Monday, February 7, 2011
Why aren't Americans protesting the Afghan and Iraq wars the way they protested Vietnam?
War is never pleasant for anyone involved. Still, I think the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq simply are on a different level than Vietnam was. The dynamics are different. For one, based on just the sheer numbers of wounded and dead soldiers during the course of the Vietnam war, there is no comparison. In Vietnam more than 50,000 soldiers lost their lives. That suggests to me, as well, that the intensity of the war in Vietnam was greater than the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Another large factor to consider is the draft. Right now the soldiers who serve are there because they have chosen of their own free will to serve in the armed forces. During the Vietnam war, men were sent into battle without a choice. Mandating people to do anything, especially something that they do not believe in, causes people to be more vocal, and active in making their feelings known, thus people protested heavily during the Vietnam war.