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1. "Rota, Giorgio" <Giorgio.Rota@oeaw.ac.at> 2. "Kuehn, John T Dr CIV USA TRADOC" <email@example.com> 3. Bnksd1@aol.com 4. Paul Schmehl <firstname.lastname@example.org> 5. Prof. Bob Turner <email@example.com> -----Message from: "Rota, Giorgio" <Giorgio.Rota@oeaw.ac.at>----- I wonder how her relationship with her father was. After all, Henry Fonda was an "American icon", as people would say nowadays. And after all, everybody have a conflict with their fathers. Likewise, I have always wondered why she was not prosecuted by the American government for her activity in support of North Vietnam in war time. Perhaps because the US were not formally at war with the North ? All the best, Giorgio Rota Dott. Giorgio Rota Institut für Iranistik Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 8-10 1040 Wien (Austria) "Rota, Giorgio" <Giorgio.Rota@oeaw.ac.at> -----Message from: "Kuehn, John T Dr CIV USA TRADOC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- See the interesting Lindbergh snippet that we included in Eyewitness Pacific Theater on pages 186-187: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Eyewitness-Pacific-Theater/John-T-Kuehn/e/9781402762154 Once the war started Lindbergh offered his services. Interestingly he was sent to the Pacific where his comments favorable to the Nazis/Germans would perhaps not be remembered so early and even got one unofficial 'kill' against the Japanese as he worked with the Air Forces in the South and Southwest Pacific. best, john John T. Kuehn CDR USN (ret) Associate Professor of Military History CGSC "Kuehn, John T Dr CIV USA TRADOC" <email@example.com> -----Message from: Bnksd1@aol.com----- I think Larry Grant misses a key point: Though at times or consistently those he lists may have supported countries or causes other than the US and democracy, none visited a war zone to actively propagandize against US forces actively at war against an opponent and to support the foes faced on the battlefield by US forces. Fonda did. Bruce Kesler ChFC REBC RHU CLU Bnksd1@aol.com -----Message from: Paul Schmehl <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- I know it's not very academic, but as a veteran of the Vietnam era I find any attempt to "rehabilitate" Jane Fonda extremely offensive. She committed treason, as anyone with a passing knowledge of the Constitution should admit. I doubt you would need more than one hand to count the veterans that do not despise her openly. Paul Schmehl email@example.com Paul Schmehl <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: Prof. Bob Turner <email@example.com>----- _* VIETNAM VETERANS AND JANE FONDA*_ As you might imagine, Tanya Roth's review of Mary Hershberger's new book, /Jane Fonda's War/ ( http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=24410 ), has been circulating among Vietnam veterans on the Web -- and not everyone is convinced that her motivation was "support[ing] the military." With the thought that your readers might benefit from an alternative viewpoint -- entirely my individual views, I should emphasize -- permit me to join the debate. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of Jane Fonda, but it may be useful to add some facts to the equation. On July 14, 1972, while in the Democratic Republic of [North] Vietnam, Jane Fonda made this broadcast over Radio Hanoi directed to U.S. military personnel: *"This is Jane Fonda speaking from Hanoi, and I'm speaking particularly to the U.S. servicemen who are stationed on the aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin . . . . I don't know what your officers tell you you are loading, those of you who load the bombs on the planes. But, one thing that you should know is that these [toxic chemical] weapons are illegal . . . . And the use of these bombs makes one a war criminal. The men who are ordering you to use these weapons are war criminals according to international law, and in the past, in Germany and in Japan, men who were guilty of these kind of crimes were tried and executed. . . ."* I remember this well, because while Ms. Fonda was in Hanoi I was a Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace researching what became the first major English-language history of Vietnamese Communism. I was closely following the North Vietnamese media on a daily basis. (I don't believe that Ms. Fonda has denied making this and other broadcasts over Radio Hanoi.) While in North Vietnam, Ms. Fonda voluntarily sat in the chair of a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun and with a grin on her face pretended that she was shooting down airplanes. (The only function of those guns at the time was to try to shoot down American military aircraft and the airmen inside them.) In her autobiography she admits that she was wearing a People's Army of Vietnam helmet and "laughing" and "applauding" all the while. [Jane Fonda, /My Life So Far/, pp. 315-16.] Less than a year later, when American POWs were released from Hanoi and recounted tales of torture and abuse, Ms. Fonda declared that they were "liars." The Vietnam War was authorized by a 99.6% majority of Congress by joint resolution -- the same type of statute historically used by Congress to formally "declare war." Article III, Clause 3, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution establishes that: *"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."* Did Ms. Fonda's voluntarily traveling to North Vietnam in violation of United States law and her radio broadcasts trying to persuade our military personnel to refuse to carry out their orders give "aid and comfort" to our enemy? In addition to being self-evident, the point is readily confirmed by individuals who were senior Vietnamese Communist officials at the time. North Vietnamese Army Col. Bui Tin commanded the tank column that broke through the gates of the South Vietnamese Presidential Palace on April 30, 1975, ending the war. He later served as Deputy Editor of /Nhan Dan,/ North Vietnam's daily newspaper. In an interview with an American scholar later excerpted in the /Wall Street Journal/, he explained: *"[The anti-war movement] was essential to our strategy. . . . Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda . . . gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reversals." * [/Wall Street Journal/, Aug. 3, 1995, p. 8.] Another witness to confirm the tremendous importance of the American anti-war movement was Truong Nhu Tang, Minister of Justice for the Viet Cong's "Provisional Revolutionary Government" at the time of Fonda's visit. He later wrote: *"The idea that continued American intervention was immoral was gaining widespread credence in the United States, according to our intelligence analysts, not only among the militant antiwar groups, but in the population generally. These were the signs that told us the offensive was a success, and at this stage of the war we received them with as much satisfaction as we received news of any military victory."* [Truong Nhu Tang, /A Viet Cong Memoir,/ pp. 209-10.] I would add that, since the end of the war, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has openly admitted key facts that totally undermine many of the core arguments relied upon by Ms. Fonda and other (presumably sincere) anti-war activists. To mention just one example, the argument that the Vietnam war was not really an American response to North Vietnamese military aggression intended to overthrow South Vietnam by force can hardly be seriously made today. Among other places, in a cover story in the monthly journal /Vietnam Courier /in May 1984, Hanoi bragged openly about the once "absolute secret" decision made on May 19, 1959 to open the Ho Chi Minh Trail and start sending tens of thousands of soldiers and tons of military equipment into South Vietnam to overthrow its government. [/Vietnam Courier,/ May 1984, pp. 9-15.] This was more than five years before Congress authorized the president to send U.S. military units into combat to protect South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia There is one other aspect of this issue that needs to be addressed -- the human costs of the success of Jane Fonda, John Kerry, and others in the anti-war movement in pressuring Congress to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. (In May 1973, Congress enacted a statute prohibiting the expenditure of treasury funds for combat activities by U.S. military forces anywhere in Indochina. This led North Vietnam's Premier Pham Van Dong to declare "The Americans won't come back now even if we offer them candy," and North Vietnam sent virtually its entire army to conquer its neighbors behind columns of Soviet-made tanks.) Writing five years ago in /Foreign Affairs/, Yale Professor John Lewis Gaddis observed: * "Historians now acknowledge that American counter-insurgency operations in Vietnam were succeeding during the final years of that conflict; the problem was that support for the war had long since crumbled at home."* [Gaddis, /Foreign Affairs/, Jan-Feb 2005.] Put simply, we were winning the war by 1971-72. That is a conclusion widely shared by many of us who spent time in Indochina during the early 1970s. One of my jobs as an Army captain on detail to the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong Affairs Division of the American Embassy in Saigon was to investigate incidents of Viet Cong terrorism, and at the request of Harrison Salisbury after leaving the Army I wrote an op-ed in the /New York Times/ in September 1972 warning that a "bloodbath" would follow our abandonment of the people we had repeatedly pledged by treaty and statute to defend . I traveled extensive around Cambodia as a U.S. Senate staff member in May 1974, and my fears were such that in early April 1975 I returned to Indochina in an effort to rescue at least some of the orphans in Cambodia. I was unsuccessful, and most of them perished under Pol Pot. There are various estimates of the total human cost of betraying America's pledge to defend the people of non-Communist Indochina, and the task is all the more difficult in Cambodia, as there had never been a census and thus there were no reliable estimate of the country's population before the genocide that followed the Communist victory. The best study I have seen was by the Yale University Cambodia Genocide Project ( http://www.yale.edu/cgp/ ), which estimated that 1.7 million people -- more than twenty percent of the entire population of Cambodia -- was slaughtered by Pol Pot's regime. The brutality is captured well by /National Geographic Today/, which noted in 2003: [ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/01/0110_030110_tvcambodia.html ]: * "Guides explain that bullets were too precious to use for executions. Axes, knives and bamboo sticks were far more common. As for children, their murderers simply battered them against trees."* It has been more than thirty-five years since I last visited Cambodia, but the image of tiny children being bashed against trees because America broke its promises continues to haunt me. I am confident that Jane Fonda had a blast during her giggly visits to North Vietnam, and I have no reason to believe that she was not sincere in her belief that she was doing a great thing for the cause of peace and human rights. But she was profoundly mistaken. (Freedom House listed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as among the "dirty dozen" and the "worst of the worst" human rights abusers for decades after the Communist victory, and the slaughter of the innocent during the first three years of Communist rule in tiny Cambodia alone outnumbered the human costs of the war throughout Indochina during the previous fourteen years.) Ms. Hershberger may sincerely believe that Jane Fonda was really a friend of American soldiers in Vietnam and has been victimized by a "mythology." As someone who worked almost full-time on the Vietnam issue between 1965 and 1975 and continues to teach seminars on the war thirty-five years later, I must confess that I still share the anger that I hear from virtually every Vietnam veteran I know when Jane Fonda's name is mentioned. In my personal view, she clearly committed treason and bears a great deal of personal responsibility for the consequences of her actions. But the pain that I still feel decades later about what America ultimately did to the people of Indochina we had pledged to defend prevents me from wishing that Ms. Fonda understood the consequences of her actions. She seems happy, unrepentant, and as clueless about what transpired after her side "won" as she was about the realities of the war in 1972. I hope she sleeps in peace, because a lot of Vietnam veterans don't. Respectfully, Robert F. Turner [The writer did his undergraduate honors thesis on Vietnam in 1966-67 and upon graduation repeatedly volunteered for duty in Vietnam, where he served twice. He holds both professional and academic doctorates from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is the author or editor of several books and monographs about the Vietnam War, including /Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development /(1975) and /The Real Lessons of the Vietnam War/ (2002) and has taught seminars on the Vietnam War at the undergraduate and graduate level at Virginia. The opinions expressed and responsibility for the accuracy of facts are his alone.] Prof. Bob Turner <firstname.lastname@example.org> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----