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America Gets VERY Involved - Essay Example

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The American history reflects various incidents and events that had a deep impact on the subsequent events because of their revolutionary nature in some way or another. The foreign relations of the United States also exhibit events of such kind which proved as “turning…
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America Gets Very Involved America Gets Very Involved The American history reflects various incidents and events that had a deep impact on the subsequent events because of their revolutionary nature in some way or another. The foreign relations of the United States also exhibit events of such kind which proved as “turning points” in the history of American foreign relations. One of these events was the Buddhist crisis which occurred from May 8, 1963 to July 1963 in the South Vietnam (Moss 2009). This occurrence signified both the previous events that led to the rebellious outburst of the Buddhist monks and the subsequent actions that were taken as a reaction to this period of crisis.
The Buddhist crisis was a result of the repressive reforms of the President Diem in South Vietnam. The reforms were majorly against the likes of the Buddhists, who constituted the majority of the population. Until 1963, the Buddhists resisted themselves from any rebellious demonstrations as a reaction to the disliked Diem rule. However, in May 1963, this patience came to a revolutionary end, when the Diem forbade the celebration of the Buddha’s birthday by religious banners or flags. On May 8, in the city of Hue, Buddhist leaders went against this order and continued their celebrations. This led to a conflict between the Diem army and the Buddhist monks leading to an open fire demonstration that resulted in the killing of nine people and fourteen people became wounded (Brune & Burns 2003).
This event was precipitated as a result of the oppressive reforms and rule of President Diem and the event was significant in showing to the world the disdain and dislike his own people had for him. The Buddhist revolt gave evidence of the immense lack of support that Diem had in his own country (Brune & Burns 2003). Another significant turning point in the Buddhist crisis was on June 11. On a busy intersection of Saigon, a monk, Thich Quang Duc poured himself with gasoline and set himself on fire only to express his contempt for Diem. The American media captured this incident immediately and the photographs of the self-immolation became the highlights in not just United States but all around the world. These horrendous pictures of a monk on fire led to a wave of criticism and immediate action. The American policies were criticized for supporting Diem who was oppressive in his handling of religious matters. The American government on the other hand, realized the deficiencies in Diem’s presidency, and forced him to withhold his strict limitations (Moss 2009).
The Buddhist revolts were a reflection of the discrimination that was prevalent in South Vietnam. The Catholics were given special privileges under the Diem’s rule while the Buddhists were even deprived of their religious rights. This was a significant turning point in the course of history as this crisis period expressed various demands of the Buddhist population of the Vietnam. The most important of them was to get rid of the Diem presidency. Another significant aspect was to highlight the American interference in the Vietnam state and to stop these political and social intrusions. In spite of American pressure to accommodate the Buddhists, Diem and his brother Nhu kept on with their anti-Buddhist actions which led to talks for a coup against the Ngo Dinh family in Vietnam. Kennedy decided to start a coup to save the Vietnamese state from disintegrating (Moss 2009).
Brune, L. H., & Burns, R. D. (2003). Chronological history of U.S. foreign relations: Volume II. New York: Routledge.
Moss, G. (2009). Vietnam, an American ordeal. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Read More
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