Evaluating the Leadership Styles of Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem
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TOPIC: In the context of the Vietnamese society as the course has presented it through the textbook so far, what evaluation can be made about the leadership styles and personal examples of Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem that would enable both of them to tap into the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people and mobilize support for their initiatives? Why, in Vietnam, was personal leadership so very important? Refer to specific examples.
Although the United States fought a costly and bloody war in Vietnam, its ability to evaluate the perceptions of ordinary Vietnamese nations was lacking, and was a major contributor to the American defeat. The U.S. consistently overestimated the support of the Vietnamese for the anticommunist Ngo Dinh Diem and his subsequent replacements and misinterpreted the North Vietnamese popular support for Ho Chi Minh as support for communism.
Diem's Roman Catholicism made it difficult for the population to accept him, despite his support of the nationalist cause during World War II. Initially, the U.S. government supported Diem because of his unwavering anti-communism. In fact, "in September 1945, Diem traveled to Hue to stop Bao Dai from joining forces with Ho Chi Minh. Along the way, he was kidnapped by Viet Minh agents and taken to see Ho Chi Minh after six months. While there, Ho Chi Minh offered Diem a position in his government, but Diem refused" (Ngo Dinh Diem, 2013, Cold War Museum).
Diem came to power in an independent South Vietnam in