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Why was there opposition to the Vietnam war?

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Introduction

Why was there opposition to the Vietnam war? Kerrie Jordan 12C There were many different effects that created opposition for America duing the Vietnam war. The biggest effect was the intense media coverage of the war. The two main news channels in the US, NBC and CBS, sent reporters with the marines into the centre of the war, as this was the first war that reporters were actually allowed into the battlegrounds. They broadcast the full horror of what was going on in Vietnam, the footage was never censored. At the beginning of the war, the media fully supported the war, but as it progressed, they captured more and more footage of soldiers dying, villages being burnt to the ground and distressed peasants being tortured and killed, and they turned against the war. Americans developed napalm, a jelly bomb where the jelly would explode, stick to the victims skin and severely burn them. The media covered all of this, and all of the TetOffensive. The Tet is a religious time for the Vietnamese and during this time it was tradition not to fight, but the Vietnam surprised the Americans and fought them. As all of this was broadcast, it gave the people back in the US evidence that America was not winnning the war. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that the people who went to war, and their families, accepted the war, but we dont know if they actually supported it. It is clear that the media defiantly opposed it, and covered as many stories that opposed the war to give out anti-war propaganda. Of course, source B is all opinion and not fact. Source C shows the amount of soldiers in Vietnam every year. Johnson first sent 60,000 to Vietnam, because he thought this would be enough for a quick and easy victory. But Johnson had to keep sending more and more every year. His administration was prepared to do whatever they could to secure a victory. There was a rapid increase in the numbers of soldiers, as it went from 60,000 in 1965, to 542,00 in 1969. Then the american people elected Nixon to get the troops out of Vietnam, and we can see the decrease from source C, the number began to fall from 1970, and by 1973, there were no troops left in Vietnam. This shows that the support for the war from Johnson's administration was high, but over the years, support decreased from the American public. How reliable are sources F and G as evidence of the activities of US servicemen in Vietnam? ...read more.

Conclusion

The media had the power to change the general view of the war because they could show evidence that victory was not coming. Source H is an extract from D.Halbertams other book. It is commenting on the Tet Offensive, 1968. The media recorded the Vietcong, who carried out a surprise attack on the American troops. Its reflected badly on the public opinion of the war, they knew that America couldnt win. It became clear who the enemy was, how strong they were, and what they were capable of. Although, this is just one mans opinion on the Tet, and there isnt much evidence presented, he doesnt draw attention to any other evidence other that the footage. Source J is from a US TV news report, which was reporting from the middle of the battle of the Tet. It states that the Vietcong were very hard to beat in the Tet Offfensive, and it took 11,000 troops to force them out. The TV report interviewed a soldier in mid-battle, fighting for survival. It was anti-war propaganda, as the soldier talk of how much he hated being in the war, and how he wanted to go home. This was delibarate, as the news station wanted to give out a bad image of the war. However this is just one soldier, not everyone would have said the same thing, there were half a million troops in Vietnam. ...read more.

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