“Get Them before They Get Us”

Thomas L. Ahern

in Vietnam Declassified

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125619
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135342 | DOI:
“Get Them before They Get Us”

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In Saigon, Paul Harwood found that his ambivalence about the Anticommunist Denunciation Campaign persisted. More worried in late 1955 that involvement in government abuses would compromise National Revolutionary Movement (NRM) integrity, by March 1956 he had come to see some merit in the movement's participation in the denunciations: identifying Viet Cong and other dissidents was, after all, part of the “civic duty” of all Vietnamese. Harwood saw its focus moving away from repression in favor of a new emphasis on social and economic development projects. Whatever the focus of NRM activity, it reflected the convictions of Ngo Dinh Nhu, influenced to some degree by Paul Harwood, and not those of the president. As Ngo Dinh Diem neared the end of his second year in office, both stations continued to see the creation of representative government as indispensable to his long-term success.

Keywords: Saigon; Paul Harwood; Anticommunist Denunciation Campaign; NRM; Viet Cong; Ngo Dinh Nhu; Ngo Dinh Diem

Chapter.  7405 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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