Sunday, April 28, 2013

Yee Xiong - Week 3

In Espiritu’s article, “The "We-Win-Even-When-We-Lose" Syndrome: U.S. Press Coverage
of the Twenty Fifth Anniversary of the "Fall of Saigon”, he illustrates the significance on how
powerful the media plays in shaping U.S. opinions on our involvement in the Vietnam War. The
Vietnam War was the first war that had national news coverage and it affected the many lives
of Americans in the United States; it also aggravated them to start the first anti-war movement.
This article did an extremely great job at providing news from mainstream media to support its
argument and opened my eyes to a new perspective.

When we look at our involvement in the Vietnam War today, we see how “innocent” American
soldiers were and America’s victory in saving Vietnamese lives—and that is how the media
wants us to look at it. The media, however, dismisses a lot of global issues that are critical to
understanding the layers beneath our involvement in the Vietnam War.

The media and our history textbooks in America dismisses Vietnamese refugee experiences
and it only selects various narratives that cater to the theme of the United States as a “savior” to
Vietnamese people in the “helpless” Vietnam. This is often times, if not too many, a common
motif in the history of the United States and its role to “third world countries”. Although the
United States did not have a clear victory in Vietnam, it is portrayed that way. But of course, a
country that is known to be the leader in the “free world” will always portray itself as the Victor
even when the facts are against them.

Do you think the United States can continue to stay the leader of the “free world” and have a
powerful image at the expense of colonizing or “saving” countries with the thousands of lives that are at stake? Is there or is there not another alternative to this method?

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