american values are asserted and expressed during the wars

FinalPaperValues.doc5/28/2004Microsoft Word 2002 American Values are Asserted and Expressed during the WarsWars happen when people have opposite ideas and values. They test thestrength and righteousness of peoples’ believes in their values and ideas.

Wars help people and countries see the gaps and wrongs of their actions andmoral principles on which these actions were acted upon, as well as assertfurther believe in the correctness of the principles and actions that hadto be done to establish such believes. The United States had to go throughmany challenges until it was able to gain and create the land and laws itfought for; America is a nation that was created for the people, so thatevery person could find better ways to live and work together, in peace andprosperity, with liberty and justice for all. American people believe thatit is important to help other countries establish democratic liberties thatthe United States citizens are able to enjoy. As one of the most powerfuland prosperous counties in the World, America is an example to others.

Privileged to be an American we must live in integrity with our values andin doing so we will humbly and consciously serve as a beacon for any humanwho 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 Americanvalues. The Union and the Confederates had a very different vision for thefuture development of the new republic of the United States. During theConstitutional Convention of 1787, the founding fathers decided to put theissue of slavery on hold, because they believed thatthe issue of slavery had the potential to tear apart the new nation becauseof the great differences in opinion about the issue. As time went on itbecame harder and harder to compromise on slavery, which later became oneof the major causes of the Civil War.

Between 1793 and 1850, the Northern and Southern parts of the UnitedStates became more and more different economically- the South relied onslave labor and a plantation system, while the North benefited form theIndustrial Revolution and the cheap labor of immigrants working in thefactories. Another problem was the different social standards. In the Southit 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 allissues that became significant in the North. These differences in opinionhad to be solved, and since no one wanted to compromise- the only way tosolve these differences was to fight in a war (W.C.5).

From a speech delivered June 16, 1858, at the Illinois RepublicanState convention, on the occasion of Mr. Lincoln to oppose Sen. Stephen A.

Douglas for the Senate, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, delivered on March4, 1865 we see how critically separated and determined in the righteousnessof their ideas the North and the South were. They were fighting for theirideas, believes, fighting to be united and later cherish and preserve thevalues of the stronger one that wins this War.

“Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokesHis aid against the other…Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, thatthis mighty scourge of war may speedily pass way….Yet if God wills thatit continues until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid byanother with the sward, so still it must be said “the judgment of the Lordare true and righteous altogether.”3. With malice toward none, withfirmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive tofinish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” “A housedivided against itself can not stand” (W.C.1).

The Union won over the Confederacy, and today we are still living byrather the same principles for which the soldiers fought and sacrificedtheir lives one hundred and thirty nine years ago- the American democracy.

Following its history, values, and traditions, the United States of Americaalways tried to help other people: the people who needed help, who weresuppressed, living under the dictatorship, who couldn’t even dream ofdemocratic liberties and the pursuit of happiness. One very clear, heroicexample is of American soldiers, who during World War II, brought freedomand justice to many countries of Asia and Western Europe. Thanks for theeconomical and political help from the United States, the Marshal Plan, thepeople in the country of Germany are now able to enjoy their level offreedom and high quality of life. People believed in the United StatesGovernment; many came to this country to escape religious repressions andto create better life for themselves and their children. There are manyexamples, by which the United States acted on its principles, and was ableto successfully help other people have better future.

And at the same time we must consider what happened during theVietnam War, why we left Vietnam without securing the democratic form ofgovernment, and what were the faults and leaks in our democratic principlesthat unabled us to successfully finish our mission. The United Statesgovernment hasn’t fully analyzed and understood its mistakes of the VietnamWar, if it did, this current citation in Iraq wouldn’t have been so similarto the War in Vietnam. Didn’t the United States government have enoughhumiliation when it had no choice but to leaving the devastated and wrackedVietnam? These wars that seem to have been started for a good cause wentvery wrong as the wars progressed, because of deceit and misrepresentationform the United Sates government. The Vietnam War had strong public supportat first, like the today’s war in Iraq, but later more and more peoplebegan to see that the government is lying to them; it presented everythingunder control and peace, until the Tet offensive damage theadministration’s optimistic statements about the war’s progress. Last monthsurvey, conducted by CNN shows that 58% of the public believe that Bushmisled the public for political reasons (W.C.6).

The two wars are very similar, because both presidents are afraid torisk their status, by admitting their mistakes. Big, powerful country can’tbelieve it can loose again to a little one. Both presidents wanted thepublic 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 prizeis not American gift to the World, it is the almighty God’s gift to allhumanity,” said President Bush; Some years before him very similar wordwere spoken by President Johnson: “The issue in Vietnam is the future ofsoutheast Asia as a whole. A threat to any nation in that region is athreat to all and a threat to us” (W.C.4 and 7).

Both wars started with an illegitimate reason to invade Iraq andVietnam. The 9/11 and the Gulf of Tonkin resolution served as a ticket toinvade these countries. President Bush later admits that Sadam Husein hasno connection to al-Qaida, like the Tonkin resolution proved to be a scam afew years later. These were the first steps onto the wrong road. Instead ofworking with the nationalist and top officials, our government deliberatelymisrepresented them. Vietnamese nationalist were labeled ‘communists/ VietCong’, 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 isgrowing. In some areas, Sunni and Shiite groups are joining forcestemporarily 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 persuadeus to think that the people in Vietnam absolutely need our help, while thewhole nation, ordinary people can’t wait for the America to leave themalone, lead people not only in the United States become suspicious, andloose trust in our government, bur all over the Word; as these warsdeveloped the United States becomes more at odds with its closest allies.

By analyzing my material, I believe that in both wars the biggestmistake was that the United States went against the integrity of herprinciples. We violated the values that we wanted to help establish inother countries. We can not create order by acting illegally; we forgetthat relying on military power can not win people’s heart and minds. If weviolate our values, that means that they aren’t working, that they have nosacred meaning to us; how can we then expect other country to give up theirbelieve, no matter how false and morally wrong they might be, and adoptours. The Vietnam War and the War in Iraq violate the principles America isadmired for. “America won the contest against communism because itsambition is not to rule the world, but to create a world of rule; it is notsimply to be right but to stand up for the rights of others. One cannot winthe 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 appearsto be no clear plan to successfully finishing what we have started in Iraq.

The situation in Iraq became even more demoralizing, and against allAmerican values and good intentions, when the pictures of abused prisonerswere revealed. “I feel I lost my dignity,” Mr al-Rawi said. “I couldn’teven raise my head in my house when I went home.” They took off all myclothes, then they made me to stand on a box with hands on my hooded head.Istood like this for an hour, or an hour and a quarter,” he said. “Then someAmerican soldiers came and they were laughing and some were beating me.

They were beating me on my back and my legs. They were beating andlaughing,” he said. “I couldn’t bear it and then I fell from the boxagainst the wall and then on to the ground.” At this point they removed hishood. “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 theUnited States has created more enemies. These images of abuse are aspowerful to the Arab and Muslim Word as was the 9/11 attack to the UnitedStates. The Iraqis who were relieved when Saddam Hussein was overthrown,now don’t believe that America and her intentions are any better. “Therewill be more Muslims around the world now that believe that Osama bin Ladenis right, and recruiting will soar”(W.C.10 and 11).

It is very sad and disturbing to me that good intentions and moralscan be ruined so quickly. This nation didn’t fight for independence fromBritain 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 allthe values that the founding fathers wanted us to preserve and cherish.

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