Policy Towards South Vietnam
Policy towards South Vietnam
Mr. President, I have just finished reading the novel written by Mr. Greene titled “The Quiet American.” I found this book extremely informative of the current conditions in Southern Vietnam, and would like to pass my knowledge of this horrendous situation to you. There was a gentleman in this book that did work for us, and he was rather interesting. His name was Alden Pyle. He was working for General Thè’s third army. There were a few events that show signs that we need to act immediately because this country could be on the verge of a brutal war.
One of the main characters in this novel is Thomas Fowler, a journalist/news reporter from England. He is a married man, and his wife will not get the divorce he so desperately requests. He is sitting at a café called the Continental, when an unfamiliar face walks across the street. It is that of Alden Pyle. Pyle was a huge fan of York Harding, an author of many books in Pyle’s collection. On one of the first meetings between Fowler and Pyle, General Thè walked past the two. Fowler pointed this out, and before he could finish speaking, Pyle said, “York wrote that what the East needed was a Third Force.” (Greene, p. 25)
Pyle is a young graduate from Harvard University, and has obsessively read all of York Harding’s’ books. He had since adopted Harding’s beliefs as his own, believing truly in Third Force. It is a belief that neither colonialism nor communism is the answer to solving Vietnam’s issues. There needs to be a hybrid of the two types of government, which is the “Third Force.”
This should have been enough for Fowler to realize that Pyle was not here as an economic attaché as he had said. He was really here because he wanted to make a difference in this deteriorating country. This would only cause him to make matters much worse.
Fowler had met this amazing girl named Phuong and they had been “dating” for a while until Pyle came into the picture. At a restaurant called Chalet, Phuong and Pyle started to dance, and Pyle said that he had instantly fallen in love with this girl. He mentioned this to Fowler on a boat ride up the river, which was laced with snipers. Pyle, who showed no emotion or disturbance about death, must have felt some type of emotions, or there would be no reason to layout such betraying news to a “friend.”
There is a Caodaist festival that the two men ran into eachother at. Pyle was talking with a commander of the Caodaist, and Fowler had recognized this. When asked why, Pyle said that his car had broken down. In order to avoid Fowler finding out the truth, Pyle takes Fowler up on the offer for a ride back to town. About half way to their destination, Fowlers car runs out of gas, and they are stranded in Vietminh territory. They take refuge in a watchtower with Vietnamese soldiers, who happen to only be young boys. There, they debated