I have no words for what I have felt these past days reading many of your blog comments. It is clear to me that even after all this time, there is so much healing to be done around the Vietnam War. I know from my own life that essential to healing is forgiveness. The most moving comments to me were those from veterans who said they have disliked me for years and now, having read my post about my trip to Hanoi, they understand better and can forgive me. This tells me two things: that these men are brave –because it takes much courage to give up preconceptions. It also shows me and that these men are on a path of healing and for that I am grateful. Ironic that the QVC incident became an opportunity for healing and forgiveness.

I recall reading Secretary of State Robert McNamara’s book, “In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam” in which he took a stand against the war he had orchestrated, saying that it was “wrong, terribly wrong.” In an amazing documentary, “Fog of War,” he said the greatest lesson for him was the need to know one’s enemy — and to “empathize with him.” “We must try to put ourselves inside their skin and look at us through their eyes.”

I had harbored such anger against McNamara, but when I read his book and saw the documentary I hoped I would one day have a chance to thank him for his courage. I knew from friends of his how he had long suffered because of what he had done. In 2005, I met him at a book fair in Wales and went up to him and told him how grateful I was that he had the courage to say what he said, admit what he did was wrong. That was a healing moment for me.

Poet and teacher Stephen Levine in his book, A Year to Live, wrote, “Even an unsuccessful attempt at forgiveness has the considerable power of its intention. We cannot force forgiveness because force closes the heart, but we can explore its possibilities, its capacity to heal the forgiver, and sometimes the forgiven.” Levine also said that forgiveness “is mercy in action in the same way that compassion is wisdom in action.”

In my new book I write about forgiveness and I quote Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi who describes what it does to us when we are unable or unwilling to forgive:
“… when I refuse to forgive someone who has wronged me, I mobilize my own inner criminal justice system to punish the offender. As judge and jury, I sentence the person to a long prison term without pardon and incarcerate him in a prison that I construct from the bricks and mortar of a hardened heart. Now as jailor and warden, I must spend as much time in prison as the prisoner I am guarding. All the energy that I put into maintaining the prison system comes out of my “energy budget.” From this point of view, bearing a grudge is very “costly,” because long-held feelings of anger, resentment, and fear drain my energy and imprison my vitality and creativity.

So, thanks to all and may we all experience the healing power of forgiveness.

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  1. You are awesome. Everything you have ever done and will ever do will therefore radiate awesomeness. You are a GOOD person and everything you did came from a GOOD place. You don’t need the forgiveness of judgmental fools. That is their own business to forgive others for whatever wrong they feel has been done to them. These are the SAME American’s who will cry “What about freedom of speech?” if someone stands in their way to express their views. You can not judge a person on the deeds they have done over 30 years ago. That person is long gone. The good spirit still remains. I hope people will let you forget that moment in your life and let you continue to do the good work that you do.


  2. The photo of you on the gun site…still haunts me to this day ..I was a teen with friends brothers there…I would cringe at the news every night…I would write to soldiers thru the USO…(some letters had mud on the pages)and on my first trip to see the Vietnam Memorial in D.C….I took my names to see if they were on that Wall…I trembled,my heart was beating so fast,my hands were shaking looking thru the names.None were..I cannot explain my relief..

    My godson is in special ops in Afghanistan.

    Yes,I can forgive…but with a caveat…there must be a change deep inside the person.

    I tell my boys…we are born like a piece of Carbon and IF we live our lives thru all our mistakes and pressures …learning & making up for our mistakes…we emerge a Diamond.

    I do not know your Heart,but I know mine.I am working towards becoming a Diamond.


  3. If someone occupy our property forcefully how can you forgive him / her.

  4. Well said Jane.

  5. Ms Fonda,

    If I may, what exactly are you being asked to be forgiven FOR?

    • What am I asking forgiveness for? For thoughtlessly sitting on a North Vietnamese gun site in 1972. Please read my blog. This caused pain to U.S soldiers and families and so I ask forgiveness and will continue to do so. I am sorry. I never intended to do anything to cause pain to our soldiers. I never blamed our soldiers for the war.

      • Dear Sweet Jane! How much you must be missing your fathers’ strong shoulders to lean on right now. Times like these, we need a parent, loved one or close friend to listen & comfort us:(
        You have done nothing to ask forgiveness for, We all did stuff in the 60’s that we would take back if we could…..ALL OF US! There are things we might change if we could. But…..those things shaped our lives, as the Tank thing shaped yours.

        The only ones guilty of war crimes on our shores are those who sat & did nothing…..those who did not protest…..those who did not speak up or out! Not you. You did something….tried to change things…..tried to save human lives:) How could anyone not say Thank You to yoou for trying. I know I do.
        How small minded & vindictive of QVC for trying to hurt you…..humiliate you in public. I think that even those who did not like you for what you did, maybe even those who “hated” you, will agree that QVC made a huge error in their decision!

        Thank you Jane for your efforts then & Now!

      • Ms Fonda,

        I have read your blog, and my question was rhetorical. I apologize if you feel that I’m attacking you, that is not my intention. Because this blog thread is public, it may be putting you on the defensive needlessly.

        My intention is to question the irrationality of your position.

        Number one, you continue to assert that the only harm that resulted from your picture on the anti-aircraft gun emplacement was to people’s FEELINGS.

        Number two, you seem able to grasp that the picture was harmful, but not that your entire visit was harmful. Why would that be? What is different about the two minutes in which your picture was taken, and the days that you spent singing songs with the North Vietnamese?

        Are we to assume that if there was no picture, there would have been no harm done, and you would have nothing to apologize for? It’s all rather innocuous, isn’t it, if all that you’re guilty of is hurting “feelings”.

        But the fact is that you caused people to die.

        Just as Walter Duranty caused people to die by denying Stalin’s starvation campaign. Just as Neville Chamberlain caused people to die by displaying naivete in response to Hitler’s false peace agreement.

        You caused American and Vietnamese soldiers to die by encouraging the North Vietnamese regime to continue fighting. Your compassion for “the people” and “the soldiers” caused the deaths of those very same people.

        I say again, you are a good person. You are a compassionate person. But even now, 40 years later, you don’t understand what you did.

        Why are you not meeting with the Taliban and Al Queda in Iraq and Afghanistan? It sounds like an absurd question, doesn’t it? What is the difference between Al Queda and the North Vietnamese Communists? They both want peace. They are both indigenous people fighting for their own country. What do you imagine the Vietnamese Communists were? Why do you think a half a million Vietnamese drowned trying to escape them?

        Again, Ms Fonda, why are you asking for forgiveness? And…from whom?

        • We are on such a different wave length, Robert, that there really isn’t much to say. I know that I was not responsible for any deaths. I know that the Vietnamese didn’t need me to give them the courage and fortitude to go on fighting, they’d been fighting (and winning) for 1000s of years. I believe that my trip and the exposure it gave to the bombing of the dikes had something to do with the cessation of that bombing a month after my return from Vietnam. I could go on but there is no purpose. We come from totally different places. ‘nough said.

        • While Ms. Fonda has so eloquently explained herself and her positions, I had to respond to this because it’s so representative of the rigidity of people on the right (or whatever you want to call the self appointed judges of our country). I doubt if the foundation of the North Vietnamese commitment to their war was based upon the actions of a 20 something actress. The North Vietnamese fought because we invaded their country! Just like our current wars we went in for the wrong reasons — among them to financially benefit big business — so it’s not surprising the subsequent regimes failed. But as a country we have forgiven Japan- who attacked us in World War II — Vietnam — North and South — but you still harp on the free speech actions of one person? You need to re-read the post on forgiveness again. And quit attributing more power to Ms. Fonda than she has or ever had — it’s easy to find scapegoats. It’s harder to find honest people – celebrity or not – who can admit their mistakes. Ms. Fonda has admitted her’s – still waiting on thousands of others who have spilled the blood of innocent American soldiers and citizens of other countries for personal gain —

        • Robert, you said “But the fact is that you caused people to die,” to a woman who, along with dozens of other peace activists and WWII veterans tried to stop a senseless slaughter and broker some kind of peace accord between the Vietnamese and the US.

          In what dimensional reality do you come to your bizarre conclusion? Or do you also hold responsible for murder every diplomat for thousands of years who has tried to broker peace between warring nations?

          common sense, man. Use it.

          • Robert–I can’t believe that you said Jane caused people to die. Wow! Is that seriously what you think? I can’t believe that you actually wrote something like that down much less think that. That is the most horrible accusation that anyone could say with nothing but talking ridiculous to back it up. You are so far off in left field. What an extremely judgmental person you are.

        • Jane Fonda still does not understand the individual lives lost because of her 1970’s protestor lifestyle. If she lacks wisdom, she cannot gain forgiveness.

          Her non-answer to your reply was sadly flippant and sounded more contrived than I am sure she or her website moderator ever imagined.

  6. I heard a sentence about forgiveness that comes from a Hungarian poet and I think it’s beautiful. It’s about God’s forgiveness but I think we have a lot to learn from that. I can’t quote 100% accurately (unfortunately) but it says that true forgiveness burns up the the memory of the misstep and then blows away even the remaining ashes of it.

    My thought Apart from love and the ability to create, the divine thing in every human being is the the ability to forgive. I hope everyone learns the true importance of that one day (I know I’m naive but I can’t help it).

    I hope this has given something to you. You have given me so much (and your book whose first act helped me understand myself and my perfection addiction; being in my first act, I desperately needed it) so I hoped I could once give you something (with that sentence).

  7. Dear Jean: congratulations for those wondeful words. You’re a great lady and have a beautiful soul. God bless you.
    Kisses from Buenos Aires, Argentina.


  8. beautifully written. I still have no idea why we were in Vietnam and am most happy you clearly say that you don’t blame the soldiers. I don’t either. It was go to Vietnam or try to go to Canada. I go even further saying that I just don’t like war of any sort including the current one, but I feel sincerely for all those engaged in the current conflict and their loved ones.

  9. I like a saying that I learned was from Will Rogers:

    “I never met a man I didn’t like.”

    If someone can live like that, we can learn that there is nothing to forgive, or be forgiven for.

  10. Such beautiful words! Thank you for sharing. I wish more people could see things the way that you do. The world would certainly be a much better place.

  11. Jane, I love your blog entry, some things occured to me as I read it, what happened with QVC seemed like such a bad thing, yet I think good things are going to come from it, I was reminded of a verse, all things work together for good. When we do not forgive we are the ones in the prison of hatred, I had a powerful experience several years ago, I hated someone so much, someone who had hurt a person I dearly loved. one day I was making up my bed and the only way I can describe what happened is to say, it was miraculous. All of a sudden I began to experience the person’s (that I hated) feelings, it was as if I was her. I began to feel the despair that she carried that caused her to do the things that she did and I began to experience the pain her own actions caused her. This must have been how Jesus felt on the cross when He took on all our wrongs. He felt our pain. I broke and started weeping, I began to see her as the victim of her own bad decisions. All of the hatred for her left and was replaced with love for her. I was just as wrong to hate, yet God looked beyond my stubborn heart and changed it. I still love her and am glad her life took a better course and she has overcome. The following is a noteI wrote called Freedom and deals with forgiveness. Forgiveness is natural when there is true love, it is not something that has to be worked on, it just is. I saw someone who had hurt someone I love so deeply, when the wound was fresh it was hard to forgive, but the minute I saw their face compassion and love rushed into my heart, everything else fled, there was only room for love. When love inhabits the heart it is all consuming like a fire that burns everything else away. You may intellectually remember the past, but it no longer has a hold on you, when we are set free we are truly free.
    Much love to you Jane. God bless, Juanita Thomas

    • Juanita, that is so profound and beautiful. I want to write more about this because I do feel—and know from personal experience–that forgiveness is at the core of our wellbeing…more important than anything (except love..but they go together). Thank you so much for this.

  12. Hello Jane,
    Well said Jane, This is a Proclamation and most pointedly juxtaposed. A new start of forgiving a new point in time,or newly conceived. This a more perfect state of mind to come. A good invocation of a “new birth of freedom” from the old to the new. You seem more the power for it. The individual had possessed in time a significant and true self. I hope you forgive me, if I have caused any problem you to over may script. “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”

    Oscar Wilde

  13. why is forgiveness so hard??? we don’t know how to do it? we aren’t modeled it at an early age? I don’t know…I do know that for years I struggled with fear that controlled me, anger that bubbled up in passive aggressive behavior and a lack of passion and focus in my life. This last year at 40 years of age I was finally able to forgive key figures in my life of things that happened in my childhood and I have never had so much energy, creativity and LOVE for everyone, myself, the person that wronged me so long ago and pretty much every person I come in contact with on a daily basis!!! It’ amazing!!! highly recommend it! 🙂

    • Heathe, tis is very important! Can you ell e/us how you managed to do this eep forgiveness? I write about how I did it and how it changed me life in my new book. It’s called ‘a life review.’ but how did you do it? Thanks, Jane

      • oh goodness! thank you for asking…how do I explain and condense 20+ years of healing process into a few key points or steps…

        1. I acknowledged the pain (spent 20+ years getting in touch with, wallowing, journaling, avoiding, etc. which has it’s place but I came to the point where I was done and wanted to move past that to really LIVING)
        2. I gave up my anger and unforgiveness and right to vengeance and right to justice to the universe/God, I said ” it is time to forgive, I forgive so and so. ” I believe in God so that’s who I gave it to but I don’t think one has to believe in God for this to work.
        3. I started choosing a VICTORIOUS mentality over victimized mentality and started baby steps to live that out. Taking responsibilty for MY actions, accepting the cards I had been dealt and moving from there to make the best of it. Looking back over my life and the ones that had hurt me in a positive light through eyes of compassion. I wrote a letter of thanksgiving for all positive things in my childhood no matter how small or silly. I started trying to actively bless in any small way the person that had done me harm. I wrote a thank you to that person for the tiniest of things that I could think of that I appreciated about them. It seems that for every tiny step I’ve made in this direction amazing love and healing has more than met me halfway and carried me to even greater healing and capacity to live to my potential. It is like before I was looking at my own life as piece of plastic film negative and now the light has been shown through the film negative, the shadows have become bright spots and the true picture is emerging. Not that everything is perfect but, my goodness, SOOOO much better.

  14. Jane, For years I have intended to contact you and now I’m doing it. I was a young instructor at UCLA when we met briefly a couple of times in the L.A. antiwar movement and I followed your work after I moved back east. Loved “My Life So Far” and almost wrote then. We also enjoy the cookbook. Karen did the tapes for years.

    But I write now mainly because it’s hard to be reminded of all the hateful things written about you during and since the Vietnam war. I’ll just recall that a couple of leaders of the time, Nixon and Agnew, were demonstrably criminals and were rescued from convictions by law only by pardons. Yet some people can’t remember that. Yet now we can scarcely count those politicians and soldiers who have recanted their support of the war since then. Back east I made friends with Lew Puller, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning “Fortunate Son,” his memoir of the war. In the 90s he returned to Vietnam to help dedicate a school and was forgiven by the Vietnamese present. His horrible wounds and dismemberment in the war, and his demons, caused him to take his life a few years later, but I know that like so many others he was happy that he could finally make amends. But don’t get me started! Keep up your good works and know that so many of us from back then are still inspired by your integrity and your work.

  15. I realize you sacrificed more than you should have had to, and more than most, but I only wish we all could have done more to stop that terrible war. It was worth any sacrifice. And we love you even more for what you have done for all of us.

  16. Jane, I first became aware of you when I was a teenager in love with movies. But that interest led me to follow closely your activism and your passion for justice. It fed my own desire to be brave, my own need to somehow make a difference in the world. As I watched you make choices of passion I saw that such choices become quickly complex, full of the capacity for movement and change, and also for conflict. And yet your openness, your willingness to live it out in front of us, however it went, helped to give me my own courage, my own sense of discernment, of what is worth fighting for. It fed my own desire to seek truths in a way that involved the whole of me. I knew that acting that way meant that my mistakes would be something visible to the small world I moved in, to be owned and reconciled by me. Some years later, I was a student at the American Film Institute (84) and you came to speak to our class. I was struck in person by how fully present you were to each thing you were doing, offering it your whole heart. I asked you a question about writing and you answered so thoughtfully – an answer that has often guided me, instinctively, intuitively.

    I am wondering if you have seen The Tree of Life? (I apologize if you have written about it herein and I have missed it). It has so much to say about transformation that comes from love, that is born from a freeing of the spirit and an acceptance that “unless you love, your life will slide by quickly”. That decision about how to live one’s life is made so young – and I would like to say that in this way, I know that you participated in my own young transformation – indirectly – in important ways. Even while you were in Hanoi, even as I watched those events unfold, I was impacted and influenced, not in the political sense, but in the sense of watching a woman act according to her own conscience and live out its truths, however that went.

    As a Biblical Studies student now (I’m still a writer too), I am impressed by the deeper sense of the word “shalom” which in Hebrew means a fullness of wellbeing – a peacefulness that comes from a greater integration of mind spirit and heart (all the same word in Hebrew – lev). It is likely you know this already. But I raise it as a way of saying thank you for these posts, and for your openness to the process of what it means to be a human being living out convictions and complex realities. I wish you the fullest ‘shalom’.

    • Susan, I loved the “Tree of Life.” I know the director made it hard to like, but it really spoke to me. For me it was a long poem/prayer to God. Thanks for writing. xx

  17. Dear Jane,

    I am so happy that you have told the TRUE story here and I hope it gets well circulated. I have always felt terrible about the lies that have been told about you through the years. My own daughter, who shares your birth day, believes the lies told about you on the internet and it breaks my heart. Maybe one day everyone will recognize you for the wonderful person that you are…I sure do. Have been a fan of yours forever…


    Barbara O.

  18. Forgiveness is the key to happiness. There is nothing like the feeling of a huge weight being lifted when one can forgive others or ones self.

  19. Jane – I am a veteran, but didn’t serve in Vietnam. I do know many Vietnam vets, though, and reading through this blog really shows the continued misunderstanding from many even after 40 years.
    Is it that you’re responsible for deaths? No. Until reading this I had never heard anyone seriously say that. I did have a Vietnam POW tell me a story about friends that died in Vietnam. When he returned he came back to a country energized and seemingly hateful of the men who served. Then he was told of your visit to N. Vietnam. He read the news clips. The more vets that he spoke to the more that he felt that you were one of the many that led the pack. Your “celebrity” gave you that pulpit, and from that pulpit hatred was fueled.
    Did you intend it? You seem sincere, and I’ll take your word that you didn’t, but sometimes even the best intentions end with bad results. It’s not a picture of you that these men that served resent, it’s the hate that they felt when they returned and (intentional or not) you were a leader.
    Why can’t everyone forgive? The reason that I hear the most is that they’ve never read (from you) that you understand that you were a leader. People followed you and fine men and women were hurt.
    I saw a gentleman with a Vietnam Veteran hat on in the airport not too long ago. I made a point to thank him. His wife hugged him as I walked away. I made the gesture for one reason – because maybe today with a few simple words I can tell these good men that the hate is long gone and maybe they can also forgive.

    • John, I understand what you say but I want to remind you tht, as I said in my blog post about the Hanoi trip that I was the one who spoke to anti-war rallyies that the soldiers were NOT our enemy.And I made “Coming Home.”

      • Jane – I thank you for replying and applaud your courage to answer both good and bad responses. I did not know of your speeches at anti-war rallies. I’ve learned something today.

        I’ve done things in my life that started with good intentions and ending with bad results. While I have no personal feelings toward you, I know that the emotions of the vets I’ve met are very real. You also seem very sincere.

        Hopefully someday everyone can forgive and can put it behind them.

  20. To Robert Kessler,

    The Vietnamese boat people were forced to leave due to the economic blockade of Vietnam by the US. The Vietnamese I know who came to the US all live naturally as communists, as all people from agrarian societies do. There is no possible comparison with the Taliban, even though we were also wrong to invade Afghanistan. It is always wrong to invade countries who have not attacked you. I don’t see how you could miss such a fundamental truth.

  21. To realize and admit to errors in the past is a big thing. We all have done wrong in the past, and to see you acknowledge those past errors, and to have learned from them is all that anyone can ask.

    I have been a fan of yours since I was a teen. I was unaware of the controversy surrounding those times (I wasn’t born till 1972).

    I became a fan of you through your films, and through those films I discovered your past and your story.

    It was with great interest, I read your book “My Life So Far” which has a cherished place on my bookshelf. You are so much more than just an actress, an activist, or a fitness guru to me.

    You are truly inspiring in ways that you cannot even fathom. Thank you for your thoughts (and deeds), from back in the day, to far in the future.

    Ron T.
    Boston, MA

    • Thank you, Ron. I am always so moved when a man tells me my book meant a lot to him. Frankly, I didn’t expect that when it first came out in 2005.

  22. Dear Jane , I am so excited for you . My late brother , Thomas & James both , adored you … Thomas was a Guardsmen at Kent State , never was the same in many ways … he said blaming those boys (including himself) was like people blaming you for * Protecting the children ***They should of been long gone as The Governor called them to come & instead of dispersing , well we all know 4 dead in Ohio … but it was Days ahead of that fateful noon conflict … people don’t understand the burning of the campus and , Yes , the influence of drugs and several *Leaders whom were not backing down due to their Own Agenda … you were Blamed because you wanted to turn the guns around and SHOW ; Innocent children were being killed and maimed due to money & politics .. he taught me that about your love for the innocent way Before Kent … but he compared the two as *McNamara was Rhodes and YOU were He & The Guards … i see it clearer as i wondered , Why do we go to War when the Leaders are the problem … not the children who die due it … Babies & Soldiers are both *The Innocent Children <3 RIP Thom & Jimmy … he apologized, now i will have to forgive him also <3 God Bless you Jane , always always , Elayne

  23. Though I was against the Viet Nam war, I thought your well-meaning but not well-thought-through, actions (including the picture opportunity) were just another example of media stars putting their efforts in the wrong place – causing more harm than good. In a country so easily polarized by issues (then and now) I felt the weight of your fame on the balance of popular opinion would force the opposition (Nixon and the others) to do something equally foolish. But I now realize, in the wake of recent events in Norway, that non-violent actions such as yours, whether I agree with them or not, are the fabric that holds society together. God help us if the rips get any worse. Good luck on your efforts.

  24. I too, was among those that was not a fan of you, coming from that era. And sitting around the VFW, hearing the hate from members furthered my disdain. But, a few years back you spoke at a book conference I attended. I must say you weere mesmorizing. I listened intently. At the end, you were kind enough to autograph your book for me. I was hesitant to get that signature, and I still had feelings of disdain for you. Then I read the book, and my opinion changed. Reading your blog furthered my process in believing my disdain and anger was misplaced.

    Yes, the phoro at the anti aircraft station was a great aprt of my anger, having lost family and friends in that war. Also,seeing soldiers being spat at upon return to the US furthered my anger, that picture in mind.

    I now understand and have pout this anger aside. I have never believed the internet sage (bit who believees anything on the internet anyway.)

    It was a long time ago and it is time to move on, for all of us, inclusing you.

    • Thank you, Don. I am happy because this means your heart is healing. Thanks

      • Actually, I thank you. when you first got up to speak at that meeting, I was going to walk out. Something made me stay and I am glad I did. As I stated, your speech was mesmorizing. I read your book on the plane ride home and could not put it down. It made me think that none of us are above being judged so we should not judge (Glass house.) I was embarressed and distressed that I had invested that much time and energy in disliking another human being. Although I still frequent my local VFW, when the subject of Jane fonda now comes up, I suggest that those expessing anger do what I did and read the book. I have also given them a copy of your blog. Some opinions will never change, but I am glad mine did.

        Like your father, mine also served in WWII. He taught us service to country was a priority, so like him I served. He was against Vietnam, but wanted me to serve. Fortunately, the war was winding down.Later my son also served in the first Iraq war. I was against the Iraq war, but also respected my son for wanting to serve.

        Time heals wounds and softens anger and hatred. Reading your book gave me your side of the story which helped me to understand your perspective.

        As I said previously, it was a long time ago and we all need to move on. My emotions and energies these days are paleced with my children and grandchildren.

        God Bless You.

        • Thank you, Don, I am very grateful for your forgiveness.

          • Actually I am grateful to you and seek your forgiveness for being so short sided and unforgiving. For judging without first seeking the truth. You have nothing to be forgiven for!

  25. Jane

    I feel that you are someone who has experienced God’s Grace and it has made you a complete person. I have always been a fan of yours all my life – even as a little girl watching your movies. You have had the courage to ask public forgiveness even if you did not do anything worse than any of us have done as human beings. If others cannot forgive, how can they be forgiven? I will never meet you on this earth but it is a pleasure just to hear your views and see your website.


  26. I admire what you did Jane, you’ve been a honest and courageous person. We don’t have comments of the people opposed to the war, they knew the horrible crimes that were perpetrated, Napalm, Agent Orange, destruction of entire villages, death squads… Disinforming the American public about what really happened ! Defense of Democracy and Liberty was a false motivation to destroy a politically independent country, as we could see in Cambodia a few years later… Thanks again Jane, don’t miss the Jon Pilger reports about this events, sure you know this awesome Australian journalist.


  27. I just discovered your blog after receiving an e-mail from the Urban Legends website, which provided a link to your blog about what happened back then. It was great to see someone getting the truth out, rather than the usual attacks.

    I really liked what you said about the hate and anger eating people up. It’s very true and even sadder that so many people wallow in their hatred and anger. It really is corrosive to our own humanity. Unfortunately, there are people like Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. who make a living off of nurturing misunderstanding, fear & hatred. It makes it difficult to soften the hearts of those fed a steady diet of lies, and listening to the distorted, hateful things they say is enough to make one’s head explode.

    I applaud and thank you for having the courage to speak up and be an activist in the first place. I’ve gone to Washington to protest the Iraq War, and felt some of the hatred and scorn from my “conservative” neighbors. I try to stay good natured, calmly asserting facts (which they can never seem to counter with any actual facts supporting their positions) and the fact that I don’t get agitated just seems to piss them off even more. I can’t imagine what you’ve had to deal with all of these years. Every so often, I receive one of those hateful “Hanoi Jane” e-mails from right-wing acquaintances, and it’s nice to finally have something to point them to in response. I know it’s almost a complete waste of time to try to educate those who clearly don’t want to be educated and who feel that challenging their view of the world is somehow a threat to them. Thanks again for having the courage to speak up in the first place, the tenacity to continue to dispel the lies, and the grace to ask forgiveness for your missteps. In my book, you’re a class act.

  28. I could not even finish the book “Matterhorn”. It was to real. Too depressing. That book reflects the truth of the horrors of the Viet Nam war from the perspective of a bush Marine.

  29. As a baron of a certain age, I was a year too young to be drafted because they dismantled the lottery draft before I attained the age of 18. I suppose I would have tried to get to Canada and find a cousin by whom I would not have been welcomed. A few years ago I found out that Gen. Omar Bradley was my 3rd cousin, and advisor to LBJ in matters of not leaving Vietnam. I feel I have nothing to forgive you for, but feel sorry you found yourself in your situation and wish my cousins and other redneck friends could forgive you. I have known Viet Vets who did not feel so well-treated after the war, and hope they forgive everyone. I have always admired your family members in the public eye. My late girlfriend used to interact with your exercise videos. Generally, I am opposed to war, although I suppose WWII was a war that had to be fought. It would easier to heal if all the wars would end.

  30. As a young Canadian, the Vietnam War seemed remote to me but when I went to the War Museum in Hanoi last year I didn’t make it past the first floor of horrific displays of torture and strife. I know this went on from both sides, I’ve seen the movies.

    I stood outside under the wing of a captured US jet and wept, my hope for global peace snatched away in the blink of an eye. Will the day ever come when we can all live in peace and harmony?

    I didn’t do anything to speak out against the Vietnam War so you are my hero Jane. My hopes are still dashed but I just do what I can to make a difference in the world, however small, for the good in life for all, and I think of the ordinary people just like me on the other side of the fence and hope they do the same.

  31. Dear Jane,

    I truly feel for you for what you have gone through all of these years. Your bio was the best bio I have ever read, for many reasons, not the least of which was because it was so well written. Thank you for sharing and for being so transparent.

    My take on what you said happened in North Vietnam was that you declined the photo shoot in front of some weapons, they insisted, and because you were their guest, you conceded and had no idea they would use it for propaganda purposes.

    In effect, they TRICKED you into being photographed there. I have been deceived in my life too, more than once, and I understand how it feels afterwards. What I do not understand is how it feels to have so many people hating you for one misstep–allowing seemingly-sincere-speaking people to manipulate you. That has to be horrible for you and your family.

    I believe what you said about protesting the war because you believed it was wrong. I, too, felt the same way at the time, but was in college and sacrificed nothing to get the war stopped the way that you and your friends did. Thank you for that!

    One of my brothers’ numbers in the draft lottery was something like no. 12, and the day the end of the war was announced was the happiest day of my life up to that point. I still remember the students at my college gathering in the streets of Greenville, NC, and celebrating. All of the bars were giving away free beer for the first hour or so. Everyone was out there in the streets. Some or all classes were cancelled. Downtown was blocked off. There was great joy.

    I have nothing but admiration for you.

    Thank you for all that you did to get that war stopped.

  32. I just registered, logged in to post that I’m truly blessed and appreciative at the level of discourse on this blog and comments.

    This is way better than anything on TV and most of the internet.

    One thing I’ve noticed is substantive and real information which is becoming such a rarity as it seems most times to be extinguished for some hidden benefit of purveyors of hate.

    These unending wars have always been suspect to me for there has always been a lack of real information and analysis, then quickly followed by obvious dehumanisation of the other side and a steadfast permanence of denial of proven facts in the wars’ aftermath.

    The candor of this blog and it’s subject matter breaks that cycle I believe.
    We are all better because of this discourse and I thank you. Everlasting love and peace to you all.

  33. Hello again Jane. It sounds so familiar to use your first name. I hope to get comfortable with it.

    I was trying to reply to the last/first post showing on the “Truth/Vietnam” blog. By D. Gregory I think the name is; the person insisting that you use HIS words to ask for forgiveness.
    Even though I am logged in I can’t reply to his post. I dislike seeing his bully attitude as the first reply to the post…he misses the point entirely…by telling the truth you have asked for forgiveness and his words are for his own pleasure of control, not sincere.

    Can we open the posting again so his is not the first reply?

    He is so wrong to say that at the time “large numbers of people wanted the USA public icons to show solidarity with our soldiers”. People ignored or worse, put down the returning soldiers…they did not want to be reminded. There were no celebrations for returning veterans of Vietnam at the time they came home – no public or well known ones, at least.

    My husband, a decade older than I, returned home and was dropped into the anti-war scene by attending the second big Berkely anti-war march, after he bought civilian clothes. He became so involved in the scene to this day people are surprised to learn he is a Vet. Him and many like him did not get a welcome reception at all.

    This person’s self-serving post does you an injustice. To view it as the first post seen also gives his views too important a position to serve you well and misses the point.

    Kind regards,

  34. Hi Jane,

    Forgiveness is a powerful thing to receive and to give. You were forgiven a long time ago by God. It doesn’t matter what I or others say or do.
    The man upstairs, the man with the plan :)He knows what is in all of our hearts.
    I wish you many blessings and happiness. God bless you!

    In the Big D, Texas

  35. Jane, I met your Dad in Seattle Washington when he was doing Clarence Darrow. He was always a Hero to me. My wife was his waitress then and she had NO idea who he was.

    Because of that, your Dad and I spent a lot of meals together. I GREATLY appreciate those days.
    I had JUST gotten back from serving 2 and a half tours with 5th Special Forces..(Army Green Berets).

    I would ask about you and your brother Peter. Peter also was one of my idols. He’d done a lot of biker films back then.

    He sounded very demure. I on the other hand was very excited to know about you two.

    It wasn’t until about 4 mos after I got Home (now there’s a word I HAD to cap), that I EVEN heard about your escapades.

    Henry took my wife and I out to dinner a lot of times. I knew some GREAT restaurants in Seattle then. He had the cars….so it worked out.

    Sometimes he payed, but most times I got to pay. MY Thrill…

    I always loved your Dad. He did some GREAT War movies. And a FEW Cowboy movies too….

    So, AFTER all this…

    I just gotta ask….

    DID you EVER apoligize for ‘Nam? And what about about the NOTES passed by Prisoners?

    ‘Cause THAT’S where I heard you cost some lives.

    So if you could just answer this Green Berets question…I’d REALLY appreciate it.

    Thank You for time…

    • Frank, I have apologized for the photo for 40 years. The rest are lies. Never happened. Please read my recent blog, “The Truth About My Trip To Hanoi”



  37. Ms. Fonda,
    As a Christian I have an obligation to forgive you and as a U.S. Marine who served in Vietnam I have the right to forgive you! So for my part you are forgiven! That is my stand with anyone who who wishes to engage me on the subject. Jesus does a nice job of explaining this in his Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 7:1-5.

  38. This a poem about Viet Nam thought your readers might appreciate.

    I’m a Human Being

    This is one of gods creatures in the tree why do you want to have a fire fight with me?
    I’ m a human being
    I am a boy on the ground, dear god, please don’t let them take me down.
    I’ m a human being
    Fruit rotting on the trees, land of such complexities, light flickering through, blinding heat of the morning sun, trench mouth determination day begun.
    I’ m a human being
    O’my god hit the ground! Can’t you see that gook in the tree?
    I’ m a human being
    Fire flashed RATATATTAT gun shots abound spraying death all around, legs and arms flying, new thudding sounds, blood soaked eyes and dying cries.
    I’m human being
    Frenzied tension happened so fast, grabbed my gun RATATATTAT branches flew back–dead-man in the tree.
    I’m a human being
    A blood shot tear was shed; fruit rotting on the trees only the black grandiose black worms could I see.Something’s gone inside of me
    I’m a human being

    By James W. Keating

  39. It’s difficult to believe that people hang onto Hanoi Jane resentment after all of these years and all we have learned. For goodness sake, especially those of us who were youths and teenagers in the sixties, we all were anti-war protestors and going to *Love-Ins* in our hippie garb preaching love and peace! Get over it!!
    Jane, you’ve more than repented and have freed yourself of that burden of guilt!
    We love you!!

  40. Jane, I have just heard again your interview with Charlie Rose. As a general rule…very very rarely broken…I do not read nor respond to blogs. But I must comment on your apology. You clearly feel you caused some harm, mostly hurt feelings I guess, because of an ill posed photograph. I accept your apology but it isn’t really terribly important in comparison to those who have not apologized. Where is the apology to those of us who went to Viet Nam because of an ill-conceived US policy based on ignorance of history? Where is the apology to the people of Viet Nam, an organized society for 2200 years that had defeated the French and Japanese and Chines before us and just wanted to enjoy tyheir rice paddie and hootch? Where is the apology for the nights when I was shaken out of my bed by incoming mortars? Where is the apology for the Purple Heart I received…and the ones that were awarded posthumously? Where is the apology to those of us who served and came home and protested against the madness…and were hated for telling the truth?

    Apology for a photograph? As an actress, you may feel it necessary to apologize for a bad performance. But never, NEVER apologize for being part of the effort to end the war and bring us home.
    Howard Gintell
    New York City
    Viet Nam 1967-68

    • A very beautiful letter, Howard. Thank you. Blessings. Jane

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  42. Ms. Fonda,

    I am the daughter, niece, friend, cousin, and grandaughter of a great many veterans, and my family owns a company that does a good deal of work for the DoD. My loyalty and devotion to the soldiers and Marines of this country runs nearly as deep as the ties that I have to my own family. Therefore, I’m certain that it will come as no surprise to you that when I heard of how you allegedly dishonored and betrayed the soldiers in North Vietnam my resentment ran deep.

    I am 34 years old and have “known” about “Hanoi Jane” for more than 25 years. I have always taken these stories of your involvement at the POW camps as gospel and continued to assume their veracity because I had never heard of anyone refuting them. Simply put: Hanoi Jane was a fact.

    This evening I stumbled across your blog. (It was no coincedence. Afterall, I–and I do not say this with the intent to cut because the result is favorable–was looking for the name of the movie that I was going to boycott after hearing that you were going to be portraying Nancy Reagan.) And I would like to say that I am very happy that I did.

    Please forgive me for saying that I find it difficult to completely dismiss a premise that has been very deeply ingrained in my upbringing, but, thanks to your blog, I HAVE begun to doubt what I have assumed to be true about you for the majority of my life. I know that the single opinion of one girl from Wichita, KS probably won’t shake your foundation. But I felt compelled to tell you that I will be sharing my doubt with my father, uncle, friends, cousins and grandfather that I listed above. I think you deserve that.

    And I would like to apologize to you for making an assumption and a subsequent judgement about your actions that I didn’t confirm. You ask for forgiveness in this post, and I ask for it in return.


    • Amanda, your letter means the world to me and I thank you for writing about your “journey” vis a vis the Hanoi Jane myth and for being open minded. The one thing that happened that I have needed to apologize for in North Vietnam was my sitting on that gun site. As I have said many times before, I did not think what I was doing. But the image is what it is and I will forever apologize for that. All the rest is a myth. I never caused harm to any American soldier or POW and when I went there the war in South Vietnam was essentially over. There were fewer than 24,000 men there by mid 1972. If only more people were willing to be open minded–not for my sake because I am fine, I know who I am and what my intentions were by making that trip (to stop the bombing of the dikes) but because open mindedness and forgiveness shows that healing is taking place. There is still so much healing to be done around the Vietnam War…and now we have the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars to deal with and all the terrible wounds–internal and external–to heal from.
      Again, Amanda, thank you. xx Jane

  43. Dear Jane,
    Refusing to forgive (holding a grudge) is like drinking poison hoping it will kill the begrudged person.

    You made a mistake, decades ago, and you honestly apologized. THIAT is all you can do. PERIOD!

    The main thing is that you totally forgive yourself and go on with your life.

    If folks chose hate, that is their loss. If they chose to live in the past and not enjoy the present because of their inability to let go of old grudges its their loss, not yours.
    Be happy, leave the past behind, all we have is today….


  44. Dear Jane, first of all I am a supporter of yours and I am grateful to have the opportunity to say a few things to you that I’ve felt for a long time. I can quite easily imagine that you are certainly sick about talking about this subject, but if you’ll bear with me, this is as much for me as it is for you.
    I am an American survivor of the Vietnamese/American War. I was in the infantry of the 173rd Airborne Bde.,1967 to the Tet Offensive in 1968. After the War (for me) I was sent to Berlin, Germany for my remaining one and a half years. While there we did war games and lots of parades and I got to guard an old nazi named Rudolph Hess. But most importantly I read a book about the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
    I was appalled! To think that I lost my dear friends while fighting for what we were told was ‘freedom’, and then to find out that the reunification election that was to take place by 1956 was called off by the U.S.!!
    Ever since that day I have been against that war and I protested it when I got home.
    Jane I recently retired after working thirty five years in the Mpls VA Medical Center. I understand that while being against a war and not the troops you walk a tightrope! I empathize. While working at the VA I’ve noticed that some of the Veterans really have not progressed very much socially but with time some do change. I’ve always told Vets (if the subject came up) that I have nothing bad to say about you. You saw war and tried to stop it. I Guess some of them just weren’t smart enough to know that you cared about them and loved them enough to get involved.
    I’m now writing a collection of short stories of the things I experienced in Vietnam, good and bad, to be called ‘the things I saw’. I have a collection of letters I had sent home and recently reread them, and one of them mentions that ‘Chris Noel’ had visited our fire support base.I found her on facebook and said thanks for supporting the troops. I found out she had written a book about her experiences and how she went thru post traumatic stress. So I read it. In the book she slammed you which I didn’t appreciate. She quoted some things from ‘The National Vietnam Veterans Review’ article by Tom Carhart- Nov. 1982, saying things like you told audiences we should be communists etc. Well I took it all with a grain of salt.

    In closing, I want to tell you Jane that I have admired you from afar, and that you have long been my ‘HERO’!
    You are an inspiration to me.

    jeff nordahl

    • Thank you, Jeff. Alas, most of wat is said about my trip to Vietnam are lies but some just don’t want to accept that. PTSD makes it hard to let go of one’s erroneous thoughts. xx

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