In Zinn’s chapter, “The Impossible Victory: Vietnam”, he discusses the Vietnam war and the role that the U.S played as well as the intense anti-war movement on the home front. In previous history classes, I never really was given an in-depth understanding of the Vietnam War. I was very surprised and horrified by the actions and treatment of the Vietnamese from the American military and the police of Diem. The accounts from My Lai and the droppings of bombs on the “free fire zones” showed a horrific and inhuman side of U.S involvement that was not publicized to the American public. I thought an interesting part of the chapter was how the major destruction and firepower from the U.S did not destroy the NLF’s morale or will to fight. This created doubt within the American people because they were confused why the war was not ending yet or why the U.S was not winning. The common theme of the American government withholding the truth and telling lies to the public was a large aspect of the Vietnam War. The report from Jerome Doolittle expressed this theme as he was describing how everyone involved knew that everything being told were lies, “After all, the lies did serve to keep something from somebody, and the somebody was us” (483). This was until the American people began to realize the cruel realities of the war and caused major opposition.
I was impressed while reading about the large growth and determination of American people opposing the war. Prominent Civil Rights Movement figures were among the first to oppose with Muhammad Ali refusing to serve and MLK pleading an end to the war. I thought one of the most prominent and perhaps most effective opposition groups were the thousands of men refusing the draft or their call to serve. People were even refusing to train soldiers because they did not want to be involved in the murder of innocent people. The power of the opposition within the U.S and how groups from all parts of society joined the anti-war effort shows how important it was to Americans