The Vietnam War
more images in the "Vietnam War"
1965, Wilfred Burchett, a writer for the radical National Guardian,
traveled to Vietnam to write an on-the-spot series of stories about
Vietnam which challenged the Pentagon�s and the mainstream press�s
ongoing optimistic characterization of the war. Soon afterward, Robert
Scheer, in an article for Ramparts magazine, claimed the U.S.
government was knowingly supporting an unpopular, U.S.-backed regime
in South Vietnam, contrary to the Geneva accords of 1954. From that
point on, the Vietnam War served as a focal point of reportage for
the underground press, which continued challenging official reports
of the rationale and progress of the struggle in Southeast Asia, further
widening the credibility gap between official U.S. statements and
large numbers of Americans who questioned official policy.
Vietnam War escalated under Lyndon Johnson, then changed in nature
from a ground war to a technological air war under Richard Nixon,
the underground press reported on widespread civilian casualties.
1969 (Cambridge, MA: Old Mole Collective)
feelings intensified by 1970, when the war expanded into Cambodia
and Laos to become the Southeast Asian War.
sentiment was not limited to the civilian population of the United
States. U.S. servicemen, disillusioned with the progress of the war,
the nebulous rationale for the war, and the ugly realities of fighting
a guerilla war in the tropics of a foreign country, founded the Vietnam
Veterans Against the War. Some testified in the 1971 Winter Soldier
Investigations before Congress; their testimony of repeated atrocities
against the people of Vietnam confirmed for many suspicions that the
highly publicized My Lai massacre of 1968 was not an isolated incident
of civilian deaths.
of returning vets was conspicuous in many national protests against
the war. Likewise, some GIs created their own underground press. Although
American servicemen were legally entitled to possess anti-war, anti-military
publications such as Fatigue Press and The Bond, they
were not permitted to distribute them on base.