrol boats. The other possibility
that might have happened is that nothing happened. But any way you look at it,
it’s now been fairly established that it was not a real incident. It was not really North Vietnam
attacking the United States. But it was relevant because
it really escalated the war. So now you have Johnson– did
I say North Korea originally? I apologize for that. We’re talking about
North Vietnam. I don’t remember what
my brain actually said. Of course, North Vietnam. But it gave Johnson the
power to escalate the war. And so his
administration is really the heart of the
Vietnam War, when the war was really escalated. We eventually get to
500,000 US troops. But the whole time this is
happening, you can imagine, Johnson and the American
military leaders in Vietnam are telling the American people,
oh, we’re fighting communism. We’re about to win. This is a noble war. And you fast forward,
and especially, the part about to win–
you fast forward to 1968, and all of a sudden you
have the Viet Cong, who the American leaders have
told the American people and the Congress, that
they’re about to be defeated, and then in 1968, the Viet Cong
orchestrate the Tet Offensive, which is this massive
coordinated attack on a bunch of targets
throughout South Vietnam. And so even though it was
wasn’t completely successful militarily, the intent
of the Tet Offensive was to completely turn
the tides in the war. It made the American
people and the Congress rightfully suspicious. You, Mr. Johnson,
you had told us that we were about
to win the war, and the Viet Cong were almost
defeated, and all of a sudden, they orchestrate this
sophisticated attack on us. It rightfully made the
American public suspicious. On top of that, and this
probably made matters a lot worse, the My
Lai Massacre comes out. And in every war
there are massacres, but the United States,
at least believes, that its soldiers can kind
of take the high road. They don’t engage in
these type of things. But the My Lai Massacre showed
that, really, no soldiers are immune to massacres. And this is really a
disgusting massacre, and it was documented. And if you really
want to be disturbed, do a Google search for images
of the My Lai Massacre. It will ruin your weekend. It’ll depress you. It’s US soldiers killing a
village of innocent women and children. There’s pictures of dead babies. It’s horrible, and to
make matters worse– or even, add insult to injury–
the soldiers who committed it– there was
actually a few who tried to defend the villagers
and when they came back, they were treated
almost like traitors. But the soldiers who actually
did the attack, only one of them got jail time and it
was only a couple years of jail time, and this
was for massacring a village of women and children. So already, you had
the Tet Offensive. It makes the American
public suspicious of whether we can
even win this war. Then you have the
My Lai Massacre, which just disgusts
the public, and makes people realize that
we’re involved in a war that it’s not even clear who are
the good guys anymore, not even clear what the real goals are. Make matters worse, you
fast forward to 1971. The Pentagon Papers get
leaked to the New York Times. And these pretty
much articulate– it’s a classified
document that articulates that the leadership, the
military and non-military leadership of the Vietnam
War, was, to some degree, lying to Congress and
the American people. It was lying about
how the war was going. It was lying about what
activities it was doing. It did not tell the
American people and Congress that it was actually engaged
in war in Laos and Cambodia. And a lot of the reason
why we were engaged in Laos and Cambodia
is because that’s where the supply routes
were between the North and the South– they ran
through Laos and Cambodia. And the most famous of them,
and you might have heard of it, is the Ho Chi Minh trail. And it wasn’t just one
trail, it was actually a network of trails. And so a lot of
the activity that was going on in
Laos and Cambodia was, kind of, carpet bombing
of what the US thought were some of these supply routes. And we never really
got a good– well, that’s a whole other debate. But it wasn’t just one
trail the was easily bombed. It was all of these
little foot paths and all of these
other things, where arms were able to be transported
from the North to the South. But the Pentagon
Papers, rightfully, made the American people
even more suspicious. And then now we’re entering
into Nixon’s administration, and he was still doing
the carpet bombing, still atrocities going on,
but he, his whole goal was to kind of
wind down the war, bring the troops out on a
timetable without, kind of, an unofficial defeat. So you fast forward to 1973, you
have the Paris Peace Accords, where officially there is peace
between the North, the South, the North, and the Americans. You can imagine it from
the North’s point of view, they’re like, sure, we’ll
sign some peace accords. It’ll just make the
Americans go away, once the Americans
go away they won’t be able to come back,
since this was such a hugely unpopular war. It was such a waste for
America on so many dimensions. Especially, America’s
prestige as a global actor. We’ll just wait
for them to leave, and then we can overrun
the South after that. And that’s essentially
what happens. In 1975, the North just
overruns the South, and then later
that year, you have Saigon falling to the North. And then it becomes
Ho Chi Minh City. And just this whole
period, you have President Thieu is in
power, and just to show where his priorities
are– near the end, right when the North is
falling to South Vietnam– and you can kind
of see the writing on the wall– he gives a speech
to the Vietnamese people saying that he’ll never desert them. But then when it
becomes pretty clear that Saigon is going to fall
to the North Vietnamese, he gets on a big
US transport plane with, literally,
15 tons of luggage. I’ll let you think about
how much luggage that is. And $15 million worth of
gold, and this is $15 million worth of gold in 1975. So you can imagine
how much he really cared about the
Vietnamese people. And he eventually ends up
settling in Massachusetts. And he died there
about 10 years ago. So you could imagine, this was
an ugly incident for the world. A super ugly incident for
the Vietnamese people. A super ugly chapter
in American history. It was the first war
that one, America lost, but more, it hurts prestige,
it hurts America’s ability to influence what was going on
in other parts of the world. You had the containment
theory, that we have to stop communism
from spreading. And the domino theory,
that if one country would fall to communism
then the other ones were. That didn’t happen. The South did
fall, but we didn’t have the rest of Southeast
Asia falling to communism. So it kind of disproved
the domino theory, especially because
after the Vietnam War the United States would
not be able to enter another war like
it for some time, because the American people
wouldn’t let it happen. So to some degree, it would
have been easier for communism to spread, because
people would have known that the US
couldn’t engage it. But despite that, the
domino theory didn’t happen. But it was just all-around ugly. I mean, besides the
massacres, and the raping, and the pillaging of innocence
that happened on, really, on all sides of this, you have
1 to 3 million Vietnamese– and no one will really
know the actual count– but that’s a huge number. 1 to 3 million
Vietnamese were killed. You have 58,000 American
troops being killed. And you have
hundreds of thousands of Cambodians and Laotions
who are never really formally involved in the war,
they were killed. Especially, due to a lot of
this carpet bombing campaign. So these are just atrocious
numbers, and really one of the worst and ugliest
chapters in US history.

Comments 100

  • Sorry, I meant to say that Laos was also a neighbor of Vietnam, like Cambodia

  • IB History HL paper 1 and paper 2 in a few hours. And I'm here watching Sal's videos for studying 🙂

  • America did not win the Vietnam War, you idiot

  • explain to me how we lost.

  • Listen to yourself. Thats like saying one football team can beat another team two days after they already played.

  • How about you explain to me how we won

  • which means we lost the war in Vietnam

  • I just want to make sure you know what you are talking about before we engage in an argument. Wouldnt want to be arguing with someone who just regurgitates what his liberal masters have to say now would we……id like to argue with someone who could think for his or herself

  • No we succeeded in what we set out to accomplish. you cannot argue that we did not. Our goal was to stop the spread of communism as it was predicted by the domino theory. our goal was to stop the spread of communism, and that we did. we fought until 1973, and allowed the South Vietnamese to take over combat operations. 1975 is when South Vietnam fell. So communism was stopped for two years, and by that time we were not involved in the war. tell me how we failed to reach our goal

  • I know exactly what I'm talking about

  • Im glad. Now here is the issue. You think we lost, and I think we won. I will tell you exactly why. Our mission when we went into Vietnam was to stop the spread of Communism as predicted by the domino theory. That is exactly what we did. We left in 1973 after the Vietnamization initiative started by Nixon which handed over combat operations to the South. So 1973 we left, and 1975 the South fell. We werent involved in Vietnam for two years and some how we lost it? Explain to me that notion

  • That's not telling me how we won the war in Vietnam

  • We left South Vietnam a Communist free, democratic country in 1973. It fell two years later in 1975. For two years life went on normally in Vietnam, it was free and relatively peaceful. For two years we were not involved in the country. Then it falls, and somehow we lost? The belief that the US lost the Vietnam War defies all logical reasoning.

  • Um no you lost your troops were sent back to USA

  • 15:11 No, it was the other way around. South falling to the North…

  • How has america won this war. It is a good thing they lost. America are capaltalist extremists who will do anything to stop communism.

  • That isn't very accurate. The US, to my knowledge, never had a "destroy all communism" policy, but more of a "contain communism to where it already is" policy. Also, the US has many traits, such as various economic regulations, that would not be seen in an extreme capitalistic economy. It's a mixed economy based on capitalist ideas.

  • 3:53, "this guy is not a big fan of things like elections and non-corrupt government"

  • no but i got the taks test next week 0.0


  • i thought Diem was a woman

  • I do! Not looking forward to it.

  • To this day ho chi minh city is still commonly referred as saigon

  • 16:09 didn't America lose a war in 1812.

  • In 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that: "It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. […] In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August " So Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a lie fabricated by the US gov. So it's not true that Gulf of Tonkin Incident was fishy, it was a lie.

  • This is a nice lecture but I do wish one thing was added in the early 1960's section. President Kennedy did NOT escalate the Vietnam war. As a matter of fact he signed off on an NSM which would have completely reduced the U.S.'s involvement there.

    Please search on YTV for the video called "JFK Assassination – Six Seconds That Changed America." At the end there is documented information on JFK's plans for Vietnam and what happened after his death. Thank you.

  • Hey sal can you do a video on pol pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia?

  • Oh yeah, well remembered.

  • Oh yeah, well remembered.

  • Oh yeah, well remembered.

  • Thanks for making this video downloadable Khan, makes watching this offline much easier on my tablet.

  • so it seems more like a tie.

  • Excuse me Khan Academy, you have a major omission of information in this video. The Domino Theory WAS proved correct because soon after the fall of South Vietnam to the communists, Cambodia fell to the Khmer Rouge and Loas also turned communist.

  • OMG … Those images … this is the first time in my life that I am truly ashamed to be an American. I would have never thought that OUR TROUPS could have it in them to do that. An entire town murdered in cold blood, but what just about made me wretch were the images of the innocent children. WHY oh WHY in the name of GOD could our troups do that. To all the Vietnemese people if any see and read this, my heart cries for you and as an American … I am sorry this happened … I am deeply and TRULY sorry.

  • I cant believe that American actually massacre MY OWN TOWN. As a vietnamese I am digust. Rest in peace my innocent people.

  • @CodeNameV Its a shame Marxism and communism these days is a relative dead theory of thinking 🙁

  • WOW!  you left some important facts out.  It still never was a war.  Congress vote to allow Johnson to accelerate conflicts does not make it a war.   Some might say, "Oh you're arguing legalities," but its a bigger issue than that.  All the USA was permitted to do was keep the North out of the south by pushing them back across the parallel.  NV would invade the south, the USA pushed them back.  A very bad way of handling the conflict.  If congress declared war, the USA would have authority to push the ground conflict through the North all the way to the Chinese border.

    The whole war was foolish and a waste.  All this, "Keeping the North out of the South," objective was left out and the facts that for years this endless back and forth just demoralized the US military which is a nice recipe for soldiers already under pressure to snap and commit criminal massacres.  Not to mention there is no word on the "the draft" issue which was a big part of the anti-war movement.

    War is hell and madness; and madness is contagious.

    Anyway, you are 100% wrong on the domino affect.  It did happen as North Vietnam attacked Laos taking over setting up a puppet government.  In 1978 the NV (combined with Laos) attacked and seized Cambodia setting up puppet governments and started to attack along the border of Thailand which is one of the reasons Thailand and Indonesia asked the USA to keep a presence in their countries.  The genocide with the NV "re-education" camps in capture territories was horrific.

    I'm not a fan of the war, but, I do believe it was the years of conflict with the USA combined with the USA maintaining presence in Thailand that halted the North Vietnamese advance after Cambodia.  That and North Vietnam lost much of its military and supply support from the Soviets who were already under financial pressure from a failed socialistic concept combined with invading Afganistan.

  • I apologize for Khan with Ngo Dinh Diem (it is a Vietnamese name)

  • Why are wars always started with boats? hahaha

  • I don't understand why American was so afraid of the spread of communism. Isn't it fair everyone has his own choice? You can live your way, I will live my way. We respect each other, and live well together. Why harm the other when they are different from you?

  • 'The rest of south-east Asia didn't fall to communism' – except Laos, Combodia

  • Could you possibly do an additional video – showing the factors which caused Americans to protest against the Vietnam War which US troops were fighting?!

  • I was not a member of the river boat in this documentary but I am proud to mention that I was an shipmate of Dick Godbehere's earlier in Korea.

  • How do you get energy points fast :D?

  • This presenter did not do a good job. This video draws some very mistaken conclusions and is quite biased. First, if the US did not try to contain communism in Vietnam, then there is a decent probability that other Southeast Asian nations would have fallen to communist expansion. For example, the time and support of the US likely kept Thailand from being overrun. Also, the presenter leaves out what happened in Laos and Cambodia that also fell under pretty awful communist dictatorships. Furthermore, the description of the later period of the war after the end of the Johnson administration is completely inadequate. The war was basically won by 1973 and if the US had continued to offer even limited air support per the peace accords, South Vietnam would probably have prevailed. The South Vietnamese were not communist and most suffered immensely from the destruction of the country. There was no debunking of the domino theory and the South Vietnamese government was stable by the end of the war absent external invasion. In all probability, if there was no foreign invasion, South Vietnam would be a decently democratic and prosperous society today and in fact it was ahead of the other Southeast Asian nations in development at the time of its destruction.

  • everybody tried to stop communism or apply it the wrong way because it is the only that cares for everyday people

  • Hi Khan, I love your history videos.  Could you make more?  Some ideas are Roman Empire, Crusades, and Fall of Soviet Union.  Thanks!

  • Now if our government now would fight our current enemies with such fervor.

  • "WW3 will be fought with guns, but WW4 will be with sticks."

  • wicked

  • Who is from Vietnam and did not north Vietnam controlling the south Vietnam

  • It's pronunced Me' lie, rhymes with tea' high.
    My daughter's godfather went there. He doesn't talk about this war like anyone else I know, when he DOES talk of it, which is hardly ever.
    He thinks that most "history" sites besides the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund is changing what happened to suit themselves, like when they claimed the My Lai massacre happened bc the people who did it were "bored" and implied they just wanted to kill an entire village of people for no other reason than that. Sheer boredom huh? It sounds dumb even to me and I have no conscious memories of Vietnam but I find it offensive that people blame him bc of all the good he's done for my daughter since her dad died.

  • Not according to Richard. Unless you demonstrate the goal of "trying to wind DOWN war" by cutting student deferments, family deferments and installing a lottery that chooses you randomly to go to Vietnam with almost no hope that if your number was called you could get out of actually going.
    He boils over with anger at Nixon, bc Nixon's authorized lottery also sent Bill Blanton to Vietnam, who came back horizontal and in pieces. He was a "quiet, polite person who never would have chosen military life and ended up dead bc of what Nixon signed off on." And Richard just really liked Sgt. Blanton. Everyone in the man's unit did. That's not normal for the Army. He must have really been a "good, fair sergeant" as most of them have said on his remembrance page.

  • I've heard that the tet offensive was also jarring because it was done on a vietnam holiday, and there was an agreed ceasefire(?) not sure but I've heard here-say about that.

  • He was right the my lai massacre pics are depressing.

  • I think this vid made me hate the USA and I dont want to hate the USA.

  • You never mentioned that the Tet Offensive wiped out the Viet Cong and they never recovered from it and the North switched to conventional war in the Easter Offensive (never mention this either) and were again wiped out in the Easter Offensive by American air power and South Vietnamese troops with American advisors. These are the CRITICAL moments in the war. All you did was recite propaganda. You are a propagandist, sir. The North came to the peace table and agreed to all the terms after the disaster of the Easter Offensive. Then what happened? Watergate (you never mention this either). The fact is that the head of the Phoenix Program needed an armored convoy to get around in the countryside before Tet. By 1972 he drove around by himself in the countryside a single unarmored Jeep. Please wake up, sir and stop spreading this propaganda cheese. It's quite pathetic for a smart man to be so fooled (and so desiring to be fooled b/c of your alterior motives).

  • bro thanks for this

  • @ bradhuygens No, the US did not lose the war of 1812! We would not be Americans today if we did! Someone correct me if I'm the stupid one.

  • what's that program u using…. btw great video!

  • Thx u for your information, but there are some points i have to disagree with you :). The war is not between the North vs the South, it is between VNese people (further, the indochinese people) vs US imperialist and their puppet, the RVN. The war is ugly for the US, its right, but its not ugly for VNese people, instead, its another glory page in the long history of VNese :).

  • you putting your warship near any country …..and you are saying you are not doing any war …..they are only for show… what about iraq, afgan insurrection in middle . everybody knows the intentions of America "free market".

  • Vietminh wasn't a communist oganization, it actually included many nationalist factions but Ho Chi Minh and Communist party played the biggest part of it, that is what i was taught in my country

  • Anyone see similarities with this and the war in Middle East?? History is repeating itself.. please stop. See the media reports right after mei lai incident glorifying it. Media is serving tales of heroism while humans die terribly. The US is not saving Syria.. just like it failed in Libya and Iraq. They never needed saving you brainwashed sheeps.

  • good short summary. in all your videos i just hate the voice, whomever he is he does too much aaa aaa and is he always having a flu?. its just irritating when you repeat some things.

  • The Vietnam War: Longest war in the history of the USA.
    Part of the cold war, a struggle against communism and its expansion

    1954: Vietnam was split into two zones at the Geneva Conference
    – North Vietnam (Democratic Republic of Vietnam):Communist State, led by Ho Chi Minh
    – South Vietnam: First President= Ngo Dinh Diem

    Mid 1955:
    – Diem initiated a campaign, denouncing communism (People suspected of communist activities would be severely punished.)
    – His regime was not very popular amongst the people, lost a significant portion of South Vietnam to the Communists.

    Late 1956:
    – Guerrilla campaign (National Liberation Front/ The Viet Cong) arose in South Vietnam
    – Used armed propaganda to fight their battles (as directed by Ho Chi Minh)
    – Used this to try and unite Vietnam under communist rule

    End of 1950:
    – US started to train forces in the South in an effort to limit the expansion of Communism into neighboring countries
    – A coup was being discussed to overthrow Diem

    2 November 1963:
    – Diem was executed during the coup, without the permission of the US
    – His Death destabilized the political climate in the south, causing any of the following governments to topple quickly.

    August 1964:
    – 2 alleged attacks of US warships was reported of North Vietnam’s coast
    – This allowed US to be more involved in the conflict
    – The number of US troops deployed rose to 16, 500 from 2000 only a few years earlier

    2 March 1965- 2 November 1968: Operation Rolling Thunder
    – A series of aerial bombing attacks commenced by US and Vietnamese forces against North Vietnam

    March 1965:
    – The US ground war began with support of the American public
    – Marines were sent to the South for a defensive mission
    – They experienced great losses over the following months, causing the morale to drop

    22 December 1967:
    – The US decided to intervene further
    – The President Lyndon Johnson and his administration tried to spin the war and its progress in the American media through highlighting stories that showed the war’s progression
    – Made the media and the public mistrustful of the government

    31 January 1968:
    – Viet Congs made a surprise attack on the South Vietnamese and Americans
    – Fight lasted for months, killed President Johnson’s chances of re-election
    – 30,000 American lives were lost fighting in Vietnam by the time he left office

    – President Richard Nixon entered office
    – He withdrew troops
    – Put in place a policy called Vietnamization
    – US public support plummeted further amidst more attacks

    – Peace protests were commonplace in US
    – The Vietnam war became a central issue in the year’s presidential campaigns

    23 January 1973:
    – Nixon negotiated an agreement ending American involvement in the war upon his re-election
    – Fighting between Vietnamese states continued

    30 April 1975:
    – Saigon was taken (South Capital of Vietnam), signalling the end of the war
    – Communist governments took over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

  • but net net

  • The Domino Theory came about because some people in the US government thought they could suppress the North Vn. by using air power and legitimize US military presence in South Vn. In 1954 after the Vietminh defeated the French the US stepped in and divided Vietnam into two . The evidence lies on the Naval bases and air strips in Vietnam as well as in Thailand…. Da Nang (Vietnam), Sattahip (Thailand), these two Naval bases were just built right before the incident in the gulf of Tonkin and there were two other air bases in Udon and Ubon (Thailand) which were just a few miles west of Mekong River. Thailand was also the reason why Cambodia had to have a military coup to be an US Ally.

  • Sal, you made a mistake regarding Viet Minh. They were not all communists as you said but nationalists from different social classes. Viet Minh was a nationalist based organization. In 1941, when he created the organization, Ho Chi Minh downplayed communism as to assure the support of ALL nationalists in Vietnam, the working class, peasants , middle class and the nationalist rich class too. Nationalism, not communism united the Vietnamese against the French and that was how they defeated the French a Diem Biem Phu in 1954.

  • Can someone explain why Cambodia and Laos didn't declare war on USA & South Vietnam/provide support for the North Vietnamese when they were getting bombed by the US? Or even decide to voice the accounts of what was happening to them to the world (unless they did and I didn't know)

  • Am a vietmanes

  • this pro usa propaganda conveniently forget that filthy anti democratic mass muderer kennedy ordered diem assassination. there are audio tapes in pentagon papers

  • iraq war all over again.

    prageru trying hide the west's injastise n masacre.

  • Thank you for your help in understanding this time.

  • I'm a Vietnamese but I barely know a single thing about my country and I forgot most of the Vietnamese vocabulary

  • Vietnam, there was no goal, so no way to win! Just the military industrial complex hard at work making the world a terrible place!!

  • I'm Vietnamese but I don't get offended when people mispronounce Viet words. It's not that much of a big deal.

  • Seeing how Vietnam is capitalist today could you say the US actually won in the end? Say 30 years after WWII Europe and the US became Nazis even though the Nazis lost the war in the past. I AM NOT SAYING the US/capitalism is a 'like for like' to Nazism! This is just a thought experiment.

  • highly recommend 'The Vietnam War 2017' documentary as a starting point….you really need hours of documentary to explain this very interesting and long conflict

  • Some say that the event of the USS Maddox is just a lie in order for the Americans to officially attack Vietnam

  • this guy did not know the history of Vietnam. he gave seriously wrong about TT Ngo Dinh Diem.
    don't believe him.

  • TT Ngo D Diem never wanted to destroy his own Vietnamese people. only the Viet Cong. OK

  • There were many events leading up to the My Lai massacre, and this video fails to mention them. The brutal tactics used by the Viet Cong in the Tet Offensive certainly contributed to the My Lai Massacre. Plus, it was later revealed that the massacre was not the action of troops-out-of-control, but an agenda from much higher up.

  • Put these presidents and the higher up politicians out there on a battlefield to let them see how horrible a war could be. Use Donald trump as the first experiment. War is only chess for them when they're dressed in suits behind their desktop. Put them out on a battlefield before letting them decide on whether or not to go to war.

  • Typical history spin. Just like we look over the fact that the indigeonous populations of the Caribbean, south American and north America were wiped out by the Europeans. We do not see Vietnam as a war that was forced on America by our own government with lies and assassination. The military pushed their agenda and to hell with Democracy. Unfortunatly our duopoly did not work in the 60's and it is not working now. Please vote all independents!!

  • It was The Cold War between America with her allies and Soviet Union with her allies led to The Hot War between South Vietnam and North Vietnam. American politicians believed in the domino theory which predicted that if Vietnam falls to communism, then the rest of South East Asian countries will fall to communism. America's involvement in Vietnam is to stop the spread of communism into South East Asia. Finally, America withdrew out of South Vietnam and South Vietnam, in the end of the war, gave up fighting to stop the Viet Cong army (Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam that American army with South Vietnamese Republic army failed to destroy completely) and North Vietnam. South Vietnam fell to communism. Some of the rest of South East Asian countries did not fall to communism. Vietnam was the battlefront. America was the homefront where college students carrying the flag of North Vietnam protested against the Vietnam War. The domino theory prediction was politically incorrect.

  • C'était pas mieux avant pour le coup.

  • You spelled the vietnamese names correctly.

  • Presidents now say, "I'll listen to the advice of generals on the ground" because Johnson and to a lesser extent Nixon micromanaged how the war was fought from Washington, DC, instead of allowing the generals to fight the war in Vietnam.

  • Vietnam ruined LBJ's presidency and it literally killed him as he died just 4 years after he left the White House.

  • I wouldn't say America lost the Veitnam War. Because, When US Troops arrived. We where there to defend South Vietnam, from the North.

    When US Troops left in 1974 (or so), we alright sinced a peace deal with the North. So when the North invaded the South again. We where not a part of the War.

    So Vietnam for me, is like the Winter War for the Soviet Union. A hollow Victory. Yes, America won. But at a price.

    Once apron a time, I would have criticized anyone who made fun of America's investment in Vietnam.

    Now days I since came to terms with the Vietnam War, and the Outcome of it. Now I respect those who went too Vietnam, and fought in, and through the living hell of the War. I even respect those who went to Veitnam, and come back to protest the War. (At lest they fought alongside those who would stay.)

  • Hi! I come from Vietnam. Do you know why when our country was united, domino theory did not happen? Because we only fight for our independence, our goal is to own the country, not to interfere with any foreign powers. that is our goal, and the domino theory that the United States speaks about, is just their own point of view, we just want peace and unity, the Americans who are present in Vietnam unknowingly become a hindrance It is natural that our country must be united. I don't like the way Americans say Saigon lost to the north. Why is it lost? it is a part of our country, which is the most wrong thing in the American perspective

  • T R E E S

  • Please provide evidence that the Maddox incident never really happened, or give the U.S. government the benefit of the doubt.

  • Nixon is on record saying that he would have continued the war after the north overran the south. We should have went back in.

  • Thank you so much. A clip 17 minutes shows all things i have learn for 12years at school

  • Oh!!!I was so proud about my country

  • But,sorry,we didn't call president,is our prime minister

  • k so uhm we watched this in school for a writing assessment of Vietnam war and i wasn't paying attention so here i am now

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