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My Journey Home Armando Pena Andrew Lam Faith Adiele
Introduction
Video Diary
Diaspora
Stranger
Background
Andrew Lam
Your Journey HomeFor TeachersAbout the film
Andrew Lam
Background  
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The United States opposed the Geneva Accords, and set out to sabotage the agreement and create a separate, non-communist government in south Vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem, the new U.S.-supported leader in the south, announced that he had no intention of carrying out national elections as called for in the Geneva Accords. Instead, he renamed the southern part of the country the Republic of Vietnam, and held separate elections (which were not monitored by international observers) in which he was elected president. Diem quickly built a dictatorship centered around his family. His support of landowners over peasants, and the government's brutal reprisals against those who had supported the Viet Minh during the war, engendered growing resentment in the South Vietnamese countryside. By early 1960 communists and communist sympathizers in the South, with assistance from Hanoi, began a low-level guerrilla war against the Diem government. In late 1960, the National Liberation Front (NLF), or Viet Cong, was established to lead the guerrilla war against Saigon. As the conflict widened in the early 1960s, the U.S. increased military aid to the Diem regime, but resisted sending in American ground troops. By 1963, the U.S. realized that Diem's reluctance to engage the NLF directly and the increasing corruption and brutality of his officials were incompatible with American objectives in Vietnam. On November 1, South Vietnamese officers overthrew and executed Diem in a U.S.-backed coup.

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