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  • Vietnam

    During World War II Vietnam was invaded by Japan, but the Viet-Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh fought valiantly against the Japanese. In August of 1945 Japan surrendered to the allies and left Vietnam. The Vietnamese took control of Vietnam and the leader of their government was Ho Chi Minh, who was very popular among his people.

    When France learned that the Japanese had left Vietnam, they moved back in and occupied South Vietnam. Vietnam had been a French Colony for about three hundred years and the French missionaries had converted 15% of the population to Christianity and they assumed that Vietnam should remain a French colony. The Vietnamese people who were led by Ho Chi Minh fought heroically against the French and in May 1954 the French surrendered at Dienbienphu.

    On July of 1954 The Geneva Agreement was signed. The 17th parallel was indicated to be the provisional demarcation line between the Vietnam republic in the north and the French province in the south. This line was not meant to be a permanent line, but only a temporary line for a two year period until a general election could take place, and the Vietnam people could choose their leader. Nine countries signed the Geneva Agreement, but the United States abstained. The United States didn?t want to see the election take place in Vietnam, because they knew that Ho Chi Minh,, a communist, would win. So the Eisenhower administration decided to select a President for Vietnam according to their own political philosophy.

    Ngo Dunh Diem was chosen by the Catholic Lobby in the United States to be the President Of South Vietnam in 1954.

    The Catholic lobby included such men as: Joseph Kennedy, Cardinal Spellman, Senator John F. Kennedy, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles who was the head of the CIA, and Senator Mike Mansfield. Ngo Dunh Diem was a devout Catholic and 85% of the citizens of South Vietnam were Buddhist,therefore the United States should have selected a Buddhist to be the President of South Vietnam.

    President Ngo Dunh Diem was a practicing Catholic who ruled South Vietnam with an iron fist. He had originally been selected for the presidency by Cardinal Spellman and Pope Pius XII. President Diem transformed the presidency into a virtual Catholic dictatorship, ruthlessly crushing his religious and political opponents. Catholics were shown favoritism when applying for government jobs, and only Catholics could work for the special police which was run by Diem?s brother. Thousands of Buddhists were arrested and thrown into concentration camps when they protested against the religious discrimination. Buddhist monks committed suicide by fire, burning themselves alive in protest to President Diem?s religious persecution. The main goal of President Diem?s government was to transform South Vietnam into an all Catholic anti-communist nation.

    Ngo Dunh Diem?s portrait had to be portrayed in every corner of the land, even in private homes. Absence of his picture, could make someone suspect of opposition to the government and hence liable to arrest.

    His discriminatory persecutions of non-Catholics, particularly Buddhists, caused disruptions of the government and mass desertions in the army. This eventually led to U.S. military intervention in South Vietnam.


    The Catholic Church led by Pope Pius XII was the driving force behind McCarthyism. pg 52

    Vietnam Why Did We Go by Avro Manhattan pp 16-17 74-89