EWRT2 RESEARCH PAPER: Critical Thinking about the Viet Nam Conflict
Minimum 2000 words with at least six references (WIKIPEDIA is not normally acceptable as a reference--it is more myth than fact on the topic of Viet Nam) including at least one reference from the Internet and one
reference from the Apocalypse,
Unit 5, Logic. Posting, hard copy, web page, or
email acceptable. If you include pictures and appendices, hard copy or
web page may be your medium of choice. The medium is not important; the
quality of the research and the argument will decide the grade. Early
on in the quarter you should decide on a topic that interests you, and
your choice of topic will drive your selection of optional books and
movies during the quarter.
Find a topic, do some research, narrow that topic from your evidence, research more narrowly and then organize an argument. Also see the research topics on the Vietnam Conflict Research Portal found on the Internet at: http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/ewrt2vn.html.
Dates of the Viet Nam Conflict are at: http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/vnhist.html
The Course Research Page is at: http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/ewrt2vn.html
Another GREAT Research Page is at http://www.cc.gatech.edu/fac/Thomas.Pilsch/Vietnam.htmlThe TALE OF KIEU Webpage is at: http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/kieu.html
A. Find one argument in Martin
Luther King's seminal antiwar sermon "A
Time to Break Silence," and argue the reliability (See Unit
5 for this definition-an argument is reliable when we are
sufficiently convinced of its truth to believe it or act upon it.) of
that argument. Examples might be MLK's claim that Ho Chi Minh's land
reform was benevolent, that the US set up "concentration camps," or
that the poor bore a disproportionate share of the burden of the war.
Some Vietnamese students have used their grandparents as sources on
land reform-think imaginatively. For the sermon see: http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/king.html.
C. Do an analysis of ONE of the
ten links (see the Overview Power Point Presentation on the Vietnam
Conflict ) to Viet Nam enumerated in Loren
Baritz' BACKFIRE. Or, using those reasons why we did what we did and
Baritz' tripartite scheme that says the US goes to war because of its
(1) mythology, (2) its reliance on technology, and (3) its bureaucracy, attempt to
answer a question already raised by a student in this course: "When
should the US go to War?" Or starting with Baritz' notions about
technology, examine the function of the helicopter in DISPATCHES-make
connections between and among. QUAGMIRE may well be a source in ANY
paper for this course, or KIEU, or H&E or C&M or PA.
F. A comparison argument (or contrast, but not both) between a limited aspect of the Viet Nam Conflict and our Conflict in Afghanistan.
One morning I was reading a detailed chronology of the early years of
American involvement in a book published in 1965. There I read that on
15 November, 1963, "a US military spokesman in Saigon reports that 1000
servicemen will be withdrawn from Viet-Nam, beginning December 3"
(Raskin and Fall 393). I had always thought that this decision was Top
Secret and contained within National Security Memorandum 263, and
would have been declassified after the off year election. Recall that
Diem was assassinated on 1 November, Kennedy on 22 November. Kennedy,
who was a Democrat, was in Texas campaigning and his decision to
withdraw troops was classified so that he would not be accused of being
soft on Communism. An examination of this critical period and decision
would make an interesting research paper. Oliver Stone made a movie
with his hypothesis (JFK). What is yours? Well, you would have to do
some initial research. I would start with books on JFK's involvement in
Viet Nam. I would also go to the WEB. Note how small my area of focus
is. There is great JOY in doing narrow research. It is how we
generate new knowledge.
Raskin, Marcus G. and Bernard B. Fall.
THE VIET-NAM [sic] READER: ARTICLES AND DOCUMENTS ON AMERICAN FOREIGN
POLICY AND THE VIET-NAM CRISIS. New York: Random House, 1965.
Do NOT even cause me to question your work. Stay Honest!!! -- JKS