FinalPaperValues.doc 5/28/2004 Microsoft Word 2002 American Values are Asserted and Expressed during the Wars Wars happen when people have opposite ideas and values. They test the strength and righteousness of peoples’ believes in their values and ideas.
Wars help people and countries see the gaps and wrongs of their actions and moral principles on which these actions were acted upon, as well as assert further believe in the correctness of the principles and actions that had to be done to establish such believes. The United States had to go through many challenges until it was able to gain and create the land and laws it fought for; America is a nation that was created for the people, so that every person could find better ways to live and work together, in peace and prosperity, with liberty and justice for all. American people believe that it is important to help other countries establish democratic liberties that the United States citizens are able to enjoy. As one of the most powerful and prosperous counties in the World, America is an example to others.
Privileged to be an American we must live in integrity with our values and in doing so we will humbly and consciously serve as a beacon for any human who shares our values, and as a model for any nation that does not (W.C.2). The Civil War was the first major war that challenged the American values. The Union and the Confederates had a very different vision for the future development of the new republic of the United States. During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the founding fathers decided to put the issue of slavery on hold, because they believed that the issue of slavery had the potential to tear apart the new nation because of the great differences in opinion about the issue. As time went on it became harder and harder to compromise on slavery, which later became one of the major causes of the Civil War. Between 1793 and 1850, the Northern and Southern parts of the United States became more and more different economically- the South relied on slave labor and a plantation system, while the North benefited form the Industrial Revolution and the cheap labor of immigrants working in the factories.
Another problem was the different social standards. In the South it was believed, that rich people should own and control politics, property, and government while the abolition of slavery, women’s rights, educational change, and the right of any person to own a business were all issues that became significant in the North. These differences in opinion had to be solved, and since no one wanted to compromise- the only way to solve these differences was to fight in a war (W.C.5). From a speech delivered June 16, 1858, at the Illinois Republican State convention, on the occasion of Mr.
Lincoln to oppose Sen. Stephen A. Douglas for the Senate, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, delivered on March 4, 1865 we see how critically separated and determined in the righteousness of their ideas the North and the South were. They were fighting for their ideas, believes, fighting to be united and later cherish and preserve the values of the stronger one that wins this War. “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other…Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass way….Yet if God wills that it continues until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another with the sward, so still it must be said “the judgment of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”3.
With malice toward none, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” “A house divided against itself can not stand” (W.C.1). The Union won over the Confederacy, and today we are still living by rather the same principles for which the soldiers fought and sacrificed their lives one hundred and thirty nine years ago- the American democracy. Following its history, values, and traditions, the United States of America always tried to help other people: the people who needed help, who were suppressed, living under the dictatorship, who couldn’t even dream of democratic liberties and the pursuit of happiness. One very clear, heroic example is of American soldiers, who during World War II, brought freedom and justice to many countries of Asia and Western Europe. Thanks for the economical and political help from the United States, the Marshal Plan, the people in the country of Germany are now able to enjoy their level of freedom and high quality of life.
People believed in the United States Government; many came to this country to escape religious repressions and to create better life for themselves and their children. There are many examples, by which the United States acted on its principles, and was able to successfully help other people have better future. And at the same time we must consider what happened during the Vietnam War, why we left Vietnam without securing the democratic form of government, and what were the faults and leaks in our democratic principles that unabled us to successfully finish our mission. The United States government hasn’t fully analyzed and understood its mistakes of the Vietnam War, if it did, this current citation in Iraq wouldn’t have been so similar to the War in Vietnam. Didn’t the United States government have enough humiliation when it had no choice but to leaving the devastated and wracked Vietnam? These wars that seem to have been started for a good cause went very wrong as the wars progressed, because of deceit and misrepresentation form the United Sates government. The Vietnam War had strong public support at first, like the today’s war in Iraq, but later more and more people began to see that the government is lying to them; it presented everything under control and peace, until the Tet offensive damage the administration’s optimistic statements about the war’s progress.
Last month survey, conducted by CNN shows that 58% of the public believe that Bush misled the public for political reasons (W.C.6). The two wars are very similar, because both presidents are afraid to risk their status, by admitting their mistakes. Big, powerful country can’t believe it can loose again to a little one. Both presidents wanted the public to believe in necessity, honesty, and accuracy of their actions. “Where there is tyranny, oppression and gathering danger to mankind, Americas works and sacrifices for peace and freedom.
The liberty we prize is not American gift to the World, it is the almighty God’s gift to all humanity,” said President Bush; Some years before him very similar word were spoken by President Johnson: “The issue in Vietnam is the future of southeast Asia as a whole. A threat to any nation in that region is a threat to all and a threat to us” (W.C.4 and 7). Both wars started with an illegitimate reason to invade Iraq and Vietnam. The 9/11 and the Gulf of Tonkin resolution served as a ticket to invade these countries.
President Bush later admits that Sadam Husein has no connection to al-Qaida, like the Tonkin resolution proved to be a scam a few years later. These were the first steps onto the wrong road. Instead of working with the nationalist and top officials, our government deliberately misrepresented them. Vietnamese nationalist were labeled ‘communists/ Viet Cong’, and now Bush administration names everyone in Iraq “terrorists,” despite that much of the Iraqi people are against the U.S.
occupation. Recent intelligence reports suggest that support for the insurgents is growing. In some areas, Sunni and Shiite groups are joining forces temporarily for common cause- killing Americans (W.C.8). The serious miscalculations by our government, how much money we need, how long we will stay, what will the casualties be, and trying to persuade us to think that the people in Vietnam absolutely need our help, while the whole nation, ordinary people can’t wait for the America to leave them alone, lead people not only in the United States become suspicious, and loose trust in our government, bur all over the Word; as these wars developed the United States becomes more at odds with its closest allies.
By analyzing my material, I believe that in both wars the biggest mistake was that the United States went against the integrity of her principles. We violated the values that we wanted to help establish in other countries. We can not create order by acting illegally; we forget that relying on military power can not win people’s heart and minds. If we violate our values, that means that they aren’t working, that they have no sacred meaning to us; how can we then expect other country to give up their believe, no matter how false and morally wrong they might be, and adopt ours. The Vietnam War and the War in Iraq violate the principles America is admired for.
“America won the contest against communism because its ambition is not to rule the world, but to create a world of rule; it is not simply to be right but to stand up for the rights of others. One cannot win the Cold War on these ideals, and then expect to win by ignoring them” (W.C.9). There was no real plan for the victory in Vietnam, and there appears to be no clear plan to successfully finishing what we have started in Iraq. The situation in Iraq became even more demoralizing, and against all American values and good intentions, when the pictures of abused prisoners were revealed.
“I feel I lost my dignity,” Mr al-Rawi said. “I couldn’t even raise my head in my house when I went home.” They took off all my clothes, then they made me to stand on a box with hands on my hooded head.I stood like this for an hour, or an hour and a quarter,” he said. “Then some American soldiers came and they were laughing and some were beating me. They were beating me on my back and my legs.
They were beating and laughing,” he said. “I couldn’t bear it and then I fell from the box against the wall and then on to the ground.” At this point they removed his hood. “They were talking and then one of them started to urinate on me. Then they started to drop cold water on me” (W.C.2).
After hearing such stories and seeing the pictures many worry that the United States has created more enemies. These images of abuse are as powerful to the Arab and Muslim Word as was the 9/11 attack to the United States. The Iraqis who were relieved when Saddam Hussein was overthrown, now don’t believe that America and her intentions are any better. “There will be more Muslims around the world now that believe that Osama bin Laden is right, and recruiting will soar”(W.C.10 and 11).
It is very sad and disturbing to me that good intentions and morals can be ruined so quickly. This nation didn’t fight for independence from Britain to become monsters, who dominate the world and do what they please. This nation must choose better leaders and believe that it hasn’t lost all the values that the founding fathers wanted us to preserve and cherish.