The sheer size of the baby boom generation those born in the late 1940s and early 1950s made youthful protests against the war a spectacle. During the 1960s, the number of 18-to-24-year-olds enrolled in college jumped from 3.6 to 8.0 million, or from 24% to 36% of this youthful population. The number and size of colleges and universities grew accordingly. Most college students, like the general population, supported the war at the outset. In the spring of 1967, two years into the war, a Gallup poll found that 49% identified as hawks (pro-war) and 35%, as doves (antiwar). Two and a half years later, however, the proportions had more than reversed, with only 20% identifying as hawks and 69%, as doves. This was more dovish than the general population in the fall of 1969, which registered 31% hawks and 55% doves.
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 Charles Haynie and John Heckman, The Rebellion Against the Diem Regime, 1957-58 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Ad-Hoc Committee to End the War in Vietnam, 1965), p, 21.
 Small, Antiwarriors, pp. 146-47; and Louis Harris, Tide of Public Opinion Turns Decisively Against the War, Washington Post, May 3, 1971.
 SANEs difficulties with the left included (1) opposition to immediate U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam; (2) the inclusion of other issues and the implication that the whole of American society had to be overturned before the war could be ended; (3) the possibility of militant leftists causing disorder and violence at the demonstration; (4) the lefts antipathy to political action, which some leftists labeled class collaboration; and (5) an unwillingness to be associated with the despised Communist Party, mainly for image reasons, despite the fact that the latter did not espouse revolutionary rhetoric (which is why the Progressive Labor Party broke off from it). See Katz, Peace Liberals and Vietnam.
Among the factors contributing to the killing of civilians were the bureaucratic labeling of whole districts as NLF territory and thus free-fire zones; a body count reward system that identified civilians killed as communist guerrillas; lack of official accountability such that the generals did not want to know about, report, or investigate civilian casualties; psychological factors including revenge, sadism, racism, and boredom, any of which might impel a soldier to slay or rape civilians; a military culture that encouraged racist views of Asians and Vietnamese, commonly referred to as gooks; and the massive firepower readily available to U.S. soldiers that killed indiscriminately.
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Although the Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge had previously cooperated, the relationship deteriorated when Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot came to power and established Democratic Kampuchea on 17 April 1975. Communist China, in the other hand, also supported the Maoist Khmer Rouge against Lon Nol's regime during the Cambodian Civil War and its subsequent take-over of Cambodia. China provided extensive political, logistical and military support for the Khmer Rouge during its rule. After numerous clashes along the border between Vietnam and Cambodia, and with encouragement from Khmer Rouge defectors fleeing a purge of the Eastern Zone, Vietnam invaded Cambodia on 25 December 1978. By 7 January 1979 Vietnamese forces had entered Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge leadership had fled to western Cambodia.
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 James E. Hickey, Precision-guided Munitions and Human Suffering in War (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 79-89; Randolph, Powerful and Brutal Weapons, pp. 124, 305; John Gliedman, Terror from the Sky: North Vietnams Dikes and the U.S. Bombing (Cambridge, MA: Vietnam Resource Center, 1972); Herring, Americas Longest War, p. 248; and Andrew Cockburn, Kill Chain: The Rise of the High Tech Assassins (New York: Henry Holt, 2015), p. 30.
As France withdrew from a provisionally divided Vietnam in late 1954, the United States increasingly stepped in to support the South Vietnamese leaders due to the Domino theory, which theorized that if one nation would turn to communism, the surrounding nations were likely to fall like dominoes and become communist as well. The Soviet Union and North Vietnam became important allies together due to the fact that if South Vietnam was successfully taken over by North Vietnam, then communism in the far east would find its strategic position bolstered. In the eyes of the People's Republic of China, the growing Soviet-Vietnamese relationship was a disturbing development; they feared an encirclement by the less-than-hospitable Soviet sphere of influence.
 Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice (New York: Dell, 1968), p. 118. See also Congress, Staff Study by the Committee on Internal Security House of Representatives, The Black Panther Party Its Origin and Development as Reflected In Its Official Weekly Newspaper The Black Panther Black Community News Service, (Washington, D.C.: GPO, October 6, 1970), http://www.aavw.org/protest/cleaver_panthers_abstract24.html.
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 See Porter, A Peace Denied, chapters 6 and 7.
Senators J. William Fulbright and Wayne Morse converse in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, 1966
 Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt, p. 57; and Eugene McCarthy, Denouncing the Vietnam War, December 2, 1967, http://www.speeches-usa.com/Transcripts/eugene_mccarthy-vietnam.html.
 Barry Weisberg, ed., Ecocide in Indochina: The Ecology of War (San Francisco: Canfield Press, 1970, p. 8; and Browning and Forman, eds., The Wasted Nations, p. 181.
 The Pentagon Papers, Vol. 1, Ch. 5, Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam, 1954-1960, p. 299; Jean Lacouture, Vietnam: Between Two Truces (New York: Random House, 1966), p. 79; and Edward Miller, Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and the Fate of South Vietnam (Harvard University Press, 2013). On personalism, see Jessica M. Chapman, Cauldron of Resistance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam (Ithaca Cornell University Press, 2013), p. 121.
For the Vietnamese, the war front was their home front. Tran Thi Gung, a southerner who joined the NLF in 1963 at the age of seventeen, after her father had been killed by the Diem government, told the historian Christian Appy in an interview some forty-five years later:
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 Logevall, Choosing War, pp. 378-79.
 Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA (New York: 2007), p. 247; George W. Allen, None So Blind: A Personal Account of Intelligence Failure in Vietnam (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001); Michael Clodfelter, The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam (London: The Free Press, 1989), 134; and Barry Miller, Litton Develops Fighter Air Data Systems, Aviation Week, September 19, 1960, p. 95.
GVN President Nguyen Van Thieu
 Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars Statement of Purpose, March 30, 1969, https://www.scribd.com/document/144628996/Bulletin-of-Concerned-Asian-Scholars-vol-3-Issue-2.
Dropped into war zones, without knowledge of the Vietnamese language and with little, if any, understanding of local culture, U.S. soldiers had problems distinguishing enemy from neutral from friend. They often became frustrated when making no contact with enemy soldiers for long periods, then seemingly out of the blue were interrupted by violent surprise attacks. Daily treks through insect-filled jungles in the heat and humidity also took a toll on GI nerves. In numerous documented cases, their frustrations were taken out on civilians. The approved routine of burning of huts, destruction of villages, and terrorizing of residents could and did lead to unauthorized sexual assaults, random shootings, and even massacres such as that in My Lai. Heonik Kwon lists thirteen large-scale massacres, including some by South Korean troops; Nick Turse, in Kill Anything That Moves, documents more. Even in villages with decent relations with local U.S. forces, other mobile U.S. forces were known to violently intervene.