How Did Various Groups Respond to Australia's Involvement in the Vietnam War?

Topics: Conscription, Conscientious objector, Vietnam War Pages: 2 (558 words) Published: May 6, 2010
In 1965 Australia decided to send combat forces to help the government of South Vietnam in the struggle against communist activities from the North. Public opinion generally supported the verdict to send troops to South Vietnam. However, as more and more troops were sent, consisting of young men who were conscripted, there were protests, but the majority of Australians still supported the war. General support for our attachment gradually turned to opposition as the war continued and an end did not appear. At the time opinion polls showed that there was great support for the war and newspapers nationally were maintaining their views in favour of the war. The Labor Party contested the idea of sending more troops to Vietnam and in 1966 it suffered its worst election since 1931. Although most members of the Labor party granted that communism was a threat to our nation and that it was important to uphold the relationship between our allies, they did not agree with conscription and that the Australian troops should be forcedly sent off to war. They also questioned wether increased military forces would in fact clear up this problem. Despite huge commitment from both America and its allies the war continued to go badly for them and there was a strong uprising of an anti-war movement. This movement spread to Australia and in May 1965 a group of mothers founded an organisation called save our sons (SOS). The Save our Sons movement led the campaigns against conscription particularly after even more conscripts were sent to fight in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, a person could refuse to register for national service if he claimed that he could not be involved in war for personal or religious reasons. They would be known as a conscientious objector. The continuation of the Vietnam War divided Australian society, and the anti-war movement grew in size and intensity. A new opinion poll was taken in 1969 suggesting that now only 39% of the populace supported the war...
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