A song, which highlights the opposition towards the Vietnam War, is “Goodnight Saigon” by Billy Joel. This song yet again shows the Vietnam War from an American soldiers viewpoint. The song shows the fear faced by the soldiers, “prayed to Jesus Christ with all our might”. They could have faced death at any minute yet they had to remain brave. The lyrics “and who was wrong? And who was right?” highlights the futility of the war which makes the loss of life seem even more tragic. The soldiers don’t even know what they are fighting for anymore. The use of language also shows how their attitudes have changed. The use of the phrase, “camera’s to shoot the landscape” shows how their minds have adapted to the violence around them. The violent language such as , “And we were sharp, as sharp as knives”, highlights the changed person you can become whilst in war.
Another song which yet again proves that there was much opposition to the war in Vietnam is “ Masters of War” by Bob Dylan. This poem shows how the people behind the war, the creators of weapons and leaders of countries leave the war behind with no damage affecting them or their families. It shows how some soldiers would have reacted to the war as once they were eighteen they were forced to fight in the war. The lyrics,” you play with my world like its your little world” shows how much they felt like they were controlled and dictated by their leaders. The song also shows how untrustworthy they could be, “like Judas of old you lie and deceive”. Judas was one of the twelve disciples who betrayed Jesus and led him to his death. In comparing the leading figures of the war such as President’s Johnston and Eisenhower to Judas the soldiers highlight how they feel betrayed by them. The betrayal of these figures has led to many deaths. The song also shows how the Vietnam War affects every generation “you’ve thrown the worst fear that can ever be hurled, fear to children into the world”. The song highlights arguably the worst outcome of the Vietnam War, a child’s fear. Children should always feel safe but it is because of this war that doubt and fear has set in.
Many films show opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1979 Apocalypse Now was released which gave the world a taste of what the Vietnam War was really like. The film was very controversial when released. The film was visually beautiful and has been called “a groundbreaking masterpiece”. Francis Ford Coppola produced the film. The film brought a reality to the war, which many civilians had not felt before. The film highlights the suffering of the American soldiers, the tragic deaths of many innocents and the desperation of both countries. The film details the confusion, fear violence and the nightmare that was Vietnam. Apocalypse now showed many horrific scenes of American brutality and savagery. One scene in particular shows the US blowing up a Vietnamese village. The film showed us American soldiers attitudes to what they were doing, “we must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army”. The violence used by them seems not to matter. They are just there to kill and destroy. This film gave Americans and many people across the world a clear picture of the War in Vietnam. Many were shocked and stunned by this film, as they had not realized the extreme violence being used. The producer of the film Francis Ford Coppola evidently wanted to get across his view of the Vietnam War, which can be seen to be a negative one.
Another film, which clearly shows opposition to the Vietnam War, is “Platoon”.
The film is produced by Oliver Stone. We follow the war at ground level, and see the brutalities first hand. Having served in Vietnam, the film is loosely based on Stone's time out there. We see how inhumane the war is as it is brought down to a personal level. We can feel empathy towards the soldiers as we follow their stories. “Platoon” was instrumental in portraying the realities through the camera eye of a director- a man who had experienced first hand the effects they had. This film is a prime example is showing “wars callous futility”.
The infamous “uncle Sam” poster was also doctored in order to show opposition to the war. Originally the poster was used to encourage young men to join the war by instilling a feeling of patriotism inside them. The slogan used was, “ I want you” whilst showing uncle Sam pointing out of it. However the poster was greatly changed to show opposition to the Vietnam. The poster shows unlce sam reaching his hand out as if pleading for help. He is in a bad condition and appears to be wounded. He is evidently at the war. However the slogan used shows the anti Vietnam views, “I want out”. It shows how the Vietnam War has broken this man down and he wants out of it.
The war in Vietnam faced enormous opposition from all types of people from all walks of life. Some people chose to write a poem song or even a film to show their anger but many did not. The Vietnam War was portrayed as a pointless war resulting in a tragic loss of life. Many people today still suffer both the mental and physical scars, which Vietnam brought.