New book reveals the buried truth of the U.S. takedown of Ngo Dinh Diem
SAN FRANCISCO – Ngo Dinh Diem, the first president of the Republic of Vietnam, possessed the Confucian “Mandate of Heaven,” a moral and political authority that was widely recognized by all Vietnamese. What is not commonly known is that Diem was a devout Roman Catholic — in fact, he was a third-order Benedictine and daily communicant. Diem was taken down by a military coup sponsored by the U.S. government and ultimately betrayed by the administration of the first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, which resulted in Diem’s brutal murder on Nov. 2, 1963.
In his new book, THE LOST MANDATE OF HEAVEN: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam, military historian and counter insurgency expert Dr. Geoffrey DT Shaw disputes the commonly held notion that Diem was a tyrant who had lost the loyalty of his people, and who ultimately the Kennedy administration had to assassinate to further American progress during the Vietnam War. In fact, what he discovered buried in the annals of American History and revealed in the eyewitness accounts of military, intelligence and diplomatic sources is that Diem was a gentle, faithful and beloved leader — a man with rare integrity, a patriot who strove to free his country from Western colonialism while protecting it from Communism.
Admiral John M Poindexter describes THE LOST MANDATE OF HEAVEN as “a remarkable book that finally sets the record straight with copious documentation on the assassination of Diem, which was ultimately responsible for our loss of the war. A must read.”
Shaw claims that President John F. Kennedy’s decision to order the coup that killed Diem was fueled by anti-religious bigotry, caused a public relations disaster for his administration and led to the United States losing the Vietnam War, a war it wouldn’t have lost had it continued to support Diem.
“Did I find a veritable Conradian ‘Heart of Darkness?’” questions Shaw. “Yes, I did, but it was not in the quarter to which all popular American sources were pointing their accusatory fingers; in other words, not in Saigon but, paradoxically, within the Department of State back in Washington, D.C., and within President Kennedy’s closest White House advisory circle. The actions of these men led to Diem’s murder. And with his death, nine and a half years of careful work and partnership between the United States and South Vietnam was undone.”
Former Georgetown professor, James V. Schall, S.J., calls Shaw’s account, “Particularly agonizing for Americans” and states unequivocally, “The final Vietnam defeat was not really on battle grounds, but on political and moral grounds.”
Watch a video of Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., editor and founder of Ignatius Press, and Vivian Dudro, senior editor at Ignatius Press, discussing THE LOST MANDATE OF HEAVEN: https://youtu.be/vOAOgy12Lok.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Geoffrey DT Shaw: