An Unwinnable War

1556 WordsJul 17, 20187 Pages
As America find herself in today’s “War on Terrorism,” one can easily find a number of similarities between today’s situation and the war in Vietnam. As the Taliban steadily loses control and power over Afghanistan, it becomes exceedingly important to discuss potential replacement governments. Afghanistan is, like Vietnam in the 50’s and 60’s, a very volatile country full of a variety of people speaking different dialects and practicing different religions. It is very important, then, that the government that is installed is one that is capable of maintaining some type of control or authority over its diverse people. On July 7, 1954, Ngo Dinh Diem came to power as the Prime Minister of South Vietnam (Fishel 107). Diem was backed by…show more content…
Of course the irony is that Diem “took steps to prevent the 1956 unification election,” which is normally a prerequisite for a democracy (Starr 39). He did stage an election for himself, but it was certainly rigged being that “Saigon with roughly 405,000 registered voters, somehow cast 605,000 votes for Diem” (Starr 39). Diem was therefore determined to be the best man for the job of preventing communism in S. Vietnam. One reason is most likely because he was “Westernized” being that he “lived for some time in the Mayknoll Seminaries in New Jersey and New York State” (Genesis 116). He quickly gained the approval of American Catholics such as Cardinal Spellman, which “certified Diem as an important anti-Communist” (Scheer 116). Some Americans were skeptical of Diem at the time, but as Secretary John Foster Dulles simply stated, “the United States could simply not find ‘a better man’ to carry out its designs” and “Diem is only means US sees to save South Vietnam and counteract revolution. US sees no one else who can” (Gettleman 133). This is, however, a little unsettling being that it sounds as though the U.S. merely “settled” on Diem in lieu of a better candidate. The American people then, perhaps influenced by the media, agreed with their government’s approval of Diem. In the June 29, 1959 edition of Newsweek, Diem was deemed “one of the ablest free Asian leaders” and his government
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