The Anti-War Movement for Vietnam War
The United States contribution during the Vietnam War was a subject of much debate among the American public. Many Americans were in agreement with the U.S involvement in the Vietnam War. This was in agreement with the government that American assistance was needed in order to stop the increase of communism. However, other people felt that it was immoral for the government to involve itself with another country’s internal affairs. It was with this regard that the antiwar movements against Vietnam were formed in the United States in1965-1971. This was among the most significant movements in the U.S history. The rise of these movements in the U.S stimulated a lot of analysis and discussions of the anti-war movement during the War (DeBenedetti& Chatfield, 1990). The anti-war movement consisted of a numerous of independent interests, often vaguely allied and contending that were united in only opposing the Vietnam War.
The movement attracted members from the middle class suburbs, college campuses, government institutions and, labor unions. The movement later gained national reputation in 1965 and remained prevailing throughout the period of the clashes. Surrounding racial, cultural, and political environment, the anti-war movement exposed a deep rupture within the 1960s America culture. There are many myths that talk about the U.S movement that are against the Vietnam War. However, the most discussed myth is that the anti-war movement was the most important factor in stopping the war. During this period hundreds of thousands fought, in the North was the Vietnamese army and in the south the people from the National Liberation Front (NFL). While other millions more offered support and protection to the imperialist forces. Another factor that backed up the War was the people’s republic of china. The United States forces bombed Vietnam, but they were prevented from using nuclear weapons through fear that the Chinese government would attack the American forces in Vietnam and other regions (Hall, 2005). Finally, there was a passive and active rebellion by U.S. Soldiers to pull out from the Vietnam War.
Though the first Anti-war movement protests against U.S participation in Vietnam occurred in 1963, the anti-war movement had not begun until 1965. This begun when President Lyndon Johnson ordered the U.S troops fully intervene the Northern side of Vietnam. Through the same period, teachings against the War were conducted in many colleges thus attracting more students to join the Anti-war movement (DeBenedetti& Chatfield, 1990). The anti-war movement was centered on America’s higher educational institutions with the students playing leading roles. This movement attracted urban rebellions in the black community who were by far destabilizing to the U.S than the peace marchers. The number of protestors grew throughout major cities with a whole generation of youths and adults, especially the black and Latino workers who were learning that it was possible to fight back. By 1968, the number of protestors had grown to over seven million with most of its population dominated by the youth.
After the bombing of the North Vietnam in 1965, this led to conflict of interests in peace activities, which led to another anti-war protest in 1968. This bombing led many U.S citizens to questioning the administrations sincerity in covering war progress and the outright rule of Johnson’s verdict to retire. The Tet American public opinion shifted considerably with many people opposed to President Johnson’s administration. This followed protests from many Americans who forcefully occupied an management building at Columbia University, forcing the police to use brutal force to evict them. After the protests, the anti-war movement became less cohesive and powerful between 1969 and 1973 (Hall, 2005). Many Americans rationally opposed the United States role in the Vietnam War believing that the economic cost was too high. This followed a second movement in Washington that drew an estimate of 500,000 participants.
By 1969, the anti-war movement reached its peak under President Richard Nixon. There were more than two million citizens participating in Vietnam cessation protests athwart the country. The Nixon administration reacted by drawing measures to disable the movement by smearing the movement, and mobilizing supporters withdrawing U.S troops form Vietnam. Ever since the U.S movement in opposition to the Vietnam War has always been regarded as the most victorious antiwar movement in United States history