Opposition to the Vietnam War Essay

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Opposition to the Vietnam War
The Vietnam War created one of the most dividing periods of American history. Many saw the war as an unnecessary conflict that cost dearly in both money and lives. The United States’ involvement in the war was also considered to be unjustified. Despite the many difficulties faced during the controversial time, many activists raised issues in opposition to the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War because of its unjust nature with acts such as the high casualty rates, scorched earth policies, and the lack of an immediate threat.
Many, including the Catholic Church, judge the justifications of a war based on several factors given in the “just war theory,” which is used to evaluate the war based on its
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This allows for a nation to defend its people from an aggressing force in cases such as an invasion or the seizing of hostages. This also recognizes the possibility of the misuse of a government’s power to oppress its people and grants a morally correct option for other nations to intervene. While a government may have a just cause to engage in military activity, it must also take into consideration non-belligerent options before resorting to war. The aim of the just war theory is to prevent warfare until it is the final reasonable option. It allows for the bypass of non-violent solutions if they are either “hopeless or too costly” (“Just War Theory” 1). In many cases, however, non-violent solutions have a reasonable chance of success without excessive cost. In these cases, war should be avoided. Additionally, just war theory prohibits warfare that is beyond a reasonable hope as well as conflicts that would prove to be excessively costly. This is in place in order to prevent a nation’s government from needlessly throwing its population and economy into ruin for a futile conflict.
The second requirement is that the war must be fought with just means, prohibiting the “harm of innocents… intended as an end or a means” as well as actions disproportionate for the need of defense (“Just War Theory” 1). This portion entails that, even if a war is deemed justified and necessary, the damages caused by

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