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Most people without giving the subject much thought would say that the key elements and dynamics in American culture are very simple Americans value life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as stated in our Declaration of Independence as well as a strong sense of pride in our way of life The rest of the rules of our society are based on those truths People who watch the documentary Hearts and Minds might begin to see things in a different light By examining the debacle that was Vietnam with almost a tongue in cheek aura about it people will notice the obvious contradictions many American leaders were guilty of Instead of seeing the high value we put on life they will see the great extents our leaders went to take it instead of liberty they will see their efforts to rob others of their own instead of the strong sense of pride they may notice that it not only borders on ethnocentricity but crosses that line and does not look back The contradictions are made evident almost from the onset of the film The comparison between the Vietnamese quest for independence is strikingly similar to our own They put everything on the line to fight the greatest army in the world as we did against the British Families were divided on the subject as brother fought brother We felt the British would never win just as the Vietnamese thought the US would never win One citizen of Vietnam said in an interview said that the US would never win the war no matter what was done to them the Vietnamese People fighting for their freedom will not be stopped by a change in tactics When Ho Chi Minh came looking for sympathy as he tried to gain independence from a colonial power he was met with our efforts to secure valuable raw materials tin and tungsten and see to it that our way of life
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