The Ever Despicable Hanoi Jane
The 37th anniversary of the unbelievable and tragic end to the Vietnam War is upon us. American troops, embassy personnel, POWs, Amerasian orphans, and every soul who could be crammed onto a Sikorsky CH-53 was swept away from the Vietnamese mainland. This was not the happy Armistice of victory or permanent cease-fire, but the withdrawal of American military support from the governments and peoples of Southeast Asia. The withdrawal resulted in surrender to the Communist North Vietnamese by the governments of South Vietnam and Cambodia. And that military withdrawal had been forced by the Democrat majority in the 94th Congress, who after years of pressure from anti-war activists and slanted reporting by the American Press, lost the will to continue to support, with relatively modest allocations, the fragile Democracies of Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam.
Jane Fonda, the Hollywood princess, sired by cinema king, Henry Fonda, was pretty typical of the West Coast anti-war protesters. Most were wealthy kids, or at least upper-middle class, from educated, influential families, often with political ties. During a speech to a University of Michigan audience in 1970 Fonda said to 2,000 college students: “If you understood what Communism was, you would hope, you would pray, on your knees that we would someday become communist.” At Duke University, the same year, she said this to yet another crowd of college kids: “I, a socialist, think that we should arrive toward a socialist society, all the way to communism.”
Tom Hayden, the Chicago 7 anti-war Socialist revolutionary, married Fonda after a whirlwind tour they shared to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The pictures are unforgettable. Fonda, surrounded by North Vietnamese fighters, who were all much smaller than the privileged Western starlet, sitting on an anti-aircraft gun. The men in the photographs were Communist killers, and had been personally responsible for taking the lives of American servicemen. The anti-aircraft gun had shot down South Vietnamese and American aircraft, leaving many men dead, or captured. Those captured were often housed at the Hanoi Hilton, a North Vietnamese prison camp where Americans and their allies where subjected to torture, starvation, humiliation, and death. During her junket to North Vietnam with Hayden, Fonda took part in a staged press conference for which she supposedly reported on the conditions in which the POWs were being held. She told the foreign press that the POWs were treated humanely, well-fed, and generally content with their situation.
Fonda’s treasonous lies were documented her own voice in a radio broadcast from the Hanoi Hilton POW camp when she said the following:
This is Jane Fonda. During my two week visit in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a great many places and speak to a large number of people from all walks of life–workers, peasants, students, artists and dancers, historians, journalists, film actresses, soldiers, militia girls, members of the women’s union, writers.
I visited the (Dam Xuac) agricultural coop, where the silk worms are also raised and thread is made. I visited a textile factory, a kindergarten in Hanoi. The beautiful Temple of Literature was where I saw traditional dances and heard songs of resistance. I also saw unforgettable ballet about the guerrillas training bees in the south to attack enemy soldiers. The bees were danced by women, and they did their job well.
In the shadow of the Temple of Literature I saw Vietnamese actors and actresses perform the second act of Arthur Miller’s play All My Sons, and this was very moving to me–the fact that artists here are translating and performing American plays while US imperialists are bombing their country.
I cherish the memory of the blushing militia girls on the roof of their factory, encouraging one of their sisters as she sang a song praising the blue sky of Vietnam–these women, who are so gentle and poetic, whose voices are so beautiful, but who, when American planes are bombing their city, become such good fighters.
I cherish the way a farmer evacuated from Hanoi, without hesitation, offered me, an American, their best individual bomb shelter while US bombs fell near by. The daughter and I, in fact, shared the shelter wrapped in each others arms, cheek against cheek. It was on the road back from Nam Dinh, where I had witnessed the systematic destruction of civilian targets-schools, hospitals, pagodas, the factories, houses, and the dike system.
As I left the United States two weeks ago, Nixon was again telling the American people that he was winding down the war, but in the rubble- strewn streets of Nam Dinh, his words echoed with sinister (words indistinct) of a true killer. And like the young Vietnamese woman I held in my arms clinging tome tightly–and I pressed my cheek against hers–I thought, this is a war against Vietnam perhaps, but the tragedy is America’s.
One thing that I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt since I’ve been in this country is that Nixon will never be able to break the spirit of these people; he’ll never be able to turn Vietnam, north and south, into a neo-colony of the United States by bombing, by invading, by attacking in any way. One has only to go into the countryside and listen to the peasants describe the lives they led before the revolution to understand why every bomb that is dropped only strengthens their determination to resist.
Fonda was one of a large number of American artists who resisted the war. But her case is extraordinary for the sheer audacity of her treasonous activities, the lies, and her unrepentant attitude, even after evidence poured into Western publications and news reports of the poverty and oppression suffered by the people of North Vietnam (millions of whom had tried to escape to the South) at the hand of their Communist government, and of the millions slaughtered in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos after the withdrawal of American aid.
As stories of the horrors of the Communist takeover trickled into the Western Press, the folk singer Joan Baez, among many others, felt that the North Vietnamese government had greatly disappointed them. She wrote an Open Letter to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, in which she listed the shameful conditions that had been suffered by the people in Southeast Asia at the hands of their government, the atrocities, starvation, and crimes. In the open letter she indicated the presence of “re-education camps,” and the torture and imprisonment of innocent people. She failed to absolve the West of fault, but she did call upon the Communists of North Vietnam to do a better job of protecting human rights. This letter was hardly sufficient to get her onto the Heavenly dais next to George C. Patton, but it was an admittance that she had been mistaken in her unequivocal support of the North Vietnamese government. Baez garnered the signatures of dozens of other artists, many who are known for their extreme leftist viewpoints to this day. But Jane Fonda refused to sign the letter.
In an interview on the O’Reilly Factor, Ted Turner, who had been married to Fonda for several years, was asked about her reaction to news about the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia. Bill O’Reilly described the slaughter of nearly one-third of the population of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge and of how human skulls were stacked one on top of another in towering piles. Turner indicated an apparent obliviousness to the atrocities on both his part and that of Fonda. “You know, you really got me on that one. It didn’t make the news at the time, you know. I didn’t really think about it.” said Turner.
The latest spittle in the face of Americans who remember the Vietnam Era, is the news that Fonda was cast as Nancy Reagan in “The Butler.” Fonda was known, not just for her overt support of enemies of the United States, but also for explicit movies complete with full-on nudity, graphic sex scenes, as well as nude picture spreads, and her own proclamation that she was a sex addict. The choice of Fonda seems farcical when one considers that Nancy Reagan and Ronald were the sweetest of sweethearts who enjoyed a wholesome courtship and an adoring marriage. The Reagans are still the quintessential American couple; clean, comely, patriotic, and humble. It is a triple-decker insult to Vietnam Veterans, the Reagans, and all of America to believe that Fonda, even as a skilled actress, could do justice to the heart and spirit of Nancy Reagan.
It is critical for Americans to remember the Vietnam Era if we are to fully comprehend our national identity. When we remember those hard years we must discern the good from the bad, those who were allies and deserved our aid and protection, from those who were enemies and deserved to be defeated. The generation of veterans who served in Vietnam are close to the age of Jane Fonda. Many of them bled real blood, suffered real pain, and sustained life-changing wounds while Fonda was flaunting her treason for the world to see. Over 50,000 Americans died, most at the hands of the regime supported by Jane Fonda. And Fonda, so long as she remains unrepentant, refusing to apologize or even acknowledge her insulting treason, can only be identified as an enemy; an enemy to patriotism, an enemy to the truth, and an enemy to the heart and spirit of America.
I’m personally annoyed by any news about Jane Fonda that oozes out of the media. One of the personal objectives of my life is to, in the 21st Century, help America remember the true heroes of the Vietnam Era. I prefer to remember those who deserve our attention and praise, our friends, neighbors, dads and granddads who served and sacrificed for the cause of freedom in a war that ended 37 years ago. I challenge Hollywood and American “artists” to chronicle the lives and stories of our men who put their lives on the line to fight Communism, and to protect freedom loving people from the iron hand of tyranny. I challenge American “artists” to start focusing on the redeeming truths of the Vietnam Era.
By Marjorie Haun 8/23/13