Australia's Involvement in the Vietnam War

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Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War was a result of a combined fear of communism and the fall of freedom from danger in Australian democracy and society. The growing web of communism saw the fall of many countries closing in on Australia and New Zealand, and it was believed Robert Menzies’ government that they would find communism at Australia’s shores. Australians were anti-communist during the Vietnam War; due to a level of hype that the society, the media, and the government were exposed to. The “domino effect” was a popular analogy during the Vietnam War, which represented the spread from communist Russia’s web of power was growing into South East Asia and the halt of communism in Vietnam would signify the half of communism’s growth (see appendix I). This popular theory, along with other propaganda presented quite often in Australian media, was also a drive for young Australian men falling victim to conscription to fight and stop the ugly beast of communism in its tracks in Vietnam; who were otherwise relatively uneducated about the war itself and what it was all about – a fine example of fine propaganda. The ‘communist dissolution bill’ was a failed attempt by Menzies to abolish any communist parties in the Australian society. This had effects on the broader Australian community with increasing fear of communist movements sprouting within Australia’s democracy. Menzies’ failed attempt in changing the constitution meant that some Australians were beginning to doubt Menzies’ capability of maintaining a defence against communism. There was a strong feeling amongst Australians that their prosperity would be hindered; and a fear of being isolated in the Pacific with all surrounding countries falling to communist governments, leaving only America as Australia’s ally. Menzies believed that an anti-communist Australia lay in an alliance with America. The ANZUS Agreement of 1951 was where Australia, New Zealand and the United States agreed to come to one...
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