The Vietnam War Essay

Submitted By m1911
Words: 705
Pages: 3

The Vietnam War was the longest and most controversial war Australia has ever fought. Although initially having wide spread support due to concerns about the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, as Australia's military involvement increased a number of anti-war movement developed. To a large extent this focused upon conscription, which had been an issue in Australia dating back to the First World War; however, considerable portions of society were opposed to the war on political and moral grounds such as SOS (Save our Sons), Moratorium Movement, and University students.
Though there were many objectors there were quite a few supporters such as the Liberal Party and the media. The Liberal Party at the time was led by Robert Menzies, showing a lot of support for the action. Unlike the Labour party there were no ideological splits in the Liberal Party, so they were able to present a united front. They were anti-communist sentiment – “Stand for your own welfare and develop” meaning that the public also had a role in pushing back communism from spreading to Australia. After Menzies retired in 1966, Harold Holt took over the leadership. He brought Australia into a closer relationship with America and their President, Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ). In 1966 after a visit to Washington, where Holt was given a very friendly welcome by Johnson, he enthusiastically declared that when it came to Vietnam, Australia was 'All the way with LBJ' by enforcing a pro-conscription.
The media also supported the war which involved the newspaper, radio, television and magazines. The war was the first televised war and censorship was evident from the start to the end of the war. This was evident mainly through television as most of the citizens had televisions at the time and look to it for news. The government banned and restricted most of the things that did not support the war or opposed it. As 86% of the news on television was about war the government had a huge job on censoring out most of the segments of the television that had to do with the fight against sending in conscripts. Propaganda was prominent during the time of the Vietnam War. Propaganda was made by the government to promote the positive outcomes of joining the war. Propaganda was also focused on persuading conscripts to accept the request the government gave to them and go to war to represent their country.
There were also groups who opposed the war such as the SOS (Save our Sons) and the Moratorium Movement. The SOS was formed in 1965 and they were against conscription. The group was made up of mothers of conscription sons and other mothers who feared their son will get conscripted and get sent to Vietnam. The SOS rallied friendly protest and traditional