It is not the actual military defeat that hurt. It was the emotional defeat, the defeat of intelligence, the political defeat, the defeat of calculation, the defeat of the entire plan and purpose of the war that so staggered the nation that it is still trying to come to terms with the questions of the war to which different analysts are providing different answers (Mackubin Thomas Owens).
Probably the best person to answer the Vietnam question was Ngo Dinh Diem who capably led the charge of South Vietnam. Like John F Kennedy, Diem too was a Roman Catholic. He successfully kept communism under control, sometimes brutally. However, in the process he angered the Buddhist monks who were part of the majority in Vietnam. He was seen as a protg of the Americans and he behaved like one. Nevertheless, as time went on, he was becoming increasingly isolated because of fears by some including the United States ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge that he was leading a corrupt regime. The failure of the American intelligence to track the correct course and keep at it grated the final nail to the coffin with a very big hammer. Now the Americans are coming to realize that Diem was not such a bad fellow after all (Mackubin Thomas Owens).
Journalists David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan depicted Diem in the most debilitating terms. ...Show more