Lyndon Johnson And The Vietnam War Analysis

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Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War: Nature Conservancy Magazine 1963 symbolized tremendous change throughout America. This is the year in which the acting President, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As a rule, the Vice President would assume the role as President, should the President be incapable of performing Presidential duties. So, Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President at the time, presumed office. As soon as Johnson took on the primary role of President of the United States, he immediately got to work. In 1965, he passed the Highway Beautification Act, which was originally Lady Johnson’s campaign desiring to plant flowers in cities and to remove billboards and junkyards from American highways (Johnson). In America, President Johnson and …show more content…
And so as long as I am president, what has been divinely given to nature will not be taken recklessly away by man” (Johnson). However, in 1969, under Johnson’s Presidency, he allowed the extermination of “1,034,300 hectares” or “100 acres” of forests (Rohn). To eliminate immense amounts of forest, Johnson called for the use of herbicides to eliminate woodlands that provided protection to the enemy (“Facts”). In doing so, Johnson did what he said he would not do by eradicating nature in Vietnam. In America, Johnson also claimed that his Highway Beautification Act of 1965 not only provided people with the “tools” needed to “landscape some of the highways,” but also would retrieve the fascination of nature into people’s lives (Johnson). Yet, across the world in Vietnam, he is guilty of the extermination of an entire ecosystem. “For example, loss of timber led to reduced sustainability of ecosystems, decreases in the biodiversity of plants and animals, poorer soil quality, increased water contamination, etc.” (“Chemical”). Johnson was supposed to bring nature back into people’s lives, which he might be executing in America, but in Vietnam, he was doing the opposite by taking nature away from people’s lives. During the Vietnam War, herbicides were being used to destroy crops and enemy land (Rohn). The utilization of these herbicides would induce long-term health and environmental effects on the people and land exposed to …show more content…
“In the years following the Vietnam War, reports of high rates of miscarriages, premature births, congenital birth defects, and infant mortality began to surface from regions in the Vietnam War where Agent Orange was used” (King). Men exposed to these herbicides “had increased rates of neural tube defects, especially Spina Bifida, and to a lesser degree anencephaly” (King). Anencephaly is when a baby is born without “a forebrain, which is responsible for thinking and coordination” (“Definition”). In Johnson’s Highway Beautification speech, he referred to himself as “your President” implicating that he yearned for the trust of the American people and trust that he cared about what they believed in and wanted and that he is there to help (Johnson). However, his decision to use herbicides in Vietnam to win the war at any cost and to cause many innocent people long-term health defects illustrates nothing of the

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