“The Pottery Barn Rule has current significance in light of the Arab Spring, Egypt, Libya and the Benghazi scandal.”
But I disagree with much of the “analysis” at the site. For example:
“Plagued by corruption, political intrigues, and constant internal squabbling, the South Vietnamese were often at loggerheads.”
Diem kept a very tight rein on corruption in the armed forces, and personally had to approve every promotion over the rank of captain. (Granted, the army was much smaller in his day.) The massive corruption started after his overthrow, when a myriad of successive coups
led people to consider how best to save themselves if the worst came (as it finally did, in 1975).
He inherited a fragmented “nation” with a million refugees transplanted from the North, various quasi-independent (and armed) sects, and armed gangs controlling the Chinese section of Saigon.
That, plus communist guerillas.
That anything like a “nation” was cobbled together was extraordinay. However Diem didn’t like the growing American influence and “oversight” and even secretly
had envoys talk with the North. Whether some kind of inter-Vietnamese deal might have been worked out or not is unknowable;
but that, in the opinion of many, is
what caused the US government to want his overthrow.
I have read that Diem was secretly negotiating with the North and had offered to force the 16,000 U.S. troops out and establish a neutral regime in the South. This would embarrass JFK who had lost the diplomatic battle to get 40,000 North Vietnamese personnel out of bases in the Laotian Panhandle—the key threat to South Vietnamese security.
Your right. After Diem there was a junta of generals who took turns being president.