Defamation Suits as Political Tools: Generals
Westmoreland and Sharon
After months of hearing official reports that the Vietnam War was being won and would soon end, the American public was shocked by what came to be called the Tet Offensive that began the last day of January 1968. North Vietnamese forces launched attacks throughout the country including an assault on the United States Embassy in what was then called Saigon. While military experts still argue about whether the offensive was a victory or a defeat for the North Vietnamese, images of the offensive brought home in living color by television had a profound effect on the United States public. The basic question was simply this: If we were winning and the war was almost over, how could such an offensive have happened? The Tet Offensive increased public distrust of official pronouncements and expanded the opposition to continued United States participation in the war.