In early 1968, there were coordinated countrywide attacks on major South Vietnamese cities during the Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong. This brazen accomplishment destroyed all credibility in our government’s claim that the United States and South Vietnamese military were prevailing in their effort to preserve the nation of South Vietnam. American forces repelled the enemy, but the fact that they occurred in the first place, with the full knowledge of the Vietnamese population in the cities and countryside, was a game-changer. We were not winning hearts and minds, officially referred to as Vietnamization, as our political leaders had directed. How could we expect to do so when American forces were burning and bombing Vietnamese homes and crops in addition to killing directly (VC) or indirectly (collateral damage), their brothers, sisters, parents, husbands, wives, and children.
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