Ep. 645 JFK’s Catastrophic Mistake in Vietnam

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The standard narrative runs like this: Ngo Dinh Diem was the corrupt and oppressive president of South Vietnam whose removal (which wound up taking the form of assassination) the Kennedy Administration had no choice but to endorse. On top of everything else, Diem’s administration was dominated by Roman Catholics in a predominantly Buddhist country, and his outrageous oppression of Buddhists was still another reason he had to go.

I myself believed all this, and even taught it in the classroom. According to my guest today, it’s bunk.

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