Posts filled under #ovityaylas

An extract on #ovityaylas

Dim has been a controversial historical figure in historiography on Vietnam War scholarship. Some historians portrayed him as a tool of the U.S. policymakers, some considered him an avatar of Vietnamese tradition. Nevertheless, some recent studies have portrayed Dim from a more Vietnamese-centered perspective as a competent leader with his own vision on nation building and modernisation of South Vietnam.

Dim applied for permission to travel to Rome for the Holy Year celebrations at the Vatican. After gaining French permission, he left in August 1950 with his older brother, Bishop Ng nh Thc. Before going to Europe, Dim went to Japan, where he met with Prince Cng , his former ally, and discussed Cng 's efforts to return to Vietnam and his capacity to play some roles in his homeland. Dim's friend also managed to organize a meeting between him and Wesley Fishel, an American political science professor at University of California who was working for CIA in Japan. Fishel was a proponent of the anti-colonial, anti-communist third force doctrine in Asia and was impressed with Dim and helped him organize connections in the United States. In 1951, Dim flew to the United States to seek the support of government officials. Nevertheless, Dim was not successful in winning the US support for Vietnamese anti-communists. He continued on and flew to Europe. In Rome, Dim obtained an audience with Pope Pius XII at the Vatican before undertaking further lobbying across Europe. He also met with French and Vietnamese officials in Paris and sent a message indicating that he was willing to be the Prime Minister of the State of Vietnam to Bo i. But Bo i then refused to meet him. Dim returned to the United States to continue building support among Americans. Nonetheless, to Americans, the fact that Dim was an anti-communist could not distinguish him from Bo i and other State of Vietnam leaders. Some American officials worried that his Catholic devoutness could hinder his ability to mobilize support in a non-Catholic predominant country. Dim recognized that hesitation and in the course of his lobbying, besides anti-communism and religious factors, Dim also focused on another ground: ideas of development, since the US was enthusiastic in applying their technology and knowledge to modernize postcolonial countries. With the help of Fishel, Dim was appointed as a consultant to Michigan State University's Government Research Bureau, where Fishel worked. MSU was administering government-sponsored assistance programs for cold war allies, and Dim helped Fishel to lay the foundation for a program later implemented in South Vietnam, the Michigan State University Vietnam Advisory Group. The Americans assessments of Dim were varied. Some were unimpressed with him, some admired him. Dim gained favor with some high standing officials, such as Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Roman Catholic cardinal Francis Spellman, Representative Mike Mansfield of Montana, and Representative John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts along with numerous journalists, academics, and the legendary spy chief of CIA William J. Donovan. Although he did not succeed in winning an official support from the US, his personal interactions with American political leaders promised his prospect in gaining more support in the future. Mansfield remembered after the luncheon with Dim held on May 8, 1953, he felt that "if anyone could hold South Vietnam, it was somebody like Ng nh Dim". During Dim's exile period, his brothers Ng nh Nhu, Ng nh Cn and Ng nh Luyn played important roles in helping him to build international and internal networks and supports in different ways for the return of Dim to Vietnam. In the early 1950s, Nhu established Cn Lao Party, which played a key role in helping Dim attain and consolidate his power.