SORO

[Special Operations Research Office]

Ethnographic Study Series:

Selected Groups in the Republic of Vietnam
The Binh Xuyen

This is a PREPUBLICATION WORKING PAPER - an advance copy, subject to change - of a part of a larger study to be published in a single volume. Reproduction in whole or in part is permitted for any purpose of the United States Government.

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OPERATING UNDER CONTRACT WITH THE
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY


The Special Operations Research Office (SORO) of The American University, operating under contract with the Department of the Army, conducts research on military problems in support of requirements stated by the Department of the Army. As another service SORO provides through the Counterinsurgency Information Analysis Center (CINFAC) rapid responses to queries from Department of Defense agencies, their contractors, and as directed, other governmental departments and agencies.

The contents of this report, including any conclusions or recommendations, reflect the work of SORO and are not to be construed as an official Department of the Army position, unless so designated by other authorized documents. This particular study was conducted in response to a request from the Directorate of Special Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. 20310.

Using agencies are encouraged to submit additional questions and/or comments which will lead to clarification or correction of errors of fact and opinion; which fill gaps of information; or which suggest other changes as may be appropriate. Comments should be addressed to:

    Directorate of Special Operations
    Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations
    Department of the Army
    Washington., D.C., 20310

        or

    Director, Special Operations Research Office
    The American University
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    Washington, D.C., 20016

Reproduction in whole or in part is permitted for any purpose of the United States Government.

CAUTION: The information in this study should be considered as a point of departure to be checked against the current circumstances or conditions of the particular area in which the user is working.


ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY SERIES:

SELECTED GROUPS IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM

THE BINH XUYEN

cinfac/SORO logo

COUNTERINSURGENCY INFORMATION ANALYSIS CENTER
SPECIAL OPERATIONS RESEARCH OFFICE

The American University 5010 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016

SORO/CINFAC/R-0138-65 March 1966


PREFACE

SORO, in response to a request from the Directorate of Special Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations, Department of the Army, is developing through CINFAC an ethnographic study of selected groups residing in or migrating through the Republic of Vietnam. The complete study will cover 24 groups.

The task of studying these groups is a complicated one. The country is undergoing crises of various types, in the course of which the groups are more and more coming into contact with modern civilization. It is always difficult to gauge the true depth and nature of social and cultural changes; it is particularly difficult to identify and assess those occurring because of contact with U.S. military and economic assistance programs. It does appear, however, that the groups selected for study are deeply involved in these changes. Finally, the available information is fragmentary and often biased or contradictory.

This working paper on the Binh Xuyen is the 19th of a pre-publication series being distributed on a limited basis. It is a descriptive report based on secondary sources dealing with the Vietnamese society. Field research was not undertaken, although the comments of consultants and personnel recently returned from Vietnam have been incorporated. The final report will contain line drawings and illustrations.

It must be recognized, then, that this paper is not an exhaustive study. There are appreciable gaps in the information, and many discrepancies in the original sources were difficult to reconcile. Further, the information contained herein may be outdated even before it is published and is subject to modification in the light of new developments and information. Therefore, although it contains the latest information available, and the validity of this material has been checked as closely as possible, the user is cautioned to consider this study as a point of departure to be checked against the current circumstances or conditions of the particular area in which he is working.

[signature]
Richard H. Moore
Manager, Counterinsurgency
Information Analysis Center

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CONTENTS

Section Page
  PREFACE iii
  MAP vi
I. INTRODUCTION 1
II. EARLY HISTORY AND STATUS DURING THE INDOCHINA WAR 3
III. STATUS DURING THE DIEM REGIME 7
IV. STATUS SINCE THE DIEM REGIME 11
  FOOTNOTES 13
  BIBLIOGRAPHY 17
  INDEX 19

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Map: Territories of the Binh Xuyen.
The Binh Xuyen

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SECTION I

INTRODUCTION

Named for the town south of Cholon where the movement originated, the Binh Xuyen operated clandestinely as a band of river pirates in an area bounded on the west by the Soi Rap River, on the east by the Baria-Long Thanh highway, and on the north by the Phuoc Thanh, Phuoc An, Long Thanh highway until August 1945, when it came into public view.1 After World War II, the Binh Xuyen began organizing on a territorial basis, finally attaining a position of considerable political and military importance.* Frequently mislabeled a "sect," the Binh Xuyen actually lacked the religious base implicit in the title of sect and fundamental to organizations like the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao.** Additionally, the Binh Xuyen, unlike the sects, sought no popular support, but derived its funds from banditry and vice racketeering.2

Under the leadership of Le Van Vien (alias Bay Vien), the Binh Xuyen, numbering between 1,000 and 3,000, cooperated initially with the Viet Minh against the French during the Indochina War (1946-1954); but in 1948 they rallied to the side of the French and fought effectively against the Communists.3

Le Van Vien eventually became director of the "Grand Monde," one of Asia's largest gambling establishments, and was rewarded for his co-operation with the French by receiving a commission as a brigadier general in the auxiliary forces of the Vietnamese National Army. In 1953, the Binh Xuyen, backed by Emperor Bao Dai, reached the zenith of its power when it received nine seats in the National Congress called by the Emperor. By this time the Binh Xuyen had also gained control of the Saigon city civil administration and police force.4 By 1954, they operated lucrative gambling and prostitution establishments in Saigon and controlled the opium trade, much of the fish and charcoal commerce, and several hotels and rubber plantations.

In the army crisis of September 1954, the Binh Xuyen aligned itself with Premier Ngo Dinh Diem against the Chief of Staff Gen. Nguyen Van Hinh, who was suspected of plotting against Diem and was backed by the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao.5 A few days later, the Binh Xuyen switched its allegiance to Hinh and in March 1955 joined the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao in forming a "United Front of National Forces," a loose coalition. The Front sent a mission to Bao Dai, requesting the resignation of Diem, and


* The Binh Xuyen controlled areas of Vietnam as semi-autonomous fiefs. They collected taxes from the local population and ran local administration systems.


** The Cao Dai and Hoa Hao religious sects are examined in separate studies in this Ethnographic Study Series.

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issued an ultimatum to Diem, giving him 5 days to form a government of national union.6 Diem's refusal to acquiesce to the demands of the Front resulted in a Binh Xuyen attack on the presidential palace on March 29, 1955.* The French intervened in the conflict and temporarily halted the fighting,7 but renewed hostilities broke out a short time later when the National Army initiated military action against the Binh Xuyen. By May 1955, Government troops had pushed the Binh Xuyen from the Saigon-Cholon area into the swamps of Bien Hoa and Phuoc Tuy Provinces. Le Van Vien fled to Paris and the power of the Binh Xuyen had been smashed.8

According to one source, members of the Binh Xuyen who had escaped Diem's persecution and had been driven underground were included in the National Liberation Front at its foundation in 1960.9 Subsequent reports seem to confirm that small Binh Xuyen groups are cooperating with the Viet Cong.10


* The Cao Dai and Hoa Hao, sensing a change in the political atmosphere, defected to Diem's side just prior to the conflict.

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SECTION II

EARLY HISTORY AND STATUS DURING THE INDOCHINA WAR

For centuries it was customary for the Binh Xuyen, who inhabited a desolate, unproductive region south of Cholon, to raid their richer neighbors after harvesttime and steal enough to sustain themselves until the next harvest. The Binh Xuyen were simply river pirates or bandits who operated on a small scale from swamp hideouts.1 When they moved into urban areas they were chiefly concerned with organizing vice rackets and exacting protection money from wealthy Chinese. However, the breakdown in public security following the Japanese occupation (1940-1945) and the release of prisoners from the Cochin-Chinese prisons afforded them an opportunity to extend their activities.2 In August and September of 1945, the Binh Xuyen first attracted public attention when their representatives participated in ceremonial marches, bearing an enormous green banner on which was inscribed "Binh Xuyen Bandits."3

In 1945, the Binh Xuyen leaders,* imbued with the extreme patriotism which swept Vietnam after World War II, joined the Viet Minh. One of the Binh Xuyen leaders, Le Van Vien (Bay Vien), was made director of municipal affairs and, in this capacity, raised a considerable sum of money for the military activities of the Viet Minh's Nam Bo (Provisional Executive Committee). Impressed by this demonstration of efficiency, Tran Van Giau, the Viet Minh military commander, presented Vien with a list of persons to assassinate. Vien, shocked by the lengths to which the Communists were willing to go to consolidate their position, refused to carry out the assassinations.4 The Binh Xuyen leaders managed to retain a degree of autonomy vis-a-vis the Nam Bo5 and, when the Committee was forced to leave Saigon-Cholon, the Binh Xuyen retreated to their former operational zone. At this time Vien refused to allow his 1,300 armed men to be incorporated into the Viet Minh forces.6

Annoyed by the separatist tendencies of the Binh Xuyen, the Viet Minh, under the new commander Nguyen Binh, sought to eliminate, by means of "suicide squads," members of the group who eluded their control.7 The conflict between the Viet Minh and Binh Xuyen reached a climax in April 1946 at the time of the creation of the "United National Front," an anti-Communist and anti-French coalition which the Binh Xuyen joined. Nguyen Binh was intent on dissolving this group and reducing the power of Le Van Vien, while the latter remained on his guard against the Viet Minh as well as the French Expeditionary Corps.8

Lured by a promise of promotion within the Viet Minh, Le Van Vien, after much hesitation, accepted an invitation from the Nam Bo to go to


* The most renowned of these were: Duong Van Duong (killed in February 1946), Le Van Vien, Duong Van Ha, Muoi Tri, and Tu Ty.

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the Plaine des Joncs for official acceptance of his new position. On May 20, 1946 Vien left Rung Sat (an area west of Baria under Binh Xuyen control), for the Plaine des Joncs. Still suspicious of Viet Minh motives, Vien took with him an escort of 200 loyal armed men.9 Received with great fanfare and demonstrations of friendship, Vien accepted the position of "Khu Truong Khu 7" (Commander of Viet Minh Military Zone 7—east of Saigon) in the presence of Communist officials from Viet Minh Zones 8 and 9 who had convened for the occasion. All went well until Vien learned that some of his troops east of the Soi Rap River had been disarmed on Nguyen Binh's orders. The latter reassured Vien of his intentions, while making certain that Vien would be detained and his escort eliminated.

Vien escaped from the Viet Minh and on June 10 reached Bien Hoa, where he discovered that his fief was occupied by Viet Minh forces and he could not return. Without delay, Vien sent two envoys to French Intelligence with a letter containing two requests: permission to pass through the French-held area to reach the banks of the Soi Rap, and French Army assistance in clearing the Viet Minh out of his domain. In return, he agreed to accept the French conditions to "rally"—e.g., surrender at a price. The first request was granted and the second was to be discussed on Vien's arrival on the scene for the proposed negotiations.10 After several conferences, Vien agreed to rally to the side of the Bao Dai Government and to recognize the French Union.11 On June 17, Vien proclaimed himself violently anti-Communist, and a few days later regained control of Cholon as well as his fief. The French had given official recognition to the Binh Xuyen and granted it independent control of the region.12 A few days later, Tran Van Huu (President under Bao Dai), named Vien Colonel of the Guard of Vietnam, and the Binh Xuyen received the official name of "Binh Xuyen National Armed Forces." The group was marked henceforth by its esprit de corps, demonstrated by its own music and flag (a yellow star on a green ground, bordered in red.)13 Vien began to enter politics and was soon well known around Saigon. His troops were situated along the roads leading from the capital, where they collected "road safety taxes" on cars and buses and from farmers bringing produce to market.14

In 1949, Le Van Vien headed a consortium which bought control of two of Asia's largest gambling and prostitution concessions—the "Grand Monde" in Cholon and the "Cloche d'Or" in Saigon—and Vien assumed the position of director of the establishments.15

Lacking a special ideology, the Binh Xuyen was a target for Communist recruitment efforts; to compensate for this, Vien became fanatically anti-Communist in his activities. In 1950, when Viet Minh bombs rocked Saigon nightly, Cholon, policed by the Binh Xuyen (who were paid by the wealthy Chinese), remained quiet. In an effort to stabilize Saigon, the French granted permission to the Binh Xuyen to police the capital; the Binh Xuyen cleared the terrorists out of Saigon.16 In return, Vien was promoted in 1952 to the rank of Brigadier General in the Vietnamese

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National Army.17 In February 1953, Binh Xuyen military activities received an additional boost when Vien was authorized to form a battalion of troops to police the Long Thanh highway from Saigon to the coast.18 In addition, the Binh Xuyen were allowed to occupy three posts on the Saigon River to ensure the safe flow of traffic along this important artery.19

On July 3, 1953, the French made a "solemn declaration" of their willingness to complete the independence of Vietnam by transferring to the Vietnamese Government (under Bao Dai) the functions hitherto under French control. In return, the declaration invited the Vietnamese Government to settle its claims in the economic, financial, judicial, military, and political spheres. The Vietnamese nationalists, dissatisfied with Bao Dai's conduct of affairs, realized that the negotiations would be completed without regard for their wishes. Although divided by personal rivalries, they sought a means of demonstrating the importance of their claims. Ngo Dinh Nhu seized this opportunity to form an unofficial front of national union to support his brother Ngo Dinh Diem as candidate for the premiership and to demonstrate the desire of the Vietnamese to have a voice in the direction of national affairs. The leaders of the religious sects and the Binh Xuyen gave their support to the plan, and Le Van Vien was persuaded to offer his headquarters as the site for the congress. On September 5, a national congress in support of "national union and peace" met in semi-clandestine fashion. When the discussions turned to violent indictments of the French authorities and Bao Dai, Le Van Vien ordered his troops to clear the hall. The religious sect leaders attempted to quell the ensuing scandal by assuring Bao Dai of their loyalty.

To erase the impression of popular discontent created by the September congress and to ensure his claim to represent the Vietnamese nationalists in negotiations with the French Government, Bao Dai summoned an official National Congress on October 1, 1953. The Binh Xuyen reached the peak of its career at this time: nine seats, more than those reserved for the Buddhists or the ethnic minorities, were allocated to members of the Binh Xuyen. The delegates were instructed to make known to Bao Dai the desires of the Vietnamese people concerning future relations with France "within the framework of the French Union" and to appoint members to assist him in the negotiations. Instead, the National Congress unanimously approved a motion (which was later amended) in support of total independence for Vietnam.20

The following April, a member of the Binh Xuyen (Lai Huu Sang) was appointed director-general of the Saigon-Cholon police and security services—presumably the price for Binh Xuyen allegiance to the Government. The group, then in charge of public security, was officially obligated to combat—but in reality protected—activities on which its own power was founded.21

Thus by the end of the Indochina War, the Binh Xuyen, which had gained a following estimated between 5,000 and 8,000, maintained semi-autonomous fiefs to the south and southeast of Cholon, controlled the

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Saigon-Cholon police, ran lucrative gambling and prostitution establishments, and controlled the opium trade, much of the fish and charcoal commerce, and several hotels and plantations.

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SECTION III

STATUS DURING THE DIEM REGIME

Among the most pressing problems facing Ngo Dinh Diem when he was called to office by Bao Dai in June 1954 was the existence of the Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, and Binh Xuyen, who held sway over vast quasi-autonomous territories. Charged with the task of unifying southern Vietnam, Diem realized he had to break the power of the sects and the Binh Xuyen, whose interests conflicted with his own. He had two alternatives: he could either eliminate these groups or integrate them into the body politic. In either case, he needed a strong loyal army.

The Army Chief of Staff at the time was Gen. Nguyen Van Hinh, a French citizen, whom Diem suspected of conspiring against him. On September 11, 1954, Diem demanded Hinh's resignation, initiating a 7-week army crisis. Hinh refused to accede to Diem's order and barricaded himself in his headquarters. Fear of a coup d'etat or an attempt on his life forced Diem to withdraw to his palace. Ironically, Diem's guards were under the control of the Binh Xuyen, of whom he strongly disapproved because of its affiliation with gambling and prostitution. The Binh Xuyen, however, were willing to defend Diem, at least temporarily, for two reasons: loyalty to Bao Dai, and therefore to Diem, his appointee; and rivalry with the National Army.*1

During the crisis, Diem's administrative power was reduced to impotence when Hinh demonstrated the strength of his position by ordering troops to patrol the capital. It was evident in the beginning that Hinh could execute a coup d'etat with considerable ease, but he showed reluctance to do so and instead sought to temporize.2 Less than a week later, the Binh Xuyen switched allegiance and joined the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao in support of Hinh. In a manifesto dated September 16, the sects and the Binh Xuyen officially dissociated themselves from Diem and declared the need for a democratic government, liberation of the country from foreign domination and enactment of measures to eliminate poverty and illiteracy. In order to appease Hinh, Diem appointed Gen. Nguyen Van Xuan** to the Ministry of National Defense. Pleased with the appointment, Hinh agreed not to take action and asked Bao Dai to arbitrate the disagreement between the sects, the Binh Xuyen, and Diem.3

The U.S. Embassy now intervened in Diem's favor and warned Hinh that a military coup d'etat would result in the halting of economic and


*General Hinh's father, Nguyen Van Tam, had organized the Security Service and controlled the police. When the Binh Xuyen gained control of the police, many security investigators joined the Vietnamese National Army.


** One of the Binh Xuyen leaders.

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military aid. Bao Dai, hoping to end the crisis, sent for Le Van Vien and ordered him to form a coalition government with the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao leaders. The sect leaders, however, made demands unacceptable to Le Van Vien, who accused them of selling their services to Prime Minister Diem.

The accusation was well founded, for on September 24 Diem persuaded the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao to accept four seats each in his new Cabinet.*4 Cao Dai and Hoa Hao unwillingness to concede leadership in the coalition government to Vien, and the refusal of the latter to finance Cao Dai and Hoa Hao activities after their loss of French subsidies, caused the leaders of the religious sects to defect, at least nominally, to Diem.5 The Binh Xuyen, however, since they still controlled the National Police, refused to enter the new Government.6 The army crisis ended when Hinh was finally dismissed, and a temporary calm reigned over the country.

Diem dealt another blow to the power of the Binh Xuyen when, in his campaign against vice and corruption, he refused to renew the licenses of the "Grand Monde" and "Cloche d'Or" when they expired on January 15, 1955. The equivalent of over $200 million had changed hands in these establishments over the preceding 8 years. Vien, who personally had received about $14,000 a day in "taxes" from the "Grand Monde" alone, was charged, as head of the police, with the task of closing these gambling and prostitution centers. Vien apparently accepted the decision, regretting only that the Government was willing to lose such an important source of revenue.7

Meanwhile the Cao Dai, Hoa Hoa, and Binh Xuyen maintained an uneasy truce, broken by frequent clashes when one group trespassed on another's domain. Fearing that sectarian differences would result in the weakening of their resistance against Diem's demands, Bao Dai urged the three groups to unify. On March 5, 1955, the three groups, totaling 25,000 men, formed a "United Front of National Forces," an anti-Government coalition to promote the formation of a democratic government.8 The Front requested Bao Dai to dismiss Diem and to turn over the reins of power to them; on March 21, they issued an ultimatum giving Diem 5 days to form a "strong, honest, democratic government of national union." Diem refused and took the precautionary measure of ordering three battalions of militia troops to Saigon. Under U.S. pressure, Bao Dai reaffirmed his support of Diem. At the expiration of the ultimatum, the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao representatives resigned from the Cabinet.9

In retaliation for Diem's refusal to comply with the ultimatum, the Hoa Hao held up food supplies for Saigon-Cholon, and the Binh Xuyen


*Nine of Diem's ministers had resigned on September 20, further weakening his position.

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established themselves in the police and security headquarters and in other buildings in the twin cities. Diem ordered paratroops to occupy the police and security headquarters. They ousted the Binh Xuyen from the police headquarters without difficulty, but could not force the commandos from the Security Service building. On March 28, Diem ordered Col. Cao Van Tri, the paratroop commander, to attack the building. The French intervened in the attack, causing the postponement of hostilities until the night of March 29-30. Unable to bury their differences, the religious sects soon accused the Binh Xuyen of forcing them into open conflict with Diem. Sensing an impending showdown, the Cao Dai and most of the Hoa Hao backed out of the conflict on March 29, leaving only the Binh Xuyen to confront the National Army. On the night of March 29-30, fighting broke out between the Binh Xuyen and the Army. The French soon arranged a cease-fire, to Diem's annoyance. The Prime Minister accused the French of secretly supporting the religious sects and the Binh Xuyen; rumor was rife that the French had given the Binh Xuyen tactical advice during the affray.10 It was known that the French obstructed Government forces by denying them fuel, transport, and ammunition.*

By April 1955, Diem was prepared for a showdown with the Binh Xuyen and the remaining dissident Hoa Hao. Meanwhile, the Binh Xuyen commando units under Vien, who now proclaimed himself "Commander in Chief of the Opposition,"** still held the Security Service building in Saigon and interrupted the routine examination of passports at the airfield and port. The Ministry of Finance (adjacent to the Security Service headquarters), the police headquarters, and the port office were under National Army occupation.11 At first Diem tried to break the Binh Xuyen power by means of verbal persuasion. On April 3, he made a radio appeal to the members of the Binh Xuyen, encouraging them to desert the armed organization and promising them amnesty. The Binh Xuyen lifted their 3-day food blockade, but they refused to relinquish the Security Service building.12 When no Binh Xuyen soldiers deserted to the Government, stronger measures were enacted. Plainclothes operatives of the Binh Xuyen were to be searched for illegal arms caches, and a psychological operations program, a "murmuring" campaign, was to be initiated against the Binh Xuyen militia. Binh Xuyen soldiers were to


* An article which appeared on April 14 in the French newspaper L'Observateur alleged that no attempt had been made by the French to retrieve the arms they had lent the sects during the war against the Viet Minh, though the conditions of the loan stated that the arms must be returned after the hostilities. The increase in the power of the sects and the Binh Xuyen was in large part attributed to the French.


** The New York Times (April 1, 1955) reported that Vien had 8,000-10,000 men under arms.

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receive 5,000 piasters ($142) if they surrendered to the Government with their arms. Meanwhile, a 6-day truce had been arranged with the Binh Xuyen so that no known Binh Xuyen strongholds would be attacked. The French promised to induce the organization to hand over the Security building to the Government by peaceful means.13 When none of these measures proved effective, Diem dismissed the Binh Xuyen director-general of the Security Service, Lai Huu Sang, and ordered members of the Service to report to the new director within 48 hours or face court martial. Furthermore, by the end of this same period, Binh Xuyen troops would no longer be permitted free circulation in Saigon-Cholon.

The truce ended April 28 and fighting between the Binh Xuyen and the National Army broke out once more. The French Commander urged Diem to call for a cease-fire, but the Prime Minister, who believed that the power of the Binh Xuyen would have been smashed in March had fighting been allowed to continue, refused. In order to ensure the defeat of the Binh Xuyen this time, Diem ordered 4 battalions of paratroops and an armored car squadron into the battle, keeping in reserve 14 battalions plus an unknown number of reinforcements from central Vietnam. The Binh Xuyen, estimated to number 2,000, were entrenched in various buildings throughout Saigon-Cholon. Anticipating French intervention, Le Van Vien refused to call on his 4,000 reserves and failed to organize an effective resistance. Accordingly, the high school, the cinema, and the printing works—the last three centers of Binh Xuyen resistance—fell to the paratroops early on April 29. By midnight the Binh Xuyen resistance had collapsed, paratroops occupied Vien's headquarters, and the Binh Xuyen, including Vien, had fled. The eviction of the Binh Xuyen from Cholon was attributed to their neglect of military training, incompetent officers, outdated arms, and the willingness of the National Army to defend Diem.14

Fearing that the Binh Xuyen might reorganize, the Government sought to expel Vien and his remaining battalions from the swamp hideouts in the Rung Sat area south of Saigon-Cholon, where they had retreated after their eviction from the twin cities. In May, Government troops blocked the approaches to the Rung Sat area, and awaited the desertion of soldiers capable of providing information on the military strength and location of the Binh Xuyen. By September 1955, the remaining Binh Xuyen troops were cleared out of the Rung Sat area. Le Van Vien escaped to France with French assistance.15

Government troops were now free to continue their offensive against the remaining dissident Hoa Hao and Cao Dai groups. By October 1955, the power of the sects and the Binh Xuyen had collapsed.

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SECTION IV

STATUS SINCE THE DIEM REGIME

Since Diem's defeat of the Binh Xuyen in 1955, little information has appeared concerning the group's activities. Former Binh Xuyen members were included in the Committee for Liberty and Progress, the "Caravelle" group, which issued a manifesto to Diem on April 26, 1960, requesting a liberalization of the regime.1

A week after the overthrow of Diem in 1964, Gen. Nguyen Khanh released seven leading members of the Binh Xuyen and Cao Dai who had been imprisoned by Diem.

The Binh Xuyen will probably never regain the power they once had. Remnants of the group, however, are known to remain hostile to the Government. Most accounts of Binh Xuyen activity refer to incidents of individual rather than organized banditry.2 According to one source, members of the religious sects and the Binh Xuyen who escaped Diem's persecution and were operating underground were included in the formation of the National Liberation Front in 1960.3 At present an undetermined number of Binh Xuyen are known to be cooperating with the Viet Cong.4

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FOOTNOTES

I. INTRODUCTION

1. Maj. A. M. Savani, Visage et images du Sud-Vietnam (Saigon: Imprimerie Francaise d'Outre Mer, 1955), p. 117; Donald Lancaster, The Emancipation of French Indochina (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 137.

2. George L. Harris et al., U.S. Army Area Handbook for Vietnam (Washington, D.C.: Special Operations Research Office, 1964), p. 326.

3. Ellen Joy Hammer, The Struggle for Indochina (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1954), p. 285; The Struggle for Indochina Continues: Geneva to Bandung (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1955), p. 24.

4. Bernard B. Fall, "The Political-Religious Sects of Viet-Nam," Pacific Affairs, XXVIII, No. 3 (September 1955), p. 250.

5. Roy Jumper, "Sects and Communism in South Vietnam," Orbis, III, No. 1 (Spring 1959), p. 87.

6. Fall, op. cit., p. 251.

7. Joseph Buttinger, "Are We Saving South Viet-Nam?" The New Leader XXXVIII, No. 26 (Section 2) (June 27, 1955).

8. Fall, op. cit., p. 253; Harris et al., op. cit., p. 327.

9. Wilfred G. Burchett, The Furtive War: The United States in Vietnam and Laos (New York: International Publishers, 1963), p. 95.

10. Harris et al., op. cit., p. 327.

II. EARLY HISTORY AND STATUS DURING THE INDOCHINA WAR

1. Peter Schmid, "Free Indo-China Fights Against Time: Vietnam's Winding, Rocky Road," Commentary, XVIV, No. 1 (January 1955), p. 26.

2. Hammer, Struggle for Indochina, op. cit., p. 118; Lancaster, op. cit., p. 138.

3. Lancaster, op. cit., p. 137.

4. Ibid., p. 138.

5. Savani, op. cit., p. 119.

6. Lancaster, op. cit., p. 138.

7. Savani, op. cit., p. 119; Lancaster, op. cit., p. 139.

8. Savani, op. cit., p. 119.

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9. Schmid, op. cit., p. 26; Savani, op. cit., p. 120.

l0. Savani, op. cit., p. 121.

11. Savani, op. cit., p. 122; Lancaster, op. cit., p. 192; Hammer, Struggle for Indochina, op. cit., pp. 229-30.

12. Savani, op. cit., p. 122; Schmid, op. cit., p. 26; Fall, op. cit., p. 250.

13. Savani, op. cit., p. 122; Schmid, op. cit., p. 26.

14. Fall, op. cit., p. 250.

15. Fall, op. cit., p. 250; Lancaster, op. cit., p. 379.

16. Schmid, op. cit., p. 26.

17. Fall, op. cit., p. 250; Savani, op. cit., p. 124.

18. Lancaster, op. cit., p. 277; Savani, op. cit., p. 123.

19. Savani, op. cit., p. 123.

20. Lancaster, op. cit., pp. 275-78.

21. Ibid., p. 307.

III. STATUS DURING THE DIEM REGIME

1. Crozier, Brian. "The Diem Regime in Southern Vietnam," Far Eastern Survey, XXIV, No. 4 (April 1955), p. 51.

2. Lancaster, op. cit., p. 349; Crozier, op. cit., p. 51.

3. Lancaster, op. cit., p. 349.

4. Ibid., p. 350.

5. Ibid., p. 351.

6. Tillman Durdin, "Sects To Get Posts in Saigon Cabinet," The New York Times, September 24, 1954, p. 6.

7. Crozier, op. cit., p. 52; Lancaster, op. cit., p. 379.

8. Lancaster, op. cit., p. 384; "Private Armies Unite in Vietnam," The New York Times, March 5, 1955, p. 1.

9. Lancaster, op. cit., p. 384.

10. Ibid., p. 385.

11. Tillman Durdin, "Sect's Army Joins Vietnam Premier," The New York Times, April 1, 1955, p. 1; Lancaster, op. cit., p. 387.

12. Robert Alden, "French Mediate in Vietnam Crisis," The New York Times, April 4, 1955, p. 3. col. 1.

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13. Robert Alden, "Police in Saigon To Look for Arms," The New York Times, April 7, 1955, p. 10, col. 1.

14. Lancaster, op. cit., pp. 387-89.

15. Ibid., pp. 393-97.

IV. STATUS SINCE THE DIEM REGIME

1. Wesley R. Fishel, "Problems of Democratic Growth in Free Vietnam," in Fishel (ed.), Problems of Freedom: South Vietnam Since Independence (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1961), p. 28.

2. Harris et al., op. cit., p. 327.

3. Burchett, op. cit., p. 95.

4. Harris et al., op. cit., p. 327.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alden, Robert. "French Mediate in Vietnam Crisis," The New York Times, April 4, 1955, p. 3, col. 1.

______________. "Police in Saigon To Look for Arms," The New York Times, April 7, 1955, p. 10, col. 1.

______________. "Sect Head Bars Vietnam Fealty," The New York Times, April 2, 1955, p. 2, col. 5.

Burchett, Wilfred G. The Furtive War: The United States in Vietnam and Laos. New York: International Publishers, 1963.

Buttinger, Joseph. "Are We Saving South Viet-Nam?" The New Leader XXXVIII, No. 26 (Section 2), June 27, 1955.

Crozier, Brian. "The Diem Regime in Southern Vietnam," Far Eastern Survey, XXIV, No. 4 (April 1955), 49-56.

Durdin, Tillman. "Premier Revises Vietnam Cabinet," The New York Times, September 25, 1954, p. 3, col. 2.

______________. "Sect's Army Joins Vietnam Premier," The New York Times, April 1, 1955, p. 1.

______________. "Sects To Get Posts in Saigon Cabinet," The New York Times, September 24, 1954, p. 6, col. 3.

Fall, Bernard B. "Indochina Since Geneva," Pacific Affairs, XXVIII, No. 1 (March 1955), 3-25.

______________. "The Political-Religious Sects of Viet-Nam," Pacific Affairs, XXVIII, No. 3 (September 1955), 235-53.

______________. The Two Viet-Nams: A Political and Military Analysis. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963.

Fishel, Wesley R. "Problems of Democratic Growth in Free Vietnam," in Fishel (ed.). Problems of Freedom: South Vietnam Since Independence. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1961.

Fishel, Wesley R. (ed.). Problems of Freedom: South Vietnam Since Independence. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1961.

Hammer, Ellen Joy. The Struggle for Indochina. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1954.

______________. The Struggle for Indochina Continues: Geneva to Bandung. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1955.

Harris, George L., et al. U.S. Army Area Handbook for Vietnam. Washington, D.C.: Special Operations Research Office, 1964.

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Jones, P. H. M. "Khanh in Command," Far Eastern Economic Review, XLIV, No. 5 (April 30, 1964), 239-41.

Jumper, Roy. "Sects and Communism in South Vietnam," Orbis, III, No. 1 (Spring 1959), 88-93.

Lancaster, Donald. The Emancipation of French Indochina. London: Oxford University Press, 1961.

Levy, Roger. Viet-Nam, Cambodge, Laos 1954-1957. Mémoire preparé en vue de la Conférence de Lahore (I. P. R.) (February 1958). Paris: Centre d'Études de Politique Étrangère Comité d'Etudes des Problèmes du Pacifique, 1957.

"Private Armies Unite in Vietnam," The New York Times, March 5, 1955, p. 1.

Savani, Maj. A.M. Visage et images du Sud-Vietnam. Saigon: Imprimerie Française d'Outre Mer, 1955.

Schmid, Peter. "Free Indo-China Fights Against Time: Vietnam's Winding, Rocky Road," Commentary, XVIV, No. 1 (January 1955), 18-29.

Scigliano, Robert G. South Vietnam: Nation Under Stress. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.

Sulzberger, Cyrus L. "Foreign Affairs: A Strain That Needs To Be Erased," The New York Times, March 14, 1955, p. 22, col. 5.

Tas, Sal. "Behind the Fighting in South Vietnam," The New Leader, XXXVIII (May 9, 1955), 11-12.

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INDEX

Bao Dai (Emperor), 1, 4, 5, 7, 8
Bien Hoa, 4
Binh Xuyen, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Buddhists, 5
Cao Dai, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Cao Van Tri (Col.), 8
Chinese, 3, 4
Cholon, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10
Cloche d'Or, 4, 8
Communists, 1, 3, 4
Duong Van Duong, 3
Duong Van Ha, 3
French, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
Grand Monde, 1, 4, 8
Hoa Hao, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10
Indochina War, 1, 5
Japanese, 3
Lai Huu Sang, 5, 10
Le Van Vien (alias Bay Vien), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
Muoi Tri, 3
Nam Bo, 3
National Congress, 1, 5
National Liberation Front, 2, 11
Ngo Dinh Diem (Premier), 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Ngo Dinh Nhu, 5
Nguyen Binh, 3, 4
Nguyen Khanh (Gen.), 11
Nguyen Van Hinh (Gen.), 1, 7
Nguyen Van Tam, 7
Nguyen Van Xuan (Gen.), 7
Plaine des Joncs, 4
Rung Sat, 4, 10
Saigon, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9
Saigon-Cholon area, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10
Tran Van Giau, 3
Tran Van Huu, 4
Tu Ty, 3
United Front of National Forces, 1, 8
United National Front, 3
United States, 7, 8
Viet Cong, 2, 4
Viet Minh, 1, 3, 4, 9
Vietnamese Government, 5
Vietnamese National Army, 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 10

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