How was Opposition To The Vietnam War Portrayed In Contemporary Literature, Film and Popular Song?

Essay by maca1High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2006

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From 1946 to 1954 the USA gave over a $1 billion to France to help them defeat the Ho Chi Minh and reclaim territory they lost during World War II, in south East Asia, mainly Vietnam. In spite of this France failed to win, and Vietnam was divided in two. The north was communist and the south capitalist. President Eisenhower then decided to send in weapons and money to the south which was ruled by Diem, to help them defend themselves from Communism. However Diem's government was corrupt. He used U.S. money to bribe others and sometimes sold the weapons giving to him by America, to the Communist North. His government was very unpopular and this led to open rebellion, in November 1963. During which Diem's government was overthrown and he was killed. Kennedy now began to take Vietnam more seriously. Ships were sent in to patrol the coast for NLF agents.

The NLF retaliated by attacking one of the ships, in turn giving Johnson, who replaced Kennedy, the go-ahead he needed, to launch a full-scale war. Johnson announced the war, creating a huge wave of public interest, which as we will see, wasn't always in the U.S. Army's favour.

Mass media at the start of the war was quite optimistic. Papers and magazines did not want to appear unpatriotic and so they were seen to welcome the war. There were films introduced as pro-war propaganda- e.g. 'The Green Berets' which starred John Wayne. It grossed $8 million, showing how much the people supported the war. There was also contemporary film, or the newsreel. At the start of the war it showed anti-war demonstrations as unpatriotic and approved of the war. This also appealed to a wide audience and was a very powerful mass media tool. If the News broadcasted...