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."

2 comments:

Russet Shadows said...

My history is a little rusty, but wasn't it complaints by the flower children and the peace activists that led to pressure on the U.S not to support the Diem government? That there were secret organizations behind the scene I won't doubt, but I don't think they are the same organizations that the author is thinking of. I suspect the Russians and the Chinese did what they could to frustrate the U.S war effort by funding the U.S. "peace" movement. They could have also encouraged dissent in S. Vietnam through such means.

Eyes said...

Hi RS, long time no see... Diem was murdered in 1963, before the 'peace movement' kicked in. Diem did do alot of good things, but there was some corruption and people thought he was influenced too much by his family, specifically his brother and brother's wife. He also managed to disentangle the French from Vietnam's government, military and judicial system. He was a good man. I don't think the CIA was behind it. But then I tend to be the exact opposite of a conspiracy theorist.