I Am the Best, Forget About the Rest

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Explain the changes in attitudes to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War Australia’s attitude to its involvement in the Vietnam War changed due to a number of factors. Australia’s attitude changed from supporting the war during the beginning to opposing the war as it progressed. This is due to the fact that there was little understanding of why the war was occurring as Menzies manipulated the Public View by playing on the fear of communism. Also most of the older generation and veterans believed that it was the younger generations turn to fight for their country. The media’s portrayal of the war and its origins led to a change in attitude along with the implementation of Conscription by the Liberal Party in 1965. Australia supported its involvement in the Vietnam War in its early stages as the public reflected an ignorant attitude as to why the war was occurring. The public was unaware of the historical origins of the war, and Menzies, a skilled politician and trusted war-time Prime Minister took this to his advantage. An anti-communist feeling in Australia surfaced when Menzies announced that a victory for the Vietcong and the NVA would be a victory for communist aggression in South-East Asia and Australia as part of the ‘domino theory’ would be directly threatened. The media was able to manipulate the public’s opinion and attitude through the use of propaganda to gain the support of the public. The public’s ignorance to the war made it easier for Menzies to manipulate the public in thinking that Australia was directly asked by the South Vietnamese government for military assistance when in fact no assistance was requested. Hence in the initial stages of the war, the Australian public fearing the spread of communism and belief in the forward defence policy supported Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Furthermore, Australia supported its involvement in the Vietnam War in its early stages as the older generation had a positive attitude to the war...
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