Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reaction to Hearts and Minds

First of all, the name of the film got me thinking. And I had my own understanding about it: "Hearts" represents the love of the Vietnamese people to their country and "Minds" represents the Americans' way of loving their country. The Vietnamese showed that they will never be slaves of other countries. They battled against the Chinese, Japanese, French, and the U.S. and they won. They're fighting for peace and independence. On the other hand, the U.S. was fighting for Vietnam's resources and to be winners of the war. The Americans used their brains more than their hearts. Their way of being proud of their country is by being powerful over the others and to be richer.

The American soldiers' different comments about the war really caught my attention. We saw that some soldiers don't even know what they were fighting for and was just there to either fulfill their job or were really enjoying the thrill of being in the war. They also said that it's how they were raised, that they were taught to be loyal to their country and would do their duty even if it's to kill innocent lives.

I think it’s the ideology that the U.S. is an empire led to its involvement in Vietnam. It would interfere to a country that they are planning to invade through giving aid but slowly overtaking the country's rulers by manipulating them.

Davis included the football scene to show how winning a game matters so much to Americans, games that aren't only sports but wars. Then, after each football scene was the Lieutenant talking about the war to kids. I think Davis is comparing how Americans handle a game.  The coach was yelling so hard to its players, pushing them to win the football game and the U.S. sent maximum military force to defeat the communists.

I don't really have a clear answer on why the scenes of the war were being shown on the news in the U.S. while the war was going on. I guess it is to show that the soldiers sent to Vietnam were doing a good job, that they're doing their duty, and that the damage their doing means victory, although some Americans viewed it the other way.

1 comment:

  1. As far as showing victories: one thing that happened during the war was that the military would give body counts - would announce how many enemy soldiers they had killed - as a sign that the war was going well. But the nature of the kind of war meant that the US could kill many more than were killed and still not win.

    The question of empire as ideology is different - during Vietnam few would have said come out and said, we want an empire, and that's a good thing - many who were against the war would have understood it this way. More recently some advocates of U.S. power have come out and said, yes, we are an empire, and it's a good thing.