The U.S. involvement in Vietnam is a cause of embarrassment and regret to all those involved. When John F. Kennedy started the war the fear of communism via the ‘domino effect’ was the rationale given to public. But such fears were far from real and soon the general public got to understand the basic facts and motivations behind American intervention in Vietnam.
State apologists like Joseph Alsop took issue draft resistors or conscientious objectors to the war in Vietnam. By a convoluted mal-use of logic, Alsop argued that resisting the draft is equivalent to supporting Soviet tyranny and totalitarianism. But in truth, the resistors were expressing solidarity with the victims of war – the hordes of Vietnamese citizens who lost their lives for no fault of theirs. Such dissident voices as that of boxing great Muhammad Ali made it clear that the war was illegitimate and unjust.
Journalistic dispatches from Vietnam soon proved the bitter reality of conflict and forceful occupation. For example, reportage pieces like Michael Herr’s Hell Sucks showed the brutality and futility of war based on first-hand accounts of the events. Even American intellectuals who are quite removed from the war scene were able to articulate the irrationality and immorality of the Vietnam enterprise and called for its immediate cessation. Noam Chomksy and Howard Zinn are prominent dissidents, whose opinions gradually gathered greater acceptance as the war dragged on.
Hence, in conclusion, by the time Lyndon Johnson was nearing the end of his second term, the Vietnam War had become unviable both militarily (due to heavy costs) and domestically (due to public pressure). It is fair to say that the war did not end a day too soon.