Vũ Thất

Bảo Bình 1

Phỏng vấn bà Ngô Đình Nhu, 1982

nguồn:

http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/org.wgbh.mla:f1b35fec863beb654d0e20ddde0bc4f11c1a3f8e

Legitimacy of the Diem government

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu [also known as Tran Le Xuan]
Take 1. Roll 1.
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Ah, c’est je commence? You, you have been the first from the Western media to have asked me to have forwarded to me um that question, What happened in Vietnam? and what was wrong. Because you are the first, I have accepted immediately to receive you because for nearly two decades no one cared for what happened in Vietnam. But what I have to say is very important to me. And for nearly twenty years I have not had much opportunity to practice my English, so from time to time I prefer to refer to something written.

[sync]First of all I wish to ask you, have you not notice that strange doom on the US? Have you not noticed that President Carter, for instance, has been the fifth ill-fated US president. And have you not noticed this also, that those politicians very bright, very talented, who believe that they could say 1975, for instance, leave Vietnam behind your back?

Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
[sync]They believed that they could say that to the American people, forget it in spite of their brio, in spite of their talent, it is they in fact who had that fate. So it is something strange but Vietnam could create, could attract such doom on those who believe they can despise her, despise my country. And um the Americans are not the first. The first, for instance, was Mendès France of France.

Mendès France, Pierre, 1907-1982
[sync]He had such a political stature that no one understands why after signing the division of Vietnam has adjusted his appeal. He wanted to relegate Vietnam in the past – that past was for him. So now I must think…for that doom start with the division of Vietnam. Why? Because colonial France at that time could have transmitted the country in its entirety to its legitimate power but instead it took advantage of a lost battle while it has not lost at all the war.

France–Politics and government
[sync]It took advantage of a lost battle to divide the country in concert with the Communists and to put the Vietnamese people in front of an accomplished fact. This was the first treason. Now I explain the first of treason to what’s the legitimate power. Now I must explain why the legitimate power is so involved and because I see very well that for the West, you know very well what means the importance of legitimate power.

[sync]But you behave, you act, excuse me when I say You, but that means “you” in a general way. But really the West behaves as if we, the third world, had no sense of legitimate power. That’s for us, for us. What does this mean for that any head is good. In fact, we must have a sane head if one wishes the Holy Spirit to express itself through it. To have a sane head — what does it mean? It means that the power must be legitimate.

[sync]Legitimate means duly elected. That means that that power must accept peaceful confrontation with the one which preceded it and all those who accept um to have people’s votes um without resorting to violent means. In Vietnam the only power to have fulfilled those conditions eh was the government of President Ngo Dinh Diem because he was the only one to accept to have accepted peaceful confrontation with Admiral Bao Dai, who preceded him.

Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
Bảo Đại, King of Vietnam, 1913-1997
[sync]And after him no one has dared after his murder, no one dared to accept peaceful confrontation with the one who ought to have been elected in his place in case of his disappearance according to the Constitution of the Republic of Vietnam founded by him. So when one says that Ho Chi Minh had obtained the abdication of Bao Dai, for instance — for this means he obtained the whole corruption because Bao Dai returned four years after to challenge him.

Hồ, Chí Minh, 1890-1969
Bảo Đại, King of Vietnam, 1913-1997
Bảo Đại, King of Vietnam, 1913-1997
[sync]So the only legitimate power of Vietnam was the one assumed by President Ngo Dinh Diem and it was precisely that one that the US…it was precisely that one who was behead by the US. So now you, I think you begin to understand why there is that doom on the States on its head, after what was done in Vietnam…For to…Now I must explain why there was that beheading. I’m sorry to, to record…

Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
[sync]Interviewer: [Inaudible] Vous pouvez dire la morte, la morte…

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: No, I mean Vietnam has been beheaded.

[sync]Interviewer: Aha, ah. Then perhaps a more clear way would be to say why there was a coup, or why the head of government was…

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Ah yes. No, but what I mean by this — because I consider that a legitimate power of Vietnam is the head and if you betray, if you how do you call it, to make it disappear? It is exactly as you have beheaded Vietnam.

[sync]Interviewer: The whole country.

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Yes, Vietnam is a human being, one can say. It’s a legitimate power. It is its head. And when you betray it, you attack it. It is as you have beheaded it, you see.

Struggles with statecraft in South Vietnam

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Now explain why there that thing and, in fact, it was only after the Bay of Pigs, after the Berlin Wall, after the Cuban, Cuban missiles affair. After these three we can say, blunders, the US Government believed that it had to recoup some prestige with my country.

Cuba History Invasion, 1961
Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961-1989
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
[sync]Citing Cuban missiles affair people maybe amazed that because it has always been presented as a prowess but, in fact, I don’t think so. I think that even for the US Government they understood that it was not at all a prowess because I believe that the US Government um was deceived by the Soviets who, incapable of defending Cuba, now succeeded to obtain that uh, that pact of nonaggression on the island in exchange of the withdrawal of a few missiles.

Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Soviet Union–Politics and government
Cuba–Politics and government
Stop.
Take 2. Roll 2.
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: And so I consider that the US Government at that time was deceived by the Soviets because they were absolutely incapable to defend Cuba and to obtain an exchange of the withdrawal of a few missiles who one…no one knows if they were made of tin or not because for their use. So one can say that the obtaining with very little price that pact of nonaggression. So I think that because of all these failures, blunders, the US Government of that time could not resist, was too tempt…

Soviet Union–Politics and government
Cuba–Politics and government
Take 3.
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: It was too tempted, it was irresistible to use the only winning card which was Vietnam. To speak of Vietnam as a win—winning card, surely people would feel amazed that because to us it has always been presented us something lost, it was a mess, etc. etc. This is not true. The very proof that it was a winning card was in the fact that the US jumped in it, wanted to be there, had to kill to intervene so don’t no one could, can believe that materialistic as they are, as are the Americans that they would do all those things to jump into a lost place.

[sync]So the very proof is there. But for the proof for the American Government was, in fact, that we had pacified the whole South with this Strategic Hamlets Programs and in spite of that seeing that they have lost the guerrilla, the subversive war, the Communists dare not to escalate and since dare not to escalate, the Americans saw very well but they dare not, it was only out of fear of our life, the US.

[sync]So they considered that all the factors of a sure victory was there to be taken. If only the Ngo Dinhs — that means President Ngo Dinh Diem and my husband — could be replaced by people who would accept American intervention because we, we did not want that intervention. So they had to be killed, just that.

Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]And in order to do that to commit that treason the Western media in the wake of the US world drummed up to present us as dictators. For this I must read it, because really it is very important for me. We were presented even now dictator, dictators, yet we have never infringed our constitution which was more democratic than the US one, and more democratic than the French and British ones.

France–Politics and government
Great Britain–Politics and government
[sync]In what way? Our legislature had for example the right given by a 1962 constitutional amendment to question publicly the executive anytime in plenary session. This is fair to the American executive. Besides, our executive has no right like in France and England to put an end before its time to the legislature.

France (nation)
Great Britain–Politics and government
[sync]Never. They have to coexist until their respective term. The people cannot be summoned because the two cannot get along. We find that too futile, too futile. And for important questions, there are the referendums. So the proof is there, of course, the amendment came only in 1962, but who has said it? Who has informed the world to say that we our constitution is like this that means more democratic.

Take 4. Take 4.
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Of course, we did not have much time to apply our amendment but at least it was there. So it is absolutely dishonest to present us as dictators while we had never infringed our constitution. There is no proof of infrin— of any wrong doing from us towards our constitution. But to make, to give some credit to at least to when the press — the media at that time, the Western media at that time — called us dictators, they invent it was made of [incomprehensible], that Buddhist affair, to present us at least not only as dictators but rejected by a majority of our people.

Buddhists
[sync]That Buddhist affair. Hm. You know why they used that team? It is just because with that I am sure that the true Buddhist belief: no action, no reaction. So a true Buddhist never react. They would never go out and publicly denounce anyone.

Buddhists
Buddhists
Buddhists
[sync]So using the Buddhist uh etiquette they are sure not to be denounced by the true Buddhists. On the other side that they know that for the West, it is hmm religious fanaticism, is in general considered as something typical to immature people, mentally underdeveloped countries, so it doesn’t have to explain itself to justify itself.

Buddhists
Buddhists
[sync]So because of these two reasons they chose the uh Buddhists to — how do you call that? — etiquette, I don’t know, label for their life to, to, to give credit when they accuse us of being unpopular dictators. But it was enough for us to arrest a few agitators and uh qui est-ce, asking the United Nations to send investigation team, and pricked Buddhist balloon went flat.

Buddhists
Buddhists
[sync]Because of that the US Government considered that it has lost the face and decided to finish with the legitimate power — Vietnam with so-called putsch in which uh President Ngo Dinh Diem and my husband were assassinated. Now I go to the second treason.

Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]The second treason uh came with the in January on January 27, 1973 in Paris, twelve nations among them the highest greatest powers of the world — Soviet, China, of course the US first, Soviet, China, France, England, and so on, twelve gathered very solemnly in Paris to sign the, um, guaranty, warranty — the right of the Vietnamese people to choose their, uh, legitimate power under international control.

Paris
Soviet Union–Politics and government
China–Politics and government
Soviet Union–Politics and government
China–Politics and government
France–Politics and government
Great Britain–Politics and government
Paris
[sync]In spite of that, that treaty, international treaty has never been respected. Why? All those who have signed behave as if General Duong Van Minh, who surrendered in 1975 to the Communists, represent Vietnam. Since he represent Vietnam, he has surrendered, the affair is closed.

Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (1973)
Dương, Văn Minh, 1916-
[sync]But it is absolutely hypocritical because General Minh represent only himself and those who have been accomplices with the US in the beheading of Vietnam.

Dương, Văn Minh, 1916-

Diem’s regime in relation to the American Mission in Vietnam

Take 5. Roll 3.
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Since the international treaty of Paris has no other purpose than to assure to Vietnam as a whole — north and south — its right to recover under international grants its legitimate power. The Paris Agreement cannot therefore, serve as an alibi for another treason, and that treason is to take General Minh as our representative while he’s not. And this double treason is cover by the show of guilt complex.

Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (1973)
Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (1973)
Dương, Văn Minh, 1916-
[sync]That guilt complex allows the US not to be questioned and also forbids the Communists not to be questioned and also forbids the Communists not to be questioned but, in fact, abides making a show of that guilt complex the US pretends to be holding in front of those who do not know the truth while, in fact, is so positive complex that will go beside but not at all elucidated only helps to cover up until now its double crime — or against the Vietnam affirmation.

[sync]The consequences, uh, the religious fanaticism in 1965 when the Buddhist affair went off US hands. One of the golden boys of the US went with American planes, bombs and all those things and smashed pagodas. After that, of course, the US was convinced that any country’s fanaticism can be treated in that way.

Buddhists
[sync]The second consequence is, it is that the US Embassy in Saigon has been abused as a center for subversive war and declares subversive war against the Vietnam to destabilize the country, including the murder of the legitimate chief. I don’t know what was done in Iran, but consider that the role of the diplomats are not to cover and declare the subversive war because it would be too unjust for them to have their life in danger because of that.

United States. Embassy (Vietnam)
Iran
[sync]That’s why I uh think that uh….what I hear now that uh…never again. Never again what? Never again that means then that the embassies cannot be transformed like in Vietnam [inaudible]. But, uh, and not to think that they can change by retaliations, swift and sore, because in that case we can praise ourselves for a fear of global war, global war.

[sync]Because then who ever can do that — use an embassy for a center of subversive war, but not the US, because you have consecrated your dollars to God, “in God we trust”. So as soon as the US is incoherent with itself, it will…[inaudible]…receive immediately the consequences. So now, uh, you can put up your questions.

Take six.
[sync]Interviewer: Madame Nhu, you came in between 1954 and 1963 during which Ngo Dinh Diem was head of government. Can you tell us a little bit of what he was like? Can you characterize him, and say if he changed during that nine-year period?

Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Oh, he has never changed. He, to characterize him, I can say that he, he was a just man—just, like in the Bible. That means that he could err, but he always wanted to make amends immediately and that’s why I consider that it was a crime from the West to have condemned him to have killed him without giving him the opportunity to even answer, to speak because at that time you do not know that thing.

Bible
[sync]He asked, But what’s wrong? What would you like me to do? And you know what was said to him? The first ambassador, Ambassador Nolting, was dismissed in a impertinent way because he did not go along with the mess-ups of the US Embassy of that time. He was replaced by another one. That one at the question of President Diem asking, what’s wrong? What must I say, what must I do?

Nolting, Frederick
United States. Embassy (Vietnam)
Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
[sync]Just say, nothing. Just keep quiet. Don’t say anything. All this is mount by the press, by the media. Leave us; we shall arrange it. And it is just for him to keep quiet and to be murdered, to be stabbed in the back without speaking.

[sync]Interviewer: What about your early impressions of the Americans? When you were first there, did you feel they knew what they were doing?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: My first impressions of the Americans? At first we — I was very, how do you say, bien intentionée, it means I have the best prejudices for them. I considered that they are genuine people and with whom one can get along very well. There is no problem, but…

[sync]Interviewer: People like Colonel Lansdale who were giving Diem advice at that time, for instance…

Lansdale, Edward Geary, 1908-1987
Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Yes, Colonel Lansdale. I must say that I don’t know him very well. I don’t know him very well. I met him a few times, but I think that really for the President, President Ngo Dinh Diem, met the Americans and genuinely he likes them. He considered that he could get along with them. For us we did not have many opportunities to see them. But I believed that Colonel Lansdale — now he’s a general — was a good friend as many, and but like Ambassador Nolting also. But those who were, who are our good friends were dismissed.

Lansdale, Edward Geary, 1908-1987
Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
Lansdale, Edward Geary, 1908-1987
Nolting, Frederick

The character of Madame Nhu and her husband

[sync]Interviewer: Madame Nhu, during this early period you were known as the First Lady of Vietnam. Could you define your role if you could?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Oh no, this is too complicated, and if I, uh, it would make volumes to speak of how I was caught by the skin of the neck like a kitten and uh thrown in an arena. Arena, do you say? Yes, and uh it was…

Take seven.
[sync]Interviewer: Madame Nhu, during the Diem period, you were known as the First Lady of Vietnam. Could you define your role for us?

Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: My role. No, it is too difficult to define it. I can just a say that I was taken by the skin of the neck by God and like a little kitten, thrown in an arena with the lions, but I believe that it is just because I was born under the sign of the lion, and I got believe that I can get along with them. But in fact, it is too long a story to speak of it. I have already written at least three volumes about it so I prefer to reserve it.

[sync]Interviewer: What about how this Western press betrayed you? For instance, there is the thing of calling you the Dragon Lady. Would you like to comment on that?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: I believe that when they call me like this it is just ah because they see that I looked fearless, and it is true. My husband, he was very unhappy with on one side, his brother; the other side, his wife. He considered both of us babes in the woods, who absolutely, how do you say, comme ça, inconscient — that means we have no sense of the reality that to jump in the fray and you don’t, you don’t have the impression that you’re fighting ferocious beasts. And he said all the time that to his brother: you, you should be a monk and you, (to me), you should stay home and be a quiet housewife. And yet I say, of course, I…

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
Ngô, Đình Diệm, 1901-1963
[sync]Interviewer: Stop, I’m sorry.

Take 8. Roll 4.
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: If I’m left to myself surely, I would follow immediately the advice of my husband just to return home to knit, to sew, to, to cook. It is really the only things I like in life. But when I was in my country, people went to me and they asked me, you should do this, you should do that. And I see very well that if I didn’t do those things, nobody would do it.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]That’s why I have organized everything in such a way that I can pass over to them immediately because I did not want I did not like the life I led at that time, not at all. And they consider, they called me Dragon Lady because they see that they saw that I was absolutely determined that nothing could stop me, when the only thing they can, if they can stop, the want to stop me, they must explain to me in what way I was wrong. If they cannot explain it, I didn’t care.

[sync]Because of that, they saw very well that I wasn’t afraid of nothing. And do you see why that calling came? They invited me, the press, invited me to go. At first they said, Mr. Nhu, the Nhus, no Nhus, good news. They must leave the country, so they invited me to go to explain my position at on the US platforms, you see, on the um, with the press. I uh, when I left my country, hardly I arrive in Belgrade over there at that time, it was said to me that from the State Department that I should not go, I ought not go to the States because they would not uh guaranty my safety.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
Belgrade (inhabited place)
United States. Dept. of State
[sync]So they invite me in order for me to leave the country. But as soon as I leave my country, don’t come. I say I have left country just to go there and hm, the US will show to the world if they are capable of not to defend a weak woman on their territory. And uh…

[sync]Interviewer: So by this time — so this is October, 1963…

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Yes. Exactly.

[sync]Interviewer: You were already disillusioned with the Americans?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: At that time they invited me and after I left my country they told me that. Of course, I was delusioned, de—delusioned.

[sync]Interviewer: Disillusioned.

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Dis, disillusioned. Disillusioned. And because of that everybody said but considered me as a Dragon Lady — maybe because I challenged them.

[sync]Interviewer: Madame Nhu, what about your husband. Could you — how would you define his role?

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: He was everything in Vietnam. He organized the country when the President was away. And when the President returned everything was there to greet. And without him the President would not be — I don’t think that he would be easy for him to rule the country, to govern the country. That’s why when it was it was requested he was requested to send away my husband, he said it was absolutely a stupid demand.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Because he knew very well that my husband can do without him but he could not do without my husband. But my husband is, I believe that he was too much ahead of his time, of his people. Some day people will understand. Now I cannot explain here like this.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Interviewer: Stop.

[sync]Stop.

The Buddhist Crisis

Take 9.
[sync]Interviewer: Madame Nhu, you talked a bit about the Buddhist crisis in 1963, during that time there was a quote which you allegedly made [inaudible], a quote in which you allegedly said you were happy when the bonzes barbecued themselves. Could you comment on that quote?

Buddhists
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Oh, but I had…to comment about what I said on the Buddhists. I had the opportunity to do it several times and the only thing that I can say that everybody if they are confronted of things like that, they finally had to go to the same solution. That means with people mad of glory, of false glory, who accepted to be drugged and to be burned to death and for rights which have never been contested by anyone and what to do to stop them accepting to be murdered by the protests.

Buddhists
[sync]The only thing I could do at that time is to ridicule them because as long as it was emphasized as something absolutely deserving of uh praise, of course, there will be always people mad of false glory who would accept it. I have to do the contrary.

[sync]Interviewer: Madame Nhu, who was behind the Buddhist crisis?

Buddhists
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: I believe that at first it was the Communists and uh, but it would never be able to inflict at that proportion without the help, without the aid of the Americans of the media, Western media. So after it has become absolutely an American affair and after the murder of the Ngo Dinhs when it went off, off-hands and they have to bomb it.

The 1963 Coup of the Diem Regime

[sync]Interviewer: From about August in 1963 there had already been rumors of coups and counter-coups. Madame Nhu, could you explain why you felt that the situation was secure enough at that time to leave the country?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: In 1963 I had to leave the country. It was for me I could because as I already told you I have always organized everything in order for people to do without me. So for my own occupations, for my women’s movement, I could leave. It was all organized in that way and I have a mission uh which was to prevent them. If I could not prevent them to commit the crime, at least my mission was to do in such a way that that crime could not be perfect. So I had to go to tell first, to say, things are like this so if it happens after you will know that it is all premeditated.

[sync]Interviewer: In your opinion, who was responsible for the 1963 coup?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: In fact, I believe that the US Government at that time, if, if it has not committed so many blunders, so many errors — Bay of Pigs, um, Berlin Wall, Cuban Missiles. It would not, it would never do with that coup. But after three mistakes like the ones I have just cited, it had to do something in Vietnam to — how do you say? — to own Vietnam. And for them, um, all the factors of success were there. They consider that they could not leave it to us but what they have done was exactly to rob the poor. That’s why there is that doom on them now.

Cuba History Invasion, 1961
Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961-1989
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
[sync]Interviewer: Who was responsible for the deaths of your husband and [inaudible]?

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: You have made so many investigations, books and books and that means the US has done that and they cannot find. That means according to me that they just to do those investigations really to lure people because if really they want to know who is responsible they would find it…I don’t want to accuse anyone.

Take 10. Roll 5.
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: I do not want to accuse anyone. I do not want to go into the details, but the evidence is there. The responsible was the Kennedy Government and it is sure that the murder of the chief of state and of his brother that’s really the beheading of Vietnam could not be done without the President himself giving the green light. This is the, apparently things are like that. Apparently, responsibility is absolutely on President Kennedy, but the fact — I don’t know. The truth — I don’t know. I would like to know.

United States. President (1961-1963 : Kennedy)
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963

Ngo Dinh Nhu’s diplomacy

Take eleven.
[sync]Interviewer: Madame Nhu, in 1963 there were some rumors that your husband was insane, that he was power-mad, and that he was a heroine addict. Now, can you comment on that?

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Yes, they have said a lot, a lot of things against my husband. They even said, they said that he was a dope fiend and all those things. And you see who ever can say anything against me. I don’t care. But I know my husband and hearing all those things against him, I really, I cannot bear it. I cannot bear because I know him.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]He has such a great sense of responsibility and he saw so well that he was not understood, that he served confidence which is based, was based on a faith in God and in himself, was considered as madness because he was confronted to the United States. But for such a faith, what does it mean?

[sync]A human power. But nobody understood, so they said a lot of things. But for years and years, the death of my husband — I could accept it, but debasing of his personality, that I cannot bear. But now revenge is coming. The revenge is coming that all those who have attacked him who have said all those things when the truth will be known about what he has found. And what is re, really his madness? All those people will be ashamed. Will be ashamed. They would like to swallow all they have said because it will show how fools they were not to have understood that man…That hour is coming.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Interviewer: Um, there are also rumors that because your husband felt so betrayed by the Americans that he made overtures towards the North Vietnamese communists. Can you also comment on this?

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Overtures to the Communists. In fact, as I had explained, we, we won the war. If we had not won the war, never the US Government would jump in Vietnam. We won the war. The Communists dared not to escalate. They have only one alternative, they had only one alternative: either to escalate — they dare not — or to negotiate. So it is they who sent the people to us because my husband has found a solution against subversive war. That solution permits his people to live with the war, against the war, and in spite of the war.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]And because of that the Communists could not do anything. So rather than, instead of esca, escalating the war, they didn’t, they send their people to talk with my husband and this was turned, turned over against my husband as if he made the first steps. Not, not at all. This is a lie. Not at all. It was they who made the first steps.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Interviewer: What did he say to them?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: He, at that time, he just, we just started to talk with them, to know, what do you propose? And they arrive in order, they arrive and in order not to lose face because we do everything, we did everything at that time to make things easy for them. So they arrived, and they just asked what are your conditions for your Open Arms Program? That means it was translated in Open Arms Program, but in fact, Chieu Hoi Minh said, the return, the return of the prodigal brother. So we said to them we shall kill the, how do you say, le veau gras — that means, for the prodigal bro, uh son. They killed the veal, how do you call the fat, the veal but we told them we shall kill the fat veal and I think that US got that answer and they believed that they would be the fat veal. Maybe, otherwise I would not explain why they did what…what they did, why they did what they did.

Chieu Hoi Program
Chieu Hoi Program

Madame Nhu on the U.S. as arrogant force

[sync]Interviewer: What do you think went wrong? Why did, why did, why did such an unhappy ending happen in 1963?

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: All that is, how do you say, arrogance, comes from arrogance. The US was convinced it possessed the truth and was full of contempt for…there were too, uh it was too materialistic to understand and that I cannot even accuse them of or be bitter against them because I must say that even our own people did not understand anything.

[sync]A lot of people did not understand anything. They materialistic, they conceded that my husband was absolutely insane to, to despise all that material strength and to cling to his solution. But it was just a misunderstanding out of arrogance on the one side and a kind of a lack of cre— intelligence on the other side. Because for the Americans I believe that it was arrogance but for our own people I believe that it was just a lack of intelligence — immaturity.

Ngô, Đình Nhu, 1910-1963
[sync]Interviewer: Um, you had something that you wanted to say about this.

[sync]Ngo Dinh Nhu: Yes, my last, the message really I want to forward to the American people is just this. Don’t ask your people to making flying trapeze performances without giving them a net. That is to say, don’t try to regain prestige lost uh since Vietnam…with the buildup of a frightening force of persuasion while ignoring god’s laws and his Christ teaching. So the US must uh really accept the truth about Vietnam first and make amends.

[sync]Interviewer: Cut.

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