South Viet Nam: Pursuing the Peasantry

From the beginning of the war in Viet Nam, nothing has proved more difficult to capture than the allegiance of the peasantry, particularly the landless tenant farmers. Well aware of the issue's importance, the Viet Cong have long made a point of redistributing land under their control. A succession of Saigon governments paid due obeisance to the ideal of land reform, but did nothing. Last week, in the Mekong Delta center of Can Tho, President Nguyen Van Thieu signed into law a land-reform bill that, he said, would help "each tenant to become a landowner enjoying a prosperous life. This...

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