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Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13, 1960: Indochina Instability Analyzed, Louisiana Desegregation Impasse, JFK and Nixon to Meet in Florida

"The tensions, and instability that afflict the Indochina peninsula were exemplified anew Friday when army units revolted at Saigon against the South Vietnam Government of President Ngo Dinh Diem," the New York Times reported today. "The attempted coup came three months after a similar army uprising at Vientiane overturned the Government of Laos. ...

"The Saigon insurgents maintained their aim was not to change President Ngo Dinh Diem's policy of all-out opposition to the Communist menace in South Vietnam or to modify the republic's close relations with the United States and other powers opposed to communism. They said they objected to certain characteristics of the Ngo Dinh Diem regime and simply wished to replace it with a Government that would be more popular and effective. ...

"A Roman Catholic, Ngo Dinh Diem has directed a Government that has been remarkably effective and competent considering the manifold problems it has faced. ... Ngo Dinh Diem is widely respected, but he has never had mass popularity because of his aloof nature."

The article gives evidence that his family has benefitted financially from his service and adds that Diem "exercised a strict control of the press and political activities and manipulated elections so that the National Assembly was largely a rubber-stamp body. ...

"The Communists have a considerable political following in the South. Somme South Vietnamese accept the Communist line that they are the true nationalists of the country and that the Ngo Dinh Diem regime relies too much on the United States to be truly independent."

The Louisiana legislature, in special session, blocked desegregation of the state's public schools today. But a federal court judge the state from blocking school integration.

President-elect Kennedy will meet tomorrow with Vice President Nixon in Florida, where both are vacationing. Kennedy will come to Key Biscayne, where Nixon is staying.

In California, election officials began counting 220,000 absentee ballots.

Republican National Committee Chairman Thruston Morton said today that the eleven-state vote recount he requested would not overturn Kennedy's election. But any irregularities "should be fully explored and investigated," he said.