Ashley Smith responds:

I also do not believe that mass antiwar protests were responsible for stopping the war, but they played an important role in building the movement among both civilians and soldiers. Undoubtedly, the two most important factors contributing to the U.S. defeat in Vietnam were the breakdown of the U.S. armed forces and the Vietnamese resistance. However, the mass movement played an important role, both domestically and internationally, in encouraging and giving confidence both to the soldiers’ revolt and the Vietnamese resistance. It is hard to imagine that the soldiers’ resistance could have been as widespread as it was without the development of the mass antiwar movement, as well as the Black struggle, stateside. Mass protest, in all its various forms (not restricted to set-piece marches), also played some part in undermining the political confidence of the ruling class in its ability to prolong the fighting indefinitely. Music, poetry and street theater have their place in any movement, giving it depth and vibrancy. Surely, though, they are only supplements to mass actions, including strikes, demonstrations, and occupations.

Issue #76

March 2011

Revolt in the Middle East: Another world is possible

Issue contents

Top story



Critical Thinking


  • The crimes of occupation

    Jim Ramey reviews Aftermath: Following the Blood of America's Wars in the Muslim World by Nir Rosen
  • Gaza’s nightmare shows the truth about Israel

    Hadas Thier reviews Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israeli/Palestine Conflict by Moustafa Bayoumi and Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé
  • The planet and the profit system

    Chris Williams reviews The Ecological Rift: Capitalism's War on the Earth by John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark and Richard York
  • Ways of resistance in Latin America

    Jason Farbman reviews Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America by Ben Dangl and Bolivia's Radical Tradition: Permanent Revolution in the Andes by S. Sándor John