The Vietnam War: The Anti-War Movement

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The Vietnam War, which lasted from 1954–1975, is one of the most intriguing examples of foreign policy in American history and is notable for being one of the few wars where the U.S. was not the victor, as well having one of the strongest Anti-War movements the nation has seen (). After 1954, Vietnam, which had previously been a French Colony, was split apart during the negotiation for the Indochina Wars, with the northern Democratic Republic of Vietnam led by the Vietnam Communist Party, and the southern State of Vietnam, soon to be the Republic of Vietnam, eventually led by Ngo Dinh Diem (britannica 2). While the United States had already played a role in getting Diem elected, President Eisenhower would continue to provide South Vietnam with…show more content…
involvement in Vietnam, came growing opposing sentiments Stateside. While many were angered by the war, two main beliefs emerged. Those who believed the U.S. was not aggressive enough were known as the Hawks and promoted further deployment of soldiers. Those who were against the war, which famously included the Anti-War movement, were known ad the Doves and wished for the U.S. to leave Vietnam (textBook). Astonishingly, the Anti-War movement was the first of its kind in many ways, and is a clear example of the evolution of Civil Disobedience. For example, the Anti-War movement utilized strategies from the Civil Rights Movement, and also influenced future protests, as by normalizing Pacifist protests, and the use of counterculture as a form of protest, in…show more content…
This would be further escalated due to the movement’s desire to promote a counterculture lifestyle, which would become known as the hippie movement, and would also define the third stage (1968-1972) of the movement . While this shift in philosophy would ultimately lead to a less organized movement, it would further distinguish its members, again increasing awareness. Furthermore, it would be during this time that some veterans who had fought during the war arrived home (New York Times). Therefore, leading to the first time in American History were veterans protested the very war they fought in. This shows how not only did the Vietnam War normalize the concept of opposing an American War, but that these opinions can extend to the very citizens who participated in it (TextBook). The climax of this event would be in 1971, where over 800 vets threw their medals at the Capitol Building, symbolizing how they felt betrayed and used by the government (New York Times). This trend can be seen in many other protests to come, especially the Iraq War. Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War received much criticism for unethical strategies, poor/deceptive government communication, and also had a movement by Veterans to end the war. The Iraq War Veterans Against the War, or IVAW, which was formed in 2004, is a political movement inspired by the Anti-War movement before it, which hopes to increase

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