Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blog #32 - Vietnam Debate Blog

This week, we debated America's fate in 1965 - should America escalate the war in Vietnam or withdraw?  There were several nuanced options within the debate: 1. Escalate fully; 2. Escalate slowly and control the risks; 3. Withdraw slowly, negotiate and provide aid to SV; 4. Pull out completely. 

Each option stated their main points vigorously and defended them well.  When the votes came in, 2nd hour had a tie between option 2 and 3; 3rd hour had a tie between option 1 and 2.  Interestingly enough, option 4, the pull-out of Vietnam now choice, only received a couple of votes in each class (but not for lack of trying).  I don't know if this is b/c of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the backlash vs. an Iraq pullout.  But well done to all involved. 

In the film, Fog of War, that we've been watching recently, former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara asked the following question when reflecting thing when analyzing America's use of chemical weapons like Agent Orange on Vietnam to defoliate the jungles and make it "easier" for our soldiers to fight and win against the Viet Cong. 

"How much evil must we do in order to do good?"
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara

A couple things to consider when answering this question:  if we're doing evil in order to do good, is that good really a good thing?  If it is a good thing, then at what point do the evil means (that you are using, for instance, Agent Orange) become so heinous that it negates the good that you are doing? 

This is an optional question to answer if you feel like tackling it for 4 extra credit points. 

On a different angle, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has been exposed has having misrepresented his time during the Vietnam Era as he runs for the U.S. Senate spot in this upcoming election.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/nyregion/18blumenthal.html?src=me&ref=general  It seems that some members of the Baby Boom generation, especially those who serve in the military can't really come to terms with what they did during this time period, Mr. Blumenthal included. 

When talking to a group of veterans, he talked about the "days that I served in Vietnam" when talking supporting our troops unconditionally.  He never served and actually went out of his way to obtain five deferments so that he didn't have to serve like less fortunate soldiers who didn't go to college or have connections like Blumenthal.  His father worked with the Washington Post, and somehow young Dick received the deferment 2-A, one of the most coveted deferments, which meant that his job or role was so important that he needed to stay in the U.S..  This allowed him to finish up his Harvard grad work, go to Britain for more grad work, get a job at the Post, and then worked for the Nixon White House.  Only after the war looked like it was wrapping up did Dick join the Marine Reserves. 
Former president Clinton went overseas during the war while on a Rhodes scholarship and protested the war in Britain, while George W. Bush spent his service time in a cushy Air National Guard post protecting the Alabama skies from Communists. 

Here's an article that examines why politicians lie about their war service: http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/politicians-and-their-fake-war-stories/?ref=nyregion  It makes for some very fascinating reading. 

Your three questions:
1. Why do you think some of the Baby Boom generation have such a difficult time with what they had done (or not done) during the Vietnam War? 
2. Which of the four options in your class (please identify 2nd or 3rd hour) argued the best case and why?  Please include specifics.
3. Why do you think the debate was set up like this (four different views, working in teams, debate, using primary resources)?  Explain. 

18 points (+4 extra if you choose to
answer McNamara's evil/good question). 

300 words minimum - due Monday, May 24, 2010

33 comments:

Sarah Stempien said...

Sarah Stempien
2nd Hour

I feel that doing evil isn’t a very good thing. Agent Orange was used to strip leaves off of trees to reveal soldiers in hiding. It helped find them, but it also killed people too. The chemical weapons that were used weren’t used the proper way and it resulted in major consequences. Soldiers aren’t realizing that the more evil we put into this war created bad outcomes. People wanted to accomplish peace throughout this war and not evil. So the less evil that is used especially involving weapons, the better the results would have been in the end.

Anonymous said...

Liza Bondarenko
2nd hour
1. Baby Booms during Vietnam War. Of course it’s expected and is clear that Baby Booms have never actually took part in battles and military operations, because they had money, influential parents with communications with important people. The main reason is that Baby Booms didn’t want to do this; they didn’t want to risk their lives. They grew up with a thought that they are very important and special, this how they were brought up. The most unfair thing is that Baby Booms tried to pretend that actually they took part in that war. I don’t want to say that I support this decision, but this is just what life really is.
2. 2nd hour. I think that option #3 (withdraw slowly, negotiate and provide aid to SV) was the best option. Not #1 (escalate fully) and #2 (escalate slowly and control the risks) because war is bad, because it wasn’t completely American war, because people died there and because this was mostly politic war, because governments wanted to show that exactly their political regime (communism or democracy) were better. “When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die” (Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord (1951) act 1). Not #4 (pull out completely) because Vietnam asked American for help, because American were really afraid of spreading of the communism and because in case American need help they could ask someone whom they’d helped before. So I say withdraw slowly, negotiate and provide aid to SV, because it gives American chance not to risk, to save soldiers life and still help SV.
3. Four different views, because these were four main ways what to do about the Vietnam War, and they suppose to be different, because in other case debate would be very difficult, because there would be not enough reasons to debate about.
Working in teams, because the question about what to do with American position in Vietnam very difficult and ambiguous, and it’s always better in this case to work with a team. Also team work allowed us to share opinions with each other.
Debate because this is the best way to highlight good and bad sides of different views.
Using primary resources was very helpful, because in these resources we could find all main things that we need, and this was easier than looking in the internet or other sources without clear understanding of our position.
4. I think that doing evil in order to do good, is not really a good thing. Especially when it’s well known that actions are evil, because when what someone is doing is evil, but he doesn’t understand it and think that in fact he is doing good thing – this is completely different case. And in case with Agent Orange, I think, that was absolutely wrong thing to do. Especially because it was attack in usual villages and the innocent have suffered. If American government thought that this was necessary thing to do, at least they could direct these actions on soldiers but not villagers. But I still think that doing evil in order to do good, is not really a good thing, especially in case with Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

Allie Rubin
3rd hour

1.I think some of the Baby Boom generation had such a difficult time with what they had done during the Vietnam War because they feel guilty about their actions. The war required soldiers to do many things that they might look back on and think were bad things to do; for example, search and destroy missions and the use of Agent Orange injured and killed many innocent civilians. Also, many people from this generation who did not serve in the war may lie about it because they feel guilty as well; however, their guilt is caused by something different. These people may feel guilty that they did not take the opportunity to serve the people of their country at a time that they were needed the most and they may be embarrassed that they avoided being a part of the war effort.
2. Of the four options, I think the group with option number two argued the best case. They had a good point to argue as it was not too extreme on either end. They had a lot of specific questions for other groups that really strengthened their argument. Additionally, they had a specific plan of action that seemed like a good idea for the war.
3. I think the debate was set up this way to show some of the many views of people in America during the time of the Vietnam War. It helped show us the different options for the situation in Vietnam and the pros and cons of each choice. From the debate, I learned a lot about the Vietnam War and exactly what was going on there. Working in teams was useful because not one person was given too much work. Additionally, different members of the group made different contributions which allowed all the members of the group to see new ways of looking at the option they were debating.
Extra Credit: If we are doing evil to do good, the good is usually a good thing; however, it does get to a point where the evil being done becomes so evil that it defeats the good. Of course, there are many downsides of doing evil to accomplish good. Wars are often fought for something good such as improving the lives of people in another country. All wars require some evil, like all the fighting and killing. I think that once the killing and fighting becomes excessive, the evil does negate the good. Also, when innocent civilians are being harmed greatly, the good is negated. Chemical weapons like Agent Orange and atomic bombs cross the line, as they endanger the lives of so many people that did nothing wrong. The evil is only okay to the point where it is harming those causing more evil, not innocent people.

Anonymous said...

Jim Weitzel #3
I think the reason that some of the baby boomers have a difficult time with coming to terms with the actions they did in Vietnam is because they normally wouldn’t have done it. War just by definition somehow forces people to make terrible decisions that they normally wouldn’t in their right mind. But Vietnam was the one war that we lost, and America knew it, the decision-makers knew it. So maybe in their desperation they found some irrational thought that they thought justified the action. But years later, in their hearts they knew that is monstrous to do it and completely wrong.
I think that for 3rd hour the group that argued its case best was option #2, escalate slowly, controlling the risks. The ultimate goal for every group was to pull out our forces and stop losses. If we escalate slowly we can cut American losses we might have suffered if we had rushed in blindly. Escalation would also end the war faster, if the war ends faster less lives are lost. Another point that group two made was that we wouldn’t lose our credibility because we would be reinforcing South Vietnam. The last point they made was the war wouldn’t get so bad that North Vietnam would ask China for troops.
When it comes to strategies there are always more than two ways to do something. So the debate had to have more than two options to be as realistic as possible. The reason we worked in groups was that there were more than one politician arguing a certain point.
I think that you can do some evil if the ultimate end will be good, and so much better that it is worth having to use the evil. The point at which you shouldn’t use evil is when human lives are lost. Or living is a living nightmare that you get hurt every day. If it’s just for a local area I don’t think using evil is worth it. It has to be a worldwide cause to justify evil.

Anonymous said...

Allison Levine
3rd hour

1.I think some of the Baby Boom generation had such a difficult time with the Vietnam War because of the terrible things they had to do, such as using the harmful chemical Agent Orange and killing innocent villagers—they were never sure who was a part of the Vietcong. For those in that generation who did not fight in the war were still concerned possibly because they did not want Communism to spread and start another World War. Also, the United States said we were fighting the war for peace in Vietnam, but we were just adding to the havoc and chaos by being there.
2.Of the four options in my class (3rd hour), I think that option 2 did the best job at debating their point. They stated that we did have to help the South Vietnamese people and that we couldn’t just abandon them. Yet, they made a good point by saying we couldn’t just bomb the place. They said that we had to move in slowly, bringing in small troops at a time. They seemed to have an actual plan unlike the rest of the options; group one saying to just go in a bomb everything, send in troops, etc., group four saying to just get out and remove the troops, group three stating to pull out slowly but negotiate peace. They didn’t say exactly how they would do this.
3.I think the debate was set up this way so we could all see the different points of views that people had during this time. If we could see why people believed these points, we’d be able to understand what it was like and why they chose these reasons. If we just looked at one view, we would question everyone else’s rationale and wonder what they were thinking.

Extra Credit: If we’re doing evil in order to do good, there really isn’t any good in that. Evil is evil; there is nothing positive about it. Agent Orange was towards the extreme side of the evil we were doing. We used it to kill plants so the soldiers could find their way through the forest. That in itself is a negative aspect because we’re killing things that allow us to live and killing these organisms that are a part of this regions terrain. Secondly, it’s a terrible chemical that caused cancer in the Vietnamese people and U.S. soldiers. This war was a battle we weren’t entitled to fight. It was a civil war between the North and South Vietnamese people determining their government. When we joined, we just added to the chaos. At some points, we didn’t even fight; we just killed innocent villagers, such as the My Lai Massacre. There’s nothing good about massacring villagers minding their own business.

Anonymous said...

Michael Rondello
2nd Hour

1. The people of the baby boom generation sometimes can have a really hard time with things they did or didn’t do during the Vietnam War. Some feel as though they could have really made a difference by doing something that would have made a difference in the outcome of the war. Some feel as though supporting it was wrong and that they should have made a strong case to oppose the war by protests and other things. Either way, I think the baby boom generation was able to learn from this war in history and not allow for mistakes like this to happen again.
2. During our class debate, there were four options that our teams would debate for: escalate the war now, win the war slowly and carefully, negotiate a gradual withdrawal, or get out of Vietnam now. I think the group who supported the option of winning the war carefully and slowly argued the point the best. If the United States was to win the war right away, they could start a nuclear war with China and Russia in the process. If we were to leave right away, Vietnam would be more of a mess than when we got there. Finally, if we were to negotiate a withdrawal, the spread of communism would start to increase, which is the opposite of the goals of the United States. It just seems as though winning the war carefully is the best plan.
3. The debate was set up like it was so that we could see all of the options very carefully without just picking two and going at it. Everyone argued their points for their option very well and I am pretty sure that everyone got to see the pros and cons of each and learned about the history of the Vietnam War.

Anonymous said...

Griffin Harms
3rd Hour
1.) I think that the baby boomers that were involved in fighting in the war have a difficult time facing what they had done in the war because they were forced to make terrible decisions. Just like in any war, the soldiers will find themselves in positions where they have to kill or be killed. Also, the fact that the US did not win this war could have bothered these veterans as well. Privileged baby boomers such as Richard Blumenthal, however, may have a difficult time dealing with the guilt of knowing that they did not serve their country on the battlefields, and this can come back to haunt them in their careers.
2.) 3rd Hour
I feel that option 2 argued the best case for various reasons. I personally believe that option 2 had the best position to defend because escalating slowly means that the US would be able to defend SV as well as it's credibility. I also believe that option 2 had some key points that were not thought of until they spoke, such as the fact that American losses would not be too great if we escalate slowly, yet we would be able to win the war.
3.) I think that the debate was set up like this mainly because this was accurate to the times of the war. At this time, there were many different politicians and groups presenting different options and defending them. Because the way this was set up, we were able to assess all options of the war and weigh the outcomes.
EXTRA CREDIT: I believe that in some cases, it is alright to do evil in order to ultimately do good. However, when human lives as well as resources are lost, it is bad for humanity and I believe that it is not alright to do this evil in the name of good. So in the case of the Vietnam War, I believe that it was not alright to use chemical weapons such as agent orange and missions like search and destroy.

Anonymous said...

Brad Benghiat 2nd Hour
1. The people of the Baby Boom generation were either participants in the war, or neglected their duties to participate. Regardless of which of these routes they chose, these people have difficult times with what they did. The ones who participated in the war may have a difficult time with what they did. Some terrible things happened during the war; killing and displacing many people/families, burning villages, spreading agent orange, search and destroy missions, killing livestock, etc. These are actions that many people may not be proud of. They probably do not want other to dwell on these actions (and do not want to dwell on them themselves) and view them as bad things. The ones who did not participate in the war have a hard time with just that- they fact that they did not participate. Most people see the war at that time as a duty that American men had to fulfill, a duty that they owed to their country. War is a scary thing, and it is easy to understand why they tried to get out of it. However when it comes up now, it simply seems like these men were avoiding the service they owed to their country. For this reason, these people have a difficult time with the guilt they carry for not serving during the war.
2. The group that I believe argued the best case was group 2 (escalate slowly and control the risks). These are several reasons I feel group 2 was the best, not including the fact that it was my group. Before the debate even started, I thought this was the best option for the war. We could not escalate fully because that could get China involved and risk a nuclear war. We could not just negotiate and provide aid, because SV was not capable of fighting this war without military help from the US, and negotiation (think back to appeasement) does not always work. Finally we could not pull out completely because then SV would almost certainly fall to communism and become the start of a long chain of dominos. It would probably cause many other countries to fall to communism- Laos, Cambodia, India, etc. For these reasons, option two is the best of the four because it avoids all the things that the other three options do not.
3. I think the debate was set up with four different views to show the views of the people during the time of the Vietnam War. Working in groups allowed different opinions to come together with each option, and working in groups is often more efficient. Using primary resources allowed us to get the most/best knowledge about the war to use in our debate.
4. Extra Credit: In my opinion, evil is never a good thing. Evil is defined as something that is profoundly immoral, and in most cases that is exactly what it is. However, I can see why sometimes some evil may be necessary. If we are doing evil to promote something good, then maybe evil actions are needed. However, at some point these actions need to come to end before they cause too much destruction. The damage done by evil actions should never surpass the good being done. As far as the Vietnam war goes, I think that too much evil was done in order to do good. Too many innocent people were killed, too many villages were destroyed, and too much damage was done to the villages and forests.

Anonymous said...

Jim Stevens
3rd
1. The reason the baby boomers had difficulty coming to terms with there actions is because they were forced in Vietnam against there will. Many of the soldiers were not prepared for the things they had seen and were forced to do. They just did not have the mental capability that could deal with this. There actions were not of their own but of their commanding officers. This makes it hard for them to cope with something they were forced to do against their will.
2. I think option number 3 had argued the best in 3rd hour. They made a good point about slowly withdrawing and engaging in peace talks. The point is that Vietnam was an non-winnable war. The way the war was being fought we had no chance. Our best chance was to pull out slowly install a new government in the place of the old one and in turn train the South Vietnamese troops. This could possibly win the South Vietnam people over and help the South. Also it would be a good idea to engage in peace talks with the North and the South.
3. The debate was set up this way because their were a a lot of arguments about Vietnam. This would also make it so it wasn't just a back and forth debate between two teams.
Extra Credit: There is a certain amount of evil you can do to do good. You cannot fight a war with out people dieing. I am not however saying that you should go on massive genocides, but there are sacrifices that you have to make in order to make it worth it in the long run. The use of agent orange in Vietnam was too much. When it comes to the point where you are devastating and destroying a whole country and killing innocents through biological warfare then it is to much. There are limits to use of weapons. Destroying the environment and killing innocents is past it. The fact that it wasn't working also states my point. What this comes down to is that there is a line between good and bad, and agent orange crosses it.

Anonymous said...

Lea Martin
3rd hour

1. I think some of the baby boom generation had such a difficult time with what they did in the war because they didn’t think it was right to do. For example the poisoning and the search and destroy missions that killed innocent people. The people probably wouldn’t have done that without some one forcing them to. Or many of the people who didn’t serve in the war and made up lies to get out, they might feel guilty because they didn’t try to stop the bad actions or give better ideas.
2. I think that out of the four options the group with option number tree in 3rd hour argued the best, their point was to pull out slowly, the group had good points why they should do it and what it benefits they also had good questions towards the other groups and they used their time wisely.
3. I think the debate was set up like this to learn more about the views during the war and the arguments Americans had. And to see how difficult it is, to choose the best one out of all of these options. Working in a group helped split the work so each member could concentrate on their part and know exactly what was going on. During this debate I learned a lot about the Vietnam war and the different views people had.
Extra credit: If we have to do evil to do good, the good is still a good thing but the way we got to the good thing is most likely not the best way. However there is a point where the good is not as good as it seems. If we have to kill way too many people and innocent people to reach our goal, I don’t think that that is a good thing. Even though we try to do well sometimes it is really hard and our help might just make it worse.

Anonymous said...

Hannah Grossman
2nd Hour
1. I think some of the Baby Boom generation have such a difficult time with what they had done during the Vietnam War because they felt bad about what they had done. Some of the decisions they made cost people there lives. At the time I’m sure they felt it was the right thing to do, but looking back on it now I’m sure they all feel horrible for their actions.  They didn't know that using agent orange would harm civilians later in their life time but it did. The baby boomers feel guilty and terrible for doing what they did.
2.Out of the four options I think that group 3, withdraw slowly was the best option. This is because they not only had very good main points, they knew what to come back with. They had many questions to ask and overall it seemed like it was the best plan. If we pulled out immediately there might be retaliation if we escalate slowly or if we escalate fully its just creating more of a war. So I definitely think that option 3 was the best way to go.
3.I think the debate was setup like this to show us all the different view points people were having. I think it was a great idea because it gave us a chance to dig deeper into the Vietnam War and learn more about what was going on. It was good to have teams so that everyone could do something individually on their own. I thought the rebuttals went really good also everyone had something to say back and prove why the topic they chose was the best.
4. Extra Credit- "How much evil must we do in order to do good?"
I think that in some circumstances it is okay to do evil to reach good. If people are being killed or hurt I do not think it is okay this is evil that is not appropriate to reach good. I think in order to reach good you need to do some evil, but if the evil is out weighing the good then I don’t think that it is okay.

Anonymous said...

Ellie Toth
2nd hour
1.I think the baby boom generation had such a difficult time with what they had done in Vietnam because their actions made them feel responsible for a lot of lives. Agent Orange helped us find hidden soldiers but also killed a lot of people. The Baby Boom generation didn’t like the feel of killing so many innocent people. They also did not like the fact that compared to the troops, they felt like cowards. It was disappointing but they didn’t like the killing of innocent people.
2.In 2nd hour, I think option 2 argued the best case. Option 2 defended their argument by countering others and protecting their own. They made the point clear that a lot of lives were lost and that it was becoming hard to fight in this war but made arguments that said how we can into this war to help and with a slow escalation, we would eventually end it. President Johnson would have liked this plan I think because it is logical and smart especially in this war.
3.I think the debate had four teams because it showed four of the main arguments for how Americans wanted to solve the Vietnam War. With four different people on each team, it showed the different arguments that each option could have and the different sources they used for their arguments. The time during the Vietnam War in America had our country in many different opinions about the War. The debate and the different options showed us those opinions and how many arguments each one had to support it.
Extra Credit: Doing evil to do good is sometimes a necessity in war. What we hope for is that the good overpowers the evil that has been done. It doesn’t always work out that way though. Sometimes the evil is too strong for the good to overpower, and sometimes the good doesn’t come at all after the evil.

Ryan said...

Ryan Brode
3 hour

1. I think the baby boom had such a difficult time with what they did in Vietnam for many different reasons. The troops in Vietnam had to deal with doing things that they knew were wrong such as the use of agent orange and search and destroy missions where they would destroy villages they came across just in case the Viet Cong were hiding troops or weapons there. This was most likely hard for them to do because they had to destroy peoples homes and see them suffer as there hole life was burned before there eyes, a good example of this was Mi Lai massacre.
2. In 3rd hour I think that group #2 argued the best case. They had a solid argument and made it difficult to argue against them because of there return arguments.
3. I think the debate was set up like this to recreate all the different opinions and views of the American people at this time. Everybody has a different view and opinion on different situations. Splitting us into groups and having us work on separate arguments helped us see the good and bad side to each option.

“How much evil must we do in order to do good?”
This question to me really comes down to something I have learned before, does the end justify the means, or does the good of the outcome outweigh the evil of how you got there. At the end of all the fighting and killing some greater good is accomplished that makes the evil of war worth the effort, but I believe this is not the case for the war in Vietnam. In Vietnam I think the evils of war were much higher than the good of the outcome, things we did such as using Agent Orange or search and destroy attacks, or taking the leaves off the trees and the mindless killing of innocent civilians outweigh any good we did in the war.

Drew S. said...

I think the baby boomers who were not rallying against the war, felt it was their duty to serve and win the war, just as the previous generations did in World War(s) I and II. Those others who didn’t go off to war I think intentionally went out of their way to support the troops in any way they could.

In 2nd Hour, I think my group did a fantastic job of stating the facts and backing up our claim as why option #3 was superior. Ours also had in my opinion, the most evidence that made sense to why ours was the best. We also had some people who had taken debate before and knew what they were doing.

The reason the debate was setup the way it was is because if there are only four options, how could the class debate, because some people would have the same options and have different evidence and claims backing up their evidence. Teams were also used because it gave everyone a different style of working rather than just by yourself. Primary resources were used so everybody was getting an equal amount of facts, and everybody could see what general facts they would be debating against.

I think if we must burn all of our allies, the people on our own side, homes down and their forests and bomb everything else, then what’s the point? You wouldn’t, and should for that matter do that to a friend or ally. You do that to person you’re fighting against, the enemy, not your ally. By doing this, we put our self directly front and center in the middle of their war. If the South Vietnamese were are allies, then why were we fighting at all in South Vietnam? Shouldn’t we then only be fighting in the North? One could argue it was to find Vietcong rebels and sympathizers, but if you don’t know who they are, and can’t distinguish who they are, then what’s the point?

Drew Steffes

Anonymous said...

mark gastineau
2nd hour
“How much evil must we do in order to do good?” I feel this is a senseless question for good will never result from evil, just as life will not come from death. Good from evil and death into life have another important feature in common, their complements are anything but false. Death is an inevitable outcome from life, just as evil always follow good. It is often remarked that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist, but i propose that the greatest trick he ever pulled was convincing the world he that he is independent of “God”. Man only knows the destruction of evil only because it has seen the innovations of good to compare it to.

The debate was set up to view the arguments of both extremes and the two “moderate” views, debating forces opinionated students to see other points of views, and lets shy students voice their opinion under the cloak of the assignment. In my class i think the team that did the best job arguing was Wongatong’s (also known as Aweezy, :P), because as they got beat over their heads by the other 3 groups they managed to hold their own to some extent, overlooking some made-up facts or dead-end arguments. though i think the group that had the “right" argument was my own, only; because, for personal reasons i dislike war/fighting. If i was around during the Vietnam war i might have been viewed as a hippie. Maybe i am, and in the eyes of others i could be viewed as this, but i feel this is not an extreme opinion but a sensible opinion.

It could be because i am in in no physical position to be in a fight let alone war or weather i feel that a species which has the mind to unravel the mysteries of time itself have the capacity to resolve a conflict by a more intelligent mean, but i feel that war is an unnecessary act of man-kind. i feel that war is the degeneration of the mind, that from every great accomplishment there is a war riding on its coat-tails. "He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable loce-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” a quote from the father of modern war itself. Albert Einstein’s famous formula E=mc2 had fear, death, and destruction stepping on its heels.

I am not a professional psychiatrist, nor will i even pretend that what i believe the baby boomers are feeling is at all justified. I think the baby boomers where have problems with the war is because of the recognition they received from Americans back home. The baby boomers lived in a post-WWII era, where Americans commonly thought that we where the shiz-nits’. While when returning from what could be called their war many Americans treated them not as heroes but rather as criminal. This probably had some emotional affects on the soldiers, and made them question if they risked their life for a good reason. Being not much younger than what a soldier in the Vietnam would be, i can understand how the rejection and the fear that they suffered would have some lasting effects. Also many of the people who dodged the draft of found a clever gap in the system felt guilty. If my 2nd hour us history class was drafted tomorrow, while i alone managed to avoid the draft, i would feel guilty if one alone didn’t return.

Anonymous said...

(1)I think the Baby Boom generation had such a difficult time with what happened during the Vietnam War because what kind of war Vietnam turned out to be. The United States was very involved (maybe more than what some would have liked), and because of this we had to go farther in our fighting and tactics than Americans were used to. Although as a country we’ve been through a lot, but I feel like Vietnam was a different level. Sent in for aid, we fought dirty with bombs and Agent Orange, and it frightened the people of the United States. The Baby Boom generation made up a huge part of the population, and they were the ones who were expected to fight and carry out the bad deeds that we look back on today. (2) 3rd hour – I think option 2 in our class argued the best case because they came into the debate with all aspects of their debate prepared. Strong points reinforced their point to escalate slowly, and rebuttals showed faults in other teams while still making sense and showing option 2 as the solution. (3) I think the debate was set up this way to represent how America reacted to the war at the time. There were multiple ways to fight the war and ways to escalate/pull out of it, and working in teams helped us build ideas off each other and come to better conclusions, much like what would have been done in America back during the Vietnam War time. By arguing as part of a debate we were able to see all different sides and points to different plans of action while fighting hard to convince our plan was the best. (4) Extra-credit: I think that in almost all cases there is evil in order to do good, but a lot of the time these two things aren’t done by the same person. If there is though, there is a point at which the evil being done for good outruns the good in general. I agree that we should have helped Vietnam, but by means of bombs, Agent Orange, and the great number of casualties, we went too far. I think that there was some way we could have worked things out more peacefully, to prove that evil doesn’t have to happen (or maybe on such a big scale) to do good.
Elyse Dumas - 3rd hour

Anonymous said...

Michele Snyder
3rd hour

1. I think some of the reasons the Baby Boom generation had such a difficult time facing the actions they made during the Vietnam War because they may have felt guilty for what they had done in the war. They were required to do things they may think of as wrong if they were to look back on them now. Soldiers were required to use Agent Orange and the Search and Destroy mission in which injured and killed many innocent lives. I also think some of the reasons the Baby Boom generation had such a difficult time admitting they hadn’t served in the Vietnam War because they felt a different kind of guilt from those who did serve in the war. They also may be embarrassed for not serving their country when they were needed.
2. In third hour I think the group, who debated option number two, escalate slowly and control the risks, put up the best fight. Since they clearly stated their main argument and asked other groups multiple, good, specific questions, which also helped their argument.
3. I think the debate was set up as it was to present the different options America had during the war and how different people see the different pros and cons of each view. Working in groups was helpful because we were able to split up the work and not only one person was doing or presenting the majority of the work. We also got to see other perspectives on our assigned option which strengthened our own arguments. I personally, gained knowledge of what was going on during the Vietnam War.
Extra Credit: If we are doing evil in order to do good then the good isn’t all that good. Even though the results may be good, the process to get those results is evil which can defeat the purpose of the good. I believe there’s a good process in which may include a little evil to get the good results but there is a limit to where the evil becomes unnecessary. Such as in war where it is taken to an extent, like the Vietnam War for example when Agent Orange and atomic bombs were used, endangering innocent people.

Anonymous said...

Willie Beattie
2nd Hour

1. I think that some people from the baby boom generation have such a difficult time with what they had done because some had gone to war and been involved in the killing of many innocent Vietnamese civilians. Also, because some might have spread Agent Orange and realized later how bad it was that they were doing that. Some have a difficult time with things that they did not do. This is probably because they sat around and did nothing when they had the chance to do something like a peace rally. Or maybe they volunteered for the war and realized that they shouldn’t have after the horrible things those they witnessed
2. I am in second hour and the winning topics were, option 3, escalate slowly and control the risks; and option 3, withdraw slowly, negotiate peace and provide aid to South Vietnam. The one that I thought was argued the best was option 3. I think this because it was probably the best choice if we really were in 1965. In our debate in think that there were good points like the fact that it was going to cost so much money and troops. A real statistic was that we lost ten dollars for every one dollar of damage through bombings. That really proved that war was the wrong thing to do.
3. I think that the debate was set up like this because it really gave every view of what could have happened to the Vietnam war and what could have been the outcome had that happened. With four views and four teams we were able to do a lot of research to see what could have happened to the war had we changed our views on it in 1965. 1965 was when the war was just starting to pick up and we really could have done anything with it and there were many numbers that showed the affect that each option would have.
4. "How much evil must we do in order to do good?"
a. If we are doing evil in order to do well, we really aren’t doing any good at all. If something good must only be achieved by doing something evil then it should not be done since the good will most likely were out weighed by the evil. Also if the good is not achieved after the evil is done, it’s even worse because then only evil is accomplished.

Anonymous said...

I think that some of the Baby Boomers have such a difficult time with what they did during the Vietnam War because there were some horrible things done to people and villages in the Vietnam War and some of the people from the Baby Boom generation took part in doing these things. Also, some of these people dodged the draft by using multiple different methods. Choices that people were forced to make during the war could have been different if they had more time to think about them or if they saw it from a different perspective. I think that group 3 in 2nd hour argued the best case. They successfully rebutted many arguments that were aimed towards them. Also, they made numerous excellent points supporting the fact that we should withdraw slowly, negotiate and provide aid to South Vietnam. We needed to end the war because it was not a war that we should have been involved in it in the first place, but we could not just leave the South Vietnamese to fend for themselves right away. If we pulled out right away, then the South Vietnamese would surely lose and communism would have taken over Vietnam. If we pulled out slowly and let South Vietnamese troops fill in for spots that American troops had, then the South Vietnamese would have a good chance to win the war. Also, we could leave advisors in Vietnam to help with the war, the economy, and many other things. I believe that the debate was set up with four different groups because there were 4 major viewpoints that needed to be represented in the debate. If there were more than four groups, then the groups would be too similar and many of their arguments would be the same. If less than four groups were used, then it would just be two extremes, and there would be other important views that would not be represented in the debate.

Alex Valente
2nd Hour

Anonymous said...

Katlin Beal 3rd hour

I think the baby boom generation had such a big problem with what they had or hadn’t done during the war in Vietnam because of what was going on in the war. The soldiers were killing innocent people and crops. The Agent Orange and the search and destroy missions were not vital to their cause and they kill too many innocent things. Some soldiers felt horrible about these tactics because they felt that there was another way to deal with the fighting, but others felt they could have don’t more if not restricted. In third hour, not to gloat about my own group, I believe the “escalate slowly and control the risks” had the strongest points. We looked at the different arguments without causing too many problems with the other groups. Our group hit the main points in an extremely insightful way. We won because our arguments, and refutes were strongly thought out. The next best group would be the group “Americanize the war and fight to win” because they too, had ideas that made their team strong. They worked well together and all their group members added info. Some groups did better than others but over all I thought the debate was pretty great. I think the debate was set up like this so that even if we didn’t get the group members we want, or the topic we wanted we could learn to work together to fight a point. This also taught us that in debating, you don’t away get the point you want but if you’re a good debater you can fight it regardless. Using primary resources taught us to not use hear say to prove a point in a debate. This primary source idea is correct for what we were doping in the debate this week.
I don’t believe doing any evil to do good is right. If anyone one has to die or anything has to suffer just for something good to come out of it, it is not necessarily a good thin g in the end. There is not a point to doing evil if it’s to get something out of it.

Anonymous said...

Stefanie Kueck
3rd hour

1) I think that that baby boom generation could have a tough time with feeling guilty because of some of the actions that they may have taken with the war. If they went to South Vietnam and participated in the actions of the search and destroy missions and also the Agent Orange missions that took place. On the other side you have the people that feel guilty do the fact that they might have not stood up for their country by finding out ways to get out of the draft but feel guilty about it now.
2) 3rd hour: I think that in my class the group that argued the best opinions was group number 1. They had good points of why we should send more troops bomb Vietnam and win the war. I think that this was a good group because they supported their points with evidence from articles and brought in other things that were happening in the war. Like the Kennedy shooting and the conspiracies that were floating around. I also thought that during the rebuttal they thought about how to word things to work in their favor with going in and bombing the place they made it sound nice and less violent then what might actually will be happening.
3) I think that the debate was set up like this to hear the opinions and reasons of the other group was. That with this everyone had a chance to hear what the other side might have thought was the better reason because of the evidence that supports their option. I think that with the debate being run like this we got to learn what it felt like to have someone disagree with a point that you thought was one that everyone would agree on that in government things were being twisted and that not everything runs smoothly.

EXTRA CREDIT- I think that in order to do some good bad must come first. I think that sometimes the bad can also turn out to be some of the good in missions. In my opinion I think that Robert McNamara was trying to state that with all the bad things that are going on in Vietnam that the Americans are causing that some good has to come out in the end. I think that the thing that makes people argue maybe about this comment would have to be when is there too much evil for it to become good. I don’t think that we have any set boundaries that people have to stay follow.

Anonymous said...

Dustin Oakwood
3rd Hour
1. I believe the Baby Boom generation had such a difficult time with what they had done during the Vietnam War because of the origin of their generation. The Baby Boomers are the end result of one of the biggest wars ever. Their very origin is probably tied with their views of war; I find it understandable that a Baby Boomer can say he’s fought in the Vietnam War based solely on him being a baby boomer, if that makes sense. Although I do not agree with the people that lie about their actions (or lack of) I can understand their need to be tied to war in some way.
2. 3rd Hour. I personally believe that Option 1 was argued the best. Although I am from the Option 1 group I do not believe in the “Escalate Fully” approach; I will do my best to answer this question unbiased. I believe Option 1’s Key Ideas and Arguments were the most structured and made the most sense when discussed during the debate. The ideals had strong supporting evidence as well as quotes from influential leaders. Option 1’s conclusion wrapped up the Key Ideas without restating them word-for-word. Overall, I feel like Option 1 argued the best of the four groups.
3. I believe the debate was set up like this so that we, the other students and I, could get all of the different views shoved down each other’s throats in a relatively short amount of time. By having us argue over the views, I think, it’d make us remember them better. By having a supporting team it gave us more confidence in our opinion which enabled us to better argue, hence teaching the other teams while we, in turn, learned from them. The primary sources, when used correctly, were used as fuel to make our arguments stronger. THAT is why I believe our debate was set up like this.
4. I personally believe that no good will ever come out of an act of evil. Two negatives may equal a positive, but two wrongs never make a right. An act of evil is not justifiable no matter the outcome. If you think about it, the outcome of an act of evil is not really beneficial to anyone, Agent Orange for example may have made it a tad easier for the soldiers but it killed the trees and the civilians. There is always another option. I feel that we, as a leading country, need to show a good, healthy, productive path; not one that shows our power and angry dominance. I don’t know what defines an act of evil or an act of goodness, because I feel that those are opinions. What may be right to one person may be evil to another, so why take the risk? It’s hard to get my thoughts from brain to Microsoft Word but this is a topic which I care deeply about.

Anonymous said...

Alex wong 2nd hour

1. I think that the baby boom generation had such a hard time because they had
The notion that it was there time to fight for our country and for honor and for
Family but then they lost all of those feelings and perhaps they could not grasp
The fact that they had lost their war. The people who did not fight were either
Against the war such as hippies and protesters and people who just did not get
Drafted or were not in the military but the people who didn't go as a whole.
Because they were not in the military felt as if they had let their country
Down except for the hippies and protesters they truly did not like the war.
Because the felt that violence was not necessary even when it is in order to
Protect ourselves and our country.
2. The group that argued the best for 2nd hour I believe was group 3 because
They stated there points well and then they back there point up with facts that
Are very credible they also guarded their opinions. With more facts and logical
Sayings in second hour the group told us there opinion and when they gave facts
They were all credible I know this because I asked. Even with three other groups
Against them group three made their points clear and their conclusion was not
Long but not short and bit restated and recapped their argument making their total
Speech very good and easy to listen to.
3. I think it was set up like this because it gave everyone a fighting chance if
There was a weak link they could still win the debate because they had 4 or 5
More people it also allowed for more opinions and options to be passed around
Without the whole thing getting out of control as they normally do with 20 high
School students arguing on purpose to get a good grade. This was also probably
The set up because it gave us more people to work with and to put out heads
Together mad one up with an argument that would win us the debate.
4. MACNAMARAS QUOTE "how much evil must we do in order to do good" I believe
That we must set a limit at how far we are willing to go but it must be a
Floating limit that can shift with the circumstances of the fight for example of
We were on a nuclear war we must go all out and make shore that they are
Destroyed so they can not strike again.

Anonymous said...

1.I believe the baby boom generation had such a difficult time with the Vietnam war because of all the horrific things they had to do, I’m sure some wish that the things they did didn’t turn out so bad, for example agent orange. Others probably wish they never went into Vietnam and created such destruction.
2.For our class debate, four groups debated four different options; escalate now and quickly, escalate slowly, pull back slowly, or pull back quickly. Out of the four groups I believe that group 3(pull back slowly) argued the best. They had many comments and rebuttals to give to other groups they had many questions towards other groups that the others groups seemed to not be able to answer fully. They stated that fighting a war and loosing many men and money was not what America needed, that instead of just pulling back fully, we should withdraw men over time. They also mentioned that by pulling back slowly, they would not forget about their promise to help South Vietnam, they stated they would send food aid, clothing etc.
3.I believe the debate was set up in four different options so we could see all possible options for the war, instead of just picking any two we wanted. By picking information out of the four options we learned more about the war in Vietnam. We learned about the things that could work with an option and how other things wouldn’t and how each option affected other countries and how they could get involved.

Extra credit: if we’re doing evil in order to do good, we are still doing evil. There is no changing evil; you can’t hide the evil that has been done. For example, during the Vietnam War we used Agent Orange in order to lead ourselves throughout the jungle, by doing that we were killing the leaves off trees. By killing the leaves off trees we were killing our main source of oxygen, trees. Beyond killing the trees, the evil of Agent Orange spread to killing villagers by giving them cancer. In my option doing evil is still evil, yes by doing something evil can give a person or persons something they wanted, but he does not hide the fact that in order to get what they have they had done something evil.


Heather Robinson
2nd hour

Anonymous said...

Austin Rovinski
2nd hour-Wickersham
5/24/10

1. The baby boomer generation has a hard time coming to terms with what they did during this time because many of them reflect back on what happened and they see that they acted cowardly by trying different methods to avoid going to war. People who did serve in Vietnam have to live with the horror of their memories and the things that people who have never seen war can’t imagine.
2. I think that group 2 in 2nd hour provided the best argument as to the fate of Vietnam; no one would have known what was to happen in Vietnam before the US went in there and the effort became a disaster. People still have the residual knowledge that the US did not do well in Vietnam, and the intelligence at the time suggested that slow escalation would be the best option with the points provided. Points used against it, mostly high casualties, were not known about until during the war because the intelligence that the US had before the war suggested that the US could fairly easily come in and defeat the North Vietnamese.
3. The debate was set up the way it was to force us to see all the sides to the issue as it was seen in the 1960s. It allowed us to see what a contested issue it was and the difficulty President Johnson would have had in choosing an option.
4. Bonus question: This isn’t a true answer, but I felt the need to comment anyways.

The amount of evil that we must do in order to do good is in the perspective of the person deciding that question. Different people feel that it must be acted on in different ways, and those ways are largely affected by the circumstances of the situation. It is very easy for people not making that decision to blame the person who did for making a bad decision in an already impossible option with failure spelled out in every choice. Therefore, it is impossible for me to make an unbiased decision seeing as the decision was already made and the result was a failure. However, it is also impossible to truly know the outcome of any other option because it didn’t happen. Because of the butterfly effect, it is also impossible to speculate what would have happened. In conclusion, the choice is not mine to make; if it was, then it would be some biased answer about how no evil is the best based on evidence from Vietnam, when at the time of the decision to do this was important, I wouldn’t have known the effects.

Anonymous said...

Jan Thon 3rd hour

I think they had such a bad time because they are ashamed what they have done. People who went to fight in Vietnam are ashamed of themselves, because the country isn’t proud of the war. In the textbook it says that the soldiers were given dirty looks when they came out of the plane, and they even changed clothes as soon as possible, so nobody could see that they were soldiers or nurses who came from Vietnam. On the other side there are a lot of people who didn’t go to fight, and they are ashamed as well. They blame themselves for letting their troops down. They didn’t want to fight because they were afraid of death, but then so many soldiers died and they think that they could have helped them.
I think group number two argued the best. I think they had the best arguments and counter arguments. They made clear how to approach the situation and they put in the most work. The other three groups did well too, but unfortunately they could see in the future or they didn’t care much about the credibility of the United States of America. I think these groups weren’t as much prepared as group number two and that’s the reason why I think that they were the best, they were good from beginning to end and included a lot of resources out of the text you gave us and from the internet.
I think it was set up like this, because everybody had a opponent and everyone had to participate in the debate. If we only argued about pull out or stay in we had only two teams, and a few people would talk all the time while others could do nothing. This set up made it able to grade everybody fair.

Anonymous said...

Shqipe Preni
3rd hour US history
1.The Baby Boom generation had such a hard time with what they had to do (or not do) during the Vietnam War because they were stuck between two choices; help in the war and look like an extremist, or be against it and look like a “hippie”. The War required soldiers to do terrible things to the Vietnamese people, and not just the Viet Cong. So there were either two things they can be a part of which would obviously be hard to choice from.
2. Option 4, (hour 3) had the best argument in my opinion. The points that the group made were strong and they contradicting what other groups said with enthusiasm, and facts. Their option was to pull out fast which is I think the best thing to do (I don’t like war) and they said if we did so we would still have our dignity.
3. The debate in my opinion was set up into four different views and groups because this gave us incite to the different views that people had during Vietnam and let us work together and make our points. The different views also gave us information we could learn from (instead of Mr. Wickersham giving us a lecture we had this way of learning it) This also taught us how to debate since in high school and future lives we will have more debates.

We should not do evil, to do good! It is contradicting and wrong, I personally don’t get why this country has to go on and try to change the government of another country. It’s none of our business how Vietnam runs themselves we should worry about ourselves. Yes if another country asks for our help we should try and do something but once we do, we leave it at that. We killed innocent people in Vietnam with Agent Orange and for what? The Viet Cong was what we needed to stop not children!

Anonymous said...

Alex Pisano
3rd hour
"How much evil must we do in order to do good?"
1. Why do you think some of the Baby Boom generation have such a difficult time with what they had done (or not done) during the Vietnam War?
2. Which of the four options in your class (please identify 2nd or 3rd hour) argued the best case and why? Please include specifics.
3. Why do you think the debate was set up like this (four different views, working in teams, debate, using primary resources)? Explain.

There is a reasonable amount of evil one can cause to do good, but only depending on the stakes. If the whole world is at stake (or large populations for that matter) there are few choices that should be forbidden. The ends justifies the means was the theme of Machiavelli’s The Prince and this holds true in situations where the benefits in the long run can justify amoral actions in the short term. However, to determine this type of situation is quite impossible without an omniscient degree of foresight, so such decisions should be made when the situation is truly dire. The consequences of these decisions are horrible, so only if something is immediately dangerous to the whole world, not just a threat perceived by fear mongering and militant politicians.
However, evil and good are subjective, what is evil to one person may be perfectly fine to another; it is merely a difference of a point of view. Since these ideas cannot be defined without knowledge of their counterpart, they are merely labels and have no true value. Death and Life are cyclic things; one cannot happen without the other. Does a rabbit weep at the end of its life or beg for mercy from a fox? Nature has no concern for good or evil, what will happen, will happen, regardless of right or wrong, a person should merely act as their own values and morals dictate. It is not my business to determine what is allowed and what isn’t, however mistakes must be learned from so they don’t happen again. Good and evil are not important in long term goals, such things should instead be a matter of necessity.
1. Some people of the Baby Boom generation have such a difficult time with what they had done during the war because they were always taught that killing was wrong and they saw too many people die, some of them friends. It is quite traumatic to be taught for most of your life to “love your neighbor” and “do unto others…” and then be given a gun and sent off to fight a war. Not only that, but they were sent to fight a seemingly unwinnable, meaningless war, where there was only a ton of deaths. Others regret what they did, like politicians, because they didn’t fight in Vietnam, some stayed in college and others got safe positions in the Coast Guard. Some of these patriots feel that fighting this war would have helped their country, not just because of potential ammunition for their competition.
2. I didn’t feel that any of the groups managed to argue their points particularly well. However, because of my prior beliefs, I must support option 3. Even though, they didn’t do particularly well in stating their main points and they wasted much of their time in the rebuttal by asking direct questions, I feel that they presented strong reasons to support their cause.
3. I believe the debate was set up like this to force the quiet, shy kids to pick a side and be able to argue well for it, under the pretense of doing their work. While having four different teams working at the same time was a bit hectic, there were four main points that had to be made, and they couldn’t all just be made separately, two at a time. This debate allowed us to all think rather hard about a war that has affected America in recent years, and will continue to affect it.

Anonymous said...

Some of the baby boom generation had a difficult time with what they had done in Vietnam because most of the time they weren't fighting a conventional enemy. Most of the time, Vietcong came out, fought, and then retreated back underground. This forced them to use unconventional methods in terms of finding the enemy and also deciding who was friend and who was foe. Also, the ones who weren't involved in the war or tried to get out of it might have had a hard time dealing with it because they felt guilty about doing nothing.

In 3rd hour, group number two argued the best case. They came prepared to the debate with typed up notes, they had solid main points, and were thorough in explaining their option. When other groups attacked them and questioned their, they responded by giving well stated rebuttals.

The debate was set up this way because the four views are congruent with political arguments of that time. This was what politicians debated about during that period and the act of working in teams is like different political parties debating about how to approach the situation in Vietnam

Matt B.

Anonymous said...

1.I think some of the Baby Boom generation had such a hard time in what they did in the Vietname War and feel bad about their actions. The war required soldiers to do many things that may have been against what they believed or what they might've thought back on and said wow that was a big mistake such as search and destroy mission and using Agent Orange. As for the people who did not serve in the war, they probably feel really guilty also. These people may feel guilty that they didn't help in the war or take the chance to be apart of it so it's possible that they feel ashamed and don't want to admit that they didn't help.


2. I think group 2 did the best in arguing that their option was right. It really is the best way to go and either way you will still be helping South Vietnam. They had an option that wasn't too extreme and they argued about it really well. Their points were well detailed and discussed as to why America should choose their way. In general their plan was the best and solid plan.


3. I think you set the debate up this way to show different points of view of the American people/government. It helped show us the different options and the advantages and disadvantages you can get from each option. From the debate, I learned a lot

about the Vietnam War and what was going on, because I never really knew much. I really liked working in groups because we all got to put our ideas together and we all helped eachother; it also brought us closer together as classmates. Also, different people in the group had their own real input about what they really thought of what America should do about the war and it was interesting to see the different views of people.


Extra Credit: If we are doing evil to do good, the good is usually
a good thing; but sometimes, it becomes so evil that the evil overcomes the good and nothing good is done. However, there are many downsides of doing
evil to accomplish good. Countries often have war to improve lives in the country or just the country in general. All wars require some evil, like all the fighting and killing. I think that once the killing and fighting becomes excessive, the evil does overcome the good. Also, when innocent civilians are being harmed to an extent that is pushing it, the good is overcome. Using Agent Orange and bombs really cross the line and cause way too much danger to many innocent people. You can only do enough evil to overcome the people/person who are making more evil but once it has extended to the lives of innocent civilians it must stop.

Sandra T.

Anonymous said...

Blake Jackson
3rd Hour
I think some of the Baby Boom generation had such a big problem because many of them did not serve in the war. However when those who did fight came home they were treated with a lot of hostility. I think a lot of the Baby Boom generation blamed themselves for the war. Many came up with fake reasons to avoid the war and on the inside they feel guilty about not going over and fighting. As for those who did fight in the war many didn’t understand why they were going over to fight in another county’s war in the first place. It also didn’t help that much of their own country was against them. It was the same war that their parents had fought in. There wasn’t American Pride and parades to show how patriotic we are or how we were with our country. I think that group 3 of 3rd hour argued the best because for every other option they had thought of why the option was a bad idea. Every argument that my group made about evacuating they found a flaw in and even began to convince me that we should take our time withdrawing. All of their arguments were well backed by ideas and facts of the dangers of staying in Vietnam too long such as the death toll and the amount of money we were spending. I believe the debate was set up like this because these were the four different options that the government had to choose between and if not the government much of the American people. Just like in the debate you had those who were all for the war, those completely against and the other two are mixes of these. As for McNamara’s statement I think that no matter what the purpose is bad is bad. You can disguise it as good as much as you want in your head. If you think about anything hard enough you’ll start to believe it but deep down he and everyone else knows that many of the things that we did in the Vietnam war were extreme and uncalled for. A terrible wrong cannot be made be up for no matter how many rights come from it.

Anonymous said...

1. I believe the baby boom generation had such a difficult time with what they had or had not done during the war because most of the baby boomers were partially involved. Most baby boomer s that came from wealthy and respected families like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal found ways to avoid the war like leaving the country, joining college, or through less severe position/ deferments, in the marines or army. Some even in the war did horrible things over in Vietnam, like killing innocent woman and children (search & seizure missions). Some baby boomers even used or allowed the Agent Orange, a chemical which stripped the leaves off of trees. It killed a lot of civilians and American soldiers. Agent Orange is a believed cause for causing Cancer. Soldiers who even fought in the war half-heartedly supported it so start using drugs. Another reason it is difficult for baby boomers is that they feel stressed and guilty for not putting their best in the war and having to witness some other baby boomers lying accusations and taking credit for what they really did not do in the war. Witnessing yourself or someone else honored for an act they did not could tear a person apart, but it is reality involving many politicians in today’s society who claim they were heroes in the Vietnam War.
2. As a student in the second hour class, I believe option 3 which is withdrawing slowly through negotiating and providing aid to SV was the best and argument and support was the best. Withdrawing slowly would be the best option because it would save more money, American soldiers, weapons, and open up a chance for the United States to befriend Vietnam. Either way the result of the Vietnam it was just a waste of time because Communism was never fully stopped in Vietnam. Many American and Vietnamese soldiers were injured or killed. Option 1 - escalate fully, and Option 2 - escalate slowly and control the risks both supported the war but did not really have plans or tactics to make sure their mission would be enforced with no doubt.
Both, supported credibility and power for the U.S.A to gain with no life threatening purpose for it to join. Both, plans were a little ludicrous because they were not planned out and most plan they had were theories (domino theory). Option 4 - pull out completely would not do anything but make matters worse. It would not help SV, which is a cause for America getting into war. Money still would be lossed and no problems would be solved and negotiated also America would lose a possible ally.

3. I think the debate was set up four different views, working in teams, debate, using primary resources because it allowed everyone to grasp information and show a possible way why it took so long for the Presidents, and cabinet, particularly the secretary of state, defense, and foreign nations to figure best solution for solving war once they became too involved in the war and figured out that it was not there war but Vietnams. It was supposed to show that each solution was not a WIN-WIN, but a WIN-LOSE. Also each four views had their pros and cons.

4. I believe the statement, "How much evil must we do in order to do good?” said by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara is a question I cannot answer because no one should be Doing evil in order to do good. Who are we to put someone else’s lives in are hands? We are certainly are not God and justify are actions by committing evil to create a better outcome. I honestly do not think it is possible. Also, that good we think is good may not be in God's eyes and the victims we would be harming. Civilians, soldiers, and have been using this statement to justify their actions because they know they were not doing the right thing and wanted some support. They killed not only Vietnamese civilians, but their own kind (American soldiers) with "Agent Orange”, the ultimate war weapon and chemical, as well.

Kierra

Anonymous said...

1. I think the baby boomers who had to fight in the war, don't want to remember and go back to the horrible images they have to relive in their head. I think most of them do remember, but they just don't want to talk about it because it's a very hard subject to talk about when it was expirienced. I think that the boomers that didn't participate in the war were the people who felt that they were fighting the war but from their own homeland. They were making sure there were no attacks back on the home turf, which made them feel like they were "contributing" when they weren't doing anything in comparison to the boomers who were actually in the war overseas.
2. In my 2nd hour class, I think that group three(pull out gradually) made their points clear and direct. They argued the best and had good slams against other opponents that slammed against them. I dont think the other were good choices either, and option number three seemed to make the most sense, staying in the war was not an option, the soldiers didn't want to be fighting in the war anyway. They were beaten down by it. And just leaving the war couldn't have worked, because we added a mess, and we need to help clean it up before just checking out.
3. I think the debate was set up in the way that it was because there were several different approaches to it. Some better than others, but all were arguable. 1 and 2 were more similair with different perspectives, and 3 and 4 were similair with different perspectives that could be aruged both ways. They all had good main points to think about what best benefits our country.

Extra-
I believe that the saying "Home much evil must we do in order to do good?" is a rhetorical question. It's unanswerable because people should already have common sense enough to know the answer. Just like 2 wrongs dont make a right. No evil is needed to do good, good is a stand alone and doesn't need anything attached to it for someone to do good.

Lauren