Talk:Ngo Dinh Diem

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Information on this article of Ngo Dinh Diem contains mostly biases and false information that has been generated by US government and VN communists. 90% of the article is false information to make NDD seem like a bad person when he wasn't. This is the work of US government and VN communists. Wiki shouldn't support it by posting false information on this webpage and mislead the world's readers. Please do the world a favor by posting accurate information, if not, don't post at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Baby4eva (talkcontribs) 20:05, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Please then state what is false in this article and suggest changes, do this or don't post at all. Thannad (talk) 01:23, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Ngo Dinh Diem from Ocean County, NJ?[edit]

Diem appears on a list of "people from Ocean County, NJ" - just a guess but I think this is wildly inaccurate —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

exiled to china[edit]

why would he be exiled to china if hes openly anti communist? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC).

diem was a good leader[edit]

it is more and more evident to me that diem was embraced by most south vietnamese as a good leader, whereas in american history texts, diem is often portrayed as a corrupt leader who alienated many of his countrymen. my discussions with my father (police officer, numerous talk with elder vietnamese and some books (such as nixons: no more vietnams, moyars: triumph forsaken) strengthen this view. i suggest we give him an article worthy of the way he led our country. Tridungvo 18:55, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Wrong successor[edit]

The article does contain one obvious mistake which we should all agree to change. It gives his successor as Minh, who was really president for 2 days in 1975, but of course it was Thieu. PatGallacher 12:13, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Minh led the junta that overthrew Diem and ruled briefly before being ousted by Khanh. DHN 16:25, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Ngo Dinh Diem[edit]

From User talk:Blnguyen Hello, Binguyen.

I liked a lot of your changes on the Buddhist issue. It makes sense to put the events of May-August, 1963 under the section regarding the coup. However, on the question of Diem's general treatment of Buddhists (under "Rule"), you are presenting one (albeit majority) POV as fact, and excluding the other. The revisionists make a good case, and their views deserved to be aired. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me on my talk page.

I would also point out that although you have added some much-needed citations, they are not presented in a form that can be checked. Specifically, one cannot tell what books by "Tucker," "Gettleman" and "Buttinger" you are attempting to cite. I'm not sure who Tucker and Gettleman are, and Joseph Buttinger wrote at least two books on Vietnam.

--VnTruth 18:06, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

In regards to the general discussion about where NDD was anti-Buddhist, I did not conclude that he was an anti-Buddhist, but simply stated that the majority of scholars felt that he was anti-Buddhist. Hence the word regarded.
I then pointed out some instances cited by the scholarly majority in their arguments that he was biased. The other thing to note is the WP:NPOV "Neutral Point of View policy" that requires that the proportion of space given to the evidence of various theories needs to be in proportion with the scholarly consensus of reputable historians. As a result, I trimmed and condensed the Moyar things, because as he notes in his own writing, he is very much in the minority "very few" and is attempting to change academic consensus. In the preface of his book he states
As such I removed his 27% figure because the Buddhist % is almost universally put at 70-90% in the overwhelming number of sources, rather than have a separate line for a very much miniscule minority estimate, and simply stated that almost all believe that there is a majority, and estimate it in the 70-90 range. Otherwise we would need maybe 20 sentences quoting many many people saying that Buddhists are the majority, to keep things in proportion. I also removed the religious composition of his cabinet, since I found one other mainstream book which has 3/18 cabinet ministers as Buddhist. Although people can interpret things in different ways, it is difficult when one minority group has a large disparity in the statistics that they use. It may not be particularly relevant anyway, since NDD's brothers were not cabinet ministers yet controlled the secret police, services, special forces, etc, and most power lay with the these bodies as well as the army generals. Regards, Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:04, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I also note that the composition of the cabinet is not part of policy towards the people. It is what the govt treatment of the populace that counts, rather than who the people nominally were. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 00:59, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
you're 27% also comes from the CIA. Since they strongly backed Diem's campaign in becoming president, they have a horse in the race, and cannot be considered to be a reliable source. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 08:36, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The CIA (at least the CIA cadre loyal to the US Ambassador at the time) also helped assassinate Diem. Also, Moyar is referring to practicing Buddhists-this is an important distinction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:02, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

As regards to the citations, I will fix them up! Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:04, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I removed the claim that Thich Tri Quang asked for all Buddhists to be above the law. The other books do not say that this was part of the agreement what was asked for in June 1963. I am disputing this fact. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 08:01, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Moyar and WP:RS[edit]

The views of Moyar are very much fringe. Moyar notes so himself, that he is a revisionist. He is attempting to overturn academic historical establishment on what is fact. Many of factual events that he records as having taken place directly contradict the records of the established history, and Moyar is frequently stating in the book that the account of events by the orthodox historians is false and spends much of the book attempting to discredit the historical events they describe. So it is definitely fringe and does not even really pass WP:RS since his version of events contradicts what is accepted. WP:NOT states under the headline Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought point 1 that

Moyar's work is as yet not accepted knowledge, since his attempt to debunk "orthodox-fact" has with "revisionism-fact" has not yet changed the consensus of what Diem did. I am not referring to what people evaluate of Diem, but black and white statements about what events happened and what did not. As such I do not believe his claims and attempts to reestablish another sequence of events can be considered to be taken as a reliable source. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 05:14, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:UNDUE is quite clear about this. It says,
If Moyar or atleast his book as opposed to his views are notable and encyclopedic, then one might actually create an article for the book and then present a summary of his views there(in NPOV fashion ofcourse and not as a matter of fact). And btw, almost every reviewer and review of the book is unanimous that the book is revisionist. That it overturns accepted historical facts. It would no doubt make for interesting reading, but his views surely cant fight for space on this article. Sarvagnya 08:48, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Being an encyclopedia, only popular theories are acceptable. fringe theories such as the book by Moyar is better of in a different article.Dineshkannambadi 11:48, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
While there may be a dispute over the number of Buddhists, the consensus is that Buddhists formed the majority in South Vietnam. Moyar may be notable, but writing full fledged biography based on one man's view is not NPOV.Bakaman 16:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Especially when the source that Moyar cites for 27% Buddhist is a CIA report and the CIA helped organised and promote Diem's rise to power, they have a COI and the report cannot be taken to be indepenedent. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 04:53, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Since Moyar is a self proclaimed minority viewpoint revisionist, and since he seeks to overturn established historical fact, he cannot be taken to be a reliable source for describing factual events or statistics. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 08:56, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I concur with Nick. Amey Aryan DaBrood© 09:04, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree as well. - Y (Y NOT?) 14:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Moyars views may be fringe, especially among western scholars, but his material is new. Much of the statistics and information he published is new to the spotlight, and thus should be aired. Does anyone know how the Communists in Vietnam view Diem as a fighter of Communism? I do not mean morally, as they most certainly view him poorly there, but as a talented leader. I believe if they did view him as a talented leader, those views should be aired also. I remember reading from a governmental historian, that under his rule, in 1959-1963, 9 out of 10 party members in the south were killed or capturedTridungvo 13:16, 31 May 2007 (UTC),
Found the source: I'm sure there's more information from the Communist side that confirm his talent in fighting the them.Tridungvo 14:01, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Piero Gheddo and RS[edit]

Looking again at Moyar's book, some of his counter-statistics are sourced to a book called the "The Cross and the Bo-Tree". Gheddo is an Italian Roman Catholic priest. He is an active missionary trying to convert people to Catholicism (see google). On the blurb of the book, it says that his credentials include being a magazine editor for the Second Vatican Council. Also note that Ngo Dinh Thuc, brother and advisor of Ngo Dinh Diem, who lived in the same Presidential Palace in Saigon, was the Archbishop of Hue, and was a member of the Vatican voting conclave for the papacy. Thuc was one of the most powerful figures of the Vatican in Asia. As such, these statistics can in no way be taken to be reliable at all. Imagine using a Fatah or Hamas website for statistics about Israel, or Tamilnation for statistics about the Govt of Sri Lanka. The fact that Moyar takes information written in a book by a missionary of the same church of an archbishop who is the brother of the country's President, and tries to use this to reveal "truth" speaks volumes about him. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 07:55, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

This book "The Cross and the Bo-Tree" seems to be a propaganda oriented material, well connected at the highest levels to those attempting to propagate a revisionist theory.Dineshkannambadi 12:07, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not defending the source where it came from, but the 27% figure, at least in Moyar's book, was a figure for the percentage of South Vietnamese who were strongly observant Buddhists, not for the percentage of people in South Vietnam who were Buddhist. (talk) 00:40, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

All information on the Buddhist movement and self-immolization are false. Stop posting false information or you will look like you support the Communist with these lies. There are proven documentaries on this Buddhist movement that it was a cover-up. Your moderators are communist-supporters if they keep changing people's edits for documenting truthful facts of this historic events.

% Buddhists[edit]

  • Time magazine article [1] - 80%
  • Maclear, p63 -> 95%
  • Dr Charles Fasanaro, Santa Fe, NM, Encyc of Vietnam War p49 (ed Spencer C. Tucker) -> 80%
  • Dr Cecil B. Currey, U S Florida, Encyc of Vietnam War p291 (ed Spencer C. Tucker) -> "predominately" [sic]
  • William Head, Encyc of Vietnam War p293 (ed Spencer C. Tucker) -> "most"
  • Frank N Trager, Professor NYU, pg366 in Gettleman -> "majority"
  • David Halberstam, Pulitzer Prize, Gettleman p275 -> 69-76%
    • Note that contrary to the claims in Moyar's book that Halberstam got this statistic from communists, Halberstam in the article notes that it was an estimate by the "Asia Foundation" a non-profit US organisation.
  • [Wesley Fishel, Professor MSU, Gettleman's book -> "largely"

  • CIA report: 27%

Google results

  • (12)[2] - "predominantly"
  • (15)[3] "70-80%"
  • (19)[4] "80%"
  • (21) This site is an encyclopedia, but may not be very good [5] - 66% in 1995....Has Buddhism increased during Communism?
  • (29) [6] - "predominantly"
  • (30) [7] - "In an eerie parallel, the percentage of Sunni Muslims to Shiites in Iraq is roughly that of the Catholic-Buddhist ratio in Vietnam in the 1950s."

These are the google results for academic publications in the top 30

Blnguyen (bananabucket) 04:50, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Merely a note to widely acclaimed figure David Halberstam would have been enough to debunk Moyar.Bakaman 02:01, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


What was Diem and Nhu's political party called, again? The name escapes me. 12:08, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Can Lao. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 01:09, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Edit Question[edit]

In the 'Aftermath' section of this article, is there something wrong with the last word of the article? I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be 'communism' rather than 'colonialism.'

No it's correct. Diem was known for taking a lot of US aid money and not doing what he was told. The subsequent junta allowed more US personnel etc and towed the line more, and they got a worse reputation for being American puppets than Diem did. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 01:06, 28 June 2007 (UTC)


I've included this article in Category:Prime Ministers of South Vietnam. I realize that at the time the government in question laid claim to all Vietnam, but the position held by the person is commonly called "PM of South Vietnam". Snocrates 02:19, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

The lead said President of South Vietnam (as in the post 1955 Republic of Vietnam). Before Geneva, there wasn't a border and there were two parallel administrations, the French backed State of Vietnam and the Ho Chi Minh Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Before Geneva there was fighting everywhere and there wasn't a communist anti-communist zone. It was only in 1955-56 after the national elections didn't occur that "south" and "north" became concrete and when teh RoV was created, Ngo Dinh Diem proclaimed himself President and stayed there until he was killed. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 02:24, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

A search of Google Books and Scholar seem to show that Ngo Dinh Diem is overwhelmingly more common than Ngô Đình Diệm (BOOKS 1259 on Ngo-Dinh-Diem -Ngô-Đình-Diệm, 70 on Ngô-Đình-Diệm -Ngo-Dinh-Diem. SCHOLAR 3,170 for Ngo-Dinh-Diem -Ngô-Đình-Diệm, 3 for -Ngo-Dinh-Diem Ngô-Đình-Diệm). On that evidence unless someone can show that it is faulty the article Ngô Đình Diệm should be moved to Ngo Dinh Diem following the WP:NC policy and the WP:UE guideline. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 08:33, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I have moved the article back to the name it had before the move on the 8 June. I have altered the name used in the article to Diem in line with WP:MOS#Foreign terms "Within an article, spell a name that appears in the article title". In some cases where I have evidence that Diem was used in references I have altered those as well but where I could not find any evidence I left the name as it was.
Someone needs to go through the references and check which version of the name is used in the titles given because it looks to me if the third party article names have been systematically altered from Ngo Dinh Diem to Ngô Đình Diệm just because some Wikipedia editor thinks it looks correct. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:16, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
And other alterations to modified letters have been made, unsystematically. We should follow the usage of English sources. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:51, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Note I just ran into this and have moved the article back again since it was moved to other title. If this continues without discussions, then we probably need to move protect the article. If that is necessary, drop a note on my talk page. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:24, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Prados and numbers[edit]

The numbers cited are from the most recent piece of research based on US Navy Records by twice-Pulitzer nominated historian John Prados, author of Valley of Decisions: The Siege of Khe Sanh, The Sky Would Fall: Operation Vulture - the US Bombing Mission in Indochina, Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby, and Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA among several others, and senior fellow at the National Security Archive. Please do not rubbish scholarship just because you don't happen to like its results. The article carefully explains how the figure of one million was a propaganda piece, and that of the 800,000 actually transported in Operation Passage to Freedom, 350,000 were either military or non-Vietnamese. If you had bothered to check you would have seen that the article is not from a "veteran's website" (or was it "veterans' website"? I couldn't tell as you left out the apostrophe) but from a web archive of the online edition of the VVA Veteran.Cripipper (talk) 11:41, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

The difference is that Prados' article only includes, as he put it, the "net number of Vietnamese who freely chose to 'vote with their feet'" (emphasis mine). This article is talking about the total number of people moved in Operation Passage to Freedom. While I think the figure of "around one million" is overstated by as much as 25%, it's still important to give the total figure in this article to give an accurate impression of the sheer volume of humanity involved. The details of who these people were is given in the Operation Passage to Freedom article, where they belong, and in the first paragraph to boot. Kevin Forsyth (talk) 12:07, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

You have misread what he says. 450,000 is net of military personnel and non-Vietnamese, leaving 450,000 civilians. You can argue all you want about how many civilians in total moved south, but the facts remain, irrefutably, that the French and Americans transported about 800,000. 310,000 by the U.S. and the rest by the French, and that of these approx. 350,000 were not Vietnamese civilians. Those are the facts of Operation Passage to Freedom. It was not the name given to a mass exodus - the U.S. armed forces aren't in the habit of giving names to migration patterns, it was the name given to the military operation to transport people, and those are the numbers of people transported. Cripipper (talk) 11:27, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

azzu Qrex[edit]

بجعن اس قرك قوق β̞ɑjɪŋɢ̆ɑɳ ₳₴₴₪ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Need to have accurate info on his grave[edit]

Why is there no info on his grave? According to every magazine and newspaper accessible on the net, he was first buried in an unmarked grave at the military headquarters by the airport, then moved to an unmarked grave in Mac Dinh Chi cemetery in 1965, then in 1983 moved to his parents' cemetery in the province. Also, the "cemetery next to the house of the U.S. ambassador" is really Mac Dinh Chi cemetery, and should be identified as such. It's only 4 short blocks away from the embassy building, if you look at an old map of Saigon.GLY63 (talk) 03:20, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Pronunciation of the name[edit]

The one given now contradicts the data in the Vietnamese phonology article; iə's should be substituted for jə's (talk) 17:51, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Martyr ?[edit]

I was wondering whether some Catholics in Vietnam have ever considered Đình Diệm to be a kind of martyr, since he was incidentally assassinated outside a church, and that he had articulate religious views which led him to be hated by US Liberals, North Vietnamese Communists and South Vietnamese Buddhists. His assassination also coincides with the beginning of the long period of persecutions for the Vietnamese Church, which suffered greatly in the following years after the Communists gradually took over the country. ADM (talk) 12:24, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

I know the Viet Catholic church in my city, they worship him as a [unofficial] saint because he gave Catholics extra rights and all that. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 01:30, 3 November 2009 (UTC)


I don't understand the opening two sentences:

  • "Ngô Đình Diệm was born in Huế, the original capital of the Nguyễn Dynasty of Vietnam."
  • and "Diệm came from the village of Phu_Cam in central Vietnam"

Don't they contradict each other or am I missing the point? Bagunceiro (talk) 17:40, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Phu Cam is part of Hue. DHN (talk) 19:06, 3 October 2010 (UTC)


"In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Ngô, but is often simplified to Ngo in English-language text. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Diệm." That contradicts with the title. --Sukarnobhumibol (talk) 23:00, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't. People do refer to Barack Obama as "Obama" and NDD as Diem. There's no rule mandating that the shortform usage has to be the last name in the list YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 00:41, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Chinese Characters for Diem's Name[edit]

Money Quote from Amore Mio, "academic writer"
First, let me be straight. I don't care about how Chinese write down the name of Diem, or what assumption you got from a Chinese book. Let me be clear again, I don't have time to read all your document ...

Reposted by WikiFlier (talk) 04:50, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Please REFRAIN from deleting the Chinese characters for Diem's name unless (1) you can actually READ them and (2) you can establish that they are wrong. As any Vietnamese - particularly of Diem's generation - appreciates, Chinese characters convey information that is not present in the Roman letter spelling. In addition, there is a sense that only the name in Chinese characters is truly authentic. The Chinese characters constituting the names of Diem and his brothers can be understood as indicating political ambitions (dinh means royal court). WikiFlier (talk) 19:00, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Please REFRAIN from adding Chinese characters for Diem's name unless (1) you can establish that they are ACTUALLY USED. I'm sick and tired of original research indiscriminately adding Chinese characters to Vietnamese names without providing citation that they are the correct characters, or that they appear in any official document. And no, copying straight from Chinese wiki is not proper citation, there are plenty of cases where the characters they used are just phonetic transliteration. As anyone who can read Vietnamese appreciates, Chinese characters are no longer in use in Vietnamese for almost a hundred years. And as someone who's born Catholic, his use of the Chinese characters are even more limited. DHN (talk) 19:11, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

DHN - like many California Vietnamese - seems extremely sensitive about the fact that Vietnam used Chinese writing until quite recently, and that the Communist elite continues to insist on some classical Chinese education for its offspring to the present day. However, please remember that this is Wikipedia, not DHN's personal site. DHN's technical point - that Chinese characters should be valid - is correct as far as it goes, but (1) we are not talking about any odd Nguyen, we are talking about the president of the Republic of Vietnam, who was written about extensively in Chinese (including Chinese papers in South Vietnam) at the time - it is preposterous to suggest that the characters consistently used in Chinese for this particular individual could be wrong; (2) Diem's father was a Vietnamese mandarin and thus had to sit the imperial exam in classical Chinese - notwithstanding their convenient Catholicism, the Ngo family were heavily influenced by Chinese language and culture; (3) if DHN feels doubt about the correctness of Chinese characters, the courteous and proper approach is to insert a query into the article, NOT to slaughter useful and relevant information. WikiFlier (talk) 20:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

" California Vietnamese - seems extremely sensitive about the fact that Vietnam used Chinese writing until quite recently, and that the Communist elite continues to insist on some classical Chinese education for its offspring to the present day" clearly shows that you have no idea what you're talking about. DHN (talk) 21:37, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
In that case, pray enlighten us! For example, could you remind us what Ho Chi Minh thought about classical Chinese? BTW, can you actually read complex, academic works (e.g. re history) in Vietnamese? Thank you. WikiFlier (talk) 22:00, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
You have it backwards. Overseas Vietnamese seem to be the ones more interested in preserving Chinese characters than the government in Vietnam. The Nom Preservation Foundation has its origins in the US, so is the Institute of Vietnamese studies, and the Han Nom fonts are developed by people outside of Vietnam. The Vietnamese education system had stopped teaching Chinese characters in school decades ago. The government had embarked on a program of "Vietnamizing" words with Chinese roots, such as "thủy quân lục chiến" -> "lính thủy đánh bộ", "máy bay trực thăng" -> "máy bay lên thẳng", "phi cơ" -> "máy bay". If I remember correctly, this is a source of ridicule among Vietnamese speakers outside of Vietnam. DHN (talk) 22:21, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
That is truly interesting - sincere thanks. However, my remarks were about the actual Chinese language (i.e. classical Chinese), NOT about Vietnamese written in the old Chinese-style Chữ Nôm script. During the later periods of the Nguyen dynasty, the imperial examinations were in three parts: (1) Classical Chinese, i.e. Confucian writings etc.; (2) Vietnamese in Chữ Nôm script; (3) Vietnamese in Romanized script (as at present). Ho Chi Minh's uncle is said to have refused to take (3) on the grounds that romanizing Vietnamese is an abomination. WikiFlier (talk) 22:43, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Please read this book about the efforts to spread quoc ngu, especially the Viet Minh's and Ho Chi Minh's role, in 1945. DHN (talk) 22:51, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Interesting stories in the book, but this is clearly a different cultural world than that inhabited by the mandarin Ngo family. Indeed, to them, Chinese literacy (also French and Latin) was a welcome entrance barrier to keep the majority of illiterate peasants in their place.

As regards the importance of Chinese culture, the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) sought to flatter Diem at a state banquet (see cite in article) by saying: 三民主義與貴國的人本主義,皆淵源於固有的孔孟儒家仁民愛物的思想,實為現代自由民主精義之所在。 (Roughly: the Three People's Principles and your nation's humanism both have their origins in the ideas of Confucius, Mencius and the Confucians of love for the people and for things, and the spirit of liberal democracy of our age is truly present [in both].) The speech takes it for granted that Diem (the guest of honor) sees Vietnam's ideological culture as rooted in Chinese Confucian precepts. WikiFlier (talk) 22:00, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

WF, you're a waste of time. Aside from the fact that Western political observers deemed NDD to be "Confucian" because of his nepotism, are they religiously learned? Well I wonder if he still partakes in ancestor worship, given that he once told an interviewer that the French aren't Catholic enough and he likes to model himself on a Spanish inquisitioner. This is nonsense and your OR is irrelevant. YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 23:44, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
YellowMonkey: Let's go a little easy on the ad hominems here. If you think WikiFlier is "a waste of time", please at least articulate the argument. To begin with, Confucianism being as much a secular tradition as a religion, it is quite possible and indeed common to be (sincerely) Confucian and Catholic at the same time - neither tradition seriously regards the other as incompatible. The broad question here is whether Diem (and his parents) were literate in classical Chinese (answer: emphatically yes). The narrower question is whether the specific characters chosen for Diem's name were regarded as being of relevance by the Ngo family. The article is clear that Ngo's father was a high-ranking mandarin. This means (as noted above) that he must have taken the rigorous mandarin examination which required in-depth familiarity with Chinese classics which he would have read in classical Chinese. We have now established that Diem's given name in Chinese characters was of profound relevance to his father (who presumably named him). This is more than amply sufficient to justify inclusion in Wikipedia. As for Diem himself, the article states "Diệm ... later entered a private school started by his father. Aged fifteen, he followed his elder brother ... into a monastery." It is reasonable to assume that Diem was instructed in literary Chinese by his father both at home and at his father's school until he turned 15, probably starting at a very early age, perhaps 4. Bottom line: the Chinese characters are correct, verifiable and relevant, so let's keep them in the article for those readers who understand Chinese and/or want to connect the dots. WP is a site for the public, not a private sandbox, and the established policy is to err on the side of providing verifiable information as far as possible.
Look, Diem and his brothers went to Quoc Hoc in hue, which was run by their father, and the school then used Quoc ngu. he then went to a French-run uni in Vietnam, which did not use Chinese, and he didn't use Chinese in the French bureaucracy, he did not pass a Confucian mandarin test/system. Then in 1945 and onwards, he did not use Chinese either YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 00:23, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
We seem to be losing track of the question at hand - is there a significant reason NOT to include the Chinese characters in the article. Given the width of WP's inclusion criteria, opponents bear the burden of proving that the characters are either not verifiable (verification has been provided), or that there is a fundamental reason NOT to include relevant information.
The fact that some editors fiercely oppose the inclusion militates in favor of inclusion. "Information is what someone does not want you to know". Frankly, a large part of the problem is that WikiFlier is apparently the only participant in the discussion who reads Chinese, and now finds himself in the position of having to explain the color of milk to a blind man. It is highly significant that the JAPANESE WP page naturally includes the Chinese characters, even though Diem's name was written phonetically in Japan. Clearly, the Japanese - who are regularly exposed to Chinese characters - are alive to the fact that Chinese characters convey significant information that phonetic representations do not.
As regards YellowMonkey's specific points: we have no evidence as to what was taught at Ngo's father's school, but there can be little doubt that Vietnamese was taught in Quoc ngu there. But it is also highly likely that the students were taught classical Chinese, just as private schools in the West teach Latin and Greek to this day.
The question at hand is different and much more limited, and can perhaps be put as follows: was Diem himself aware of the Chinese characters constituting his name? Could he write his name in Chinese characters? Given his background, and the evidence of the Republic of China speech cited in the article, both questions must emphatically be answered in the affirmative. The Chinese characters must stay in keeping with WP's mission to inform.WikiFlier (talk) 03:08, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
This is a diplomatic document which ROV sent to Taiwan so it is should be written in Chinese following international relationship standard. Moreover, this is not the original document thus I highly doubt that this is an transcription into Chinese from a Vietnamese document. What make you use this document as an evidence proving that Diem have used Han Tu or his father gave him a Han Tu version of his name? I don't think it is solid enough to use in this circumstance. If you really want to add Han Tu to his name, please give an other citation.--AM (talk) 03:19, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
AM is obviously illiterate in Chinese and English. If he had troubled to read WikiFlier's comments, he would have realized that the document is not "a diplomatic document which ROV sent to Taiwan so it is should be written in Chinese following international relationship standard [sic]." AM and Yellow Monkey have been working hand in glove on a Khmer Rouge type mission to keep out information that conflicts with their narrow world view - see note to AM from Yellow Monkey (reposted from AM's user page), and WikiFlier's response (below). WikiFlier (talk) 03:33, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

[Post by YellowMonkey on AM's user page, AM promptly obliged by vandalizing WikiFlier's edits again] Some guy flooding Diem and family with Chinese again YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 23:45, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry. I read this piece of text too quick so that I think this is a diplomatic document because of its last sentence and the way Diem used "On behalf of ROV's people". Now I read this again and I think it is even harder to use it as an evidence to prove that Diem officially has a Han Tu version of his name since the original document which this site gave has no national seal of ROV. You know, I'm a so-called academic writer, I respect the fact not the opinion. If you can give me a right citation, I would like to protect your addition. If you can not, I would like to revert it because it is nothing than an OR of you. You need not to cry or give me false charge like above.--AM (talk) 07:44, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
First things first - this is Wikipedia, not academic writing. The standard for inclusion of information in Wikipedia is verifiability, not authenticity or primary source status. For example, a newspaper account or a book is an appropriate source. So the reference to the "national seal of ROV" is a red herring and is irrelevant. Obviously, AM has not read the original document in Chinese (presumably AM is not literate in Chinese). Also, edits based on a cited source are not "original research". Original research would be, e.g. contacting Ngo's family for information, or looking up records in a government office in Vietnam.
The document cited by WikiFlier is an official document published by the Republic of China (ROC), NOT the Republic of Vietnam. It is reasonable to expect that the ROC diplomats - who must have been dealing with Diem on a near-daily basis - knew the correct characters for his name. Getting the name of the guest of honor on an official state visit wrong would be a major faux pas in Asia (and even among "sophisticated" Europeans). The ROC document is ample verification. It is also highly relevant that the speech assumes that Ngo - the guest of honor - is familiar with Mencius. AM/YellowMonkey - did you know who Mencius is? What is he called in Vietnamese?
All secondary sources in Chinese (e.g. contemporary newspaper accounts etc.) are in accord, and the name has remained in the public eye to Chinese readers to the present day. Furthermore, the names for Diem's siblings are consistent in character usage, thus providing internal verification in addition to the individual sourcing. Wikipedia verification requirements are amply satisfied. WikiFlier (talk) 15:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
First, let me be straight. I don't care about how Chinese write down the name of Diem, or what assumption you got from a Chinese book. Let me be clear again, I don't have time to read all your document because I'm not expert and I'm not interested in reading Chinese ANY MORE. All I would like to do is a quick read and I could draw out a fact that this is not an offical document from ROV to ROC. So I can't accept that document as an envidence to prove that Ngo Dinh Diem used to use Chinese characters for his name. Moreover, if you keep charging me falsely, I will report you to WP:ANI as you are personally attacking me.--AM (talk) 03:18, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, everyone here totally believes that Amore Mio could previously read sophisticated Chinese, but now "doesn't have the time". (At least, your friend YellowMonkey will surely back you on this - right?) Of course, despite his lack of "time" to read a simple supporting document, Amore Mio the "academic writer" shows no hesitation in deleting edits that he obviously CANNOT READ.
Sadly, after repeated explanations, Amore Mio still claims to misapprehend Wikipedia's sole criterion for inclusion of information - verification (see discussion above). The fact is that Diem was consistently referred to as 吳廷琰 since at least 1957 (see e.g. here and numerous other sources here).
The fact that Diem was referred to as 吳廷琰 in verifiable sources is ALL that is required under applicable Wikipedia standards. There is absolutely no requirement that the document in question be "official" or originate with the Republic of Vietnam. As for any residual doubt regarding the possibility of the characters being merely phonetic stand-ins, the fact that the characters were used by the Republic of China during an official visit by Diem, in conjunction with the fact that Diem's father was a Vietnamese mandarin who must have been educated in classical Chinese serves to negate this hypothesis resoundingly. WikiFlier (talk) 04:50, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
YellowMonkey and friends evidently have a hard time dealing with the real story of Vietnam. Classical Chinese traditions and, yes, the actual language has been and remains a significant factor among the Vietnamese elite. For example, the article on Sun_Tzu specifically notes the following (emphasis added):
Ho Chi Minh translated the work for his Vietnamese officers to study.[1][2]
Let's have the courage to look at Vietnam in context, instead of airbrushing out the facts that do not fit into the mass-propaganda picture created by Vietnam's intellectuals since the late 1800s. WikiFlier (talk) 03:33, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
What the hell a Ho Chi Minh's action has to do with Ngo Dinh Diem? Ho Chi Minh was a son of a mandarin and he had spent a significant portion of his life in China, so what make it so different when he knew Chinese?--AM (talk) 07:44, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Ah - "Ho Chi Minh was a son of a mandarin...". So was Diem, as we have established. AM may not be cognizant of the difference between modern and classical Chinese - the bottom line is that learning to read classical Chinese takes years of study (key part of Vietnamese mandarin's curriculum), and cannot be picked up on the street. Again, the issue here is whether Diem or his father were at least fleetingly cognizant of the relevance and meaning of the characters. More importantly, of course, the governments of Vietnam and of the Republic of China were profoundly aware of the characters, as was and is the entire Chinese-reading world. But perhaps the views of a billion plus Chinese don't count to AM because they are not sophisticated Europeans and Americans who read books written by college profs in English. This is known as an "ethno-centric world view". WikiFlier (talk) 15:20, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
How does a document from the ROC government prove that Diem ever wrote his name in Chinese? It's ridiculous to suggest that just because the CPV wrote Nong Duc Manh's name in Chinese in the Chinese-language portion of their website that the Chinese characters are relevant, or just because in Vietnamese Hu Jintao's name is rendered as Hồ Cẩm Đào that it's relevant to include it in the article about him. DHN (talk) 22:14, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Not the govt of the ROV and the civil service was in no way "profoundly aware" of Chinese; French was much more widespread during ROV and it was a compulsory foreign language in high school. This Sinofascisttroll is getting tiresome YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 06:11, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
YM - you guys seem to protest an awful lot about something that by your lights is an irrelevance. Also, please read carefully - I said that the Vietnamese government (specifically, the delegation to Taipei) was profoundly aware of the correct Chinese characters. The fact that peasant Nguyen (like your time-challenged friend Amore Mio) cannot read Chinese is neither here nor there. WikiFlier (talk) 06:22, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
To begin with - all we need to establish is that Diem was generally known by the Chinese characters 吳廷琰. Over and above this Wikipedia requirement, WikiFlier has shown that 吳廷琰 was the name used during Diem's state visit to the Republic of China.
The seeming symmetry in DHN's argument is a fallacy. The point is that the Chinese characters carry information that the romanized spelling does not. The relationship between Chinese characters to Vietnames reading is many-to-one - different Chinese characters may be read identically in Vietnamese (including tones). Conversely, a given word such as Đình or Diệm could generally be written with different Chinese characters. The choice of specific characters is of great significance and remains so among the educated elite in Vietnam.
Wikipedia versions elsewhere in the Sinosphere - Japan and Korea - include the Chinese characters in the Diem article as a matter of course even though they normally write his name phonetically. But of course, for the English version we should all be guided by the superior insights (or unseeing inspiration?) of "Amore Mio" who is, after all, an "academic writer" which, of course, puts his pronouncement and vandalism beyond criticism by mere literate mortals. WikiFlier (talk) 04:50, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
What you neglect to mention is that elsewhere in the Sinosphere, Chinese characters remain relevant and, more importantly, in official use (people's names are still written in Chinese characters in vital records). This is not the case in Vietnamese, and hasn't been for almost a hundred years, and you need to show that it was relevant when Diem was born. DHN (talk) 05:15, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Calm down[edit]

Lets everyone chill out for a moment. An argument attempting to ground itself in policy is starting to spiral into a bit of a flamer. There's now an ANI request for WikiFlier to tone down his aggression and keep his comments on the article not on the quality of the other users here, and I think he should or he's going to get dealt with my an admin. If, as someone said on the geo-political/ethnic noticeboard there is consensus at the relevant Wikiproject for the characters to not be used, then they should not unless discussion is raised at that WikiProject to overturn such consensus. If there is clear consensus among the majority that the sources WikiFlier is producing for the characters is not reliable then they should not be added unless such reliable sources are provided. If one "side" is not getting their way it is not an excuse to enter a revert war. There is no time limit, and the article can sit happily in the "wrong version" until we get some consensus here. In the mean time, don't bite each other or force the deployment of the ninja-trout. S.G.(GH) ping! 14:52, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Also, remember WP:3RR. WikiFlier is definitely close, and the other users should keep in mind that I don't think this qualifies as obvious vandalism. S.G.(GH) ping! 14:55, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Straw Poll on Inclusion of 吳廷琰 and Underlying Conclusions[edit]

OK, let's follow SGGH's suggestion and assess calmly whether there is a clear majority in favor or against certain key propositions in the lengthy debate above. The little straw poll below should help distill each participant's views on the key facts, and the ultimate issue - whether to include the characters 吳廷琰 in the body of the article.

Please sign with your signature block (i.e. insert for tilde characters) if you support each of the statements below. Feel free to add additional poll questions at the end if you feel they advance the debate. Thank you for participating! WikiFlier (talk) 03:55, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

I've informed Wikipedia:WikiProject Vietnam to come down here and weigh in. Though I suspect this is going to put people's backs up more, because it looks like you have selected these tailored questions to clearly emphasise what you believe is a gap between your abilities and those of AM and Yellowmonkey, rather than obtain consensus neutrally. S.G.(GH) ping! 12:06, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The questions are intended to focus the discussion on a few points. WikiFlier has expressly stated one set of views, and invited everyone to add further questions if necessary.
Numerous other Wikipedia articles dealing with Vietnamese subjects contain Chinese characters - perhaps those contributors could be invited to take a look at the supporting documents cited, and the controversy to date. WikiFlier (talk) 19:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Hopefully by notifying the WikiProject this will be achieved. S.G.(GH) ping! 20:42, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

1. I can personally read Chinese.

YES: WikiFlier (talk) 03:51, 10 October 2010 (UTC) AM (talk) 11:27, 12 October 2010 (UTC) NO: Itsmejudith (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

2. I have personally read the Republic of China document cited by WikiFlier and believe I reasonably understand it on its terms.

YES: WikiFlier (talk) 03:51, 10 October 2010 (UTC) AM (talk) 11:27, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

NO: Itsmejudith (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

3. Ngo Dinh Diem's name was verifiably written 吳廷琰 in Chinese sources since at least 1957 (see e.g. here and other sources here).

YES: WikiFlier (talk) 03:51, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Prepared to assume so. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

NO (please cite sources giving other rendering): Chinese could easily render a Vietnamese name into Han Tu through the pronouciation. So a Chinese source is unverifiable.--AM (talk) 11:27, 12 October 2010 (UTC) AM (talk) 11:27, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

4. Based on verifiable sources (please cite), I believe that 吳廷琰 is merely a phonetic rendering of Ngo Dinh Diem's name into Chinese and is NOT the authentic name (if any) chosen by the Ngo Family.

YES (please cite sources):

NO: WikiFlier (talk) 03:51, 10 October 2010 (UTC) (believes characters were known to and accepted by Diem himself)

Not relevant. The family named him in the normal Vietnamese way, i.e. with surname and with a given name of Chinese etymology (as with millions of Vietnamese people before and after him). As Catholics, they also gave a Christian name in French. This is explained in the article. If a source discusses the Chinese characters for his name or the Chinese etymology of his name then it could also be included. But if no source discusses it there is no reason to include it. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

5. Even if the characters 吳廷琰 authentically represent Ngo Ding Diem's name, the Chinese characters should NOT be included in the article.


  1. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  2. Irrelevant to his era/lifestyle YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 00:10, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  3. Han Tu was a historical writing system at his time. So "no"AM (talk) 11:27, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

INCLUDE: WikiFlier (talk) 03:51, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

6. Chinese characters should be removed from ALL Vietname related articles since Chinese characters are no longer officially used in Vietnam. For example the articles on Cường Để or the Nguyen Dynasty should be cleansed of all Chinese characters.

YES: Probably. WikiProject Vietnam will draw up guidelines for inclusion of Chinese characters. Everyone is invited to participate in discussion. Remember also, WP:OTHERSTUFF. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

NO: WikiFlier (talk) 04:03, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Pre-1900 persons were still use them widely. So "NO".--AM (talk) 11:28, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


Itsmejudith (thanks for sharing your views frankly!) stated with respect to the characters 吳廷琰 for Diem's name:

Not relevant. The family named him in the normal Vietnamese way, i.e. with surname and with a given name of Chinese etymology (as with millions of Vietnamese people before and after him). As Catholics, they also gave a Christian name in French. This is explained in the article. If a source discusses the Chinese characters for his name or the Chinese etymology of his name then it could also be included. But if no source discusses it there is no reason to include it.

This response appears to be based on a misunderstanding of how Chinese characters work (and were perceived by Ngo's family). Each character has a specific meaning and would be chosen for this meaning. The meanings are inherent in the characters themselves - which is why characters remain important. Thus, to a reader familiar with Chinese, there is no need to chase a separate "etymology" beyond a regular dictionary. Commonly, one character (Dinh in this case) was predetermined by family tradition, the other (Diem) is chosen for the individual, often based on advice from fortune-tellers etc.

Unlike Western names, the Chinese characters and their established meanings each speak for themselves to anyone who has learned them (at least in general terms - there may be detailed stories underlying the choice). For example, anyone with a modest knowledge of Chinese writing (in Vietnam, Korea, Japan and of course China) knows that 廷 (Dinh) means something like "court" as in "royal court" or "law court". By contrast, the merely phonetic word "Diem" (without the Chinese character) does NOT allow one to establish which character/meaning Ngo's family had in mind.

To get a feel for how this works, cut-and-paste Đình or Diệm into the box on this page, then hit "go". You will find a long list of Chinese characters all pronounced Đình or Diệm, respectively. For example, no fewer than 12 different characters (亭仃停婷庭廷莚葶蜓諪霆鼮) are all read "Đình" in Vietnamese, but are written quite differently and have fundamentally different meanings, e.g.: 亭 "pavillion", 停 "stop", 庭 "courtyard", 婷 "pretty (feminine)", 蜓 "dragonfly", etc. So was Diem's middle name "Dragonfly", "Pavillion", "Pretty" or "Courtyard"? (A: none of the above.)

In fact, the actual characters chosen for "Diem" (琰) and the last syllables of his brothers' names are very unusual, which itself is an indication of how the Ngo family saw their status in society, and how they would be perceived by other members of the elite. The left part of the character tells a reader (even one unfamiliar with the specific character) in general terms that the character designates some type of jade or jewel.

The inherent (and instantly verifiable) meaning of Chinese characters is the reason why the Japanese and Korean versions of the article give Diem's name (also) in Chinese characters even though Diem's name is not normally written in Chinese characters in Japanese or Korean. A significant minority of readers of the English language Wikipedia pages dealing with East Asian topics are able to read at least some Chinese.

As a convenience to readers (but not touted as such in the original edit), the 3-word segment including the Chinese characters included separate Wiktionary links for each character, thus enabling anyone interested to seek out that information. Try clicking individual characters: Hán tự: [3] WikiFlier (talk) 02:53, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Kindly prove that Diem's parents had that much care about the meaning of his name please. Other wise, your whole explanation or "useful information" is merely a original research.--AM (talk) 11:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
AM - for the umpteenth time: I have explained repeatedly (see entire thread above) that the only criterion for Wikipedia is verifiability. I have now cited numerous sources that consistently give the characters 吳廷琰 for Diem's name. On this talk page, we are discussing what these sources mean. In the context of this discussion, and based on verifiable and generally accepted facts regarding Diem and his family, I ventured the view that Diem's father must have been cognizant of the Chinese characters and their meanings when he named Diem 廷琰. This discussion is a proper consideration of verifiable sources and facts. I have never proposed that this conclusion be included in the article itself. So no, this is NOT "original research". WikiFlier (talk) 14:43, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
My response wasn't based on misunderstanding. I know that Chinese characters can be homophones in Vietnamese. We did already discuss this in the WikiProject and have taken characters out of many articles where they had been inserted. They are particularly unhelpful in placenames, where the name may have been formed out of a merger, or has an ethnic minority language etymology reinterpreted as Sino-Vietnamese. I will be happy to go with the consensus view on use of characters. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:36, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we are not on the same page about the word "etymology" in this context. I believe the illustration I gave above helps to bring the idea to life. Note that one NEEDS the characters in order to ascertain the intended meaning. In my view, this is certainly a case of nomen est omen. Diem and his brothers were obviously named with a career as mandarins in mind. The fact that they ended up at the very top of the greasy pole in a different Vietnam makes the story much more fascinating, but does not detract from the significance of their names and specifically, the Chinese characters chosen. As I have stated previously, we should bear in mind that many articles in the English Wikipedia about Vietnam will be read by people who read at least some Chinese, partly because article versions in Chinese and other languages are much less developed or absent altogether. WikiFlier (talk) 14:43, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Putting the characters in with a hope that readers will see that there was "a career as mandarins in mind" would be original research and/or original synthesis. As I said before, if a source has mentioned this it can be covered in the article. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:57, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
The only requirement for Wikipedia is whether the information presented is verifiable. In this case, it is. On this talk page, we are discussing whether to include verified information, so that readers can draw their own conclusions. For the avoidance of doubt, WikiFlier does not propose that the article indicate that Diem's name indicates that he was groomed for a career as a "mandarin". However, many readers (those who can read Chinese but not Vietnamese) will naturally want to see the Chinese characters to get a better feel for the name and as a mmemonic, rather than impenetrable Quoc ngu with random squiggles all over. WikiFlier (talk) 15:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
No, that's a mistaken view of policy. Articles must also stick to the point and not create original synthesis. By the way, he and his brothers got the Dinh middle name from their father, who it seems was an aspirational kind of person. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:36, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Not correct - "original synthesis" is defined as combining different sources to state a composite conclusion that is not warranted by the individual sources. Readers drawing their own (unprompted) conclusions from material presented in an article is the very purpose of Wikipedia and is not "original synthesis". The full definition can be reviewed here. WikiFlier (talk) 16:48, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
"many readers (those who can read Chinese but not Vietnamese) will naturally want to see the Chinese characters to get a better feel for the name and as a mmemonic, rather than impenetrable Quoc ngu with random squiggles all over": So it turns out that one of your reason for including Chinese in the article is that some readers of the English Wikipedia will feel uncomfortable with the Latin alphabet and prefer the chicken scratch that is Chinese. You know there was a reason the Vietnamese language no longer uses Chinese writing, and that there was a movement to write Chinese with the Latin alphabet, right? DHN (talk) 16:08, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is quite true that Western-inspired "intellectuals" in East Asia tried to modernize their respective languages in the first half of the 20th century. One guy in Japan suggested switching the entire country to French because he felt it is a "perfect" language.
There is a serious point here - why should we include the full Vietnamese spelling (with complicated diacritics and tone marks) in the English language article? To a Vietnamese, Ngô Đình Diệm conveys information that Ngo Dinh Diem does not. But we are talking about the English language article here. So the same arguments for and against including information relevant to other languages apply. Why exactly should we include the complex Vietnamese spelling in the English language article? WikiFlier (talk) 16:30, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Simple, that's because this is how his name is written in primary sources about him. All you have to do is find a primary source (his birth certificate, his passport document, the name he went by in the 1955 referendum, or anything official relating to him that shows those Chinese characters being used, then I'm convinced that those Chinese characters are relevant. DHN (talk) 16:45, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
DHN - that is simply not Wikipedia policy. All that is required is "verifiability, not truth", i.e. the information in an article must be verifiable by reference to external sources. See Wikipedia:Verifiability. Conversely, looking up Diem's birth certificate would in fact be improper original research. Overwhelming verification has already been provided for Diem's name and has not been challenged by anyone who claims to have read and understood it. WikiFlier (talk) 03:41, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

How does the fact that Diem's name is written as "吳廷琰" in China be any more relevant than the fact that Barack Obama's name is written as "贝拉克·奥巴马" in China? I can produce plenty of Chinese documents that mention Barack Obama's name. You still have yet to establish that Diem himself used it or that it was used in any official context in Vietnam. Since Diem is a borderline case, I'm perfectly willing to add Chinese characters to this article if its relevance can be proven (as in the case of Bao Dai). You, like a lot of Sinophilic editors, lumped Vietnam with other so-called Sinosphere countries without regards of the relevance of the characters to the language. The fact that you showed surprise that the Vietnamese don't share the Chinese naming taboos is very telling. I've been dealing with these editors constantly, those who can't read a word of Vietnamese, but just wantonly add Chinese characters to articles about modern Vietnamese concept, because they're still under the mistaken impression that Vietnamese still employs those characters. DHN (talk) 04:27, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
RESPONSE TO DHN (the indentations are getting confusing): The various Chinese character renderings for Barack Obama's name more or less represent the sound of the name in Mandarin or Cantonese, but the characters were each carefully chosen to be as far as possible neutral in meaning. To a Chinese reader, it is obvious, e.g., that 拉 la was chosen to represent the sound -ra-, not for its meaning "pull". This specific character is conventionally used to transliterate -ra- or -la- sounds. For example, the Latin language is called 拉丁文, "la-ding" language. The converse is the case with Diem's name. As Itsmejudith observed:
The family named him in the normal Vietnamese way, i.e. with surname and with a given name of Chinese etymology (as with millions of Vietnamese people before and after him).
AM has pointed out in addition that "Ngo Dinh" may be something like a "double-barreled surname". In any event, given the background of Ngo senior, it is clear that they were aware of the shape and meaning of the characters (Diem was born in 1901 - AM suggest keeping Chinese characters up to 1900), and considered them to be profoundly meaningful, probably taking advice from fortunetellers and educated friends from the same background to narrow the choice. WikiFlier is well aware of how Vietnamese is and was written at different periods, but we are talking about a small coterie of elite mandarins in 1901, not airport staff at SGN in 2010. WikiFlier (talk) 00:43, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Not ALL source can be used in Wikipedia. It should be reasonable and verifiable.--AM (talk) 16:49, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
The only requirement for Wikipedia is whether the information presented is verifiable. In this case, it is. On this talk page, we are discussing whether to include verified information, so that readers can draw their own conclusions. For the avoidance of doubt, WikiFlier does not propose that the article indicate that Diem's name indicates that he was groomed for a career as a "mandarin". However, many readers (those who can read Chinese but not Vietnamese) will naturally want to see the Chinese characters to get a better feel for the name and as a mmemonic, rather than impenetrable Quoc ngu with random squiggles all over. WikiFlier (talk) 15:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
No, that's a mistaken view of policy. Articles must also stick to the point and not create original synthesis. By the way, he and his brothers got the Dinh middle name from their father, who it seems was an aspirational kind of person. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:36, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
"many readers (those who can read Chinese but not Vietnamese) will naturally want to see the Chinese characters to get a better feel for the name and as a mmemonic, rather than impenetrable Quoc ngu with random squiggles all over": So it turns out that one of your reason for including Chinese in the article is that some readers of the English Wikipedia will feel uncomfortable with the Latin alphabet and prefer the chicken scratch that is Chinese. You know there was a reason the Vietnamese language no longer uses Chinese writing, and that there was a movement to write Chinese with the Latin alphabet, right? DHN (talk) 16:08, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is quite true that Western-inspired "intellectuals" in East Asia tried to modernize their respective languages in the first half of the 20th century. One guy in Japan suggested switching the entire country to French because he felt it is a "perfect" language.
There is a serious point here - why should we include the full Vietnamese spelling (with complicated diacritics and tone marks) in the English language article? To a Vietnamese, Ngô Đình Diệm conveys information that Ngo Dinh Diem does not. But we are talking about the English language article here. So the same arguments for and against including information relevant to other languages apply. Why exactly should we include the complex Vietnamese spelling in the English language article? WikiFlier (talk) 16:30, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Because this is a personal name. Moreover, non-diacritic could make Vietnamese name ridiculous in the English speaking word such as :Dũng - Dung/ Mỹ Dung - My Dung / Phúc - Phuc / Bích - Bich. Lastly, English speakers are tend to ignore diacritic when they are reading, so that diacritic names, unlike Chinese character, isn't a big deal at all.--AM (talk) 16:49, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
[RESPONSE TO ITSMEJUDITH ABOVE] Your link points to something else. To the extent that the name speaks for itself, it should do so. In the English speaking world, does anyone doubt that, e.g. judge Learned Hand and those around him were significantly impacted by his unusual name? It is NOT proposed to add any "synthesis" in the article itself (although it might be useful to explain what the characters mean, again based on verifiable dictionaries,, see above). What does everyone think?
And yes, I noted that Diem's father also had the middle name "Dinh" - from a Chinese perspective, this is very unusual - parents' names (and even names of parents' siblings etc.) are generally taboo. WikiFlier (talk) 15:55, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, but he was named in VN, not in China. QED. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:14, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Precisely - isn't that a fascinating point for interested readers to ponder? WikiFlier (talk) 16:30, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Ngô Đình is a kind of double-barrelled surname in Viet Nam. Many clans took a double-barrel surname in order to distinguish themselves from other surnames which share a same root surname/or a root clan name. For example, the clan of Ngo has many sub-clans such as Ngô Đình, Ngô Thừa, Ngô Thì... And although they have a same surname, they rarely know each other.--AM (talk) 16:49, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Fascinating! Seems like we are actually learning something new in this discussion. If there is a verifiable source on this, it would be great to include this bit of background in the article (and perhaps in a separate article about Vietnamese names). This apparent custom also resolves the Chinese taboo issue mentioned earlier in a Vietnamese context (one assumes that the taboo is generally observed in Vietnam). WikiFlier (talk) 17:25, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Incorporation of Vietnamese diacritical markings[edit]

There may be some mention of this above, and I confess I did not read it. I just came here to consult this article and am very annoyed at all those disruptive dots and squiggles. It really makes reading for the sense of the article a chore. This is the English Wikipedia; may I suggest we stick to the Latin alphabet? I will go elsewhere on the web to find the facts I need since this is just too tedious. Yopienso (talk) 18:23, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

This has been discussed ad nauseum. May I remind you that the Vietnamese writing system is as much Latin as English, French, Polish, or German? The fact that you are not familiar with some letters doesn't make it any less Latin. DHN (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I won't quibble with you on the definition of the Latin alphabet, but I'll tell you all these diacritical marks slow down the reading of the article by someone unfamiliar with them. This is not standard in English writing.
Duong Van Minh, 85, Saigon Plotter, Dies New York Times
Gen. Duong Van "Big" Minh LA Times
Duong Van Minh (“Big Minh”) Encyclopedia Britannica
Minh, Duong Van Infoplease
Brainy Quote
Books about Vietnamese at Amazon.
I respect you as a person and, as I assume, a Vietnamese. I understand the force with which a person may cling to certain national customs. In fact, that's exactly what I'm doing myself, in a broader than national sense--in the sense of the international English community. I was unable to find an English-speaking publication that uses the Vietnamese diacritical markings like this article does. I am sure they are correct, but they are inappropriate here. Yopienso (talk) 00:32, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I couldn't care less whether the diacritics appear in these articles or not. I'm just correcting you when you say that you want us to "stick to the Latin alphabet", you mean "stick to the subset of the Latin alphabet I'm familiar with". This is probably not the best venue to discuss that - you can find the topic discussed to death in Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Vietnamese) and various other places where there's a lively debate. DHN (talk) 01:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, let's get those marks off the page, then, since it doesn't matter to you and I think they are obstructive. From your links: The use of diacritics in article should follow the style of the article title. And, This all comes down to applying WP:COMMONNAME. We follow the usage found in our sources... if a significant majority of the English language sources use a diacritical letter or character (no matter what the linguistic derivation), then we should do the same... if not, neither should we. If there is no significant majority, then we can choose which to use base on discussion and consensus at the article level. It really is that simple. Blueboar (talk) 14:08, 20 July 2011 (UTC) Yopienso (talk) 02:59, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
For any Vietnamese article, names to Vietnamese people, places and events should have proper Vietnamese accentation. Without diacritics, written Vietnamese, or even refs to it, are incorrect, as there are numerous words in the Viet language that have the exact same spelling, but have multiple, and very different, meanings.(talk) 21:17, 10 April 2012 (UTC) User:Nguyen1310 (talk) 21:17, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
English is like that, too; we just don't have any markings to clarify the ambiguity. Somehow, we figure it out. Spanish is my second language. It has diacritical markings that are often omitted or misapplied. Again, we figure it out. I heartily agree the vi.wikipedia should include the correct markings; this is the en.wikipedia. Odd you don't write your name as Nguyễn. Yopienso (talk) 22:42, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Discrepency regarding the remains of Thich Quang Duc[edit]

According to this article Thich Quang Duc's remains, including the heart were confiscated. Yet, the main article on Thich Quang Duc states:

"two monks had escaped with the urn, jumping over the back fence and finding safety at the U.S. Operations Mission next door. Nhu's men managed to confiscate Đức's charred heart".

So which article is accurate? Was the heart confiscated and the urn brought to safety or were both eventually confiscated? --Delijdewolfe (talk) 16:38, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

RfC on the spelling of Vietnamese names[edit]

RfC: Should the spelling of Vietnamese names follow the general usage of English-language reliable sources? Your opinion goes here. Examples: Ngo Dinh Diem, Ho Chi Minh, and Saigon, or Ngô Đình Diệm, Hồ Chí Minh, and Sài Gòn. Kauffner (talk) 07:02, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

This is not the correct place for such a discussion. There is policy on diacritics in general, which you are at liberty to challenge, and there is room for discussion about application to Vietnamese, which belongs on the talk page of WP:VN, as you know, because you have already discussed it with us there and been unable to find consensus for your view. Itsmejudith (talk) 07:07, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
This article has been stable at the ASCII form for some years. Perhaps its editors would like to know that there is an effort to rewrite the guidelines so it can be moved. Kauffner (talk) 08:40, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying that the discussion is not to be held here. Is there an effort to rewrite the guidelines? If there is ongoing discussion on that, then you should direct attention to it, rather than opening the RfC, which could be construed as forum-shopping. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:52, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I linked to the discussion above, which I believe is correctly located at the talk page for WP:Naming conventions (Vietnamese). It is a common practice to notify widely when a discussion of particular importance is being held -- and this one could potentially effect over 1,000 articles. Kauffner (talk) 13:16, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Communist Involvement in Budhist Protests[edit]

Half of my mother's family in South Vietnam was Buddhist (the other half was Catholic), and they did not experience this purported oppression of Buddhists by Diem. On the contrary he was seen as a good leader. Many of the Buddhist complaints, specifically the public burning have been attributed to Communist agitators.

I think the article should mention the extent of the Communist infiltration into South Vietnam, specifically the Communist efforts to stir up parts of the Buddhist population especially through Thich Tri Quang who was himself a Communist supporter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:52, 22 December 2012 (UTC)


Intro is absolutely unacceptable, looks like a Maoist wrote it. Gtbob12 (talk) 01:00, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I concur, the article is predominantly skewed by anti-Diem rhetoric and misplaced understanding of the aspirations which the people of South Vietnam expressed openly to live free from Communist overlordship.

The whole article is also tainted by hero worship of fallible American journalists who did more harm than good to the people of South Vietnam. For instance, the article refers to the notorious "Pulitzer prize winning" photograph of the Buddhist monk immolation. This warps the narrative at the outset as if we ought evaluate harm that befell Vietnamese people from a single over-popularized polaroid picture.

Read "Triumph Forsaken" by Mark Moyar on the US in Vietnam 1954-1965 for an an understanding that eludes this current article's authors. [4].

Thank you for incorporating this and other balanced treatments of our war there. I served as an Army Intelligence officer under HQs MACV 1970-1971. I knew very well leading South Vietnamese figures both civilian and military. I also was close to the French community in Saigon and can confirm their understanding that our efforts would have succeeded for all the Vietnamese people had Cabot Lodge not abetted the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem. (talk) 14:10, 17 March 2013 (UTC)Thomas

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:01, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Whenever i try to add content that is historically true about South & North Vietnamese history and VN War history, with my personal experiences and knowledge of Vietnam, that contradicts what many Western historians and journalists say (like Halberstam whose news source is from a VC agent), i get labelled as "POV" by a bunch of editors, often pro-communist, which is very annoying...Good to know that there's more people out there who see the truth rather than blindly follow the lies, extortions, propaganda of the communists.Nguyen1310 (talk)
Can people say specifically what they object to rather than just tagging? Itsmejudith (talk) 11:50, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Respectful rewording[edit]

I think it doesn't pay appropriate respect to the sacrifice made by Quảng Đức to say:

"Diệm's policies toward the Republic's Montagnard natives and its Buddhist majority were met with protests, culminating in Malcolm Browne's Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of the self-immolation of Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức in 1963". Did Diệm's policies towards the Buddhist majority culminate in a Pulitzer Prize winning photo of the ultimate act of protest, or could it be said the protests culminated in Thích Quảng Đức self-immolation, an incident was captured by....? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ [8] Interview with Dr. William Duiker
  2. ^ [9] Learning from Sun Tzu, Military Review, May-June 2003
  3. ^ "Remarks at State Banquet for Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem". Chungcheng Foundation (in Chinese). 1960-01-16. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  4. ^