Sunday, June 27, 2010
Vietnam War (contd-4)
Diem Era, 1955-1963 The Domino Theory (which said that if one country fell to Communist forces, then all of thew surrounding countries would follow) was first proposed as policy by the Eisenhower administrationJohn F Kennedy, then a US senator, said in a speech to the American Friends of Vietnam;"Burma,Thiland,India, Japan, the Philipines and obiously Laos and Cambodiawere among those whose security would be threatened if he Red Tide of Communism overflowed into Vietnam.
Diem, a devout Roman Catholic, was fervently anti-Communist, nationalist and socially conservative, narrow and extremist nationalism coupled with autocracy and nepotism.He helped the French rule in Vietnam.
Beginning in the summer of 1955, he launched "the denounce he Communists" campaign during which the communist andother anti-government elementswere arrested, imprisoned, tortured or executed.Diem instituted a policy of death penaltyagainst any activity deemed communist in aug 1956. Opponents were labeled Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists) by the regime to degrade their nationalist credentials.As a measure of the political repression , about 12,000 suspected opponents of Diem were killed in the year 1955-1957 and by the end of 1958an estimated 40,000 political prisoners had been jailed.
In May, Diem undertook a ten-day state visit to the US, where Eisenhower assured continued support to Diem.Robert Macnamara wrote that the new Americans patrons were comletely ignorant of the Vietnamese culture.