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Antiwar Movement in America - Essay Example

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in actually bringing the war to a halt. I strongly feel that they were, though widespread, a big failure in actually bringing the war to a halt. The reasons for that were many- people protesting did so with different motivations. Students from various universities came together and protested against the war because they saw lack of heroism in the leadership of Lyndon Johnson which they saw in stark contrast to the way of working of Kennedy…
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Antiwar Movement in America
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Download file to see previous pages One of the main reasons behind the failure of America in the war lied at the ground level- where troops were, right there in Vietnam. The American soldiers slowly saw the futility of what they were doing. It was also heart rendering to see the middle class in Vietnam coming forward against the war. And, of course Americans underestimated the strength of soviet backed Vietnam army named as National Liberation Front. Back home, the anti war movements were more hype than substance when analyzed from the perspective of actually stopping the war. There was lack of unity between whites and blacks. Blacks weren't given equal rights at home and they in patches found it illogical to be fighting for the cause of a nation which hadn't been fair to them. One of the many confirmations of this fact came from an SNCC worker who said that "black people don't understand the warit's very far away and the trouble they see is right there in the courthouse."1 Infact, most blacks considered opting out of the anti war movements as they saw an ally in Lyndon Johnson as a support for their civil right movement. The whole scenario can be simplified like this- of those who were informed about the war, most people hated it, but for some reason or the other they couldn't afford to completely go against Johnson.
There was often an ugly mix up between the issue of civil war and the protests against Vietnam. Organizations like NAACP tried to make the distinction but it wasn't always possible. In fact that very organization was accused to be too friendly to the administration time to time. American society itself was dealing with issues of internal conflict, thereby not giving full attention to something that was apparently outside their control- the war. Though powerful leadership given by likes of Martin Luther King played a big role but there were always problems with regards to unity between the black and white protestors. The movement was never pan American at any point of time. There were times to really low turn outs at places making the whole show a big embarrassment. Moreover, the media which play such a major role in portraying the image of everything wasn't always kind to the anti war protestors especially labeling the radical protestors as freaks.2
The conscious approach of using the method of approaching multiple issues back fired as it meant that any organization lacked direction and they just ended up getting entangled in other affairs, as a result, going no where. What the protests did succeed in doing was to create an atmosphere of anti-imperialism which may have played in role in Americans not interfering in issues of Angola a few years following the end of the war. In many ways the American response to Vietnam was a result of an exaggerated reaction against the spread of communism, fuelled mainly by fear and insecurity felt only by those in power. In a way, it wasn't considered a bad thing to be feeling that ways because it would mean that one tends to hold an important position, no matter how irrational this sounds. The people on the other hand tended to be more logical in their thinking. But there was an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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