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HIST 415 A TURNING POINT IN THE VIETNAM WAR week III history paper

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HIST 415 A TURNING POINT IN THE VIETNAM WAR week III history paper
One Turning Point in the Vietnam War
Valerie L. Kroll
September 21, 2014
Professor Melissa Tennyson
DeVry University
There were quite a few events during the Vietnam War that can be considered “turning points.” One such event was the Buddhist crisis in 1963. The Buddhist crisis is a sorrowful and disheartening portion of history that could have very well been circumvented.
Diem the president of South Vietnam provoked the Buddhist community. Diem operated his civilian and military organizations almost entirely with Catholics. Many had recently migrated south, and he saw to it that Catholic villages collected most of the U.S. aid funds (Moss, 2010). These strangers had exclusive pleasures; they did not speak the local languages, and did not understand their individual troubles. Southern Buddhist peasants begrudged having northern Catholics, who looked down on them and were not concerned to their well-being. The preferential treatment the Catholic’s received from Diem created impossibility for Diem’s administration to gain the confidence and devotion of many southern peasants (Moss, 2010).
The government prohibiting the flying of the Buddhist flag prompted the Buddhist crisis (Moss, 2010). South Vietnam Buddhists started to gain attention around the world for their religious persecution through the circulation of writings in addition to demonstrations through hunger strikes, extreme acts that included of self-sacrifice, along with peaceful protests (Toong, 2008). As these protests and exhibitions elevated to extreme levels, the public that had once supported Ngo Dinh Diem and the US’ role in backing his leadership began to decline. According to Moss, “Diem’s extreme actions caused U.S. officials, including President Kennedy, to support the coup that destroyed the Diem family oligarchy” (pg. xv).
Diem and Nhu, Diem’s younger brother, executed a sequence of

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