The War: In the Eye of the Storm

"If the Directory survives," said a White House aide, "the government survives." The phrase was oddly evocative of 18th century Paris. And so, with precious little else in common with the French Revolution, were the mindless mob scenes in Saigon last week. More remarkable was the Administration's notably cool assessment of a perilous situation that had seemingly been plotted to provoke an intemperate reaction from Washington.

All week screeching street mobs, urged on by the same Buddhist monks who ignited the 1963 uprisings that led to the murder of Ngo Dinh Diem, rampaged out of control in Saigon, Danang, Hue...

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