Vietnam War I. (7x foto)
Vietnam War II. (7x foto)
Vietnam War III. (6x foto)
Vietnam War IV. (7x foto)
Vietnam War V. (7x foto)
Vietnam War VI. (7x foto)

Vietnam War V.

Some Americans became angry. Anti-war demonstrations took place in the cities of San Francisco and Chicago. More and more students began to protest. They wanted the war to end quickly. Writer James Reston commented that the anti-war demonstrations were not helping to bring peace to Vietnam. He said they were postponing it. He believed the demonstrations would make Ho Chi Minh think America did not support its troops. And that, he said, would make President Ho continue the war.

In December 1965 the United States again halted air attacks against North Vietnam. Again, it invited the North Vietnamese government to negotiate an end to the fighting. And again, the North refused. Ho Chi Minh's conditions for peace were firm. He demanded an end to the bombing and a complete American withdrawal. Withdrawal would mean defeat for the South. It would mean that all of Vietnam would become Communist. President Johnson would not accept these terms. So he offered his own proposals. The most important was an immediate cease-fire. Neither side would compromise, however. And the fighting went on.

In 1966 President Johnson renewed the bombing attacks in North Vietnam. He also increased the number of American troops in south Vietnam. He condemned those who opposed his policies. He said: "The American people will stand united until every soldier is brought home safely. They will stand united until the people of south Vietnam can choose their own government."

To answer the criticism, Administration officials said progress was being made in Vietnam. But some Americans began to suspect that the government was not telling the truth about the war. Several news writers, for example, said the number of enemy soldiers killed was much lower than the government reported.

Opposition to the war and to the Administration's war policies led to bigger and bigger anti-war demonstrations. Studies were done to measure Americans' opinion on the issue. In a study in July 1967 a little more than half the people questioned said they did not approve of the President's policies. Yet most Americans believed he would run again for President the next year.

Johnson strongly defended the use of American soldiers in Vietnam. In a speech to a group of lawmakers he said: "Since world war two, this nation has met and has mastered many challenges -- challenges in Greece and Turkey, in Berlin, in Korea, in Cuba. We met them because brave men were willing to risk their lives for their nation's security. And braver men have never lived than those who carry our colors in Vietnam this very hour."

Between 30 January and the end of February 1968, the North Vietnamese military launched a series of devastating attacks against South Viet Nam’s major cities, extending from Khe Sanh in the north to Ca Mau on the country’s southern tip. Now known as the Tet Offensive, this operation was timed to coincide with the beginning of Tet, an annual celebration of the lunar New Year and the most festive of Vietnamese holidays. Previously, the combatants had observed a cease-fire during Tet. Hence the American forces and their South Vietnamese allies, relaxing and celebrating as in years past, were caught completely off guard. The results, writes historian George C. Herring (in America’s Longest War), were the bloodiest battles of the war: "in the first two weeks of the Tet campaigns, the United States lost 1,100 killed in action and South Vietnam 2,300. An estimated 12,500 civilians were killed, and Tet created as many as one million new refugees".

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