An indication of the real facts was given by an in-depth study of attitudes of Hthe American h1tellectual Clite" undertaken in the spring of 1970, at the height of opposition to the Vietnam war after the US invasion of Cambodia, with universities shut doVi<'ll after student protests and popular dissidence reaching proportions that were qnite frightening to elite groups. The results showed that virtually all were opposed to the war and would have been classified as doves. But when we turn to the reasons, we find that the overwhelmiI1g niajority were opposed on "pragmatie grounds" - the war would not succeed in its aims - while a minority were opposed because the war was becoming too bloody (what the study called "moral grounds": a certain amount of killing, maiming and torture is legitimate, but too much may offend delicate souls). Principled opposition to the war was so negligible as to be barely detectable. Perhaps 1 % of the intellectual sample opposed the wa1· on the grounds that aggression is wrong, even if undertaken by the United States ... In contrast, much of the general population opposed the war on grounds of principle. As late as the 1980s, after a decade of dedicated efforts to overcome the '"Vietnam syndrome", over 70% of the population regarded the war as "fundamentally wrong and immoral", not merely a "mistake" as the official doves maintain. Chomsky
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