I vividly remember drill practice with my U.S. Army ROTC unit at the University of Georgia during the Vietnam War era. It was a time just after a ‘peace’ activist bombed our ROTC building. During practice or when we walked the campus in uniform, it wasn’t uncommon for some leftist to curse or spit.
Another memory of that era was when Jane Fonda showed up at UGA’s Memorial Hall in 1974 to regale disciples about her journey to Communist North Vietnam “showing solidarity” against “U.S. imperialism” (Her words that day.)
I planted myself with a friend right in front of her lectern. After she began to speak, we unrolled a huge poster with words as bold as they were true: ‘Fonda is a traitor!’
The “free speech” crowd in attendance went berserk. Imagine that — they wanted to stifle our First Amendment right of speech and assembly.
I’ll never forget her pointing and shrieking at us: “They are agents of Richard Nixon!” (In the interest of full disclosure, I showed up on my own and not in the pay of the then-president.)
Fast forward to the other day when a Vietnam veteran spit at Fonda during a book-signing. That man is angry, and there is a report he suffered insults after coming back from Vietnam. Fonda and her ilk, back then, loved to taunt soldiers as “babykillers” and, when visiting our tortured POWs in North Vietnamese hands, several report she coldly refused to send their messages of love back to worried families.
Yes, the actress and author reminds Americans she is sorry for posing with those Red anti-aircraft gunners who shot down our pilots. But remember this: She never apologized for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. She even muses her trip may have somehow ‘shortened the war’.
A Detroit Free Press reporter quotes her as saying in a Nov. 22, 1969 Michigan State University speech: ?I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become Communist.?
She has never apologized for saying that.
On Dec. 11, 1970, according to the House Committee on Internal Security, she reiterated at Duke University: “I think that we should strive toward a socialist society all the way to communism.”
Nor has she ever expressed remorse for traitorous broadcasts over Radio Hanoi. (A sample: ‘We have a common enemy: U.S. imperialism.’ Other excerpts from those broadcasts can be found in Mark and Erika Holzer’s documented 2002 book “Aid and Comfort: Jane Fonda in Vietnam”). Nor did she join Joan Baez and other sincere anti-war activists in condemning Red atrocities in Vietnam and Cambodia. Baez says Fonda refused her calls to join those condemnations.
In an April 3 CBS-TV interview, reporter Lesley Stahl asked Fonda if she had ‘a lapse of judgment’ in meeting with seven U.S. POWs in Communist hands ‘giving the appearance of a staged event at their expense.’ Fonda’s reply was simply “no” yet very revealing.
Jane Fonda only claims she is sorry for being ‘caught on camera’ at that anti-aircraft battery. It doesn’t appear she has changed all that much from that era when I picketed her and when she named her son Troi after a Vietnamese Communist hero, Nguyen Van Troi.
She has been spitting at Vietnam vets and America for five decades. Is it surprising that some vet would spit back at her? That of course cannot be condoned, but in light of her record it can be easily understood.
Phil Kent is an Atlanta author, media consultant and pundit on WAGA TV’s Georgia Gang.