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Chapter 29 War at Home, War Abroad, 1965— 1974
"I don¹t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist. ” Henry Kissinger [About President Salvadore Allende's 1973 Chile] “. . . I knew from the start, " Johnson told Miss Doris Kearns, "that I was bound to be crucified either way I moved": If I left the woman I really loved - the Great Society - in order to get involved with that bitch of a war on the other side of the world then I would lose everything at home. . . Kirkpatrick, Jeane J.
Part One: Introduction
This chapter covers the Vietnam conflict, the longest and least successful war in American history. The period of the greatest involvement was from 1965 to 1974 and because of their policies, it became known as Johnson’s war and Nixon’s war. The war and actions against it diverted the domestic agendas of President Johnson and the student groups. Ironically President Nixon proved not to be as conservative as expected in some social reform areas. He was also able to make a major foreign policy change with China and subsequently with the Soviet Union. The civil rights movement spurred other groups from college students to gays, women, Latinos, Asian Americans and Indians. Both the war and the agendas of the various groups dominated the politics of both the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections. 1968 would be a turning point with the Tet offensive, which while won by the Americans, shocked the nation because of the gap it illustrated between rosy predictions of winning and the actual fact. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. The 1968 Democratic Convention would be surrounded by great violence. The national mood was dismal and the events of the Nixon administration and Watergate did not rebuild any national community consensus.
Chapter Focus Questions • How and why was U. S. involvement in the war in Vietnam widened? • What was the “sixties generation” and what was its role in the antiwar movement? • How did poverty contribute to the urban crisis? • What characterized the election of 1968? • What contributed to the rise of “liberation” movements? • What characterized the Nixon presidency and how did the Watergate conspiracy arise?
Chronology 1964 President Lyndon Johnson calls for "an unconditional war on poverty" in his State of the Union Address Tonkin Gulf resolution, authorizing president to use military force in Southeast Asia, passes Congress The Economic Opportunity Act establishes the Office of Economic Opportunity Free speech movement gets under way at University of California at Berkeley Pres. Johnson defeats conservative Barry Goldwater 1965 President Johnson authorizes Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing of North Vietnam Teach-ins begin on college campuses First major march on Washington for peace organized Watts uprising is the first of the major rebellions in black communities 1966 J. William Fulbright publishes The Arrogance of Power Uprisings break out in several cities Black Panther Party is formed, the boldest expression of Black Power National Organization for Women (NOW) is formed
1967 1968 1969 Antiwar rally in New York City draws 300, 000 U. S. supports Israel in Six-Day War Vietnam Veterans against the War is formed Uprisings in Newark, Detroit, summer violence “Che” Guevara killed in Bolivia "Summer of Love" exemplifies hippie rebellion More than 500, 000 U. S. ground troops in Vietnam Tet Offensive in Vietnam, followed by international protests against U. S. policies Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated; riots break out in more than 100 cities Vietnam peace talks begin in Paris Robert Kenny is assassinated in LA, CA Democratic National Convention, held in Chicago, nominates Hubert Humphrey Richard Nixon elected president American Indian Movement (AIM) founded Woodstock music festival - high tide of the counterculture Stonewall Riot in Greenwich Village sparks the gay liberation movement Apollo 11 lands on the moon
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 U. S. incursion into Cambodia sparks campus demonstrations; students killed - Kent State & Jackson State Women's Strike for Equality moves the fiftieth anniversary of the woman suffrage amendment Lieutenant William Calley Jr. is court-martialed for the My Lai Massacre New York Times publishes Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers President Nixon visits China and USSR Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) limits offensive intercontinental ballistic missiles Intruders attempting to "bug" Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex are arrested Nixon is reelected in a landslide Nixon orders Christmas Day bombing of North Vietnam Paris Peace Agreement ends war in Vietnam FBI seizes Indian occupants of Wounded Knee, S. Dakota Watergate burglars on trial; hearings on Watergate CIA destabilizes and overthrows elected Chilean gov’t Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew resigns House Judiciary Committee adopts articles of impeachment against Nixon -- Nixon resigns the presidency in August
Concepts • • • • Mario Salvio and the Free Speech Movement Tom Hayden – SDS, Campaign for Economic Democracy, Port Huron Statement  Jane Fonda E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy, CREEP Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers Salvadore Allende, Anastazio Somoza [Nicaragua] Kent State, Jackson State University CSNY – “Ohio, ” and “Chicago” Black Panthers, Huey Newton & Bobby Seale Timothy Leary "tune in, turn on, drop out" The Weathermen/Weather Underground – “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. ” – lyrics by Bob Dylan Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, 1964 Johnson-Westmoreland strategy Lt. William L. Calley, My Lai Bobby Ray, Ernie Dominguez, Bob Burns [EBHS, died during the war]
Sources Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage  George Herring, America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam 1950 – 1975  and The Pentagon Papers  Seymour Hersh, Price of Power Walter Isaacson, Kissinger  Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam  Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days  and All the President’s Men 
Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962 Introduction We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit. When we were kids the United States was the wealthiest and strongest country in the world: the only one with the atom bomb, the least scarred by modern war, an initiator of the United Nations that we thought would distribute Western influence throughout the world. Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people -- these American values we found good, principles by which we could live as men. Many of us began maturing in complacency.
As we grew, however, our comfort was penetrated by events too troubling to dismiss. First, the permeating and victimizing fact of human degradation, symbolized by the Southern struggle against racial bigotry, compelled most of us from silence to activism. Second, the enclosing fact of the Cold War, symbolized by the presence of the Bomb, brought awareness that we ourselves, and our friends, and millions of abstract "others" we knew more directly because of our common peril, might die at any time. We might deliberately ignore, or avoid, or fail to feel all other human problems, but not these two, for these were too immediate and crushing in their impact, too challenging in the demand that we as individuals take the responsibility for encounter and resolution. While these and other problems either directly oppressed us or rankled our consciences and became our own subjective concerns, we began to see complicated and disturbing paradoxes in our surrounding America. The declaration "all men are created equal . . . rang hollow before the facts of Negro life in the South and the big cities of the North. The proclaimed peaceful intentions of the United States contradicted its economic and military investments in the Cold War status quo.
We witnessed, and continue to witness, other paradoxes. With nuclear energy whole cities can easily be powered, yet the dominant nationstates seem more likely to unleash destruction greater than that incurred in all wars of human history. Although our own technology is destroying old and creating new forms of social organization, men still tolerate meaningless work and idleness. While two-thirds of mankind suffers undernourishment, our own upper classes revel amidst superfluous abundance. Although world population is expected to double in forty years, the nations still tolerate anarchy as a major principle of international conduct and uncontrolled exploitation governs the sapping of the earth's physical resources. Although mankind desperately needs revolutionary leadership, America rests in national stalemate, its goals ambiguous and tradition-bound instead of informed and clear, its democratic system apathetic and manipulated rather than "of, by, and for the people. "
Part II: American Communities
Uptown, Chicago, Illinois • In 1964, a small group of college students tried to help residents in a poor Chicago neighborhood. • The activists were members of Students for a Democratic Society. • Founded by white college students, SDS initially sought reform and grew by 1968 to have 350 chapters and between 60 and 100, 000 members. • Efforts to mobilize the urban poor were unsuccessful, but SDS members helped break down isolation and strengthened community ties. • By 1967, SDS energies were being directed into protests against the widening war in Vietnam. • Tom Hayden, Newark, NJ, Port Huron Statement
Part III: Vietnam: America’s Longest War
Johnson’s War • Although pledging not to send American soldiers into combat, he manipulated Congress into passing a resolution that was tantamount to a declaration of war. When bombing failed to halt North Vietnamese advances, Johnson sent large numbers of troops into Vietnam to prevent a Communist victory. • Search-and-destroy missions combined with chemical warfare wreaked havoc on the people and the land. • LBJ was committed to a war of attrition to wear out and destroy Vietnam. • 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
The Credibility Gap • Johnson kept his decisions from the American public and distorted accounts of military actions. • News media increasingly questioned the official descriptions of the war. • As casualties mounted, more Americans questions LBJ’s handling of the war. • In Congress, Democratic senators led by J, William Fulbright opposed Johnson's handling of the conflict. [John Kerry, Bill Clinton link to LBJ’s former friend Sen. “Halfbright”] • [Jeff Jackson’s comment about Nevada airbase during the Vietnam War]
Part IV: A Generation in Conflict
“The Times They Are AChangin’ ” • People of all ages protested against the war, but young people stood out. • Early campus protests at Berkeley centered on students’ rights to free speech. Many felt that the university had become a faceless bureaucratic machine. • In 1967, San Francisco attracted thousands of young people for the “Summer of Love. ” • Events like the Woodstock festival spoke to many young Americans’ desires to create a new sense of community or counterculture.
Campus Protest in Global Perspective
From Campus Protests to Mass Mobilization • College students organized protests that questioned the war effort and universities' roles in war-related research. [“teach-ins] • Student strikes merged opposition to the war and other community issues. • Public opinion polarized. • Massive anti and pro-war rallies occurred. • Nonviolent and violent protests erupted at draft boards.
Controversial photo of US coffins coming home – April 22, 2004
Teenage Soldiers • The cultural attitudes of protesters were even found among their equally young GI counterparts. • Working-class Latinos and African American young men made up a disproportionate share of the soldiers. • Many soldiers grew increasingly bitter over government lies about their alleged victories and the inability of society to accept them once they returned home. • “Fragging”
Part V: War on Poverty
An American Profile: Life Expectancy • A racial divide existed on life expectancy.
An American Profile: Infant Mortality • Poverty helped create a racial divide on infant mortality
An American Profile: Poverty • Spurred by books like Michael Harrington’s The Other America, American awareness of the problems of poverty greatly increased. • LBJ called for “an unconditional war on poverty. ”
The Great Society • Johnson established the Office of Economic Opportunity to lead the war on poverty. [KCEOC} • The Job Corps failed, but agencies focusing on education were more successful. • Community Action Agencies threatened to become a new political force that challenged those in power. The Legal Service Program and Head Start made differences in the lives of the poor. [Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance – Carey Scott] • The Great Society was opposed to income redistribution. • Most social spending went to the non-poor through Medicare. • A 1970 study concluded the war on poverty had barely scratched the surface.
Crisis in the Cities • Cities became segregated centers of poverty and pollution with large minority populations. • Urban black frustrations resulting in over 100 riots in northern cities between 1964 and 1968. [Watts, CA – cousin Dan, National Guard]
Urban Uprisings in Perspective • A presidential commission blamed the rioting on white racism, poverty, and police brutality and recommended massive social reforms.
Part VI: 1968
The Tet Offensive • On January 30, 1968 the North Vietnamese launched the Tet offensive, shattering the credibility of American officials who had been predicting a quick victory. • Despite the military victory, media reports triggered antiwar protests. • LBJ declared a bombing halt and announced he would not seek re-election.
Martin Luther King, Jr. • By 1968, Martin Luther King had broken with LBJ on Vietnam and had announced a massive Poor People’s Campaign. • He was assassinated in Memphis. Rioting broke out in over 100 cities.
The Democratic Campaign • Polarization split the Democratic Party. Robert Kennedy and Eugene Mc. Carthy both sought the anti-war vote. • Kennedy appeared unbeatable, but was assassinated. • Hubert Humphrey won the nomination from a bitterly divided party. • The Democratic convention was the scene of a major confrontation between protesters and police.
Part VII: The Politics of Identity
Protests Movements in the 1960 s
Black Power • Generational divisions marked the civil rights movement as younger African Americans turned to Black Power. • Groups like the Black Panthers reflected the growing militancy and the calls for community autonomy. • Racial pride grew during the late 1960 s, affecting numerous segments of the African American community. • A renewed interest in African heritage and customs arose. • Stokely Carmichael and SNCC
Sisterhood is Powerful • During the early 1960 s, many women began to demand equal rights. • By the late sixties the influence of civil rights and New Left appeared as women identified their movement as one of liberation. • In thousands of communities, women formed small consciousness-raising groups to examine the power dynamics in their own lives. • A diverse and comprehensive women’s rights agenda emerged, though the movement remained a bastion of white middle-class women.
Gay Liberation • The gay community had gained visibility during WWII and several openly gay organizations had emerged. • The “Stonewall Riot” in New York City in 1968 galvanized a “Gay Liberation Front. ” • Gradually changes in public opinion led to more accepting attitudes and a large minority of homosexuals “came out” of the closet.
The Chicano Rebellion • Mexican Americans articulated a sense of Chicano pride and nationalism, initiating a series of protests. • Throughout the Southwest Mexican Americans organized to push for land social reforms as well as political power. • Cesar Chavez successfully organize Chicano agricultural workers into the United Farm Workers in Delano, CA
Red Power • Indian activists, led by the American Indian Movement, organized protests such as taking over Wounded Knee. [Dennis Banks, Russell Means] • An Indian Renaissance led to many new books about Indian life.
The Asian American Movement • Like Black Power and Latino activists, Asian Americans embraced a nationalism that emphasized ethnic pride and cultural survival.
Part VIII: The Nixon Presidency
The Election of 1968 • In 1968, Richard Nixon's campaign: – appealed to voters hostile to the protests and counterculture of the young – pledged to undercut liberal program and roll back the Great Society • Nixon narrowly defeated Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace.
Nixon’s War • Nixon promised to bring “peace with honor” to Vietnam. • Nixon and National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, believed that a military defeat would destroy United States global leadership. • Nixon spoke of a phased withdrawal of American troops, but widened the war by invading Cambodia. • Massive protests led to four deaths at Kent State and two at Jackson State. • Nixon accepted a peace settlement that led to the fall of South Vietnam. • Seymour M. Hersh - Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House
Foreign Relations • Nixon opened relations with the Communist government in China. • Relations with the Soviet Union improved as he negotiated a grain deal and signed an arms control agreement. • Nixon’s last diplomatic effort was to send Kissinger to the Middle East where he negotiated a temporary lull in the ongoing war.
Domestic Policy • Despite his conservatism, Nixon: – supported a guaranteed income to replace welfare – imposed a wage and price freeze to hold down inflation • He appealed to conservatives in his opposition to school bussing and Supreme Court appointments.
Part IX: Watergate
Bush “ 43” and Watergate Comparison • John Dean’s 2004 book, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush [John Dean was one of Nixon’s attorneys during Watergate. ] • Dick Tut, trickster – Chinese fortune cookies, Chinese sign, flagged train, “the people have spoken, the b……. ” • Auntie Peg and Clair Jane Nixon [wife of Don] and cousin James at Trish’s wedding. • Herb Klein as golfing partner at Lake Arrowhead between 1962 Nixon defeat and 1968 campaign.
Conspiracy and Dirty Tricks • Nixon’s foreign policy included a wide range of secret interventions that propped up or destabilized regimes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. • Domestically, Nixon formed an inner circle to keep information from the public and to plug leaks. • In 1972, Democrats nominated George Mc. Govern, representing the liberal wing of the party. • The Nixon re-election committee ran a dirty-tricks campaign to confuse the Democrats, including a break-in at the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex.
The Fall of the Executive • The White House tried to cover up its Watergate involvement, but two reporters followed the evidence back to the Oval Office. • Nixon fired the special prosecutor who sought secret tapes Nixon had made of White House conversations. • After a congressional investigation, Nixon finally resigned to avoid impeachment. • Barry Goldwater – you can probably count on about 3 votes of support. • Vice President had already resigned – therefore, Gerald Ford became president and he appointed vp Nelson Rockefeller.