Opposition to the war in the United States developed after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, mainly among traditional pacifists and antinuclear activists. Early protests were organized around questions about the morality of US involvement in Vietnam. Every key event of the war, including the Tet Offensive and the invasion of Cambodia, contributed to a steady rise in antiwar sentiment. The MyLai Massacre in 1969 caused a dramatic turn against the war in national polls.There were a vast variety of people involved in the peace movement, especially after the Tet offensive, as pacifists no longer made up the majority of protestors. Vietnam Veterans now opposed the war because of the atrocities they had seen, friends they saw die or the injuries they had incurred. African Americans were angered by the fact that they were fighting a war for America when they were discriminated against and had no common rights. Many African Americans, including Martin Luther King Jr protested because of oppression.At the time of the peace movement the world was seeing the Hippie emergence, and as Hippies oppose violence, they joined in the protests. Many US soldiers were killed; most of which were young men whose parents had sent them to war proud, these parents of dead soldiers protested to end the war too. Finally, The government was spending more than $2 billion per month on the war by 1967. Totaling $130 billion by the end. To try and compensate for this drain in money, taxes were raised. So tax payers became angry and they joined the peace movementSome historians point to the Tet Offensive in early 1968 as the major turning point for increased anti-war sentiment in the US, even though Vietcong forces were severely decimated in their countrywide attacks. This was because the Vietnam Conflict turned into a “TV war” and the public began to see images of what was happening there. And even though the Tet Offensive was a military success for America, the people took no notice of it. They instead took notice of pictures of dead civilians, injured and deformed children, and video footage of NFL troops inside the American embassy. These images changed public opinion and made the peace movement grow.Experience in Vietnam led to soldiers turning against the war and the formation of the Vietnam Veterans against the War. The main factor which made soldiers oppose the war was the huge number of dead. Soldiers who saw their unit members die around them as they are ambushed made them hate the war and want to stop it. Because of the jungle climate there was friendly fire, that is, killing your own men, this had psychological effects on soldiers such as flashbacks. All these aspects turned all soldiers against the war and if they survived they protested.Agent Orange and Napalm caused the peace movement to grow because of the political effect they had. If the Napalm bombs US planes dropped were all on target, there wouldn’t have been a problem, but unfortunately some napalm hit civilian villages, burning men, women and children with no prejudice. Cameramen took pictures of these civilian casualties, and when the press printed them the public were further opposed to the war. Agent Orange was in some ways worse, because it poisoned not only Vietnamese civilians but US soldiers too. Pictures of deformed children were taken and again the press printed them, causing more public opposition.Blanket Bombing is where a plane drops a multitude of bombs over a whole area to ensure the target is hit. And as such it is a very inaccurate method and left huge areas of collateral damage around the target. This aerial bombardment took place all over Vietnam, all day, and all night during Operation Rolling Thunder, completely scaring the landscape, even leaving massive craters. Of course with such inaccuracy non-targets were hit, leaving civilians homeless, injured and dead. People saw the images and protested. Not only this but there was a huge cost of maintaining the constant bombing raids. So taxes were raised to pay for it, which angered people further as they were paying for the bombs that killed innocent children.MyLai was a small village in Vietnam, now it is a baron field. MyLai was completely burnt down by a group of US soldiers who believed the people in it were hiding weapons for the NLF. All the people in the village were executed on the order of General Sharp who was later tried for war crimes. A cameraman traveling with the platoon took pictures of their last moments alive. When the story came out, the public was shocked. The people could not believe that American men would commit such an atrocity and some people refused to acknowledge it ever happened. But those who did, a massive number of people, joined the peace movement.The Protest Movement 1968-73 marked a change in the war. It was no longer military, but political. Such so that President Lyndon Johnson decided not to stand for office a second time. The next president would not be able to complete the three previous president’s wish and stop communism, but instead would have to adhere to the public’s wish. And so Richard Nixon narrowly won the election by promising to “bring our boys home” Which he did with his process of Vietnamisation.After the Tet Offensive, a military success, the US could have won the war with more men. But because of the press releasing pictures of all the awful events, public opinion changed, and the peace movement became massive. The protests held ended the war and stopped a possible victory for the US. But it also stopped more soldiers from dying.


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