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In fact, Nixon waited until June 8th to announce the first withdrawal of 25,000 GIs, which amounted to less than five percent of the 540,000 troops stationed in Vietnam. Nixon knew that the withdrawal of U.S. troops would reduce U.S. leverage in negotiations, but he was obliged to appease public opinion at home. His duplicitous strategy toward the peace movement was to steal its thunder by gradually withdrawing U.S. troops while at the same time denouncing the movement for urging withdrawal. Sam Brown commented, “It seemed that he was going to get out of Vietnam as slowly as possible, while selling the idea that he was getting out as fast as possible.”
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Lost In The Jungle Essays 1 - 30 Anti Essays
Criticism of imperious U.S. policies in Vietnam began long before U.S. troops were deployed. During the 1950s, insightful critiques were proffered by investigative journalists Bernard Fall and I. F. Stone, political scientist Hans Morgenthau, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, and peace leaders A. J. Muste and Sidney Lens, to name a few; and in publications such as I. F. Stone’s Weekly, The Christian Century, The New Republic, The Nation, Dissent, Monthly Review, and Liberation. In the November 1952 issue of The Christian Century, for example, the editors castigated the U.S. for supporting French imperialism in Vietnam and ominously warned, “American boys are not dying in Indo-China – yet. But American policy is getting into a deeper and deeper morass there.” In the June 1954 issue of Monthly Review, following the defeat of the French, Marxist scholars Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman issued another warning:
The U.S. lost the war, but the NLF and Hanoi government can hardly be said to have won it. After initial euphoria, the Vietnamese came to terms with the war’s devastation. Ta Quang Thinh, a NVA nurse who was severely wounded in a B-52 bomb attack while on duty in the south, returned to the north in 1971. In an interview with Christian Appy many years later, he reflected:
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I strongly believe this novel, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, is highly significant for anyone living in 2011 because these problems are still existent within our society and many others as well.
Fawcett was certain that he had found proof that the interior contained an ancient civilization, which he christened the City of Z. He was mapping out a route to find it when the First World War erupted. Though he was approaching fifty, he volunteered for the front, in Flanders, and led a brigade in the Artillery. The savagery of the fighting repelled him, and he became even more entranced by the idea of a lost civilization. After the war, he tried to raise funds for an expedition to find Z, but he met resistance from the new professionals of archeology, who were supplanting the role of explorers, and who considered Fawcett an anachronism. Moreover, many of these academic experts believed that the Amazon—with its oppressive heat and nutrient-poor soil, which resisted modern attempts at farming—could simply not sustain large settled populations. As the archeologist Betty Meggers later put it, the Amazon was a “counterfeit paradise.” The colonial records that Fawcett had cited were seen as akin to the old stories of towering Amazons: tall tales invented to impress royal patrons. “To get the elderly gentlemen of the archaeologists and museum experts in London to credit a fraction of what I knew to be true was a task altogether beyond my powers,” he wrote.
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According to a 2003 health study, an estimated 3,181 villages in South Vietnam were directly sprayed with toxic chemicals, and another 1,430 were indirectly sprayed, exposing “at least 2.1 million but perhaps as many as 4.8 million people” to the herbicides. The defoliation of South Vietnam’s jungles and forestland resulted in rampant soil erosion, wildfires, floods, malaria and disease epidemics caused by rat infestations, among other serious ecological consequences, some of which still linger a half century later. The heavily defoliated A Luoi Valley once possessed a tropical forest rich in hardwoods and rare species of trees, full of elephants, tigers and monkeys, its rivers teeming with fish. In July 2009, American professor Fred Wilcox found it covered by wild weeds with poor fauna, having only 24 bird species and five mammal species, a fraction of what existed before the war.
Lost in the jungle english essay
As in Laos, the U.S. began to secretly bomb Cambodia in 1965 to order to impede the flow of arms to the NLF-NVA in South Vietnam. In March 1969, President Nixon significantly increased the aerial assaults under the codename MENU, while still keeping the raids secret from the American people, an amazing feat considering that 110,000 tons of bombs were dropped over a fourteen-month period. A Pentagon report, released in 1973, stated that Nixon’s national security adviser, “Henry A. Kissinger approved each of the 3,875 Cambodia bombing raids in 1969 and 1970 as well as the methods for keeping them out of the newspapers.” In March 1970, Cambodia fell into civil war after Defense Minister Lon Nol engineered a coup d’état. The U.S. backed the anticommunist Nol, sending U.S. forces into Cambodia in May and June. U.S. bombing continued until Congress passed legislation forcing the administration to end it in August 1973. All told, the U.S. dropped 2.7 million tons of bombs on Cambodia, an amount that exceeded the tonnage dropped on Laos. According to the diplomatic historian Greg Grandin:
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Secure in the knowledge that the U.S. would not abandon him, Thieu initiated a post-treaty offensive that sought, first to recapture territory lost to the NLF just before the truce, then to move into NLF areas and capture more territory. NLF-NVA troops defended their positions but did not initiate offensive actions except in one area near the Cambodian border, where the ARVN was transferring supplies to the Phnom Penh government.
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The man at the helm of the “death machine” from June 1964 to June 1968, General William C. Westmoreland, was callous in his attitude toward Vietnamese civilian deaths and saw technical advances in Vietnam as inaugurating a new way of war. He told an army lobby group in October 1969 that “on the battlefield of the future, enemy forces will be located, tracked and targeted almost instantaneously through the use of data links, computer assisted intelligence evaluation and automated fire control. With first round kill probabilities approaching certainty, and with surveillance devices that can continually track the enemy, the need for large forces to fix the opposition will be less important.”
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