Cold War Manderin Essay

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The book, Cold War Mandarin Ngo Dinh Diem and the Origins of America’s War in Vietnam 1950-1963, by Seth Jacobs is a comprehensive retelling of the rise and fall of Ngo Dinh Diem’s government in South Vietnam. In that retelling Jacob focuses on the major events that took place in Vietnam as well as showed how America backed a leader that did nothing to booster his nation and led America into one of the worst wars in its history. The Diem regime was a corrupt and tyrannical government that used the United States’ fears of communism to push its own goals that ultimately led to its own demise. Jacob viewed the escalation of America’s involvement in Vietnam as the following, “The nine-year “experiment” that ended when Diem died was …show more content…
Diem stood at odds with Ho Chi Minh who was, “eager to expand his base of support, Ho reached out to anti-communist nationalists: he especially wanted to attract Vietnam’s Catholic minority, and understood that the presence of a predominant Catholic in his first coalition cabinet would go a long way to accomplish this goal” (22). Diem refused to work with the Viet Minh and upon breaking communications with them would then work organize an anti-Viet Minh political party.
Diem was very much a nationalist, but not communist, and this is what drew the Americans to Diem. The need had arisen to replace the Bao Dai emperorship, for in the eyes of many Vietnamese it was a sham and the only other alternative was that of the communists and Ho Chi Minh. Diem understood this and he, “insisted that France’s “Bao Dai solution” was all but handing Indochina to the Viet Minh. Only a Vietnamese leader who had not collaborated with either the French or Communists could succeed in forming a government to rival that of Ho” (28). His arguments of Vietnamese nationalism made sense to many political figures in Washington, thus putting him further in the front running for American support. Diem also secured further support from his Catholic faith, which put him in good with many influential figures in America, such as Cardinal Spellman who was very influential in right wing political circles. Faith was a very strong motivator

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