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"Free History Essay Sample"
Free History Essay Sample
Raymon Androckitis
The people of Quang Ngai, China have a history of rebellion dating back far into the sixteenth century. It was there that the Vietminh troops led revolts against and defeated the French in the 1930s and after World War II and where the Viet Cong fought the Saigon government in the 1950s and 1960s.

When Vietnam was partitioned in 1954, Saigon officials estimated 90,000 southerners went north to join the Hanoi regime. More than 90 percent of them came from Quang Ngai. By the mid-1960s Quang Ngai's population was estimated to be 640,000 making it South Vietnam's third largest province. It was also considered to be the toughest Viet Cong stronghold in the country.

Attempts to separate the Viet Cong from the people began in 1962, when the Saigon government launched the Strategic Hamlet Program (a.k.a. pacification or rural construction). Entire families were taken and moved into fortified hamlets (small villages) and those that refused to go had their homes and fields burned by the South Vietnamese army, but the program failed and embittered the peasants and did very little to drive out the Viet Cong. Those living inside of the hamlets, though, were still in contact with the National Liberation Front, the political arm of the Viet Cong, and the gates and walls inside the hamlets were scribbled over with Viet Cong slogans of defiance.

Quang Ngai became the target for the first major American combat operation of the Vietnam War. The mission, conducted in 1965 by the U. S. marines, was called "Operation Starlight" and more than 700 Viet Cong were reported killed.

A new concept of pacification was devised in order that the marines are able to free Quang Ngai and its people from Communist control. The orders, as told by a senior officer in 1966, were to sanitize the region—kill...

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