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BATTLE OF AP BAC On July 7 1954 Bao Dai president of Vietnam appointed Ding Diem as Prime Minister Dai was a pro French president who did not have communist beliefs for Vietnam Diem was man who refused French rule and favored American ideas He was a Roman Catholic thus causing him to be an opponent of communism as well He also maintained a link to the CIA through Colonel Edward Lansdale renowned expert on counterinsurgency In April 1955 Diem launched an offensive against his main rivals in the south Coa Dai and Hoa Hoa sects well as the powerful Binh Xuyen pirates and declared himself president Since the south was a mainly Buddhist and Diem was Catholic it caused him to be isolated from the people His fear of a coup and obsession with power caused him to distrust all but his own family Between Diem and his family there was a spread of corruption throughout the country By the late 1950s South Vietnam had degenerated into repressive undemocratic state which left its people angry and isolated 1957 sparked the first sign of trouble as guerillas launch attacks on government agencies in rural areas It was believed that the Vietnamese Communist launched the attacks also know as the Viet Cong VC who was of the Viet Ming party that stayed behind They had gone under ground a few years earlier in 1954 They gained the support of North Vietnam and in 1959 began a policy to reunify Vietnam with a large-scale infiltration of armed cadres into the south along the Ho Chi Man Trail Due to the resentment caused by Diem a substantial part of South Vietnam was taken over by the communist VC The US under the leadership of President John F Kennedy was convinced that the insurgency in South Vietnam was part of a Sino-Soviet campaign to ensure the spread of Communism The US government sent aid to South Vietnam
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