Viet Nam “villain” was actually hero, vilified by US media

From an interview with a historian at MercatorNet:

Geoffrey Shaw: Americans have been poorly served by this description of Ngo Dinh Diem. The above portrait was created for public consumption mostly by young reporters (in their 20s) who had little experience of the world at large, no expertise in Southeast Asia and a desire for sensational stories.

As New York Times reporter David Halberstam admitted after the death of Diem, he and his colleagues had created popular political fiction so as to sell papers. Their spin also served the purpose of Averell Harriman, an American senior diplomat with tremendous influence over President Kennedy, who had an intense dislike for and a lack of confidence in Diem.

The real Diem was so admired by patriotic Vietnamese of all stripes (including many Communists) that he was considered a prize to be won over; Viet Cong leader Ho Chi Minh tried this at least once, and Vo Nguyen Giap on many occasions.

Diem’s devotion to his country was so ardent that the French colonial rulers of Vietnam jailed him a few times for his refusal to play by their rules. They kept releasing him because of his talent for governing villages, and then provinces, was superior to that of any other Vietnamese in their administration. Early in his civil service career (his mid-20s) he earned the Mandate of Heaven amongst Vietnamese peasant farmers. This title is granted to leaders who exhibit the civic and personal virtues valued by Confucius. More.

Reality check: One could never trust elite media much; they were always in bed with progressives (who are increasingly left fascists). They have helped deliver millions to torture and murder, andneed to continue to justify their role.

True, but at one time, we needed them to know about the weather and traffic jams. Not any more.

Any younger person today who pays any attention to them is guilty of bad judgment and perhaps complicity in evil.

Prediction: It’ll get worse. For once thing, back in the 1960s, elite media types were confident that a historian like the one above would never be heard when it mattered. Now he can be heard in real time.

There will be efforts, in consequence, to control new media for “expressions of hate” = stuff that gets in the way of the “narrative,” facts that can no longer just be consigned to oblivion.

See also: Anyone who would let the New York Times
advise them on books…

  • An entire country is reduced to poverty and dictatorship on the account of American leftist lies.

    • Clausewitz

      Walter Cronkite helped lose the Vietnam war by declaring it unwinnable, and thus giving the Democrats the ammunition they needed to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        It wasn’t just him or that one idiotic statement.
        He was also supported by the leftist intelligentsia the world-over with the likes of Olaf Palma, Pierre Trudeau, and many others.

        • mauser 98

          Robert McNamara corruption , incompetence a major part of it
          Gulf of Tonkin false flag ( oops conspiracy theory…not!)
          Lady Bird Johnson owned shares in Bell Helicopter, every Huey shot down Mrs. Johnson made money.
          , other Dems held shares in major military stocks

      • He would be proud of himself.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      What’s the phrase?
      Oh yeah, “It’s complicated”.

      Sure the American left (supported by Comintern) had a huge hand in things, but I don’t think it mattered much in the end.
      You had a succession of corrupt governments starting with Diem (contrary to this article his popularity waxed and waned a lot), a fairly corrupt provincial (we would call it tribal today) society that didn’t much care who won as long as it wasn’t their village getting shot up, and the Johnson Administration that was never fighting to win but to contain.
      Let’s also leave room for the prominence of the “Domino Theory” at the time too.
      Poorly run or disorganized societies (corruption and inefficiency) can easily go communist and it takes a lot of effort for them not to, while well-ordered ones almost cannot.
      Ultimately Vietnam went communist because most of the Vietnamese people wanted communism (at the time) or didn’t care enough to resist it (most Vietnamese).

      • Ho Hum

        I could never understand why anyone cared if Vietnam went communist. It remains communist today and it has seen incredible growth in the past few decades. As a result the Vietnamese people have seen huge increases in their standard of living while we in the west have seen our standard of living stagnate or even decrease in real terms.

        • mauser 98

          military contractor shakedown the taxpayer… $$$$$

        • Just like in China?

          Paper dragons and so forth.

      • mauser 98

        “didn’t care enough to resist” ??
        average dirt poor Vietnam rice farmer never heard of communism.. 18 hour days slugging rice paddy’s sways your priorities
        …all about the money .. still is
        watch R. McNamaras documentary “Fog of War” perhaps the best docu ever (IMO)

      • Tell that to the Vietnamese boat people.

        Had the communists been defeated, what is the likelihood that the Vietnamese would have ousted incompetent leadership?

        Now one won’t know.

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          Would they have?
          Probably not.

          They have not overthrown the communists since 1975, so I don’t think they ever would have.
          Maybe they missed out on a few more military coup d’etat.

          A lot of the boat people were anticommunists allied with the US.

          • How do you overthrow a communist dictatorship that arrests and kills dissidents?

            As I said, we can’t tell what would have happened now.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Eastern Europe 1990?

            Actually, commie government can be very fragile.
            For your average Vietnamese rice farmer or peasant, do you really think it made a huge difference who was running things?

            Maybe you know more than I, but to me it just didn’t seem to be a huge priority for them in the 1960’s-1970’s, or we would have had a different outcome.
            I think.

          • Minicapt

            Vietnam, like China, decided to forestall that revolution through incremental economic changes which eased the unhappiness of the populace.


          • Communism was on its way out since Pope John Paul II. People were emboldened. Now, people help China and Vietnam by buying their cheap crap and strengthening the government’s grip on the people.

  • UCSPanther

    I can’t help but foresee a future where the West is rotting into the muck, while new Islamic Caliphates, China and Russia are having a multi-way war over who gets the bloated carcass…

  • Hard Little Machine

    Diem’s problem, really more fallout of his wife is that they were Catholics. There was a powerful Catholic minority in VN at the time and the US didn’t like that.