Granted, The South Vietnamese government may not have been popular, But letting the South Vietnamese choose their leaders via elections rather than letting the country fall to communist forces was the goal. To accomplish this goal, The US would have had to contain North Vietnamese aggression and expansion and isolate the country until it collapsed from the inside. At first, It seemed as though the US had accomplished this goal at the Paris Peace Conference of 1973. However, 1974 saw Nixon's resignation due to the Watergate scandal and subsequent Democratic victories in the midterm elections later that year. This enabled rabid antiwar Democrats to hold majorities in both houses of Congress and therefore prevent any action against future North Vietnamese aggression. Seeing weakness in American resolve to back the South, The North Vietnamese invaded and took over South Vietnam, Subjecting it and its people to brutal communist rule. Many South Vietnamese people became refugees, And neighboring Laos and Cambodia became communist. The latter would see one-third of its population killed in what came to be known as the Cambodian genocide at the hands of Pol Pot and his militant communist faction, The infamous Khmer Rouge.
I'm a South Vietnamese, And I'll give you my perspective.
To tell you the truth, In the early years of South Vietnam, The president, Ngo Dinh Diem, Didn't want too much U. S. Interference in defending his country. After winning independence from the french, President Diem didn't want too much western influence from the U. S. In ruling his country, Because he feared that south vietnam would move back to western colonialism like it was before Vietnam's liberation. He also feared that depending on the U. S. For military aid would lead to South Vietnam's inability to defend itself after the U. S. Was gone. However, The USA and the Kennedy administration still elbowed their way into South Vietnam as a result of their domino theory, Which in my opinion was not the best decision.
However, After kennedy approved Ngo dinh diem's assasination, South Vietnamese leaders began to rely more and more on U. S. Aid in fighting the war, To the point where the South Vietnamese could barely fend for themselves. Therefore, The U. S. A. 's willingness to step in to aid the struggling country in the fight against communism was just, And patriotic.
In essence, The U. S. Interfering with the original regime of South vietnam was not the best decision, Since South Vietnam wished to be more independent at first, But after the original regime was toppled, The U. S. 's role was more justified due to the way America played itself into the war.
American military planners believed in the domino theory - that if South Vietnam fell to communism, Other countries would fall too. Who's to say they weren't right? In the 1960s they were communist insurrections in Thailand and Indonesia from violent, Anti-human rights Marxist groups. If America hadn't checked the progress of communism in South Vietnam, It might well have swept through the whole region. By tying up the Chinese and Russian military in one state, Vietnam, The Americans probably prevented many more from falling to communism, Because the Russians and the Chinese committed everything to Vietnam. So Vietnam may well look like a failure but it was arguably a strategic success.
The domino theory was bullshit. At that point in the 1960s, It didn't seem like it, Not to the American who saw themselves as Pax America -- the protector of freedom and all that superior complex -- but with new archives open, In the 1980s, It became quickly evident that this theory is plain paranoia. The USSR and PRC were never a monolithic communist bloc that could exert a potent influence Southeast Asia. There were rifts between USSR, PRC and Vietnam. Furthermore, Southeast Asia had staunchly anti-communist governments (Indonesia's Suharto ousted Sukarno and slaughtered ALL communists; Thailand was under Sarit and the Communist Party was banned; Philippines had US military assistance; Singapore and Malaysia detained all communists without trial)
Now, You tell me, That just because South Vietnam fell to the communists, Every other southeast Asia country would fall, When the evidence obviously points to the contrary? That flimsy theory then justifies the hundred thousands of lives lost, Napalm bombs being dropped and the My Lai Massacre?
Perhaps, It was not just the domino theory that motivated US entry in South Vietnam. Let's say the Gulf of Tonkin in 1968 was the trigger. The Gulf of Tonkin was nothing like Pearl Harbor. It was a flake by LBJ who desperately wanted to cling onto the opportunity to strike so that he would not lose Vietnam like how Truman lost China. The Vietnamese did not attack US Submarine Maddox, The archives had unravelled.
Patriots call it a "strategic success". But, Where is the "success"? After the Vietnam War, Not only did US economy began to fail -- think billions of military expenditure depleting gold reserves and indirectly leading to the collapse of Bretton Woods System and ushering the Crisis Decades in the 1970s -- but also led to further imperialist propaganda used against the US. The US ultimately shot it's own foot, Trying to protect South Vietnam and involving themselves in a CIVIL war that was not theirs, To begin with.
Is this what the Nation of the Free truly embodies?
Let us look at the historical record. . Everything we did in Vietnam was pointless. . We killed millions with no reason in sight. . We backed a dictatorship to fight a dictatorship. . We killed so many of our own people and others, We raped we tortured. . For democracy? Perhaps if we had concentrated on winning hearts and minds instead of spreading terror, If we had promoted democratic values instead of promoting a murderous dictator the answer would be different but we did not, So what was the point?
Before 1955, Southern Vietnam was a part of Vietnam, Whose legitimate government was the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (aka North Vietnam).
In 1955, The Republic of Vietnam (aka South Vietnam), A creation of the US, Was established on this land without permission from North Vietnam.
Thus, It was justified for North Vietnam to attack South Vietnam to reclaim its land, And it was unjustified for the US to prevent North Vietnam from doing so.