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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Vietnam's history
    Posted: 07-Nov-2011 at 18:24
"i'm confused. so what group was the Lạc? o-o Tai-Kadaic, Austronesian, or Austro-Asiatic (Mon-Khmer) ??? I read Keith Taylor's Birth of Vietnam and he said it was a mix of Austronesian elite with Austro-Asiatic people. I'm talking about the pre-Nanyue period, mind you!"

Actually, Keith Taylor feels that much of what he wrote in "Birth of Vietnam" is now out of date, and that a new vision of Vietnam's history is emerging. So, it will be interesting to see how the view of Vietnamese history changes over the next few years. 
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Nov-2011 at 19:38
I know very little about the Vietnamese, other than it's not a good idea to pick a fight with them. The Americans learned this the hard way, as did the Chinese, Cambodians, French, and even the fearsome Mongols
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2011 at 18:53
Actually Nick, that's the cartoon view. The Americans didn't 'pick a fight with 'the Vietnamese". Rather, they sided with one of two legitimately recognized Vietnamese states in a war to keep it from being taken over by their Communist brethren. As for the French, their mistake was in not recognizing that by 1945 the day of White Colonialism in Asia was over. Still, fighting the Soviet and CCP backed Viet Minh, they managed to guarantee that the Republic of Vietnam would hold on to half the country. Of course, by that time they had recognized Vietnam's right to independence, and no small number of the 'French" army that fought there were Vietnamese who had enlisted in their ranks. 

As for the Chinese, suffice it to say they had enough respect among the Vietnamese that in 1946 Ho Chi Minh himself agreed to letting the French forces return to North Vietnam, in order to get rid of the Chinese Nationalist Army that was then occupying it. Uncle Ho's exact words were: "Better to smell French excrement for ten years, than Chinese excrement for one thousand."

As for the Cambodians, they have far more history as Vietnam's victim than they do as Vietnam's aggressor. The entire Mekong Delta used to belong to them, before the Vietnamese moved in to displace them much as the U.S. displaced the American Indian. If you are looking for someone th champion, I would suggest you google "Kampuchea Krom".
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Nov-2011 at 19:38
Wasn't South Vietnam a Western puppet state with little support from ordinary people? It was ruled by a brutal military dictatorship until it finally fell to the communists
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2011 at 22:19
Nick, in re your:  "Wasn't South Vietnam a Western puppet state with little support from ordinary people? It was ruled by a brutal military dictatorship until it finally fell to the communists"

Well, you asked the question, and my answer is no. Now, if you wish to provide some evidence to the contrary, it would be welcome. But bear in mind that any 'evidence' so provided must have some fact behind it. I.e., statistical evidence and specific facts. And at the end of the day, one must bear in mind that the alternative was a brutal dictatorship, i.e. the Communists; the government that presentlyrules Vietnam, and makes no secret of its undemocratic character.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2011 at 19:11
The Communists weren't that bad compared to the previous regime in South Vietnam. Under the military dictatorship citizens were executed in the street, Buddhist shrines desecrated and democracy permanently suspended as a succession of ambitious generals seized power with their American-supplied weapons
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2011 at 09:14
Nick, in re: "Under the military dictatorship citizens were executed in the street, Buddhist shrines desecrated and democracy permanently suspended as a succession of ambitious generals seized power with their American-supplied weapons"

Citizens were executed in the street? BS!  Buddhist shrines desecrated? Can you give me any specific statistics on that? I attended Buddhist services in Vietnam in 1968, and still do when I go there. How come I have never heard of seen that, other than in Western news reports of the Buddhist anti-government demonstrations, the last of which, I believe, was in 1968. And oh yes, my Vietnamese ARVN commander in 1968 was from a prominent Hue Buddhist family. Democracy permanently suspended? So when were the very last election in the RVN?  And how about the current Vietnamese government?  How many politicla parties do they allow? And whose authority do the internal security police come under? The party's, or the government's?

Oh, have you ever heard of the 1968 Hue massacres? Those were conducted by which side? Oh, the Communists weren't that bad? 

Please, forget the rhetoric and provide us with some verifiable historical facts. And don't bother with any Tet '68 photos showing a VC terrorist being summarily executed by General Loan. That photographer who took that photos has provided an account of the conditions it was taken under.


Edited by lirelou - 28-Nov-2011 at 09:35
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2011 at 19:12
I thought executions in the street (like the one you described) were a common occurrence. From what i learned back in school, South Vietnam was a very corrupt, unstable country plagued by regular military coups. Tanks were nicknamed "voting machines" as they took to the streets whenever there was a change of leadership
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2011 at 22:55
Nick, in re:  "From what i learned back in school, South Vietnam was a very corrupt, unstable country plagued by regular military coups"

Well, that just goes to show that you can't simply parrot what you learned, or think you learned, in school. The South Vietnamese governments were certainly unstable at certain times, and certainly subject to coups. That was one of their drawbacks. Yet the Thieu government endured for some years. There were too many competing political entities and at times, this detracted from the unity of effort they needed to face the Communists, who frankly enjoyed a far greater unity of effort due to the discipline within the Party. Thus a single Party system was shown to be superior to a multi-party system in the short run. But if one compares the RVN of the 1960s with the Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan of the same period, all of which shared some of those instability characteristics, one is left with the fact the these other three have ended up with democratic, multi-party governments (Singapore's can be argued) that have provided their citizens with fare more participation in government and a far higher standard of living. I would suggest that China was derailed by the Cultural Revolution, itself the result of a cult of personality, and Vietnam derailed by the War for Reunification, which the South was forced to defend against.

Now as to whether this is an ideal situation, or the Jury is still out over the long run, remains to be seen.  Since this is a Vietnam history forum, you might find some of the subjects of interest, since Vietnamese history itself is currently experiencing a renaissance in that many of those who swallowed the old tomes written in Chinese or Chu Nom by Palace historians have now seen enough contrary views to change their vision of Vietnam's history. If you are seriously interested in Vietnamese history, and here I mean that one must ultimately judge how much time one had to devote to the subject, vis-s-vis other required studies, I would suggest you start with Viet Nam Borderless Histories (Univ. of Wisc. Press, 2006), a series of essays edited by Nhinh Tuyet Tran and Anthony Reid, pick out your favorite essays, and ping a few emails off the authors to get pointed to any subject on Vietnam that excites your interest.
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  Quote kliop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 14:01

"Citizens were executed in the street? BS! Buddhist shrines desecrated? Can you give me any specific statistics on that? "


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hue_chemical_attacks

The Hue chemical attacks occurred on June 3, 1963, when soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) poured liquid chemicals from tear gas grenades onto the heads of praying Buddhists in Huế, South Vietnam. The Buddhists were protesting against religious discrimination by the regime of the Roman Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem. The attacks caused 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huế_Phật_Đản_shootings

The Huế Phật Đản shootings refer to the deaths of nine unarmed Buddhist civilians on May 8, 1963, in the city of Huế in South Vietnam, at the hands of the army and security forces of the government of Ngô Đình Diệm. The army and police fired guns and launched grenades into a crowd of Buddhists who had been protesting against a government ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on the day of Phật Đản, which commemorates the birth of Gautama Buddha. Diệm’s denial of governmental responsibility for the incident—he instead blamed the Việt Cộng—led to growing discontent among the Buddhist majority.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xa_Loi_Pagoda_raids

The Xá Lợi Pagoda raids were a series of synchronized attacks on various Buddhist pagodas in the major cities of South Vietnam shortly after midnight on 21 August 1963. The raids were executed by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces under Colonel Lê Quang Tung, and combat police, both of which took their orders directly from Ngô Đình Nhu, younger brother of the Roman Catholic President Ngô Đình Diệm. Xá Lợi, the largest in the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon, was the most prominent of the raided temples. Over 1,400 Buddhists were arrested, and estimates of the death toll and missing ranged up to the hundreds.

In South Vietnam, where the Buddhist majority was estimated to comprise between 70 and 90 percent of the population in 1963,[1][2][3][4][5] President Ngô Đình Diệm's pro-Catholic policies antagonized many Buddhists. A member of the Catholic minority, his government was biased towards Catholics in public service and military promotions, as well as in the allocation of land, business favors and tax concessions.[6] Diệm once told a high-ranking officer, forgetting the man was from a Buddhist background, "Put your Catholic officers in sensitive places. They can be trusted."[7] Many officers in the ARVN converted to Catholicism in the belief that their career prospects depended on it, and many were refused promotion if they did not do so.[7] Additionally, the distribution of firearms to village self-defense militias intended to repel Việt Cộng guerrillas was done so that weapons were only given to Catholics.[8] Some Catholic priests ran private armies,[9] and in some areas forced conversions; looting, shelling and demolition of pagodas occurred.[10] Some Buddhist villages converted en masse to receive aid or avoid being forcibly resettled by Diem's regime.[11]

The Catholic Church was the largest landowner in the country, and the "private" status that was imposed on Buddhism by the French, which required official permission to conduct public activities, was not repealed by Diem.[12] The land owned by the church was exempt from land reform,[13] and Catholics were also de facto exempt from the corvée labor that the government obliged all other citizens to perform; public spending was disproportionately distributed to Catholic majority villages. Under Diệm, the Catholic Church enjoyed special exemptions in property acquisition, and in 1959, he dedicated the country to the Virgin Mary.[14] The Vatican flag was regularly flown at major public events in South Vietnam.[15]

Change in U.S. policy

See also: Cable 243, 1963 South Vietnamese coup, and Arrest and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm

Once the U.S. government realized the truth about who was behind the raids, they reacted with disapproval towards the Diem regime. The Americans had pursued a policy of quietly and privately advising the Ngos to reconcile with the Buddhists while publicly supporting the partnership, but following the attacks, this route was regarded as untenable. Furthermore, the attacks were carried out by American-trained Special Forces personnel funded by the CIA, and presented Lodge with a fait accompli.[90] One Western ambassador thought that the raids signaled "the end of the gallant American effort here".[89] The State Department issued a statement declaring that the raids were a "direct violation" of the promise to pursue "a policy of reconciliation".[55][59]

On 24 August, the Kennedy administration sent Cable 243 to Lodge at the embassy in Saigon, marking a change in American policy. The message advised Lodge to seek the removal of the Nhus from power, and to look for alternative leadership options if Diệm refused to heed American pressure for reform. As the probability of Diệm sidelining the Nhus was seen as virtually nil, the message effectively meant the fomenting of a coup.[91][92][93] The Voice of America broadcast a statement blaming Nhu for the raids and absolving the army of responsibility.[94] Aware that the Americans would neither oppose a coup nor respond with aid cuts or sanctions, the generals deposed the Ngô brothers, who were arrested and assassinated the next day, 2 November 1963. [95]

Edited by kliop - 10-Dec-2011 at 14:15
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2011 at 19:14
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  Quote kliop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2011 at 11:13

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguyen_Van_Nhung


Major Nguyễn Văn Nhung (born 1919 or 1920; died 31 January 1964) was an officer in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). After joining the French Army in 1944 during the colonial era of Vietnam, he soon met and became the aide-de-camp and bodyguard of Dương Văn Minh, and spent the rest of his career in this role as Minh rose up the ranks to become a general. Nhung and Minh later transferred to the French-backed Vietnamese National Army (VNA) during the First Indochina War and he became an officer; the VNA then became the ARVN after the creation of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). A soft-spoken man, Nhung was a professional military hitman who was reputed to have etched a line on his revolver for each of his killings, and ended the lives of 50 people during his career.[1](end quote)


This is the guy they sent to pick up Diem and his brother during the coup.


During the journey back, Nghĩa gave his account of the assassinations to military headquarters: “As we rode back to the Joint General Staff headquarters, Diệm sat silently, but Nhu and the captain [Nhung] began to insult each other. I don’t know who started it. The name-calling grew passionate. The captain had hated Nhu before. Now he was charged with emotion.”[17] When the convoy reached a train crossing, Nghĩa said that Nhung “lunged at Nhu with a bayonet and stabbed him again and again, maybe fifteen or twenty times. Still in a rage, he turned to Diệm, took out his revolver and shot him in the head. Then he looked back at Nhu, who was lying on the floor, twitching. He put a bullet into his head too. Neither Diệm nor Nhu ever defended themselves. Their hands were tied.”[17](end quote)


If you look at the violent end to Diem and his brother, it certainly mirrors a la costra nostra mob hit. Diem was nothing more than a mob boss and ran his govt. like a crime family. Supporting Diem would be the same as trying to prop John Gotti up as the US president.

The US built its house on sand.





Edited by kliop - 11-Dec-2011 at 11:14
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2011 at 00:48
In re:  " If you look at the violent end to Diem and his brother, it certainly mirrors a la costra nostra mob hit. Diem was nothing more than a mob boss and ran his govt. like a crime family. Supporting Diem would be the same as trying to prop John Gotti up as the US president."

How about: Supporting Diem would be the same as trying to prop Syngman Rhee up as the ROK President? Or, Supporting Diem would be the same as trying to prop Chiang Kai-shek up as the ROC President. Diem's brother was buried alive by the Viet Minh in 1945. So, does that mean that Ho Chi Minh was nothing more than a mob boss and ran his govt. like a crime family?

None of the random facts cited inn your source contain a shred of evidence that to support your conclusion that Diem was nothing more than a mob boss a la John Gotti.  More importantly, while many (but not all) of the points cited at your wiki source are true, no context has been provided by either your source or yourself. And to place them in context, you have to have a fair appreciation of more facts than those cited.

For instance, your wiki source, regarding the Vietnamese Special Forces:  "An American-trained outfit created to fight the Việt Cộng, the Special Forces were better-equipped, better-trained and better-paid than the regular army, but were used by the Ngô family as a private army for repressing dissidents and protecting their rule, rather than fighting for the national interest.

The Vietnamese Special Forces were originally created to wage behind the lines warfare in North Vietnam. A Group of them were given a three month basic Ranger course by a U.S. Special Forces detachment in 1957, and more training missions followed. Many had also been French trained, indeed they were modeled on the French GCMA, and a few were former Viet Minh. But, yes, they did transition to supporting the Hamlet Defense Program, particularly after Diem's death.. They had better small arms than the average ARVN infantry unit their size, but could not match a regular infantry battalion in mortars, heavy weapons, tanks, artillery, aircraft, etc. Yes, they were used by Diem as a palace guard, and were heavily involved in politics. Ditto for most other governments in the region vis-a-vis their elite troops, to include the North Vietnamese. They were not a private army, but functioned as the Diem government's counter-measure to the Hoa Hao and Cao Dai private armies, which had been incorporated into the ARVN after Diem cracked down on them in 1955-56, but still had their original officers. My point being that Diem had reason to have a palace guard he could trust. 

Your source cites Army unhappiness with Catholic promotions. Yes, and the Hoa Hao and Cao Dai, among others, felt that they should receive 'their share' of promotions, as did, presumably, the Buddhists. So, should promotions have been made based upon religious percentages? How about the Confucians? The official religion of Vietnam had been Confucianism from Minh Mang's time up through Bao Dai. Confucianism was traditionally weak in the South, and much stronger in the North.Where were the Confucian protests against the Catholics? And if Diem was the problem, why did the Buddhist Crisis in South Vietnam come three years after his death, when the government was led by a former Buddhist (Thieu) and a nominal one (Ky)? And the answer to that lies in the fact that the Central Vietnamese Buddhists were well organized politically and heavily engaged in politics, to include ties to Army factions. Yes, the plot thickens, but I think you see the point.

Anyone who thinks that the Northern Catholics got any great deals moving into the South obviously never got out on the ground to see that herculean effort. It was a great Viet Cong propaganda theme used against the Diem government. Likewise, the average Vietnamese in the rice paddies believed that Diem was sleeping with his brother's wife, another popular VC rumor. There was a war going on for people's minds, and truth was not a necessary requirement. It carried over into the press and official reporting. 

By the way, Within the Vietnamese population, the Catholics are the more educated, just as those of Chinese descent are often businessmen. The simple reason for the former is that the Catholics, as a community, value education more highly. If you are merely looking at Vietnamese-Americans, you will presume that all Vietnamese value education, and that would be false. The majority of Vietnamese peasants are Buddhists (as well as Confucians, Daoists, and 'Ong-Ba'). Their biggest worry is usually this year's rice crop, so having manual labor within the family is important. Thus, even today, many farm children are pulled out of school after the primary grades to add to the family work force. My wife is the youngest of thirteen children (who lived) and I have personally observed this in her extended family. A friend of ours is a Vietnamese Catholic priest whose family came South in 1954. All of his family finished High School, and several are college educated. The simple truth is that the Catholic communities in Vietnam are more active and better organized, and they emphasize education for their children. Yet when they came South, all they got was a plot of land in an abandoned cemetery and a few tools to help them start on their house. Today, that former cemetery is a prosperous suburb of Saigon.

In re your Hue Phat Dan link. It failed to come up, but I am aware that 9 people were killed during demonstrations. Your other link gives no statistics other than possibly 'hundreds'. Assuming that's true, would you characterize the Diem government as 'executing people in the street?' How about North Vietnam's estimated 10,000 to 15,000 killed in Nghe An province alone during the 'land reform' of 1955-56? Between the two governments, based upon that, which was more deserving of being overthrown? Or does killing far more of your political opponents build your house on more solid ground?





Edited by lirelou - 24-Dec-2011 at 02:19
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  Quote Marshall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jun-2016 at 21:17
Hi everyone, my name is Ern. I am currently researching (or trying to) The Guns and Forts of Vung Tau. But I have have come to a bit of a dead end. There  were 19 Forts on the Vung Tau peninsular.
So far I have collected some photos and information,but that has only made me more interested.
Could anybody out there help me by pointing me in the right direction. Or alternatively if you have any information  what so ever could you please pass it on
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  Quote tommy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2016 at 21:53
It is a sensitive time, but I would like to talk about Ming's failure campaign over Vietnam.
 
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2016 at 17:59
The only way that will be known is if u start.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

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Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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