Kresta in the Afternoon – December 28, 2016 – Hour 1

  • Description: It’s that time of year again...time for us to Count Down the best interviews of the last 12 months. Our list covers a wide range of topics from Testimony to the Year of Mercy to the year’s biggest news stories. Did your favorite interview make our list? There’s only one way to find out!

+  #12: The Lost Mandate of Heaven (Full hour)

  • Description: Ngo Dinh Diem, the first president of the Republic of Vietnam, possessed the Confucian “Mandate of Heaven”, a moral and political authority that was widely recognized by all Vietnamese. This devout Roman Catholic leader never lost this mandate in the eyes of his people; rather, he was taken down by a military coup sponsored by the U.S. government, which resulted in his brutal murder. Historian Geoffrey Shaw chronicles the Kennedy administration’s betrayal of this ally, which proved to be not only a moral failure but also a political disaster that led America into a protracted and costly war.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Geoffrey Shaw
      Geoffrey Shaw is the President of the Alexandrian Defense Group, a think tank on counterinsurgency warfare. He received his doctorate in history from the University of Manitoba and has written and spoken widely about US military involvement in Vietnam and the Middle East.
  • + Resources Mentioned Available in Our Store:

    • The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam

      Ngo Dinh Diem, the first president of the Republic of Vietnam, possessed the Confucian "Mandate of Heaven", a moral and political authority that was widely recognized by all Vietnamese. This devout Roman Catholic leader never lost this mandate in the eyes of his people; rather, he was taken down by a military coup sponsored by the U.S. government, which resulted in his brutal murder. The commonly held view runs contrary to the above assertion by military historian Geoffrey Shaw. According to many American historians, President Diem was a corrupt leader whose tyrannical actions lost him the loyalty of his people and the possibility of a military victory over the North Vietnamese. The Kennedy Administration, they argue, had to withdraw its support of Diem. Based on his research of original sources, including declassified documents of the U.S. government, Shaw chronicles the Kennedy administration's betrayal of this ally, which proved to be not only a moral failure but also a political disaster that led America into a protracted and costly war. Along the way, Shaw reveals a President Diem very different from the despot portrayed by the press during its coverage of Vietnam. From eyewitness accounts of military, intelligence, and diplomatic sources, Shaw draws the portrait of a man with rare integrity, a patriot who strove to free his country from Western colonialism while protecting it from Communism. (learn more)

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