January 21, 2007


The Vietnam history you haven't heard: Before judging the Iraq war, get the facts on what really happened in the critical early years of the Vietnam War (Mark Moyar, 1/22/07, CS Monitor)

During 1963, in contrast to later years, the American press corps largely favored American involvement in Vietnam. Many also believed, however, that the South Vietnamese president had to be replaced before the war could be won. Perhaps not fully aware of cultural differences, they faulted Mr. Diem for refusing to afford dissidents - and US reporters - the same freedoms they enjoyed in peacetime America. [...]

Halberstam, Sheehan, and Karnow would play crucial roles in events that fomented the coup that removed Diem on Nov. 1, 1963. Their anti-Diem information, much of it from ill-informed or agenda-driven sources, gave Diem's opponents in the US government the reasons they needed to remove what they considered to be an ineffective allied government. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge accepted their reports, spurring him to incite the coup.

As good as Mr. Moyar's book is about Vietnam, it's even more useful when applied to the current war.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2007 11:35 PM

There's a vast expanse of gray area between coup and carte blanche. Point well taken, nonetheless.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 22, 2007 12:33 AM

The lesser Dolchstoss was the product of elitist Christophobia. When the barbecued bonzes reminded them of the Westernization process taking place in Vietnam, Jean Baptiste Diem had to go.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 22, 2007 7:01 AM

You've been plugging this book really hard. I hate to admit it, but I found it too boring to finish.

Posted by: Brandon at January 22, 2007 10:41 AM

Often best to keep ones opinions uninformed rather than be forced to change them.

Posted by: oj at January 22, 2007 12:33 PM

In view of the increasingly-capitalist nature of East Asia, including Vietnam, we won the Vietnam War. It just took longer than expected.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at January 22, 2007 1:26 PM