Decline of Support on the Home front
The US government had to promote and ask support for a war that was getting to be more and more unpopular back on the home front. The height of this war came at a time that was rife with student activism, coming on the heels of the height of the civil rights movement. Freedom of thought and of speech was the agenda of the day, and US campuses were filled with protest marches deploring the draft and questioning the legal and moral right of the US government through its leaders, to intervene in this war (Guttman, 1969, 58). Also, as there was a greater participation of the media in this war, images of innocent civilians killed by American forces simply set the stage for even more protests. In 1965, Quaker Norman Morrison burned himself to death in front of the Pentagon, and Roger Allen LaPorte did the same in front of the UN Headquarters in New York City to protest the immorality of the war. Images of innocent civilians killed in the infamous My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam angered many Americans, adding to the unpopularity of the war and withdrawal of public support for such. Those killed in My Lai were mostly women, children, babies and the elderly, all who could not fight back against the Americans (BBC, 1998). In 1969, hundreds of thousands participated in the National Moratorium Protests. The most violent student protest occurred on May 4, 1970 at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The National Guard of Ohio fired several rounds onto the protesting crowd, killing four students and wounding nine more, with one being permanently paralyzed (Ezsterhas and Roberts, 1970, 121). This unpopular...
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...inese factored into the picture, and hence the avoidance of any plans of invading North Vietnam. All these factors contributed to the great difficulty for the United States of clearly winning the war against the North Vietnamese, who were aided by the Chinese and the Russians during this war.
The Vietnam War remains a “black hole” in the war history of the United States. It is one that was both unpopular and was not won. There are still mixed reactions from around the world with regard to this event in US history. There is somehow still a stigma attached to having fought in this war for many Vietnam veterans, and it would seem that there has been no spiritual redemption whatsoever for those veterans. This is despite their having served the country in this war at a time when American society itself was evolving, this war is still an extremely complicated topic today.
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