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”
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.