Why was it that a great many of Americans opposed US involvement in the Vietnam War?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade February 2006

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The Vietnam War was one of the most time-consuming, energy, money and manpower consuming wars to the US. There were many reasons why a lot of Americans oppose their country's involvement in this war in the late 1960s and early 70s. Ranging from military to social and economic factors, and the propaganda in America also played a significant role in influencing the general public's opinion of the war.

Militarily, many US citizens were disillusioned with the war and lost their faith in the government after the Tet Offensive launched by the North Vietnamese in 1968. Ten weeks before the Tet Offensive, the senior military commander of the US forces in Vietnam, General William Westmoreland said in a televised new conference that he had seen 'a light at the end of the tunnel' implying that the end of the war was soon to come. Television, back at that time, was one of the very few media that the general public had accessed to, and it was one of the very few ways the general public could get the news of what was going on during the Vietnam War from.

Consequently, many Americans believed in General Westmoreland's 'prophecy' of the end of the War, considering he was the commander of the US forces in Vietnam. However merely after 10 weeks, the North Vietnamese launched a surprise attack on all the significant cities in South Vietnam, which was the famous Tet Offensive. Even the US embassy in Saigon, which was considered as the safest place in South Vietnam was attacked during this offensive. Tet Offensive was the turning point of the whole Vietnam War. Even though in terms of military, US seemed to have the victory over North Vietnam, at least 37,000 North Vietnam soldiers were killed whereas only 2,500 American soldiers...