Diem's Overthrow, Saigon's Disintegration

Diem's Overthrow, Saigon's Disintegration - Conventional...

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Conventional wisdom of 1950s that said Diem was the miracle man was quickly deteriorating by the 1960s Many critics in the State Department He was still supported by Lyndon Johnson, most of the Pentagon, and many in the CIA o Thought the process of getting rid of Diem would be a distraction Opposition grew against his brother, Ngo Dinh Nu o Accused of mismanaging strategic hamlets campaign o Rumors spread that he was mentally unbalanced and an opium addict o Became primary object of hatred among the anti-Diem o Not helped by his wife who was an outspoken egotistical “Dragon Lady,” who served as the official first lady for her brother-in-law Diem Organized Buddhists were main opposition to Diem o 4 million out of some 16 million in Vietnam o Not necessarily communist sympathizers, though some of the key Buddhist monks were communists o May 1963 – Buddhist Association organized large demonstration to protest against the government’s pro- Catholic repression Nu had hid police fire on the group, many monks killed In response, Buddhist monk burned himself to death This inspired widespread emotion Including 6 more such suicides
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Diem's Overthrow, Saigon's Disintegration - Conventional...

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