Vietnam POW/MIA and Personalized
|John Kerry's fellow Hanoi activist, Jane Fonda, traveled to North Vietnam in 1972 where she visited that country's anti aircraft emplacements. Pictured right, Fonda cheered the spirits of communists gunners by wearing a gunners steel helmet and peeping thru the gunsight, "looking for one of those blue eyed murderers."|
When Jane Fonda traded in her Ho Chi Minh sandals and Viet Cong pajamas for a pair of tights and a leotard, most Americans quickly forgot how the illustrious star of stage and screen had only a few years earlier been one of communist Vietnam's most loyal and fiery supporters. Fonda's involvement with the Vietnam War began in 1967, after several visits with French Communists and underground revolutionaries in this country convinced her America was the bastard nation of the world.
Using her wealth and influence, she managed to garner support from American college campuses, advocating communism and encouraging rebellion and anarchy against the U.S. government. In a speech to Duke University students in 1970, Fonda told the gathering, "If you understood what Communism was, you would hope and pray on your knees that we would someday become Communist."
Not content with spreading her poison within the home ranks, Fonda began soliciting returned Vietnam veterans to speak publicly about alleged atrocities committed by American soldiers against Vietnamese women and children. The broadcasts were coordinated with North Vietnamese officials in Canada.
A series of "Coffee Houses" established outside U.S. military bases was another scheme Fonda concocted to counter the positive effect patriotic entertainers such as Bob Hope, Martha Raye, and according to Fonda "their ilk" were having on the morale of U.S. forces. There, special employees would attract off-duty servicemen, get them relaxed, and then urge them to desert. According to some of those men approached, they were also promised jobs and money if they deserted.
Fonda was the major financial support to one of the most damaging pro-Hanoi groups called Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), which was led for a time by Robert Muller, a Vietnam veteran who had been shot in the spine. VVAW, at its peak membership, mustered about 7,000, some of whom had been indoctrinated in the "Coffee Houses." That organization was later led by Vietnam vet John Kerry, now a U.S. senator and former co-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
In 1972, Fonda took her pro-communist radicalism to North Vietnam. She visited that country's Russian built anti-aircraft emplacements and cheered the spirits of its communist gunners by wearing a gunners steel helmet and peeping through the gun sight, "looking for one of those blue eyed murderers."
|Jane Fonda poses for the press after a trip to Hanoi. She is sporting a necklace given to her by the North Vietnamese. The necklace was made from the melted parts of U.S. aricraft shot down by Hanoi. While in North Vietnam, Fonda made radio broadcasts and propaganda films designed to break the moral of U.S. troops fighting in Vietnam.|
At a time when 50,000 U.S. servicemen had already died on the battlefields of Vietnam, Fonda sided with the communists, making radio broadcasts from Hanoi designed to break the morale of U.S. fighting forces while encouraging the North Vietnamese to fight harder and kill more Americans. Fonda's Hanoi radio broadcasts and propaganda films were especially painful and damaging to American servicemen held as prisoners of war by the Hanoi Reds. Communist interrogators used the Fonda recordings, along with starvation and torture in attempting to brainwash American POWs into becoming turncoats.
Upon returning to the United States, Fonda told the world press that U.S. prisoners of war were being well treated and not tortured. Her outrageous claims were later exposed when American POWs were finally freed and told of years of agonizing tortures and inhuman treatment. Fonda responded, not with an apology, but with an accusation calling our returned POWs "liars and hypocrites." Fonda's actions stirred up a firestorm in America, prompting nationwide demands that she be tried for treason.
David Hoffman, a former POW who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1971, said that he had been tortured because of Fonda's visit to Hanoi. "The torture resulted in a permanent injury that plagues me to this day," says Hoffman, who suffers a disfigured arm inflicted by brutal communist guards at the POW camp known as the "Zoo."
"When Jane Fonda turned up, she asked that some of us come out and talk with her," he recalled bitterly. "No one wanted to. The guards got very upset, because they sensed the propaganda value of a famous American war protestor proving how well they were treating us.
"A couple of guards came to my cell and ordered me out. I resisted, and they got violently angry. My arm had been broken when I was shot down, and the Vietnamese broke it a second time. It had not healed well, and they knew it caused me great pain. "They twisted it. Excruciating pain ripped through my body.
"Still I resisted and they got more violent, hitting me and shouting, 'You must go!' I knew there was a limit to which I could push them before they might actually kill me.
"I was dragged out to see Fonda. I decided to play the role. I knew if I didn't, not only would I suffer - but the other guys would be tortured or beaten or worse. "When I saw Fonda and heard her antiwar rhetoric, I was almost sick to my stomach. She called us criminals and murderers.
"When I had to talk to the camera, I used every phony cliche I could. My arm hung limply at my side, and every move caused me pain which showed in my face. \
"When it was over, Fonda unbelievably did not see through the ruse - or she didn't want to. I was taken away politely - then shoved back into my cell.
"I detested Jane Fonda then and I detest her now - but I would fight to the death to protect her right to say what she thinks.
"What she did was a slap in the face to every American. It was wrong, ill-advised and stupid. But it was her right. Unfortunately, it was not my right to refuse to be seen with her.
"There is no way I will ever forget what she did to me. I have the reminder here - in an arm that can never be normal again.
In late January, 1973, Fonda divorced her husband and three days later married pro-communist radical leader Tom Hayden, who had founded the revolutionary Students For Democratic Society in 1962 and was a defendant in the conspiracy trial of the "Chicago Seven."
In 1975, after North Vietnam violated the 1973 "Peace Agreement" resulting in the takeover of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Hayden greeted the news by saying "I see this as a result of something we have been working toward for a long time." That "we" includes Fonda of course.
Another infamous deed of Fonda is the naming of her son, Troy. Fonda returned to Vietnam in Spring 1974 with Tom Hayden, with their small son, to attend a special service being held in her honor. Fonda was still a recognized idol and hero to the Communist regime from her earlier years of sending money, food and moral support to the North Vietnamese.
But the ceremony, it turned out, was not just to recognize and honor Fonda for her love of the Communists. Her newborn son was formally christened and named for the Communist hero Nguyen Van Troi. Troi was a Viet Cong sapper who was executed by the South Vietnamese in 1963 for attempting to assassinate U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
Immediately after the christening ceremony, the baby developed a serious case of bronchitis, according to reports. The Vietnamese and Fonda panicked and called for a Russian doctor. The child was treated. Fonda, Hayden and baby Troy (today called Troy O'Donovan Garity) returned to the United States.
As a result of the communist takeover of South Vietnam, Fonda's friends in Hanoi turned all of Vietnam into a communist Gulag of slave labor camps with police-state oppression and no freedom of speech, press and worship. Millions of Vietnamese were forced to flee their country and turned into homeless "boat people."
Years later, Fonda was invited by NASA as V.I.P. to witness the first space shuttle launching. Apparently, one source said, NASA and its officials felt little or no threat from Fonda's taste for Red Government.
In late 1987, when it became known that Fonda planned to film her new movie "Stanley & Iris," in Waterbury, Conn., there was a huge backlash from local veterans. Veterans held rallies, promising violent demonstrations if the filming began. Many bumper stickers reading "I'M NOT FONDA HANOI JANE," begin appearing throughout the community. On June 18, 1988, Fonda flew to Waterbury in an attempt to pacify the veterans. She met with them for four hours. Fonda later recalled "I told them my story - why I was antiwar and why I had gone to Vietnam."
A few weeks later Fonda appeared on TV with Barbara Walters and apologized saying: "I'm very sorry for some of what I did...I'd like to say something not just to the veterans in Waterbury but to the men in Vietnam who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of the things I said or did. I feel I owe them an apology...There were times when I was thoughtless and careless...I'm very sorry that I hurt them."
The vets did not buy it.
They said Fonda, an award winning actress, was faking an apology because veterans were protesting against her all over the country. As a result of the protest, the vet said, her movies were doing badly and she had been removed from Nabisco Shredded Wheat boxes.
The vets said "no apology will ever erase the pictures of Jane Fonda in giggly bliss, laughing and clapping her hands, as she mounted the gunner's seat of a communist Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun." Bui Tin, a former high ranking Vietnam Communist Party official and North Vietnamese Army colonel who served on the North Vietnamese Army general staff during the war, became disillusioned with communism after the war and went into exile in Paris and the United States. He testified in 1991 before the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs about his knowledge of U.S. prisoners of war.
Bui Tin said in a recent interview by Minnesota human rights activist Stephen Young, that Fonda's highly published support of the North Vietnamese gave them "confidence" to continue to fight and "hold on in the face of the battlefield reverses."
When Fonda appeared at a press conference in Hanoi wearing a red Vietnamese dress and declared she was "ashamed of American actions" in the war and that she would struggle along with the communists, "we were elated," Bui Tin said.
He said the American antiwar movement was "essential" to the North Vietnamese strategy for victory. "I'd say a lot of American boys lost their lives because of the encouragement she gave the North Vietnamese," said a former rifle platoon leader from Texas.
In December of 1991, Hanoi Jane, the once fiery communist activist, who advocated violent revolution to overthrow America's democracy and the free enterprise system, married billionaire Ted Turner, a leading American capitalist and chairman of the Atlanta based Turner Broadcasting System Inc., the parent company of Cable News Network.
Today, the communist architects of Ho Chi Minh's brutal war against democracy, freedom and capitalism, which resulted in the deaths of over 3 million North and South Vietnamese, and 58,000 American servicemen, are now "best friends" with Western bankers and capitalist businessmen. They are even traveling the world appealing to foreign investors to bring more big business and money back to Vietnam, so like Hanoi Jane, they too can be rich.
A veteran summed it up: "It is a shame that some of those who fought so well for America can be treated as 'forgotten ghosts' and left to rot as POWs in Hanoi's prisons, while those like Fonda, who so passionately supported our enemy and condemned our system of government, are now overwhelmingly blessed by its wealth."