Friday, November 23, 2007
"A Common Quet For Vietnam's Future" by Hoang Duy Hung
I'm reading "A Common Quest for Vietnam's Future" by Hoang Duy Hung. The book was given to me by a Vietnamese friend whose great desire is to see Vietnam become a democracy. The book does an excellent job of documenting the history of Vietnam. The author is a nationalist, and really detests communism, but also is pretty hard (and a little paranoid) on US military actions (for example he thinks there might be a link between the assassination of JFK and a 'secret group' of military industrialists in the US - President Diem was killed 3 weeks prior to JFK).
I thought this bit was interesting, regarding the Buddhist monks who killed themselves in defiance of the Diem government (you can see a little paranoid dichotomy in the paragraph):
"The situation became more obscured when on June 11, 1963, at the corner of Le Van Duyet and Phan Dinh Phung streets in Sai Gon, the Most Vererable Thich Quang Duc immolated himself. Madame Nhu ignited the flame of anger not only in Vietnam but all around the world when she called the Buddhist monks as 'shaved head guys' and the self-immolations as 'barbecues." Madame Nhu had the right to suspect that the CIA or the communists were behind the sceen, especially the self-immolation of the Most Vereable Thich Quang Duc because he did not react in pain in the midst of the flame. But her reaction was not wise and unacceptalbe. To many people, her response to the situation was a contempt for Buddhism. At this point, the US no longer wanted to support Diem's government. Seizing this opportunity, the CIA secretly stirred to provoke the Buddhists' hatred against the Ngo family."