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Vietnam: The Mixture Of Protests And Politics

1644 words - 7 pages


     The United States was unjustified in its involvement in the Vietnam War because, in my opinion, the U.S had little justification to sacrifice thousands of innocent youths for political ideals. It was the longest and most unpopular war in which the United States fought. Many Americans on the home front protested their government’s involvement in the war. Many young Americans felt that there was no reason to fight for a cause they did not believe in, especially in such a strange foreign country. The civil rights movement also strongly influenced many of the war protests. This was because such a large percentage of minority soldiers sent over to fight were being unfairly treated. The African American soldiers were being ordered to the frontlines more often than white soldiers were.
     Another vigorously protested topics of the Vietnam War was Conscription. Most of two million soldiers who fought in the war were chosen through the Selective Service program. The draft policy has been an imprint of America the Civil War. This policy has been used in every major United States war since. Young adult males were required to register for the draft when they turned eighteen years old. A lottery system decided who would be called to combat. If selected for the draft, the draftee had to serve 24 months of active duty. During the Vietnam War, the hostility Americans felt towards the draft erupted and caused major protests across the nation.
     They are where many ways people protested the draft. Some eligible draft members avoided the draft by leaving the country for Canada, Sweden, and a number of other countries. Other men protested by publicly burning their draft cards.
     Lyndon B. Johnson won the presidential election on November 1, 1964. Despite the tension between the “Doves” and the “Hawks”, president Lyndon B. Johnson stood by his policy of slow escalation. As he began his term in office in 1965, he was confident that his programs to better the nation would be established despite that “nagging little war in Vietnam”# as News Week reported it.
     Protests have long been a way for people to display their difference in opinion and gain support. One of the many protests against the war that had a powerful effect on public opinion took place on March 7, 1965. African Americans citizens, approximately 500, congregated along US Route 80 outside of Selma, Alabama. The group, organized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had planned on walking from Selma to Montgomery to help conclude a registration drive. Before the group was able to walk more than a few hundred yards, they encountered 150 local police and state troopers. On horse were 15 of the officers. The protest group was warned by the Dallas County Sheriff during that time period, James G. Clark, to retreat immediately. The protestors refused to move. Only a few...

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