Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Madam Nhu the Dragon Lady Death

Madame Nhu, flashy, sharp-tongued former South Vietnam dignitary.

Madame Nhu, who has died aged 87, was the archetypal "dragon lady" of Asian politics, a svelte and sinister woman who wielded immense power in the South Vietnamese regime of president Ngo Dinh Diem , her brother-in-law, until his assassination in 1963. She accumulated vast wealth and power, but was reviled for her puritanical social campaigns and her callous dismissal of Buddhist monks who burned themselves to death to protest against the brutal rule of Diem and her husband Ngo Dinh Nhu. "I would clap hands at seeing another monk barbecue show, for one cannot be responsible for the madness of others," she wrote in a letter to the New York Times. The world was stunned by photographs of monks sitting shrouded in flames; Madame Nhu simply offered to bring along some mustard for the next self-immolation. She later accused monks of lacking patriotism for setting themselves alight with imported petrol.

Those remarks solidified the enmity felt for a woman whom the American press had optimistically described in the mid-1950s as her country's Joan of Arc. Less than a decade later, as the US was drawn into the conflict between North and South Vietnam, she came to be seen as "an oriental Lucrezia Borgia". This tiny woman, who stood less that 5ft tall, at first intoxicated the US with her lacquered glamour; later the US press, shocked by her icy hauteur and political machinations, turned her into the personification of the remoteness and corruption that afflicted Diem's government.

Madame Nhu, the name by which she was always known, although she was born Tran Le Xuan, preferred to see herself as continuing the tradition of the Trung sisters, two aristocratic women who led a revolt against Chinese rule in the first century. To aid South Vietnam's fight against the communist insurgency, she founded a women's paramilitary, known as the Women's Solidarity Movement. This force, whose members were paid twice the wages of conscripted men, drained money from the army and rarely did more than parade for the cameras while Madame Nhu took the salute.

Her only official position was as a deputy to the National Assembly, voted in by a group of Roman Catholic refugees from North Vietnam who enjoyed her enormous powers of patronage. But her power came from her proximity to Diem , an ascetic bachelor who rarely ventured outside the palace. Her husband, Diem's supposed political theoretician and closest adviser, ran a menacing secret police that dispatched opponents to the awful former French penal colonies on Poulo Condore and Phu Quoc islands. Madame Nhu revelled in her position. Her often repeated motto was: "Power is wonderful. Total power is totally wonderful."

Raised a Buddhist, Madame Nhu had converted to Catholicism when she married, and took to it with a convert's zeal. She rammed a bill through parliament that outlawed divorce, abortion and contraception. Describing the craze for dancing the twist as an "unhealthy activity", she had it banned as well. Wrestling, cock fighting and boxing soon followed on the list of forbidden activities. An attempt to outlaw popular padded brassieres was stopped only when the problems of enforcement were raised.

Some of her actions, which were portrayed as ludicrously puritanical, were aimed at improving the lot of women. She had laws passed that ended concubinage and polygamy. Divorce was only allowed by presidential decree, but that ended the power Vietnamese men had held to shed their wives on a whim. During Diem's rule, women achieved something close to parity with men. Rumours among the Saigonese were that Madame Nhu passed the ban to stop her sister divorcing her philandering husband to marry a Frenchman.

Her personal style, which had once captivated many Americans, began to repel them. She favoured heavily kohl-rimmed eyes, beehive hairstyles and the figure-hugging ao dai tunic worn by Vietnamese women. She was widely imitated; to this day the type of low-cut, ultra-fitted ao dai she wore is still known as the Tran Le Xuan style. But her elegance had its sinister side. She was described as being "moulded into her dress like a dagger in its sheath". Even her carved ivory fan, used mostly for coquettish effect, could clack shut like a gunshot and be used to rap home a point.


Born in Hanoi, she grew up in isolated privilege as the daughter of one of Vietnam's wealthiest businessmen, who had married a cousin of the Emperor Bao Dai. She was raised by a multitude of servants, who took her to French and ballet lessons, and was educated in Hanoi and Saigon. In 1943, aged 18, she married Nhu, one of six brothers from the prominent mandarin Ngo clan. Two years later she was captured, along with her eldest child, and was held briefly in a communist-controlled village. When scolding American officials for being insufficiently fervent in their anti-communism, she frequently referred to these months of deprivation, during which she was forced to subsist on just two bowls of rice a day and had only one coat to wear, in her words "a very fashionable wasp-waisted number from Paris".

Diem came to power in 1955, when Vietnam was divided into the communist North and the American-backed South. Almost immediately Madame Nhu began scheming; she was eventually banished to a convent in Hong Kong as her brother-in-law delicately consolidated his power over a country run by pirates, gangsters and armed religious cults. When she was allowed back, she stepped up her efforts to enhance her influence while maintaining the pretence that she was nothing more than the president's demure hostess for official functions.


Despite Diem's efforts, the communist insurgency that stepped up in 1960 took its toll on his rule, which became increasingly vicious. His brother and sister-in-law began to make more decisions and kept close to the isolated president, even sharing his official residence. Madame Nhu was always on hand to cajole or even berate Diem; she was said to have frequently flown into violent rages if he showed any signs of weakness against the regime's many opponents.

In February 1962, Madame Nhu survived the bombing of the presidential palace by two rebellious South Vietnamese pilots. Blinded by the flames and smoke, she raced to her children sleeping next door but fell through a hole left by the explosion and ended up two floors below, in the basement. She believed the attack had been secretly encouraged by the US, which had grown disappointed withDiem and disgusted with both Nhus. As the Buddhist crisis raged in 1963, she toured America's campuses to defend the clan's rule.

The tour disintegrated into farce; even her father – South Vietnam's ambassador to Washington – refused to meet her. She was photographed with her daughter, both in satin evening gowns, peering into the dark windows of the empty ambassador's residence that her parents had left to avoid meeting her. At Ivy League colleges, where she planned to make the case for a more muscular offensive against communism, students enraged by the growing repression in Saigon pelted her with eggs and abuse.

While in the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los Angeles on 2 November, Madame Nhu was informed of a coup against Diem by his generals. The president and his brother had fled to a church in Saigon's Chinatown. As they were removed from this sanctuary they were killed; the official version put out was that they had killed themselves, but photographs showed them bound and bloody from beatings. They had been shot in the back of an army truck.

Her children were allowed to leave Saigon and join her in Paris, where she began her exile in an apartment overlooking the Eiffel Tower. She soon moved to Rome, where another brother-in-law, the archbishop of Hue, Ngo Dinh Thuc, had also found asylum. The only other surviving brother of the murdered president was later executed.

Exile was a bitter time. Madame Nhu earned some money initially by charging for interviews and photographs. She soon disappeared from the limelight only to make a brief reappearance in 1975, when South Vietnam finally fell to the communist North. She claimed none of that would have happened if the Ngo clan had remained in power. Her elder daughter was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1967, and in 1986 her brother, Tran Van Khiem was charged with suffocating their elderly parents to death, in a dispute over his inheritance. He was found to be mentally ill, claiming in court that Zionist conspirators had murdered his parents. Madame Nhu is survived by two sons and a daughter.

• Madame Ngô Ðình Nhu (Tran Le Xuan), political consort, born 15 April 1924; died 24 April 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/26/madame-nhu-obituary
http://www.nytimehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Ngo_Dinh_Nhus.com/2011/04/27/world/asia/27nhu.html
http://nh.tributes.com/show/Ngo-Nhu-91360529

Dragon Lady" Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu Vietnamse Ultra Catholic Pictures

Dragon Lady" Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu dies in Rome

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, the outspoken beauty who served as South Vietnam's unofficial first lady early on in the Vietnam War and earned the nickname "Dragon Lady" for her harsh criticism of protesting Buddhist monks and communist sympathizers, has died at age 86, a Rome funeral home said Wednesday.

She died on Easter Sunday in a Rome hospital. The Gualandri funeral home said she was registered as Tran Le Xuan, her original Vietnamese name, meaning "Beautiful Spring."
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"Dragon Lady" Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu dies in Rome
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This Aug. 1963 photo shows Tran Le Xuan, known as Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, in an unknown location. (AP Photo/File)

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, the outspoken beauty who served as South Vietnam's unofficial first lady early on in the Vietnam War and earned the nickname "Dragon Lady" for her harsh criticism of protesting Buddhist monks and communist sympathizers, has died at age 86, a Rome funeral home said Wednesday.

She died on Easter Sunday in a Rome hospital. The Gualandri funeral home said she was registered as Tran Le Xuan, her original Vietnamese name, meaning "Beautiful Spring."

Madame Nhu lived in the former presidential palace in South Vietnam's capital, Saigon, with her husband, the powerful head of the secret police, and his bachelor brother, President Ngo Dinh Diem, who served from 1955 to 1963. She took on the role of first lady as U.S.-backed South Vietnam fought northern communist forces before Washington broadened its military effort.

In the early 1960s, the trendsetting Madame Nhu was often photographed with her bouffant hairdo and glamorous clothes, including a tight version of the traditional silk tunic known as the ao dai, which showcased her slender body. She was equally well known for her fiery rhetoric, and was particularly outspoken against Buddhist monks who were setting themselves on fire to protest Diem's crackdown — once saying she would "clap hands at seeing another monk barbecue show, for one cannot be responsible for the madness of others."

Her Buddhist father, Tran Van Chuong, who was serving as the South Vietnamese ambassador to the U.S., resigned in protest as did her mother, Nam-Tran Chuong, who was South Vietnam's permanent observer to the United Nations.

Madame Nhu later called her father "a coward."

She was in the United States on a speaking tour on Nov. 1, 1963, when her husband, Ngo Dinh Nhu, was killed along with Diem in a U.S.-backed coup, ending his eight-year rule.

Madame Nhu went into exile in Italy and remained in Europe until her death, living a reclusive life in which she left her home only to attend Mass, according to family friend Thu Phu Truong of Seattle.

"When you hear the news one of your friends or relatives passes away, you are probably very sad. In this case, I am kind of joyful," Truong told The Associated Press. "When her husband was killed, she was away, and she lived by herself ... for what? She is waiting for the day she can be reunited with her husband."

Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City, fell to the communists on April 30, 1975 when tanks rolled into the city, reunifying the country.

Madame Nhu had been raised Buddhist in Hanoi by well-off and highly influential aristocratic parents, but she converted to Catholicism in 1943 when she married Nhu, who was nearly twice her age. She remained deeply religious until her death, Truong said.

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu was the most famous and influential woman in the brief history of South Vietnam. As the sister-in-law of Vietnam’s bachelor President Ngo Dinh Diem, she considered herself the nation’s First Lady. No stranger to controversy, and thriving on publicity, Madame Nhu had the complete support of President Diem along with the complete loathing of President John Kennedy and the government of the United States, both at the same time. This is the story of the rise and fall of Madame Nhu, known as the Dragon Lady of South Vietnam.

Madame Nhu was born in1924 into one of the wealthiest and most aristocratic families in Vietnam. Her maiden name was Tran Le Xuan (“Beautiful Spring”). Her father was a lawyer, and the Tran family made its fortune serving the French colonial government. At her home in Hanoi she was attended by 20 servants. She was a mediocre student who never finished high school. She became fluent in French but never learned to write Vietnamese. Beautiful Spring felt unloved by her mother, against whom she rebelled. She had an unhappy childhood and was anxious to marry in order to escape her domestic circumstances.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/27/501364/main20057791.shtml#ixzz1PU2fbp1J

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/27/501364/main20057791.shtml#ixzz1PU29JqnD
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http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/27/501364/main20057791.shtml

Madam Nhu of Vietnam Death Quick Trip in Space Ship to Mary mother of God


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Ngo_Dinh_Nhu
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11117/1142223-82-0.stm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/27/madame-ngo-dinh-nhu-south-vietnam-first-lady-dies_n_854273.html

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dr. Nedzib Sacirbey Political Analysis Bosnia and Croatia

Croatia has a key role to play in the evolution of the former Yugoslavia, as does the United States. The success of both the Dayton peace agreement and Hague war crimes tribunal will depend in large part on cooperation and support from the Republic of Croatia. The U.S. relationship with Croatia has suffered twists and turns this year: the first official trade mission to Croatia, led by for

mer U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, and expected to bring much needed foreign investment, ended in tragedy in April. In May, media fallout from the unearthed, unofficial White House policy to ignore the flow of arms from Iran to Bosnian government forces via Croatia inflamed members of Congress and the public. Currently, there is widespread editorializing about President Clinton's motives as he backs the Bosnian presidential elections, scheduled for September 14. Under provision of the Dayton accords, the elections must be 'free and fair,' a seemingly impossible condition at this point as the two indicted Bosnian Serb war criminals, Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, remain at large and influential. In a recent letter to the editor, published in the Washington Post (June 18), Croatian Ambassador Dr. Miomir Zuzul wrote, 'The prospects for a permanent understanding between the parties involved in Bosnia and Herzegovina have never been better,' and he stressed that it would be a mistake not to hold the elections on time. He also stated, 'American involvement will remain essential long after the last U.S. soldier has been withdrawn...' I recently spoke to both Ambassador Zuzul and to Dr. Nedzib Sacirbey, Bosnian representative to the United States. Dr. Sacirbey is a psychiatrist and former university professor. (He once had a student named Radovan Karadzic.) Dr. Sacirbey's son, Muhamed, is Bosnia's Ambassador to the U.N. In talking over the situation with these two experts, I hoped to gain a clearer understanding of the current state of affairs in Croatia and in Bosnia Herzegovina, as the debate over Bosnian elections continues and a new trade mission, to be led by U.S. Trade Sec
http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/sac/dc0603/ch3.htmretary Mickey Kantor, plans to leave for Croatia.

Sexy Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany at White House Dinner Lot of Saur Kraut





OTHER PHOTOS


GERMANY-VOTE-MEDIA
You want me to do what? German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens intently to advice from Maori elder Lewis Moeau at Government House as the moment to hongi with a Maori warrior fast approaches
You want me to do what? German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens intently to advice from Maori elder Lewis Moeau at Government House as the moment to hongi with a Maori warrior fast approaches


Here goes. Despite looking daunted by the prospect of touching noses, the German Chancellor seemed to make a good fist of the hongi tradition
Here goes. Despite looking daunted by the prospect of touching noses, the German Chancellor seemed to make a good fist of the hongi tradition

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanges a hongi, a traditional Maori greeting, with Government House Kaumatua (Maori elder) Lewis Moeau while being welcomed onto the Government House grounds
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanges a hongi, a traditional Maori greeting, with Government House Kaumatua (Maori elder) Lewis Moeau while being welcomed onto the Government House grounds


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Very Tiny Andorra Recognizes Tiny Kosovo

Andorra recognizes Republic of Kosovo

Radio and Television Andorra today confirmed that the Andorran government has recognized Republic of Kosovo. The recognition comes after consultations with both Spain and France on the issue. Andorra becomes the 76th UN member state to recognize Kosovo.