Du H ChauMr. ThompsonHistory of the Americas / P. 018 October 2017Section A: Investigation and Evaluation of Sources The main focus of this investigation is the effects of the Agent orange that US used in Vietnam war from 1961-1971, specifically on people and how it lead to the Tet offensive. The source that leads to the answer for the direct effects of agent orange on the citizens of Vietnam is from an article that was published in a newspaper, The Guardian, by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy. This article described clearly the biological effects on both human and nature of the agent orange through deep analysis from multiple evidence sources. Furthermore, it contains datas about the topic that supports the analysis as it provide more evidences that it didn’t mentioned in the text. Source: Levy, Adrian, and Cathy Scott-Clark. “A Chemical Weapon Used by the US in the Vietnam War Is Still Damaging New Generations.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 28 Mar. 2003, www.theguardian.com/world/2003/mar/29/usa.adrianlevy. The authors also addresses the US tactics and strategies when they decided to use this chemical agent during war. It provided a wide range of evidences that comes from the vietnamese veterans who were directly absorbing the chemical in the war, the US veterans who are contacting the chemical, and the scientists who are researching and finding the cure for the victims. There is relatively low number of limitation for this source as it is written from datas that came from multiple sources and perspectives. The information that was presented in the article isn’t shown with bias as each piece of evidence is supported by many other sources that came from many different viewpoints.Source: Pham, Trong D. “T?t M?u Thân 1968 Nhìn T? M?t Nhà V?n ??ng Viên C?ng S?n ? Hà N?i.”Nh?t Báo V?n Hóa Online, Nhatbaovanhoa.com, 5 Nov. 2013, nhatbaovanhoa.com/a692/tet-mau-than-1968-nhin-tu-mot-nha-van-dang-vien- cong-san-o-ha-noi. Agent orange not only leave disastrous effects on the victims but it also created huge impact that changed US media’s opinions about the war. The impact was so powerful that it made Vietnamese generals decided to have the Tet offensive. An interview of a general who was in the cabinet from one of the most reliable newspaper in Vietnam shows the insight of the story behind the decision. He discussed and deeply analyzed the different reasons and strategies why they chose to have Tet offensive. General Giap explained his own opinions toward the topic and how the effects from the war had affected the US citizens and media which eventually lead to the Tet offensive. The interview included details about the conditions of both countries and described specifically their prediction on the result of the surprise attack. Even though the interview’s content is supported, proven, shown to be neutral, the person who was being interviewed is a Vietnamese general who was directly involved to the war so the phrases he used may so some degree of bias. Section B: InvestigationThere was no doubt that Agent Orange had taken away not only the chance to live a normal life of approximately 650,000 people, who “suffering from an array of baffling chronic conditions” but also the balanced ecology of many areas where the chemicals were used (Scott-Clark and Levy, 2003, para 4). As it destroyed the nature of Vietnam, the Americans also started to realized how toxic it was: “Researchers found evidence of birth defects in lab animals” and therefore, “scientists and others began to speak out against the spraying” and also started to protest against war (Haberman, 2014, para 3). Due to this specific social effect that this chemical cause, the Vietnamese generals decided to have the Tet offensive so they can completely bring down the US government. Agent Orange is a type of defoliant, “tactical herbicides specifically to be used in “combat operations” that created a highly toxic strain of dioxin(Erickson, 2015, para 1). It was used by the US military in many different operations including an operation called the Ranch Hand throughout the South Vietnam from 1962 to 1971. Due to the fact that the Viet Cong was using their forests and trees to camouflage and make sudden attacks so the chemicals were used “to remove the leaves of trees and other dense tropical foliage that provided enemy cover” (Erickson, 2015, para 1). They also argue that it was used to “saved many hundreds of thousands of American lives by denying the North Vietnamese army” (Scott-Clark and Levy, 2003, para 5). At the time, both the Washington officialdom and the executives from chemical company that produced the chemical insisted that “Agent Orange did not harm humans”, “short-lived in the environment” and it was declared that it is saved for both the Vietnamese people and the American soldiers to be exposed to the chemical (Haberman, 2014, para 3) (Scott-Clark and Levy, 2003, para 5). Since they kept repeating over and over the message that this new type of defoliant is harmless, it resulted was the military purchased in a large number of Agent Orange, a chemical that wasn’t commercial graded. Approximately, out of 20 millions of gallons of the deadly toxic defoliant that were sprayed, “at least 11 million gallons was Agent Orange” (Kriebel et al, 1997, para 11). “Chemical weapons defoliated 10 percent of the country’s surface” as it was sprayed by many American C-123 transport planes (Woods, 2008, para 5). Along with the power to destroy all the forests and making all the leaves shed, Agent Orange also leave a large number of bad immediately effects. Significantly, those effects didn’t go away or can be fixed permanently, it continues to carried on till today and still not be able to get fixed. After years of examining the chemicals, international scientists found that “Agent Orange contains one of the most virulent poisons known to man, a strain of dioxin called TCCD” (Scott-Clark and Levy, 2003, para 6). This specific strain of dioxin can cause different types of long term and short term effects on both the people and the environment where the chemical is used. World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “Short-term exposure of humans to high levels of dioxins may result in skin lesions, such as chloracne and patchy darkening of the skin, and altered liver function. Long-term exposure is linked to impairment of the immune system, the developing nervous system, the endocrine system and reproductive functions.”, this truly show how dangerous it was for the soldiers who was exposed directly to the chemical during the war. The bad effects from Agent Orange were showed directly and uncensored to the American audience which made the crowd to be outraged and decided to protest against the war. It was said that “the Vietnam conflict is often referred to as the “first television war.” (Spector, 2016, para 2). The role of the media during this period of time is significant due to the fact that almost every household owns a television, researches says that “by 1960 the figure had reached 90 percent” across the nation who owns a television (Library of Congress, 2017, para 1). Therefore, by showing the American audience the uncensored content of the war, it created many powerful impacts that shaped the way how people think about the war and it woke them up from the dream that Americans were winning the war. It is a fact that it “was simply the level of American casualties: the greater the increase in casualties, the lower the level of public support for the war”, and according to the content in the televised shows, America was experiencing more and more casualties (Spector, 2016, para 3). People might argue that “the media’s tendency toward negative reporting helped to undermine support for the war in the United States while its uncensored coverage provided valuable information to the enemy in Vietnam”, but the truth was it undermine the public’s support because of Johnson’s and the generals’ views on the war and how they reacted. One way or another, it was certain that the people were protesting non-stop; it was shown clearly in President’s daily diary on September, 21, 1967 that the “people paid more attention to the hippies and the protesters and dissenters than they did to the Marines fighting there for $80 a month”. People became big mops protesting about the war and was trying their best to demand for an end to this meaningless war.”The protests against the war started to shoot up when body bags returning to American kept increasing.”, it was so significant that the Vietnamese people started to notice about the protests and they started to attack back (Rohn, 2013, para 9). For example, on “November 2 1965, the 32 years-old Norman Morrison self-immolated in front of the Pentagon. 7 days later, 22-year old Roger La Porte also set himself in fire in front of the UN Headquarters in New York City. Both consciously followed the example of Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation and ongoing Buddhist protests in South Vietnam.” (Rohn, 2013, para 8). As the Americans are mad, outraged about the war and attacking their government non-stop, General Giap of Vietnam decided that it was a good opportunity to attack all the major forces of the enemy. Historians say that “This was not to simply outmanoeuvre them in the field but to undermine their resolve by inflicting demoralizing political defeats through bold and unexpected tactics. His slogan was that of Danton: “de l’audace, de l’audace et encore de l’audace!” (audacity, audacity and yet more audacity!)” (Woods, 2008, para 78). Just as when the Tet offensive first started, it “shocked the American public. Although the offensive did not constitute a military victory for communist forces, it effectively erased the rosy picture of progress painted by General Westmoreland and the president in previous months.” (History in Dispute, 2000, PARA 12). The media’s effects were so significant that “as public opinion turned against the war, it soon began to affect policy.”, so General Giap took the chance he got and plan for the Tet offensive. In a published Vietnamese historical book called “V? V?i Dân” by Ph?m ?ình Tr?ng, General Giap was working with him to recall back to his memories about the war, he said that they planned to attack when the enemy is least expecting them to be, and they want to use the first attack as a stimulation for the protests that the Americans were having. So clearly, the whole Tet offensive was originally planned because of one of the main effects that was resulted from Agent Orange. Overall, Agent Orange was a defoliant that was used during the Vietnam war as part of many operations. It was used to destroy all the hiding places of the Viet Cong as it leaves many effects on both countries’ citizens. As a result, the American citizen protested against the war and eventually lead to the Tet offensive.Section C: Reflection Through this investigation about the effects of Agent Orange on the people and how it lead to the Tet offensive didn’t only solved the ultimate mystery of my childhood but it also allowed me to utilized 3 historian methods all at once. Growing up, I had many chances to encounter the topic superficially through the bedtime stories that my grandma told me and the excerpts from the historical textbooks. However, I never had an actually chance to deeply investigate and find out the reason why things happened the way it did.A surprising thing that I decided to do for this investigation is to go out of my comfort zone and did some experiments with it. I combined 3 historian methods: primary source, secondary source and oral history together while the sources are in 2 different languages. This allowed me to cover the limitations of each source because I am approaching the problem from 3 different perspectives that came from 2 countries in multiple different ways. Due to the fact that I tried to used all the sources to support my thesis at once so there should be very little bias and it should be fairly closed to the reality. Despite the fact that I tried to not put my bias into the process of writing the paper, I must admit that it was very emotional at some point of the researching phase. I cried uncontrollably when I saw the images children who suffer from the events, the letters that the father wrote to his daughter before he burned himself alive at the Pentagon,… It struck me hard at that point that the reason why nothing is explicitly discussed about this topic is because of how cruel it is, how the people died for nothing at all, how the effects had lead to even more disastrous decisions.Overall, this investigation wasn’t only an experiment, an investigation that was used for both the IB HOTA IA and solving the childhood mystery but it was also a chance for me to understand the world better and also a chance to get out of my comfort zone. It makes me understand that sometimes bias isn’t a bad thing and in fact, it motivates you to do things better.Citations:Haberman, Clyde. “Agent Orange’s Long Legacy, for Vietnam and Veterans.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 May 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/us/agent-oranges-long-legacy-for-vietnam-and-veterans.html.Erickson, Dr. Ralph L. “10 Things Every Veteran Should Know about Agent Orange.” VAntage Point, US Department of Veterans Affairs, 16 May 2016, www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/17744/10-things-every-veteran-know-agent-orange/.Peeples, Lynne. “Veterans Sick From Agent Orange-Poisoned Planes Still Seek Justice.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 July 2013, www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/agent-orange-vietnam-veterans_n_3572598.html.Levy, Adrian, and Cathy Scott-Clark. “A Chemical Weapon Used by the US in the Vietnam War Is Still Damaging New Generations.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 28 Mar. 2003, www.theguardian.com/world/2003/mar/29/usa.adrianlevy.WHO staffs. “Dioxins and Their Effects on Human Health.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, Oct. 2016, www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/.LOC staffs. “Moving Image Section–Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.” Television: Moving Image Section–Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, The Library of Congress, 2017, memory.loc.gov/ammem/awhhtml/awmi10/television.html.Spector, Ronald H. “The Vietnam War and the Media.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 27 Apr. 2016, www.britannica.com/topic/The-Vietnam-War-and-the-media-2051426.Office of the Historian. “U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive, 1968.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 2017, history.state.gov/milestones/1961-1968/tet.LBJ Presidential Library Staffs. “LBJ Presidential Library.” Research, LBJ Presidential Library, 2017, www.lbjlibrary.net/collections/daily-diary.html.Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Assessment of Wartime Exposure to Herbicides in Vietnam. “The Assessment of Exposure to Herbicides Among Vietnam Veterans: A Review and Recommendations for Future Studies.” Characterizing Exposure of Veterans to Agent Orange and Other Herbicides Used in Vietnam: Scientific Considerations Regarding a Request for Proposals for Research., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1997, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK233473/.Rohn, Alan. “Vietnam War Protests.” The Vietnam War, The Vietnam War, 2017, thevietnamwar.info/vietnam-war-protests/.Woods, Alan. “The Tet Offensive: the Turning Point in the Vietnam War.” In Defence of Marxism, In Defence of Marxism, 30 Jan. 2008, www.marxist.com/tet-offensive-part-one.htm.Ph?m ?ình Tr?ng. “T?t M?u Thân 1968 Nhìn T? M?t Nhà V?n ??ng Viên C?ng S?n ? Hà N?i.” Nh?t Báo V?n Hóa Online, Nh?t Báo V?n Hóa Online, 5 Nov. 2013, nhatbaovanhoa.com/a692/tet-mau-than-1968-nhin-tu-mot-nha-van-dang-vien-cong-san-o-ha-noi.