Canada During The Vietnam War Analysis

Canada played a role in the Vietnam conflict as a member of the International Control Commission, they also had a significant contribution of war materials to the United States. The Prime Minister of Canada publicly maintained that he was against the war, but some of his actions suggest that pressure from Washington was affecting his decisions. While some took to the streets in protest, Canada took thousands of draft resistors into the country and thousands of Canadians volunteered to fight with the US military. Upon researching the public opinion during the war it is apparent that; the public opinion of Canadians during the Vietnam conflict was divided across a vast spectrum of opinion and interest and to draw a generalized linear conclusion …show more content…
An event which is constantly mentioned in regards to Pearson’s handling of the Vietnam problem is his ‘Temple speech’, perhaps more because of the anecdotal story of his interactions afterward with U.S President Johnson, but still important. In this speech the Canadian Prime Minister called the bombing of North Vietnam “obscene” . This was in stark contrast to his previous assertion that “It is inconceivable to Canadians, [and] it is inconceivable to me that the U.S would ever initiate an aggressive war” . Paul Martin who was Pearson’s Secretary of external affairs in the 1960s, said that “Pearson thought war was a tragedy” and that he had asserted that it was dangerous for America to become involved in Asia . It seems while compiling his public speeches that the Prime Minister was caught either between his moral opinion and the political and economic relationship between Canada and the US or indeed just bartering to maintain power. The fact that their Prime Minister was so contradictory, it is little surprise that the public were so …show more content…
Randy Bachman recalls playing in front of a “dance full of draft dodgers” the song American Woman which he described as “an antiwar protest song” . In the song are the lyrics “I don’t want your war machine, I don’t want your ghetto scenes” . In another Canadian song by Steppenwolf, named ‘Draft resistor’ the lyrics read “here’s to all the draft resistors who will fight for sanity, when they march them off to prison in this land of liberty” which clearly shows not just understanding but respect for draft resistors. It goes on to say “Shame disgrace and all dishonour, wrongly placed upon their heads” . Although not as accurate a reflection of public opinion as the polls used elsewhere, I believe that pop-culture has an important role in reflecting the attitude of the young adult population at the

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