Hearts And Minds: An Analysis

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Back in America the anti-war movement grew stronger and stronger as the war continued. As the war raged on and countless more American lives were lost without seemingly any more hope of victory the popular support for the war drastically shrunk. Also as more and more people were exposed to the atrocities and savagery that was happening across the sea in Vietnam, the people of the United States began to realize how wrong the war really was. Soldiers would even refuse to report to their service and at one point “there were 33,960 delinquents nationwide” (Zinn, 476). In addition, as veterans of the war came home they began to protest the war forming the Veterans against Vietnam, because as Robert Mason said in “Chickenhawk,” “sleep no longer gave …show more content…
Through propaganda and sheer ignorance the Vietnamese were seen as savages or animals. This perception is expressed in the documentary Hearts and Minds when being interviewed the United States Army General, William Westmoreland, stated that “the Oriental doesn 't put the same high price on life as does the Westerner. Life is cheap in the Orient” (Davis, The Things They Carried). I find this statement to be the most ignorant and bigoted statement made by a man of high government power about the Vietnam War. In my opinion one of the goals of Hearts and Minds was not only to show the atrocities of the war, but more specifically to show the Vietnamese as human beings similar to you and me, and not savage animals. The movie allows us visualize the vicious atrocities happening all across Vietnam. Hearts and Minds puts a face to the civilians whose loved ones were killed and home were burned down. It was eye opening for me when I heard that “three out of four patients seeking treatment in a Vietnamese hospital afterward for burns from napalm, or jellied gasoline, were village women” (Zinn, 468). The Vietnam War was supposed to be a war against communism and for freedom, yet a majority of the people that were physically harmed or killed were non-communist

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