27 April 2011.
This video says about itself:
My Lai Massacre, Vietnam 1968
The My Lai massacre, where the US army in Vietnam slaughtered 500 unarmed civilians, many women and children.
Some victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, maimed and mutilated.
Three U.S. servicemen who made an effort to halt the massacre and protect the wounded were sharply criticized by US Congressmen, received hate mail, death threats and mutilated animals on their doorsteps. Only 30 years after the event were their efforts honored.
American media first claimed 100 had been killed in a fierce firefight.
Trần Lệ Xuân (April 15, 1924 – April 24, 2011), popularly known as Madame Nhu but more properly Madame Ngô Đình Nhu, was considered the First Lady of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1963. She was the wife of Ngô Đình Nhu, brother and chief adviser to President Ngô Đình Diệm. As Diệm was a lifelong bachelor, and because the Nhus lived in the Independence Palace, she was considered to be the First Lady. …
Trần Lệ Xuân was born into a wealthy aristocratic family in Hanoi, her given name meaning “Beautiful Spring”. Her paternal grandfather was close to the French colonial administration, while her father, Trần Văn Chuơng, studied law in France, before marrying into the ruling imperial dynasty. Her mother, Thân Thị Nam Trân, was a granddaughter of Emperor Đồng Khánh and a cousin of Emperor Bảo Đại. Madame Nhu’s mother was widely reputed to have had a series of lovers, among them her future son-in-law, Ngô Ðình Nhu.
A mediocre student, Madame Nhu dropped out of Lycée Albert Sarraut, a prestigious French school in Hanoi. She spoke French at home and could not write in Vietnamese; as an adult, she drafted her speeches in French and had them translated into Vietnamese. …
During her brother-in-law’s presidency, Madame Nhu pushed for the passing of ‘morality laws’. These included such things as outlawing abortion, adultery, divorce, contraceptives, dance halls, beauty pageants, boxing matches, and animal fighting, and closed down the brothels and opium dens. Many people did not appreciate the imposition of Madame Nhu’s values on their lives. She was also widely mocked by the public who regarded her as hypocritical, with older Vietnamese believing her décolleté gowns to be sexually suggestive, in addition to widespread rumors of her own infidelity.
This hypocrisy is rather similar to Silvio Berlusconi and his party in Italy; where Madame Nhu died.
Her family also received further scorn since her sister, Trần Lệ Chi, had a French lover, and critics alleged that Madame Nhu introduced the laws so that her sister’s husband could not get a divorce. Since he was extremely wealthy, the Ngô family would have lost highly valuable assets. In addition, her brother, Khiêm, used the government connections to bilk rich entrepreneurs. …
Madame Nhu was frequently mocked by the media for her ostentatious flaunting of power, and was sometimes called the “Dragon Lady,” as well as “Lucretia Borgia” and “Queen Bee.”
She once said that “Power is wonderful. Total power is totally wonderful.” She told a group of American congressmen, “I’m not exactly afraid of death. I love power and in the next life I have a chance to be even more powerful than I am.” …
Madame Nhu often caused controversy because of her strongly anti-Buddhist, pro-Catholic ideology. When she heard that Diệm was to sign a statement offering compensation to the families of Buddhist protesters shot dead by the police of his brother Ngô Đình Cẩn, she was reported to have thrown a bowl of soup at him.
On June 8, Madame Nhu released a statement through the Women’s Solidarity Movement accusing the Buddhists of neutralism, effectively accusing them of being communist collaborators. It then implored “bonzes of good faith” to stop helping the communists, otherwise Vietnamese Buddhism would be seen as a “small anti-nationalist branch of a dubious international association, exploited and controlled by communism and oriented to the sowing of the disorder of neutralism” and calling on Diem to “immediately expel all foreign agitators whether they wear monks’ robes or not.” …
Madame Nhu publicly mocked Thích Quảng Đức, who performed a self-immolation on 11 June in a crowded Saigon street to protest against the shooting of Buddhists by Diệm’s regime. Nhu labelled it a “barbecue” and stated, “Let them burn and we shall clap our hands.” She further offered to provide more fuel and matches for the Buddhists. …
On August 3, she called the Buddhists “seditious elements who use the most odious Communist tactics to subvert the country.”
This occurred after special forces loyal to Nhu raided the Xá Lợi Pagoda in Saigon in August. The pagoda was vandalised, monks beaten, the cremated remains of Thích Quảng Đức, which included a heart which had not disintegrated, were confiscated. Simultaneous raids were carried out across the country, with the Từ Đàm Pagoda in Huế being looted, the statue of Gautama Buddha demolished, and the body of a deceased monk stolen. When the populace came to the defense of the monks, the resulting clashes saw 30 civilians killed and 200 wounded. Through her paramilitary organization, Madame Nhu claimed that the Buddhists were “controlled by communism” …
On November 1, 1963, Diệm and Nhu, were assassinated in a coup d’état led by General Dương Văn Minh with the understanding that the United States would not intervene. At the time of the assassinations, Madame Nhu was in Beverly Hills, California, traveling with her 18-year-old daughter, Ngô Đình Lệ Thủy. Two sons and a baby daughter were still trapped in Vietnam at the family retreat in Đà Lạt and she feared that they could meet the same fate as their father. The children were not harmed by the generals and were flown out of the country into exile in Rome, where they were placed in the custody of Thục. Madame Nhu later flew to Rome to join them.
In the United States Saigon puppet regime, after the bloody fall of the Diệm-Nhu clique, the next dictator became Nguyen Cao Ky.
People ask me who my heroes are. I have only one—Hitler. I admire Hitler because he pulled his country together when it was in a terrible state.
The paper of the US American nazi party praised Ky for this on its front page.
After Ky, the next dictator, until the final downfall of the Saigon regime, became Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. In 1975, Thiệu left Vietnam aboard an American helicopter with millions of dollars in gold.
Cardinal Spellman, as mentioned elsewhere, had been one of the earliest sponsors of the then unknown Vietnamese leader, Diem. From the very beginning when Diem went to seek American sponsorship in the U.S., Spellman persuaded many influential politicians, including Senator Kennedy the future President, to support Diem in preference to other candidates. He praised Diem for his honesty, integrity, religiosity, and above all for his dedication to anti-communism. It was this last quality which endeared Spellman’s protégé to the State Department, which finally decided to opt for him: here.
Ann Coulter – The American Madame Nhu: here.
Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, master defender of his homeland, dies: here.
War veterans, communist leaders and diplomats gather in Dien Bien Phu to mark the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s victory over French colonial forces in a 56-day battle: here.
- Egypt’s Coup and the Vietnam Precedent (commentarymagazine.com)
- On the 50th anniversary of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation (deathandtaxesmag.com)
- Today in History, June 11 (rep-am.com)
- 1955: Ngo Dinh Diem “Elected” President of South Vietnam (christinemillard.wordpress.com)
- Tuesday, June 11, 1963: Thich Quang Duc (the60sat50.blogspot.com)
- 1963: Madame Nhu (hidden1960s.wordpress.com)
- Betsy’s Trivia: Mother’s Day Edition (presspass.nbcnews.com)
- Book review: Finding The Dragon Lady (macleans.ca)
- Ngo Dinh Diem in the Crosshairs (nsarchive.wordpress.com)
- Thich Quang Duc, A Modern Day Antigone (pos394.wordpress.com)