Military conflicts are difficult to approach from an objective standpoint. Often being emotionally dueled in addition to the political agenda by which they are supported, these conflicts leave a tangible mark on the global history and define global political relationships for generations ahead. The Vietnam War and the Israel-Palestine issue are the perfect examples of the intersection of political and social concerns, where the social tensions have been taken to the nth degree. Therefore, studying the specified problems required a thorough analysis of all available objective and trustworthy resources.
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Although the power of perceived preconceptions regarding the specified military confrontations was very strong, the attitude toward the subject matter changed gradually to a more balanced one due to the use of trustworthy and unbiased resources that supported their claims with strong evidence.
When I was starting the research about the Vietnam War and the Israel-Palestine conflict (IPC), I already had several preconceptions regarding the subject matter due to the way in which the specified events were covered in media. Particularly, I was positively certain that the policy of Israel in the IPC should not be condoned, and that the war in Vietnam was an unfortunate yet entirely reasonable attempt at addressing one of the greatest perils to democracy.
However, after the profound research, I realized that the specified issues should not be regarded as completely morally unambiguous, and that the opposing opinions are always worth considering at least for the purpose of being objective. While it would be an overstatement to claim that my beliefs were changed to the exact opposite of my previous preconceptions, the assumptions that I used to have were subverted rather fast.
During the process of the research, a range of my preconceptions were challenged significantly. The main reason for me to have the revelation described above was me being oblivious to the social factors that fueled these political conflicts. For instance, when considering the IPC, I often dismissed the fact that Jewish people have been subjected to a plethora of social misjudgments and injustices (Council on Foreign Relations par. 1). Specifically, it was a surprise for me to discover that a range of people refuse to support the Israeli side of the IPC due to the perceived notion of Jewish people being intrinsically greedy and, thus unworthy of their sympathy (Halevi 1).
Furthermore, the fact that the located resources allowed me to overview the facts of the IPC without any political agenda in the background also shaped my perception of the confrontation. For instance, the endeavors to reconcile and sign a truce, which took place between the opponents in 2008, helped me shape my opinion regarding the specified issue (“A Brief History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” 1). The social aspects of the Vietnam War had also evaded me before I mad research on the problem and discovered the tremendous effects of the social fear caused by misjudgments.
Therefore, during the process of analyzing these cases, my concept of political and social justice was challenged. On a more profound level, the information that I discovered made me question my idea of right and wrong, especially in the context of the political agenda. For instance, I used to take the plight of the Jewish population that inhabited the Gaza region for granted, yet the further study of the problem has shown that the statements made by both sides were legitimate once considering each participant’s line of thinking (“History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” 7).
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Moreover, the retrospect into the conception of both the IPC and the Vietnam War has prompted the idea of how the past shapes people’s understanding of the present and, most importantly, the future. While I still maintain that the Vietnam War is one of the greatest defeats in the American history, the research has shown me why it was not only important but also inevitable for the United States to participate in it (Regan 145). The war was placed in the context of the fight for people’s freedoms and rights, which imbued it with the meaning that used to elude me.
All of the resources located for the further analysis of the problems of IPC and the Vietnam War were perfect for the discussion since they prompted an in-depth analysis of societal underpinnings of these confrontations. The class discussion helped to identify some of the controversies regarding the conflicts and prove that it was possible to understand the plight of both sides of the conflicts mentioned above. During the discussion of the Vietnam War, the role of France in the specified conflict was addressed in depth, which was a new perspective on the specified conflict from a number of students, including me.
Particularly, the specified discussion provided an all-embracive explanation of the concern that the United States had with the situation in Vietnam, as well as the reasons behind the willingness of the American government to intervene (Anderson 26). Thus, the discussion of the material helped to view the conflicts from several viewpoints, including the ones of the opposing sides and the neutral standpoint. As a result, the readings and the conversations led to the ability to explore controversial issues that affect the American nation personally from an objective and unbiased perspective.
Each case study provided important lessons to learn and offered a unique way of dissecting the problem of the Vietnam War and the IPC. For example, the paper by Addington showed that colonialism had a profound impact on Vietnam and its political stance (14). Anderson, in turn, describes the influence that France has had on Vietnam, including its development and political situation (28-29).
The lessons that Reagan’s paper teaches include the rationale behind the American policies regarding Vietnam and the mistakes that were made in the process (149-150). The “History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” provides an introspect into the key events that caused the current military confrontation in the Gaza District (1-3). Similarly, “A Brief History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” sheds light on the military actions (1). Finally, Halevi offers the cultural introspect into the nature of the problem.
The lessons that the cases under analysis have provided might be seen as very specific, yet they offer universal ideas that can be applied anywhere else. For instance, the analysis of the sources in question has indicated that it is critical to determine the political, social, cultural, and economic underpinnings of a confrontation in order to understand the factors by which it is driven and how it can be resolved. In addition, the cases mentioned above can be used to prevent further conflicts and address them by using a combination of rationalizing and exploring the emotions by which it is fueled. As a result, one can build an unbiased attitude toward the problem and strive to disentangle emergent problems before they reach their pinnacle.
“A Brief History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” New York Times, n.d. Web.
Addington, Larry H. “The Geography of Vietnam and Its History to World War Two.” America’s War in Vietnam. Indiana University Press, 2000, pp. 1-14.
Anderson, David L. “The French War in Vietnam.” The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War. Columbia University Press, 2002, pp. 22-29.
Council on Foreign Relations. “Historical Context.” CFR.com, n.d. Web.
Halevi, Yossi Klein. “The Real Dispute Driving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” The Atlantic. 2018. Web.
“History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” CornerstoneCharter.com, n.d.. Web.
Regan, Richard. “The Vietnam Wars.” Just War. 2nd ed. Catholic University of America Press, 2013, pp. 139-153.