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We know that is not true. So what is it? Americans still tend to think this. But something like ninety percent of us were support troops who had little or no access to weapons—and if we had them, we would not have chosen to kill women and children with them. Leon Golub created a lot of art about the war: the Vietnam Series and later, the Napalm series. He later recanted. I became ashamed.

When necessary. Matthew Israel. Later, they know stuff that changes their point-of-view, and makes them very bitter at how they were taken advantage of. Matthew Israel has done a brilliant job demonstrating the power of the media, both television and art. Matthew Israel is an art historian, writer and educator based in New York City.

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Matthew has delivered talks about the future of art history, contemporary art, art and politics, art and innovation, and his work at Artsy, internationally. Independent Curators International ICI supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art.

Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. Black antiwar groups opposed the war for similar reasons as white groups, but often protested in separate events and sometimes did not cooperate with the ideas of white antiwar leadership. As a result, black enlisted men themselves protested and began the resistance movement among veterans.

After taking measures to reduce the fatalities, apparently in response to widespread protest, the military brought the proportion of blacks down to Within these groups, however, many African American women were seen as subordinate members by black male leaders. Many Asian Americans were strongly opposed to the Vietnam War. They saw the war as being a bigger action of U. One of the major reasons leading to their significance was that the BAACAW was "highly organized, holding biweekly ninety-minute meetings of the Coordinating Committee at which each regional would submit detailed reports and action plans.

The anti-war sentiment by Asian Americans was fueled by the racial inequality that they faced in the United States. As historian Daryl Maeda notes, "the antiwar movement articulated Asian Americans' racial commonality with Vietnamese people in two distinctly gendered ways: identification based on the experiences of male soldiers and identification by women. They were referred to as gooks and had a racialized identity in comparison to their non-Asian counterparts.

There was also the hypersexualization of Vietnamese women which in turn affected how Asian American women in the military were treated. This in turn led to women's leadership in the Asian American antiwar movement. Patsy Chan , a "Third World" activist, said at an antiwar rally in San Francisco , "We, as Third World women [express] our militant solidarity with our brothers and sisters from Indochina.

Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War

We, as Third World people know of the struggle the Indochinese are waging against imperialism, because we share that common enemy in the United States. Both Boggs and Kochiyama were inspired by the civil rights movement of the s and "a growing number of Asian Americans began to push forward a new era in radical Asian American politics. There were also Asian American musicians who traveled around the United States to oppose the imperialist actions of the American government, specifically their involvement in Vietnam.

Through this play, "Escueta establishes equivalencies between his protagonist, a Filipino American soldier named Andy, and the Vietnamese people. Steve Louie remembers that while the white antiwar movement had 'this moral thing about no killing,' Asian Americans sought to bring attention to 'a bigger issue The clergy, often a forgotten group during the opposition to the Vietnam War, played a large role as well. The clergy covered any of the religious leaders and members including individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr.

In his speech "Beyond Vietnam" King stated, "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. The involvement of the clergy did not stop at King though. The analysis entitled "Social Movement Participation: Clergy and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement" expands upon the anti-war movement by taking King, a single religious figurehead, and explaining the movement from the entire clergy's perspective.

The clergy were often forgotten though throughout this opposition. The analysis refers to that fact by saying, "The research concerning clergy anti-war participation is even more barren than the literature on student activism. Based on the results found, they most certainly did not believe in the war and wished to help end it. In basic summary, each specific clergy from each religion had their own view of the war and how they dealt with it, but as a whole, the clergy was completely against the war.

Protest to American participation in the Vietnam War was a movement that many popular musicians appropriated, which was a stark contrast to the pro-war compositions of artists during World War II. While composers created pieces affronting the war, they were not limited to their music. Often protesters were being arrested and participating in peace marches and popular musicians were among their ranks. As the war continued, and with the new media coverage, the movement snowballed and popular music reflected this. As early as the summer of , music-based protest against the American involvement in Southeast Asia began with works like P.

Sloan 's folk rock song Eve of Destruction , recorded by Barry McGuire as one of the earliest musical protests against the Vietnam War. A key figure on the rock end of the antiwar spectrum was Jimi Hendrix — Hendrix had a huge following among the youth culture exploring itself through drugs and experiencing itself through rock music. He was not an official protester of the war; one of Hendrix's biographers contends that Hendrix, being a former soldier, sympathized with the anticommunist view.

With the song " Machine Gun ", dedicated to those fighting in Vietnam, this protest of violence is manifest. Songs such as "Star Spangled Banner" showed individuals that "you can love your country, but hate the government.

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Kill for Peace: American Artists Against the Vietnam War - Matthew Israel - Google Books

Although this song was not on music charts probably because it was too radical, it was performed at many public events including the famous Woodstock music festival It was said that "the happy beat and insouciance of the vocalist are in odd juxtaposition to the lyrics that reinforce the sad fact that the American public was being forced into realizing that Vietnam was no longer a remote place on the other side of the world, and the damage it was doing to the country could no longer be considered collateral, involving someone else.

Along with singer-songwriter Phil Ochs , who attended and organized anti-war events and wrote such songs as "I Ain't Marching Anymore" and "The War Is Over", another key historical figure of the antiwar movement was Bob Dylan. Folk and Rock were critical aspects of counterculture during the Vietnam War [67] both were genres that Dylan would dabble in. His success in writing protest songs came from his pre-existing popularity, as he did not initially intend on doing so. We followed his career as if he were singing our songs.

To complement "Blowin' in the Wind" Dylan's song "The Times they are A-Changin'" alludes to a new method of governing that is necessary and warns those who currently participate in government that the change is imminent. Dylan tells the "senators and congressmen [to] please heed the call. John Lennon , former member of the Beatles, did most of his activism in his solo career with wife Yoko Ono.

Given his immense fame due to the success of the Beatles, he was a very prominent movement figure with the constant media and press attention.


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Still being proactive on their honeymoon, the newlyweds controversially held a sit-in, where they sat in bed for a week answering press questions. They held numerous sit-ins, one where they first introduced their song "Give Peace a Chance". Lennon and Ono's song overshadowed many previous held anthems, as it became known as the ultimate anthem of peace in the s, with their words "all we are saying Berkeley Heights, New Jersey: Enslow, Gruesome images of two anti-war activists who set themselves on fire in November provided iconic images of how strongly some people felt that the war was immoral.

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Both protests were conscious imitations of earlier and ongoing Buddhist protests in South Vietnam. Protests against the Vietnam War took place in the late s and early s. The protests were part of a movement in opposition to the Vietnam War and took place mainly in the United States. The growing anti-war movement alarmed many in the U.

Anti-war demonstrators disrupted the meeting and 50 were arrested.

Kill for Peace: American Artists against the Vietnam War

In the essay Chomsky argued that much responsibility for the war lay with liberal intellectuals and technical experts who were providing what he saw as pseudoscientific justification for the policies of the U. The execution provided an iconic image that helped sway public opinion in the United States against the war. The events of Tet in early as a whole were also remarkable in shifting public opinion regarding the war.


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While the Tet Offensive provided the U. On October 15, , hundreds of thousands of people took part in National Moratorium anti-war demonstrations across the United States; the demonstrations prompted many workers to call in sick from their jobs and adolescents nationwide engaged in truancy from school. However, the proportion of individuals doing either who actually participated in the demonstrations is uncertain.

A second round of "Moratorium" demonstrations was held on November 15, but was less well-attended. Civil Affairs units, while remaining armed and under direct military control, engaged in what came to be known as " nation-building ": constructing or reconstructing schools, public buildings, roads and other infrastructure ; conducting medical programs for civilians who had no access to medical facilities; facilitating cooperation among local civilian leaders; conducting hygiene and other training for civilians; and similar activities.

This policy of attempting to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, however, often was at odds with other aspects of the war which sometimes served to antagonize many Vietnamese civilians and provided ammunition to the anti-war movement. These included the emphasis on " body count " as a way of measuring military success on the battlefield, civilian casualties during the bombing of villages symbolized by journalist Peter Arnett 's famous quote, "it was necessary to destroy the village to save it" , and the killing of civilians in such incidents as the My Lai massacre.

In the documentary Hearts and Minds sought to portray the devastation the war was causing to the South Vietnamese people, and won an Academy Award for best documentary amid considerable controversy. The South Vietnamese government also antagonized many of its citizens with its suppression of political opposition, through such measures as holding large numbers of political prisoners, torturing political opponents, and holding a one-man election for President in Covert counter-terror programs and semi-covert ones such as the Phoenix Program attempted, with the help of anthropologists, to isolate rural South Vietnamese villages and affect the loyalty of the residents.

Despite the increasingly depressing news of the war, many Americans continued to support President Johnson's endeavors. Aside from the domino theory mentioned above, there was a feeling that the goal of preventing a communist takeover of a pro-Western government in South Vietnam was a noble objective.