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Change of Government by Steve Payne

Author says: what if there was a national debate on Vietnam long before the Gulf of Tonkin? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On November 11th 1960,

with the electoral recount process underway in the disputed States of Texas and Illinois, Lieutenant Colonel Vuong Van Dong and Colonel Nguyen Chanh Thi of the Airborne Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam effected a more dramatic change of government by assassinating President Ngo Dinh Diem.

"At last! Someone's done the arithmetic and noticed that, for all the whining by Nixon supporters over the years about the 1960 election having been "stolen" in Chicago, Kennedy would have had enough electoral votes without Illinois to put him over the top" - readers commentAfter the plotters had trapped the ruling Ngo Family inside the Independence Palace, Diem tried to stall the coup by holding negotiations and promising reforms, such as the inclusion of military officers in the administration. Opposition politicians then joined the fray, exploiting his position, but Diem was simply playing for time, unaware that the 5th and 7th Divisions of the ARVN were unable to lift the siege because the plotters had closed the roads leading into the capital Saigon1.

"As President, I would recognize Ho Chi Minh and wait patiently for him to put down his rivals to the South" - readers comment Whilst this drama played out, lame duck President Eisenhower and his two successor candidates Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy were also in limbo.

Both candidates decided to seize the initiative by putting forthrightly their views on both the situation in Indochina, and also the case for US intervention to save the region falling like a domino to Communism.

Author says 1) this was the critical flaw in the coup that we have reversed. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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