LBJ, LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Ignore Today?

Rory Fidler


The actual effectiveness of the American anti-war movement from 1964-68 and its attempts to sway the policy of President Johnson's administration on the topic of the Vietnam War is debatable. While popular myth has exaggerated the role of protestors in stopping the war, the movement failed to alter state policy on the war in any serious fashion. The anti-war movement could not develop a universal policy of their aims, differing from a gradual exit from Vietnam to a complete anarchist overthrow of the American system, and as such were unable to lobby the government effectively. Within the war itself, however, the Johnson administration and the United States Military encountered a stronger stimulus to reconsider their involvement: the inability to adapt to a guerilla war, the immense man power and resources required to ensure victory, and ultimately the communist Tet offensive of 1968 pushing American forces back. When President Johnson did seek to negotiate with North Vietnam at the end of his term, it was because America had simply failed to beat the Vietcong.

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