VIET NAM: Toward the 'Ho Chi Minh Era'

"The government will guide the people in making Saigon an advanced city, civilized, strong and happy." That, last week, was the extravagant promise of Giai Phong (Liberation), the only newspaper permitted to publish in Saigon as the new Communist military administration continued to consolidate its rule. The new leaders were using an adroit combination of authoritarianism and restraint that—thus far—has marked the most velvety transition of power ever effected by a Communist government.

The big event last week was a three-day celebration of both the Communist victory and the birthday of Ho...

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