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:
Between 1961 and 1971, the United States Air Force sprayed an estimated seventy-three million liters of chemical agents over central and south Vietnam. Of that volume, more than forty-five million liters consisted of Agent Orange, a mixture of herbicides containing a heavy concentration of dioxin, a long-lasting toxic chemical linked to birth defects, cancers, leukemia, and other debilitating diseases. The nickname was derived from the orange identification band painted on 208-litre storage drums. Other concentrated mixtures included Agent Blue, a quick-acting defoliant used to destroy crops, and Agent White, a long-enduring toxic mix used to destroy forests. In all, the U.S. sprayed these toxins on five million acres, about twelve percent of the land, with some areas hit repeatedly.
I dropped out of college a few months ago after 2 years on my English BA course. I am fairly sure that were I to continue I would have found myself feeling exasperated, trapped, and left with a feeling of pointlessness about the whole affair. I have been battling clinical depression for the past 5 years and by the time I started this course at the age of 21 I had already tried my hand at half a dozen different jobs, lost my father to cancer, traversed the globe, gotten engaged, endured an abortive attempt at emigration to California, talked down my suicidal fiancee from the roof of our apartment building, gotten addicted to and then renounced drugs and briefly attended one of the top three universities in the UK where I live. Needless to say, there was a huge contrast in life experience between my fellow students and I, compounded by the fact that I was studying at an inner-city London university where a lot of the student body were excited to be in the “big city” for the first time, a place which by that time I had come to see as a rife with social deprivation, cross-cultural tension and widespread drug abuse, being a Londoner born and raised, and not a place for “good times” as they saw it.
Among the advanced weapons used in Vietnam were B-52 bombers that could carry ten times the load of bombs as WWII models; AC-130 gunships, nicknamed “Puff the Magic Dragon,” capable of sensing ammonia in human sweat and urine, and firing 6,000 rounds per minute; Huey and Cobra attack helicopters with rapid-side fire capability; Raytheon and Hughes wire guided missiles with built-in path-correcting devices; swift boats equipped with twin .50 caliber machine guns; surface-to-surface rockets capable of operating at a range of over 100 miles; blockbuster bombs that could destroy enough jungle vegetation to create a “bald spot the size of a football field”; bombs laden with a proximity fuse with a 75-millisecond delay so they would detonate below the jungle canopy but above ground; camouflaged electronic sensors and land mines for use along the Ho Chi Minh trail; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) capable of conducting surveillance over North Vietnam and China; and computerized navigation, mapping and communications systems linked with space-based satellites.
Sounds like some people can’t seek a challenge? I hope you guys realize that sooner or later, you will eventually need a degree in something because of the advanced technology which requires more skills to do. Plus, having a degree makes you more applicable and qualified for certain jobs. If there is a certain dream job that you want to do, go to college and build on it and learn more. If your dream job is flipping burgers at McDonalds, then good luck with that.
The hardest hit area was the province of Quang Tri, just south of the Demilitarized Zone, where an estimated 3,489 villages were repeatedly bombed. In April 1972, the province was hit with the heaviest B-52 bombing of the entire war. Forty B-52s flattened a “box” two miles long and one-half mile wide. The capital city and the southeastern quadrant of Quang Tri were obliterated. Arthur Westing, an ecologist who had worked for the U.S. Forest Service, experienced combat in Korea, and made three previous trips to Indochina to study the war zones in Cambodia, reported after a 1973 visit to the Quang Tri province that he was “unprepared for the utter devastation that confronted us wherever we turned.… Never were we out of sight of an endless panorama of crater fields. As far as we could determine not a single permanent building, urban or rural, remained intact; no private dwellings, no schools, no libraries, no churches or pagodas and no hospitals. Moreover, every last bridge and even culvert had been bombed to bits. The one rail line through the province was also obliterated.”
While U.S. policymakers agonized over the decision to bomb the North out of fear of drawing in the Soviets or Chinese, there was no such constraint on bombing the South. The United States dropped almost twice the tonnage of bombs on its ally, South Vietnam, an area two-thirds the size of Great Britain, as it did on all countries in World War II. According to the historian and former U.S. Air Force pilot, James P. Harrison, “Most of the bombs (about 4 million tons) and virtually all of the defoliants were dropped on our ally … In South Vietnam over half of the forests and 9,000 or 15,000 hamlets were heavily damaged.
In August of 2007, I went back to school to pursue a degree in Business Management. I decided to go back to school for a few reasons. First, I had the passion and determination to obtain an Associate degree. Second, my goals were to finish four years of college and continue into the workforce hoping that I may land a decent paying job. And last, I’ve always wanted to be college educated.
I am currently a senior in college and could disagree more with almost all of these people who are putting down college because they couldn’t make it. Teachers shouldn’t have to force you to learn anything and most of they are extremely intelligent. People who complain that high school doesn’t prepare you have no one to blame but themselves. College teaches you a work ethic and responsibility. Having a degree gives you a very big advantage in the business world. For those of you applying for a job with no degree sorry to break it to you someone who has a degree is going to get the job, so it’s clearly not useless. Also saying that students out of college often need training for their new jobs is a obvious statement, of course they do. If they are not going to a trade school they are not going to know everything the job entails, but they will have a work ethic and though their education they are going to be better at taking instructions and figuring things out of their own which is what college teaches you. Being able to figure things out on your own is something every job requires and is what college prepares you for. No, college is not easy and it shouldn’t be. Teachers are not going to hold your hand and walk you through everything and neither is your boss.
Just because people are lazy and will try to find excuses about why college is so bad is an opinion, look at the facts of the average salary for a college graduate and a high school graduate. Also you can meet someone of your best lifetime friends and create social networks which will only benefit you in the future.
The administration’s peace rhetoric was aimed at domestic and international audiences, not the Vietnamese. Indeed, UN Secretary-General U Thant worked tirelessly during the 1960s to broker a peace agreement based on the Geneva Agreements of 1954, but to no avail. The real difficulty for Johnson and company would be to explain to the American people why American blood had been shed in Vietnam at all. Having passed up ripe opportunities to resolve the burgeoning war in Vietnam in late 1963, following the Diem overthrow, and in late 1964, following his re-election as the “peace candidate,” President Johnson sabotaged another opportunity to negotiate an end to the war in late 1966. The Hanoi government was prepared to sit down with U.S. representatives in secret talks arranged by Poland, code-named “Marigold,” when Johnson authorized bombing raids on the center of Hanoi for the first time on December 13 and 14. The North Vietnamese pulled out, the talks collapsed, and the war expanded.
I come from a family where my father is very dominant, and I ended up dropping out of college in my first year since I was very depressed and discouraged. I had worked hard for years in high school to get into a good art school, got in there much easier than most people did that year, and wasn’t allowed to go because my father didn’t think that it was important, and my mother couldn’t be bothered to stand up to him. That year I felt very alone, especially seeing my classmates at the same university I was attending, being enthusiastic and succeeding. So much crap happened in my life that year, I felt myself on a nervous breakdown several times. Now I’m 21 and starting over from scratch, while my classmates are all graduating this year. It’s a great feeling.