Free A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo Essay Sample

A Rumor of War is a book by Philip Caputo, written in the year 1977 narrating his experience as a united state Marine Corps soldier while in the Vietnam War. Lieutenant caputo has, in his writing divided the book into sections with the first one describing his reasons for joining the united states marine corps, the training thereafter and the arrival in Vietnam.. Being a member of the 9th brigade, they were the first deployed to participate in the war in March 1965. The brigade pitched their camp at Da Nang. Previously Tourane tasked with the responsibility of setting a perimeter around an airstrip that was to ensure arrival and depart of military goods and personnel (Caputo, 1996).

In the book, several themes are highlighted among them; human ethics, good and evil and hopeless ends faced by soldiers at war. The evils committed by soldiers are chilling as witnessed in the book; this wickedness can be summed up by the shooting of livestock and the killing of suspects by soldiers under Lt. Caputo’s command. Additionally, the soldier were callous enough to satisfy their own interests and took to destroying forests by spraying chemicals and killing the vast vegetation cover. However, the good of the soldiers in the war can be bundled up by their relentless efforts to ensure that the military personnel are not starved. Their moves clearly communicate the set a perimeter and beefing up of security to ensure arrival and departure of military goods and personnel.

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As the adage “Desperate moments call for desperate measures” dictates, the theme of extreme ends men confront in the war. Soldiers are seen to climb to jets hovering the war scene in an attempt to save their lives or meet and accomplish their assignments. Additionally, Lt.caputo’s words that; the American soldiers had stopped wishing for epic 2nd world war styles and learnt to detect booby traps, counter snipe and comb out the jungle in search of their enemy.

The effects of the war were many and included deaths, as witnessed by Lt. Caputo enemy corpses were treasured as hunting trophies and shown to generals. On the other hand, American corpses were proving to the Viet Cong torture. In the last section, Lieutenant Caputo is reinstated to his rifle company. The reassignment of Caputo to the rifle company put him in the middle of the resistance prompting him to change his view of the Vietnamese armies as being thorough and wise by having earned the respect from the American soldiers (Caputo, 1996).

After a period of ten years after the war, Philip Caputo toured Vietnam this time round as a journalist for purposes of writing a newspaper. Memories of his encounter at the war chrome his mind as he recalls’ the fall of Saigon. The visit of Caputo to Vietnam for the second time is what depicts human ethics that call for accountability in our deeds.

The war in Vietnam had several effects that include: Many of the first soldiers dispatched into Vietnam contracted the poisonous pesticides, and this may be passed on to children. The war led to US citizens losing confidence in their military the war took many lives, and that of animals. The war equally led to the checking of communism as the blame for entry into this conflict remains open and is haunting leaders. The failure to conclude the Vietnam War robbed the military prestige. The war led to destruction of over two million acres of land by bombs. As a result, of destruction of land agricultural yields reduced significantly (Caputo, 1996).

In my opinion, Plunging into war is counterproductive as gains anticipated are outweighed by disadvantages hence the need to embrace dialogue, good ties and above all reconciliation.


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