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  ramifications of the air

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PostSubject: ramifications of the air   February 27th 2011, 3:12 pm

In a brief radio address after order had been restored, Diệm dismissed the attack as an "isolated act" and attributed his escape to "divine protection".[1] He visited the soldiers wounded in the attacks, and also promised the rebel pilots' colleagues that they would not bear any responsibility for the bombing. American President John F. Kennedy promptly sent a message denouncing the attack as a "destructive and vicious act", and expressed relief that Diệm was "safe and unharmed".[4] US ambassador Frederick Nolting determined that the attack had been the result of "two isolated cases" and opined that the incident did not represent widespread dissatisfaction with the regime.[10] The absence of a Vietcong reaction led Nolting to label the bombing as a "limited scope, anti-Communist assassination attempt".[11] The National Assembly, Diệm's rubber stamp legislative body, urged the president to "take drastic measures against irresponsible elements".[4] General Duong Van Minh, the presidential military advisor, attributed the assault to "disgruntled pilots",[11] and noted that no hostile troop movements had occurred.[11] The Civil Guard had remained loyal and its commander ordered his airborne forces to take over Tan Son Nhut Air Base.[9] A spokesperson for Diệm also denied that napalm had been used against the palace. This was widely believed to be due to the fact that the government was sensitive to the ramifications of the air force being revealed to have such weapons in their stocks.[8] He also claimed that the situation was under “complete control”.[8]

The VNAF reacted to the two pilots’ actions by sending a resolution to Diệm, saying that the attack was an “absolutely isolated and foolish” event that “impaired the prestige of the air force” and was “detrimental to the national effort in the present struggle and is profitable to the Communists in their work of subversion”.[6] The National Revolutionary Movement, an organization used by the Ngo family to stage orchestrated mass demonstrations in support of themselves, called for the death penalty against the two pilots and further asked Diệm to enact the “strictest measures to insure discipline in the military”.[6]

As a result of the attack, Diệm ordered that all VNAF aircraft be grounded and all aerial combat missions were suspended while his security officials investigated fighter pilots for any possible anti-regime tendencies.[6] This was achieved by placing tanks on the runway at Bien Hoa Air Base. Without assistance from accompanying fighter craft, it was deemed too risky for American helicopters to operate in the jungles against the communists.[6] On March 2, three days after the attack, Diệm allowed the air force to resume combat operations,[6] having concluded that Cu and Quoc’s sentiments were not representative of the air force.[5] For a few days after the attack, the areas around the palace were cordoned off and tanks were stationed at prominent streets in the capital.[8]klokker til damer
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