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Cauldron of ResistanceNgo Dinh Diem, the United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam$
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Jessica M. Chapman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450617

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450617.001.0001

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Destroying the Sources of Demoralization

Destroying the Sources of Demoralization

Ngo Dinh Diem’s National Revolution

(p.116) Chapter 5 Destroying the Sources of Demoralization
Cauldron of Resistance

Jessica M. Chapman

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Ngo Dinh Diem's military and propaganda campaigns aimed at destroying politico-religious rebels in South Vietnam. Following the Battle of Saigon, the United States committed substantial economic aid and advisory support to assist Ngo Dinh Diem in the process of establishing both control over and legitimacy among his constituents. Ngo Dinh Diem's American advisors wanted him to focus on building a state that could repel more persistent, coordinated communist attacks that they expected might emerge down the line. Ngo Dinh Diem, however, was determined to make sure all of his challengers—chief among them the remaining antigovernment Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, and Binh Xuyen forces—were fully annihilated before he could commit himself to the nation-building projects envisioned by his American patrons. This chapter considers Ngo Dinh Diem's vision for “national revolution,” in which he targeted politico-religious organizations as “sources of demoralization” and enemies of the people. It discusses anticommunism and good citizenship as central components of Ngo Dinh Diem's national revolution.

Keywords:   national revolution, Ngo Dinh Diem, military campaigns, propaganda, South Vietnam, United States, Hoa Hao, politico-religious organizations, anticommunism, citizenship

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