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July 02, 1971 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-07-02

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Page wo


Friday, July 2, 1971

US. tacitly encouraged Diem coup


WASHINGTON 1) - At 4:30 Pentagon study observed laconic-
p.m. Saigon time on Nov. 1, 1963, ally. "He confined himself to con-
President Ngo Dinh Diem of cern for Diem's physical safety."
South Vietnam knew for sure he Later it added that by choosing
was isolated. "to do nothing to prevent the
Senior generals led by Duong coup and to tacitly support it"_
Van Minh - "Big Minh"-were the United States "must accept
demanding his resignation, the its full share of responsibility."
Pentagon papers on the Vietnait Diem, that same night, slip-
war recount. The papers were ped away from the palace with
made available to newsmen Tues- his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu. Using
day night and Wednesday by Sen. a secret passage they reached a
Mike Gravel, (D-Alaska.) hideaway in Cholon, a suburb of
The account relates that Diem's Saigon. Next morning the pal-
opponents surrounded the presi- ace fell. The brothers were hunt-
dential palace. ed down. On the way back to
In a last ditch bid to save him- headquarters they were murder-
self and his regime Diem called ed in the back of an armored
Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge personnel carrier.
and asked where the United The Pentagon study described
States stood. the ouster of Diem as "one of
"Lodge was noncommital," the those critical events in the his-
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tory of U.S. policy that could
have altered our commitment.'
The coup "inadvertently deep-
ened the American involvement,"
it continued. And by interfering in
internal Vietnamese affairs the
United States "assumed a sig-
nificant responsibility for the
The Pentagon analysis pin-
pointed May 8, 1963, as the start-
ing point of a chain of events that
culminated with Diem's murder
178 days later.
For on that day - Buddha's
birthday - Diem set out violent-
ly to crush a Buddhist religicits
protest in the town of Hue. Nine
people were killed, 4 injured.
Under the pressure of Ameri-
can and world opinion, Diem
reached something of an agree-
ment by mid-June with the Budd-
hists but it merely postponed th.'
real crisis.
Efforts of Osen Anerican as-
bassador Frederick N o 1 ti ng,
failed to persuade Diem to
change tack. So too did the tough-
er tactics of the U.S. deputy
chief of mission, William Tree-
hart, who went as far as to
threaten American dissociation
from Diem's policy toward the
President Kennedy, according-
ly announced in late June that
Lodge w<ould treplace Nohtingi.
The switch was to take llacein
September. In the meantime,
Washington oegan reassessire
policy. And for the first time, the
documents said, U.S. planners
pondered the effects of ousirg
Diem. At this time, the Pens
gon study said, Nolting backed
by the American military argued

that "the only alternative ,
Diem was chaos." This misuken
view, according to the report,
placed "the U.S. in the ti
tunate role of suitor to a ficett
Nolting was given another
chance to press Diem into a con-
ciliation with the Buddhists. But
within a week of the envoy's de-
parture for good from Saigon lie
was betrayed, the study said,
when Diem's brother loosed
countrywide raids on Buddhist
pagodas. Martial law was pro-
These raids, the Pentagon ana-
lysts concluded, decided the is-
sue for Washington. About Xt

monks had been wounded, 1,400
Buddhists arrested, the pagodas
damaged and looted. What was
more they represented "a direct
impudent slap on the face for lie
U.S." with Nhu figuring Lodge
would move into office confronted
by an accomplished fa;t, the
study said.
Lodge flew into Saigon and at
once completely disassociated the
United States from the Diem re-
gime's action. The Kennedy ad-
ministration did the same.
Two days after Nhu's swoop on
the pagodas-on Aug. 23--the
group of generals opposed to
See U.S., Page 6

Disclosures continue
from Pentagon study

(Continued from page 1)
after Labor Day for an inquiry
into the origins of the war.
Mansfield also said that Sen.
Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) did not
violate any Senate rule by dis-
closing .some of the documents.
Some senators feel Gravel's ac-
tion violated "the dignity and
decorum" of the Senate, Mans-
field said, but no disciplinary
action is planned.
Among the disclosures yester-
day culled from the portions of
the study released by Gravel
-Defense Secretary Robert
McNamara urged President John-
son as early as May 1967 to
sharply de-escalate the war and
"accept a compromise outcome."
-Ambassador H e n r y Cabot
Lodge talked with South Viet-

namese President Ngo Dinh
Diem 15 hours before Diem's
assassination on Nov. 2, 1963,
and told him of concern for his
safety. Lodge said he had a re-
port that Diem could resign and
receive safe conduct from the
-President Johnson rejected
a proposal in 1965 by the late
John McNaughton, an assistant
secretary of defense, to drain
rice fields in North Vietnam by
destroying locks and dams,
thereby leading "after time to
widespread starvation - or n'e
than a million-unless food is
provided . . ."
North Vietnam survived heavy
U.S. bombing by laying aside
economic plans, mobilizing Its
people and receiving Soviet and
Chinese aid.

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Earl Wild has been described by music critic Harold Schonberg
as a "sensational virtuoso with a remarkable flair" who "shook down
the heavens." Mr. Wild is acknowledged to be one of the leading
exponents of the great works of the Romantic piano literature.
His recital will include compositions by Liszt, Brahms and Chopin.
Mr. Wild leads off our Summer Concert Series witra performance on Wednesday
evening, July 7.His will be the first of four piano recitals in July,
featuring also John Ogdon, Philippe Entremont, and Garrick Ohlsson.
Individual performances are $2.50, $4.00, $5.00, or you can enjoy
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concerts at $6.00, $9.00 and $12.00.
Musical Society
Tickets by mail or at Burton Tower, 9 to 4.30, Sat. 9 to 12
(also at air-conditioned Rackbam Auditorium 1%Vi hours before performance)





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