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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Diem II


Ngo Dinh Diem

Coup and assassination

The regime's relations with the U.S. worsened during 1963, and a turning point came in May when a Buddhist monk, Thích Quảng Đức, set himself on fire in the middle of a busy Saigon intersection in protest at Diem's policies, photos of which were transmitted around the world and for many people came to represent the failure of Diem's government. A further number of monks publicly self-immolated themselves, and the U.S. grew increasingly frustrated with the unpopular leader's public image in both Vietnam and the United States. Diệm and Madame Nhu claimed that the communists had infiltrated the Buddhist groups, and that the crackdown was in accordance with the agreed-upon anti-communist policy. Madame Nhu infamously commented that she would "clap hands at seeing another monk barbecue show." Nhu often blamed the CIA for infiltrating the Buddisht groups and causing turmoil.

On orders from U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Henry Cabot Lodge, the American ambassador to South Vietnam, refused to meet with Diệm. Upon hearing that a coup d'etat was being designed by ARVN Generals led by General Dương Văn Minh, the United States gave secret assurances to the generals that the U.S. would not interfere. Dương Văn Minh and his fellow plotters overthrew the government and executed President Diệm and his younger brother, Ngô Đình Nhu, on November 2, 1963. The United States publicly expressed shock and disappointment that Diệm had been killed. Coincidentally, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated just twenty days later. Some Vietnamese believed it was Diem's ghost that went for revenge since President Kennedy approved the coup.[citation needed]

When Madame Nhu, visiting the United States at the time, learned of the coup d'état, she immediately identified the United States as the perpetrator. She later said, "Whoever has the Americans as allies does not need enemies." Madame Nhu went on to predict a dark future for Vietnam and that, by being involved in the coup, the troubles of the United States in Vietnam were only beginning.



Today's Times

Bush Delays Speech on Iraq Until January

By JIM RUTENBERG
Published: December 12, 2006

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 — President Bush will wait until after the holidays to speak to the nation about a new strategy in Iraq, a strategy he said today will be designed to establish a free and self-sufficient country that will be an ally in the battle against extremists.

“Our objective is to help the Iraqi government deal with the extremists and killers, and support the vast majority of Iraqis who are reasonable people who want peace,” Mr. Bush said after an Oval Office meeting with the Iraqi vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, the leader of the most powerful Sunni Arab party in Iraq.

Mr. Hashemi, sitting next to Mr. Bush in the Oval Office, said he and Mr. Bush agreed on the overall goal. “We have no other option in Iraq but to achieve that success,” Mr. Hashemi said. “And with the cooperation of with our friends, Mr. President and the American administration, we will join forces to achieve that success in the pursuit of peace.”

The Iraqi leader acknowledged that his country is enduring great suffering but said, “There is a light in the corridor.”

Neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Hashemi offered a hint on what the new strategy might be, or how deeply they had discussed it. Neither man used the word “victory” in describing their aspirations, although Mr. Hashemi said he was confident of Washington’s commitment to “the unforgettable, the long-awaited success.”

Mr. Bush had been expected to speak to the American people about Iraq before Christmas. But a spokesman for the National Security Council said today that the talk will now take place after the New Year.

We can now call him President Rashkalnikov now, a reckless, degenerate gambler. When we are clearly losing, not only does he want to send 40,000 more troops to attack both the Sadrists and in Anbar province, but he wants to place people who would have no problem breaking up Iraq in charge.

Does Bush work for Iran? I think the Iranians have had their fill of Hakim. Going to meet Bush for permission to overthrow Maliki would have been the last straw for me. It's all about the best deal going for him.

Sadr has at least 60,000 men under arms, and I would bet could raise far more than that if he needed to, including several army units. So what is the plan, go into Sadr City and replay Stalingrad? Then fight off the Sunnis in Ramadi, who, will for no other reason than cussedness, attack our supply lines. So you will have the US trying to hunt down people in their homes, alleys they know like their hands, streets which have been presighted for years.

And to add to this madness, they're gonna be looking for Moqtada Sadr. In his home, in the neighborhood named for his family. How much you wanna bet they fail?

Now, let's see, the average US Brigade has about 5000 men, maybe one third combat effective so let's say we get a full division of Americans, and maybe a brigade of Kurdish Peshmerga that's 20K, you may have 7.000 actual grunts. And you can't clean out the base camps because sending POG's into Sadr City should be called murder.

So, in a confined space, with every move tracked by personally loyal servants to Sadr, the US will start moving in Sadr City. And start dying. Because even a 15 year old can hide and kill from a building. And Sadr's men will outnumber us on the ground, two or three to one, to start with.

After a couple of weeks, when you have 100 dead Americans, the Iraqi Army riddled with defections and desertions, the Mahdi Army will watch the US pull away, with the Iraqi government booking flights for London.

Why?

Because Sadr will have won a tremendous victory against the failed Iraqi government and the US military. His enemies will be dead, discredited or in exile. Even if they get the man, the movement wins. And I think he's got his hidie holes set.

Oh, and the resistance will become the official voice of the Sunnis, and both will have every reason to make sure Kurdistan fails, since it is a threat to them. So for Sadr and the guerrillas, it's a win-win situation. For Bush, it may force him from office.

Yes, the stakes are that high.

Maybe you're thinking: but what if this works.

Sadr has at least 58,000 trigger pullers to start with. They don't have a long logistical tail in the Mahdi Army.

Now, even if every swinging dick in a US division fights, that's 15,000 men.

You can see where the numbers are going.

Now the military thinks Sadr can be broken, that they can get partners they can deal with.

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson offered the North Vietnamese government a dam on the Red River, if they would withdraw from Vietnam. Uncle Ho ignored the order and sent more men down the trail.

Same kind of thinking in play. Countries don't like leaders who cooperate with occupiers. They tend to kill or exile them. All this talk of shoving Sadr aside, which has been around the Green Zone for months, is pure idiocy. People always think they can replace an authentic leader with one of their liking. Iraqis already don't trust Hakim, because of that little torture thing in the Iranian POW camps, considering the vast majority were Shia. And now he's conspiring with Bush?

Who outside of his movement, and remember Sadr City starts with 2m+ people, would trust him?

We shall see if they try this.

posted by Steve @ 1:54:00 AM

1:54:00 AM

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