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There is a rich literature about public opinion regarding foreign policy, and in simplified, generalized terms its findings reveal that there are and have been "attentive" publics and "inattentive publics" regarding foreign policy. Put more bluntly, the second group consists of persons and groups who to one degree or another do not pay attention to foreign policy issues and/or for one reason or another are ignorant about international events. This finding more or less supports Bergurud's "tsk tsk" remark except that he links "inattention" with the draft; that is, he seems to be saying that during the Vietnam War the antiwar movement (as one of many publics) only became attentive about the war because of the draft. I will try to make the forest-from-the-trees point again that the scholarship on these matters reveals that the antiwar movement consisted of the young, the middle aged, and the elders. Not all were of draft age or of draft gender. Moreover, in political terms, the movement consisted of (1) liberals of several types, (2) pacifists of several types, (2) and leftists of several types (including SDSers, who were not the most significant part of the antiwar Left after perhaps 1965 or '66). In any case, even after the perception took hold by mid 1969 that Nixon would carry out phased (albeit very slow) withdrawals of troops and would also reduce draft calls, even after the first lottery drawing in December 1969, even after the perception grew that Nixon was "winding down" the war, there continued to be large demonstrations in which young men participated along with others. Even as late as January 1973, 100,000 gathered in Washington, D.C., according to the information I have. Demonstrations in major east or west coast cities, of course, did not constitute the whole of the antiwar movement, which also included activity at the local level and other forms of protest and petition, which continued at least until the end of January 1973. Even if one agrees that antiwar activity declined during the Nixon years, one would have to acknowledge, I would think, that it was the result, not only of the phasing out of the draft, but also of the phenomenon of "burnout" and frustration and other factors associated with a long-term protest against a long war that was "winding down." Prof. Jeffrey Kimball, Miami Universithy On 11/19/04 2:44 PM, "H-DIPLO [Ball]" <h-d1plo@SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU> wrote: > From: Eric Bergerud <email@example.com> > > Obviously Mr. Horowitz was closer to the "movement" that I was, but in > my view many or most Americans by 1971 didn't care whether Vietnam sunk > into the ocean. Wars in the 3d World were no novelty after 1945, after > all, and the young of my generation had no trouble ignoring them > regardless of the consequences to those involved. (Does anyone really > think anything has changed in this regard? I'd say American interest in > a foreign tragedy is about at the tsk tsk level unless Washington > decides to get the nation directly involved.) Couldn't do that with > Vietnam of course. Therefore, you get a movement to end the war. When > the possibility of getting drafted and sent to Nam ended, the peace > movement popped like a little kid's balloon. > > Eric Bergerud