The Truth About My Trip To Hanoi

I grew up during World War II. My childhood was influenced by the roles my father played in his movies. Whether Abraham Lincoln or Tom Joad in the Grapes of Wrath, his characters communicated certain values which I try to carry with me to this day. I remember saying goodbye to my father the night he left to join the Navy. He didn’t have to. He was older than other servicemen and had a family to support but he wanted to be a part of the fight against fascism, not just make movies about it. I admired this about him. I grew up with a deep belief that wherever our troops fought, they were on the side of the angels.

For the first 8 years of the Vietnam War I lived in France. I was married to the French film director, Roger Vadim and had my first child. The French had been defeated in their own war against Vietnam a decade before our country went to war there, so when I heard, over and over, French people criticizing our country for our Vietnam War I hated it. I viewed it as sour grapes. I refused to believe we could be doing anything wrong there.

It wasn’t until I began to meet American servicemen who had been in Vietnam and had come to Paris as resisters that I realized I needed to learn more. I took every chance I could to meet with U.S. soldiers. I talked with them and read the books they gave me about the war. I decided I needed to return to my country and join with them—active duty soldiers and Vietnam Veterans in particular—to try and end the war. I drove around the country visiting military bases, spending time in the G.I. Coffee houses that had sprung up outside many bases –places where G.I.s could gather. I met with Army psychiatrists who were concerned about the type of training our men were receiving…quite different, they said, from the trainings during WWII and Korea. The doctors felt this training was having a damaging effect on the psyches of the young men, effects they might not recover from. I raised money and hired a former Green Beret, Donald Duncan, to open and run the G.I. Office in Washington D.C. to try and get legal and congressional help for soldiers who were being denied their rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I talked for hours with U.S. pilots about their training, and what they were told about Vietnam. I met with the wives of servicemen. I visited V.A. hospitals. Later in 1978, wanting to share with other Americans some of what I had learned about the experiences of returning soldiers and their families, I made the movie Coming Home. I was the one who would be asked to speak at large anti-war rallies to tell people that the men in uniform were not the enemy, that they did not start the war, that they were, in growing numbers our allies. I knew as much about military law as any layperson. I knew more than most civilians about the realities on the ground for men in combat. I lived and breathed this stuff for two years before I went to North Vietnam. I cared deeply for the men and boys who had been put in harms way. I wanted to stop the killing and bring our servicemen home. I was infuriated as I learned just how much our soldiers were being lied to about why we were fighting in Vietnam and I was anguished each time I would be with a young man who was traumatized by his experiences. Some boys shook constantly and were unable to speak above a whisper.

It is unconscionable that extremist groups circulate letters which accuse me of horrific things, saying that I am a traitor, that POWs in Hanoi were tied up and in chains and marched passed me while I spat at them and called them ‘baby killers. These letters also say that when the POWs were brought into the room for a meeting I had with them, we shook hands and they passed me tiny slips of paper on which they had written their social security numbers. Supposedly, this was so that I could bring back proof to the U.S. military that they were alive. The story goes on to say that I handed these slips of paper over to the North Vietnamese guards and, as a result, at least one of the men was tortured to death. That these stories could be given credence shows how little people know of the realities in North Vietnam prisons at the time. The U.S. government and the POW families didn’t need me to tell them who the prisoners were. They had all their names. Moreover, according to even the most hardcore senior officers, torture stopped late in 1969, two and a half years before I got there. And, most importantly, I would never say such things to our servicemen, whom I respect, whether or not I agree with the mission they have been sent to perform, which is not of their choosing.

But these lies have circulated for almost forty years, continually reopening the wound of the Vietnam War and causing pain to families of American servicemen. The lies distort the truth of why I went to North Vietnam and they perpetuate the myth that being anti-war means being anti-soldier.

Little known is the fact that almost 300 Americans—journalists, diplomats, peace activists, professors, religious leaders and Vietnam Veterans themselves—had been traveling to North Vietnam over a number of years in an effort to try and find ways to end the war (By the way, those trips generated little if any media attention.) I brought with me to Hanoi a thick package of letters from families of POWs. Since 1969, mail for the POWs had been brought in and out of North Vietnam every month by American visitors. The Committee of Liaison With Families coordinated this effort. I took the letters to the POWs and brought a packet of letters from them back to their families.

The Photo of Me on the Gun Site.

There is one thing that happened while in North Vietnam that I will regret to my dying day— I allowed myself to be photographed on a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. I want to, once again, explain how that came about. I have talked about this numerous times on national television and in my memoirs, My Life So Far, but clearly, it needs to be repeated.

It happened on my last day in Hanoi. I was exhausted and an emotional wreck after the 2-week visit. It was not unusual for Americans who visited North Vietnam to be taken to see Vietnamese military installations and when they did, they were always required to wear a helmet like the kind I was told to wear during the numerous air raids I had experienced. When we arrived at the site of the anti-aircraft installation (somewhere on the outskirts of Hanoi), there was a group of about a dozen young soldiers in uniform who greeted me. There were also many photographers (and perhaps journalists) gathered about, many more than I had seen all in one place in Hanoi. This should have been a red flag.

The translator told me that the soldiers wanted to sing me a song. He translated as they sung. It was a song about the day ‘Uncle Ho’ declared their country’s independence in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square. I heard these words: “All men are created equal; they are given certain rights; among these are life, Liberty and Happiness.” These are the words Ho pronounced at the historic ceremony. I began to cry and clap. These young men should not be our enemy. They celebrate the same words Americans do.

The soldiers asked me to sing for them in return. As it turned out I was prepared for just such a moment: before leaving the United States, I memorized a song called Day Ma Di, written by anti-war South Vietnamese students. I knew I was slaughtering it, but everyone seemed delighted that I was making the attempt. I finished. Everyone was laughing and clapping, including me, overcome on this, my last day, with all that I had experienced during my 2 week visit. What happened next was something I have turned over and over in my mind countless times. Here is my best, honest recollection of what happened: someone (I don’t remember who) led me towards the gun, and I sat down, still laughing, still applauding. It all had nothing to do with where I was sitting. I hardly even thought about where I was sitting. The cameras flashed. I got up, and as I started to walk back to the car with the translator, the implication of what had just happened hit me. “Oh my God. It’s going to look like I was trying to shoot down U.S. planes.” I pleaded with him, “You have to be sure those photographs are not published. Please, you can’t let them be published.” I was assured it would be taken care of. I didn’t know what else to do. (I didn’t know yet that among the photographers there were some Japanese.)

It is possible that it was a set up, that the Vietnamese had it all planned. I will never know. But if they did I can’t blame them. The buck stops here. If I was used, I allowed it to happen. It was my mistake and I have paid and continue to pay a heavy price for it. Had I brought a politically more experienced traveling companion with me they would have kept me from taking that terrible seat. I would have known two minutes before sitting down what I didn’t realize until two minutes afterwards; a two-minute lapse of sanity that will haunt me forever. The gun was inactive, there were no planes overhead, I simply wasn’t thinking about what I was doing, only about what I was feeling, innocent of what the photo implies. But the photo exists, delivering its message regardless of what I was doing or feeling. I carry this heavy in my heart. I have apologized numerous times for any pain I may have caused servicemen and their families because of this photograph. It was never my intention to cause harm. It is certainly painful for me that I, who had spent so much time talking to soldiers, trying to help soldiers and veterans, helping the anti-war movement to not blame the soldiers, now would be seen as being against our soldiers!

So Why I Did I Go?

On May 8th, 1972, President Nixon had ordered underwater, explosive mines to be placed in Haiphong Harbor, something that had been rejected by previous administrations. Later that same month, reports began to come in from European scientists and diplomats that the dikes of the Red River Delta in North Vietnam were being targeted by U.S. planes. The Swedish ambassador to Vietnam reported to an American delegation in Hanoi that he had at first believed the bombing was accidental, but now, having seen the dikes with his own eyes, he was convinced it was deliberate.

I might have missed the significance of these reports had Tom Hayden, whom I was dating, not shown me what the recently released Pentagon Papers had to say on the subject: in 1966, Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton, searching for some new means to bring Hanoi to its knees, had proposed destroying North Vietnam’s system of dams and dikes, which, he said, “If handled right- might…offer promise…such destruction does not kill or drown people. By shallow-flooding the rice, it leads after a time to widespread starvation (more than a million?) unless food is provided—which we could offer to do at the conference table.”[1] President Johnson, to his credit, had not acted upon this option.

Now, six years later, Richard Nixon appeared to have given orders to target the dikes—whether to actually destroy them[2] or to demonstrate the threat of destruction, no one knew.

It is important to understand that the Red River is the largest river in North Vietnam. Like Holland, its delta is below sea level. Over centuries, the Vietnamese people have constructed –by hand!– an intricate network of earthen dikes and dams to hold back the sea, a network two thousand five hundred miles long! The stability of these dikes becomes especially critical as monsoon season approaches, and requires an all-out effort on the part of citizens to repair any damage from burrowing animals or from normal wear and tear. Now it was June, but this was no ‘normal wear and tear’ they were facing. The Red River would begin to rise in July and August. Should there be flooding, the mining of Haiphong Harbor would prevent any food from being imported; the bombing showed no signs of letting up; and there was little press coverage of the impending disaster should the dikes be weakened by the bombing and give way. Something drastic had to be done.

The Nixon Administration and its US Ambassador to the United Nations, George Bush (the father), would vehemently deny what was happening, but the following are excerpts from the April-May 1972 transcripts of conversations between President Nixon and top administration officials.

April 25th 1972

Nixon: “We’ve got to be thinking in terms of an all-out bombing attack [of North Vietnam}…Now, by all-out bombing attack, I am thinking about things that go far beyond…I’m thinking of the dikes, I’m thinking of the railroad, I’m thinking, of course, of the docks.”

Kissinger: “I agree with you.”

President Nixon: “And I still think we ought to take the dikes out now. Will that drown people?”

Kissinger: “About two hundred thousand people.”

President Nixon: “No, no, no…I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that, Henry?

Kissinger: “That, I think, would just be too much.”

President Nixon: “The nuclear bomb, does that bother you?…I just want to think big, Henry, for Christsakes.”

May 4, 1972.[3]

John B. Connally (Secretary of the Treasury):…”bomb for seriousness, not just as a signal. Railroads, ports, power stations, communication lines…and don’t worry about killing civilians. Go ahead and kill ’em….People think you are [killing civilians] now. So go ahead and give ’em some.”

Richard Nixon: “That’s right.”

[Later in same conversation]

Richard Nixon: “We need to win the goddamned war…and…what that fella [?] said about taking out the goddamned dikes, all right, we’ll take out the goddamned dikes….If Henry’s for that, I’m for it all the way.”

The administration wanted the American public to believe Nixon was winding down the war because he was bringing our ground troops home. (At the time I went to Hanoi, there were only approximately 25,000 troops left in South Vietnam from a high of 540,000 in early 1969) In fact, the war was escalating…from the air. And, as I said, monsoon season was approaching. Something drastic had to be done.

That May, I received an invitation from the North Vietnamese in Paris to make the trip to Hanoi. Many had gone before me but perhaps it would take a different sort of celebrity to get people’s attention. Heightened public attention was what was needed to confront the impending crisis with the dikes. I would take a camera and bring back photographic evidence (if such was to be found) of the bomb damage of the dikes we’d been hearing about.

I arranged the trip’s logistics through the Vietnamese delegation at the Paris Peace talks, bought myself a round trip ticket and stopped in New York to pick up letters for the POWs.

Frankly, the trip felt like a call to service. It was a humanitarian mission, not a political trip. My goal was to expose and try to halt the bombing of the dikes. (The bombing of the dikes ended a month after my return from Hanoi)

The only problem was that I went alone. Had I been with a more experienced, clear-headed, traveling companion, I would not have allowed myself to get into a situation where I was photographed on an anti-aircraft gun.

The Spin

My trip to North Vietnam never became a big story in the Summer/Fall of 1972–nothing on television, one small article in the New York Times. The majority of the American public, Congress, and the media were opposed to the war by then and they didn’t seem to take much notice of my trip. After all, as I said, almost three hundred Americans had gone to Hanoi before me. There had been more than eighty broadcasts by Americans over Radio Hanoi before I made mine. I had decided to do the broadcasts because I was so horrified by the bombing of civilian targets and I wanted to speak to U.S. pilots as I had done on so many occasions during my visits to U.S. military bases and at G.I. Coffee houses. I never asked pilots to desert. I wanted to tell them what I was seeing as an American on the ground there. The Nixon Justice Department poured over the transcripts of my broadcasts trying to find a way to put me on trial for treason but they could find none. A. William Olson, a representative of the Justice Department, [4] said after studying the transcripts, that I had asked the military “to do nothing other than to think.”

But from the Nixon Administration’s point of view, something had to be done. If the government couldn’t prosecute me in court because, in reality, I had broken no laws, then the pro-war advocates would make sure I was prosecuted in the court of public opinion.

The myth making about my being responsible for POW torture began seven months after I returned from North Vietnam, and several months after the war had ended, and the U.S. POWs had returned home. “Operation Homecoming,” in February 1973, was planned by the Pentagon and orchestrated by the White House. It was unprecedented in its lavishness. I was outraged that there had been no homecoming celebrations for the 10s of 1000s of men who had done combat. But from 1969 until their release in 1973, Nixon had made sure that the central issue of the war for many Americans was about the torture of American POWs (the very same years when the torture had stopped!). He had to seize the opportunity to create something that resembled victory. It was as close as he would come, and the POWs were the perfect vehicles to deflect the nation’s attention away from what our government had done in Vietnam, how they had broken faith with our servicemen.

I became a target the government could use, to suggest that some POWs who had met with me while I was in Hanoi had been tortured into pretending they were anti-war. The same thing was done to try and frame former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, whose trip to North Vietnam followed mine.

According to Seymour Hersh, author and journalist who uncovered the My Lai massacre and, later, the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal, when American families of POWs became alarmed at the news that there was torture in North Vietnam prisons, they received letters from the Pentagon saying: “We are certain that you will not become unduly concerned over the [torture] briefing if you keep in mind the purpose for which it was tailored.”[5]

But, according to what the POWs wrote in their books, conditions in the POW camps improved in the four years preceding their release—that is, from 1969 until 1973. Upon their release, Newsweek magazine wrote, “the [torture] stories seemed incongruent with the men telling them – a trim, trig [note: this is actually the word used in the article] lot who, given a few pounds more flesh, might have stepped right out of a recruiting poster.”[6]

Once the POWs were home, the Pentagon and White House handpicked a group of the highest ranking POWs–senior officers, to travel the national media circuit, some of them telling of torture. A handwritten note from President Nixon to H.R. Haldeman says that “the POW’s need to have the worst quotes of R. Clark and Fonda” to use in their TV appearances, but this information shouldn’t come from the White House.[7] These media stories were allowed to become the official narrative, the universal “POW Story,” giving the impression that all the men had been subjected to systematic torture—right up to the end–and that torture was the policy of the North Vietnamese government. The POWs who said there was no torture in their camps were never allowed access to the media.

Not that any torture is justified or that anyone who had been tortured should have been prevented from telling about it. But the Nixon White House orchestrated a distorted picture of what actually occurred.

In my anger at the torture story that was being allowed to spread, at how the entire situation was being manipulated, I made a mistake I deeply regret. I said that the POWs claiming torture were liars, hypocrites, and pawns.

I said, “I’m quite sure that there were incidents of torture…but the pilots who are saying it was the policy of the Vietnamese and that it was systematic, I believe that’s a lie.”[8]

What I didn’t know at the time was that although there had been no torture after 1969, before then there had been systematic torture of some POWS. One of the more hawkish of them, James Stockdale, wrote in his book, In Love and War, that no more than ten percent of the pilots received at least ninety percent of the punishment.[9] John Hubbell, in P.O.W.: A Definitive History of the American Prisoner-of-War Experience in Vietnam, agreed, and affirmed the fact that torture stopped in 1969.[10]

When the POWs came home, some who had been there longest told the press how they clogged up prison toilets and sewers, refused to come when ordered, or follow prison rules. One of the most famous, Jeremiah Denton, said, “We forced them [the guards] to be brutal to us.”[11] I relay this not to minimize the hardships that the POWs endured, nor to excuse it– but to attempt belatedly to restore a greater depth of insight into the entire POW experience with their captors.

Still, whether any torture was administered to certain, more recalcitrant POWs and not to others is unacceptable. Even though only a small percent of prisoners were tortured by U.S. soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, it wasn’t right. According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s standards, torturing prisoners to get information is justified. It isn’t. Not ever. All nations must adhere to the Geneva Convention’s rules of warfare.

As anyone who knew or worked with me in those years knows that my heart has always been with the soldiers. I should have been clearer that my anger back then was at the Nixon Administration. It was the administration, in its cynical determination to keep hostilities between the U.S. and Vietnam alive and to distract people from the administration’s mistakes, who tried to use the POWs as pawns.

Addressing The Internet lies

By the end of the Nineties, even more grotesque torture lies began to be circulated about me over the Internet—the ones that continue to this day.

Let me quote a former POW, Captain Mike McGrath (USN Retired), president of the POW-NAM Organization. In a letter to Roger Friedman, at the time a columnist for Fox411, on Friday, January 12, 2001 (he gave Friedman permission to make the letter public) McGrath wrote:

Yes, the Carrigan/Driscoll/strips of paper story is an Internet hoax. It has been around since Nov 1999 or so. To the best of my knowledge none of this ever happened. This is a hoax story placed on the Internet by unknown Fonda haters. No one knows who initiated the story. I have spoken with all the parties named: Carrigan, Driscoll, et al. They all state that this particular story is a hoax and wish to disassociate their names from the false story. They never made the statements attributed to them.

In his letter, McGrath also said to Friedman that by the time I went to Hanoi in 1972, treatment of the POWs was starting to improve and that I “did not bring torture or abuse to the POWs,” but that one man [Hoffman], the “senior ranking man in a room full of new guys,” was tortured (“hung by his broken arm”) to make him come to the meeting with me. McGrath wrote:

Why one man (name withheld by request) was picked out for torture of his broken arm is unknown…

The answer is, it never happened!

Will what I have written here stop the myths from continuing to be spread on the Internet and in mass mailings to conservative Republicans? I don’t know. Some people seem to need to hate and I make a convenient lightning rod. I think the lies and distortions serve some right-wing purpose—fundraising? Demonizing me so as to scare others from becoming out-spoken anti-war activists? Who knows? But at least here, on my blog (and in my memoirs), there is a place where people who are genuinely interested in the truth can find it.

[1] PP Vol. 1V, p. 43 (Italics in the original)

[2] As Hitler had done to the Netherlands during World War II. German High Commissioner Seyss-Inquart was condemned to death at Nuremberg for opening the dikes in Holland.

[3] Oval Office Conversation No. 719-22, May 4, 1972; Nixon White House Tapes; National Archives at College Park, College Park MD

[4] Hearings before the Committee on Internal Security, House of Representatives, 92 Congress, Second Session, Sept. 10 & 25th, 1972 (Washington: Government Printing Office): 7552

[5] Hersh, The P.O.W. Issue: A National Issue is Born, Dayton (Ohio) Journal-Herald, 13-18 Feb 1971

[6] Newsweek, 4/16/73

[7] Nixon Presidential Materials Staff, White House Special Files: Staff Mamber & Office Files: H.R. Haldeman: Box 47: Folder: H. Notes Jan-Feb-Mar 1973 National Archives

[8] NYT, 7 April 1973,11

[9] In Love and War, p.447

[10] P.O.W.: A Definitive History of the American Prisoner-of-War Experience in Vietnam, John G. Hubbell, 91,430

[11] New York Times, 30 April 1973.


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  1. NOTE: There were some typos in my first draft. Please use this one.

    Dear Jane,

    You have NOTHING to feel bad about regarding your trip to Vietnam, including the photo at the anti-aircraft gun. There are three main reasons:

    1) It was not your intention to do anything that might even appear to insult U.S. troops, and nobody can anticipate every possibility. Please be fair to yourself.

    2) The gun was intended to protect people from horrific death and destruction from the sky. It was a DEFENSIVE weapon, and the Vietnamese had every right to have them and use them for self-defense.

    3) You have done SO much to help the people of both nations, and at a significant personal cost. THAT is what matters. (You were an inspiration to many of us, and when a corporal in the U.S. Marines in the late 60s, you were one of the reasons that I refused my orders to go overseas and kill Vietnamese).

    Thank you for everything that you did.

  2. I think both sides from Vietnam are still looking for redemption, but can only get it from publicly giving it to each other. The only question is who would be both willing and well respected enough to be able?

  3. Dear Ms. Fonda,

    With Election 2012 drawing ever closer, I expect to see the old emails recycled with your photo at the anti-aircraft gun displayed prominently so that everyone will know what sort of “pinko-commies” support this or that candidate. Only this time, before I hit the delete button, I believe I will reply with a link to your post here and encourage those senders to come here and read your words. I doubt that many will – nothing gets in the way of good old hatred more than reading the other person’s point of view after all – but it will be worth a try. As for me, an ex-serviceman of sufficient years to have lived through those times, I don’t believe I will be thinking of you as “Hanoi Jane” anymore.

  4. Dear Ms. Fonda –

    I was born in 1967, but I *do* remember news coverage of the war – watching Walter Cronkite was a dinner ritual for us – and I remember my father talking about your visit to Hanoi. He was angry – incensed – and I remember arguing with him about it.

    I never once believed that the ‘other side’ was pure evil, inhuman, or in any way ‘different’ than us – they were simply soldiers defending their country, and probably as many of them didn’t want to be there as our own soldiers. War is never fun or a lark, even if you have a ‘party line’ – not everyone falls for it, or feels it.

    I thought, at the time, knowing almost nothing about your visit, that what you did was brave. I thought you were trying to show the world that the North Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were hurting just like we were.

    Over the years, all the ugly rumors about your trip have been chewed over and passed around, but frankly, they always seemed so overwrought and unbelievable, I never gave them much credence. When you’re young and idealistic and passionate, you don’t always choose your words or actions as carefully as you should, and like you said – sometimes, you simply make bad choices, and live to regret them.

    I have always felt deep sorry for, and an avid interest in, the men and women who served in Vietnam. The History Channel drowns us in movies and documentaries about the Battle of the Bulge and Guadalcanal, but the men and women who came home from Vietnam only get the occasional ‘crazy vet’ story. They’ve been shuffled out of history’s light, and I think that is a crying shame.

    I hope that by releasing this statement, and continuing to talk about this visit, this war, and the truly horrific things that governments do, we can not only give Vietnam veterans their due as courageous and honorable people, but maybe help the survivors to finally feel that they have truly come home.

    Sincerely –


  5. Hi Jane:
    As one of those ‘right wingers’ the liberals always seem to be bashing, I’d just like to say that intolerance is intolerable. Please don’t generalize and lump us all together.
    I was just a kid during the VietNam years, but I remember the mourning for the soldiers that never came home to my small town. I will probably never understand it all, but you’ve helped me edge a bit closer today. Thank you for the explanation. I admire your courage.
    I’ve always been a fan. God bless you.

  6. Dear Jane

    Thank you for your courage and convictions. It is such a shame that such wisdom and convictions are not the norm in our society.

    I am a Vietnam Veteran 68 to 72 stateside on the USS Lexington in Pensacola Florida. Like most Vet’s I am restless and longing to go home. Not the physical home but the one that we grew up with challenged to speak the truth and be fair with others.

    For some reason that home went away when I joined the Navy and has been absent ever since. Many years of trying to understand how it is possible that my family and this nation disregard and embrace the slaughter of possibly 5 million human beings with weapons of mass destruction in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. And the destruction continues and has escalated to the present day wherever our presence is felt.

    It is, I believe the ongoing struggle for the 100,000’s of thousands of homeless veterans and the 1,000’s that continue to take their own lives each year.

    Got some projects I am working on to keep it together and some great folks working with me on them and your history and others like you that really put it on the line keep me inspired.

    Can’t imagine the pressure cooker your life has and perhaps continues to be, being a public figure and such an easy target for criticism. I am just very thankful that you were and continue to be willing to step forward.

    Yours most fondly


    • Thank you, Joe. I wish you strength. Clearly you have courage. xxx

  7. Hi Jane,

    I have faith that your legendary trip to Hanoi was not about you, but was manipulated by a spin factor of ten on both sides of the issue. You were very much in the spirit of the times and embarked on a journey that ultimately illustrates in many ways what happens when people become agents of change. Your experience is not surprising or even unexpected. Women and men who have a significant voice against the policies of the power structure in many cases face the type of treatment you have endured. My own thought is that if you would tell your story as an agent of change sharing your experience with the younger generation, they could be better prepared to endure in their own mission fields. I think we can agreethat if they are prepared to expect it, they will be better prepared to speak in ways that do influence change, again and again and again. As it turns out the world is round afterall.

    Keep the Faith!

    • You are very smart and articulae, Brian. What do you do? xx Jane

  8. Jane,

    In the mid 1980’s I served as a peacetime marine. I did not make it a career. One reason I could not have been a career officer had to do with you. During our training exercises some of my fellow newly-minted second lieutenants, encouraged by their instructors, used your face as a target, complete with cross hairs and everything. They were all too young to understand events that happened 10+ years before, but they believed the lies that they were told.

    I hope things have changed in the USMC since then, but I have my doubts.

    Thanks for enduring it all over the years.


  9. Jane, I was aware that many of the most malicious reports (particularly the one that you were given slips of paper by POWs and handed them over to the North Vietnamese) were urban legends perpetuated by mass e-mails. And I thought I had read somewhere previously that you had regretted being photographed at the A-A gun.

    I’m also inclined to believe that you were the object of a smear campaign by the Nixon administration because that White House was led by an amoral pusbucket eminently capable of that kind of thing.

    But I also think those rumors come from a hostility toward you as a symbol for the entire anti-war movement. Opposition to the Vietnam War was different from protests against any U.S. military action before or since because it contained a element that blamed the servicemen and women for decisions made in Washington. (The My Lai massacre certainly didn’t help the public image of the U.S. soldier, even though it bears mentioning that it was a American Army helicopter pilot, Hugh Thompson, who ended My Lai by threatening to gun U.S. soldiers and rescued hundreds of Vietnamese from a bunker where they were going to be killed).

    As I researched my book – “Forgotten Honor,” the biography of Vietnam War hero Leslie Sabo, whose Medal of Honor recommendation is awaiting final approval from President Obama – it became clear to me that the Vietnam combat veteran is poorly understood by those of us who weren’t there. The popular narrative is that Vietnam veterans suffer today because of atrocities they committed. In fact, many of the men I interviewed deal with emotional pain comes from that they survived the war because their comrades didn’t.

    After talking with survivors of the Mother’s Day Ambush in Cambodia on May 10, 1970 – the fight in which Sabo earned his Medal of Honor consideration – I can see where they resent liberals and an anti-war movement that referred to them as “baby killers.” Unfortunately, as one of the most famous and vocal participants in that movement, much of that resentment has been directed at you.

    And blaming the soldiers for the mistakes of politicians didn’t work out for the peace movement. Those of us who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq couldn’t benefit from the assumption that we supported the troops and wanted them to make it home. And if we have to start off our anti-war argument by saying “we don’t hate the troops,” we’ve already lost.

    Thanks for giving your side.

  10. Thank you for this post. (I was directed to this via )

    My father is a Vietnam vet who swallows wholesale the ridiculous right wing fairy tales about you and John Kerry. I always felt there was a good bit of rubbish to that story, though I don’t blame my father for believing it, (he believes the filth that spews from rush limbaugh’s orifices, for crying out loud). Thank you for so humbly presenting your side of the story for those of us who have enough common sense to distrust chain emails & the memoirs of fictional wanna-be John Rambos.

    I’ll also refer people to this post when they feel the need to forward again the ridiculous paper strips story.

    Thank you for being the brave woman/feminist/anti-war activist you are.
    -Laura J

  11. I’ve been an admirer of your work forever — and I always considered myself in agreement with your politics. However, I was surprised to read of your negative reaction to criticisms by the French of our misadventure in Indochina, which followed so fast on the heels of their own debacle, and of the attachment you felt to the soldiers and veterans.

    Being just that little bit younger, born after WWII and part of the hippie movement, I was — and remain — resistant to considering any later wars “just” and to glorifying the military in any way. My male counterparts got student deferments and, if those ran out, fled the country or found a friendly shrink who’d call them crazy. We, of course, are hated by the same people who hate you.

    It’s kind of painful to see you suck up to them, but I find it charming that you, in your generally enviable posish, actually give a damn what anybody else thinks.

    I don’t believe this is about selling books, although some might say so, but about setting the record straight insofar as you can and forging some genuine human connections with those willing to hear you. My hat’s off to that impulse. Don’t expect any capitulation from the right, though. It is a realm of willful delusion and, in many cases, evil beyond our conception.

  12. I agree that a number of untruths have been said of you. Nevertheless, some untoward things did happen well within your control.

    For me, a small and simple apology would have a much greater impact than your long essay on, “why I’m not at fault.”

    Indeed I always appreciated Joan Baez for her apologies, long ago.

    • Dear Jane,
      I read and reposted your Hanoi blog entry, hoping to help get the truth out there. When I first came onto your facebook page, someone had posted something about the Hanoi Jane thing, so I took it upon myself to investigate and what I found was that it was lies. I have always loved and admired you and listening to interviews with you and reading your blog just makes me know that much more why I do. Your sense of humor is amazing, your genuine self shines forth, you’re beautiful.
      The Bible says God looks upon the heart, if people could only do the same, in reading your blog entry one can see that the intentions in your heart were to help end the war. Hopefully, some people will be able to see and hopefully their minds will be changed.
      But regardless there are people here who are for you, I am one. I pray you stay strong and remember that you are precious, a blessing to your family, your friends and the people that love you. God bless you, Juanita Thomas

  13. “Rise like lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number!
    Shake your chains to earth, like dew
    Which in sleep had fall’n on you:
    Ye are many – they are few.”
    unknown by poster.

  14. Jane they are using you as an example of what will happen to any other celebrities, those who command media attention, get it in their heads to oppose what they are doing. We need more Jane Fonda’s and Sean Penn’s. Unfortunately, the media is owned by corporation like General Electric and what not and are in themselves corporations which is why we get the corporate view of things…skewered by their lens.
    Keep up the good work Jane and thank you for sharing with us all. We have nothing to lose but the chains that bind us and those can be more than economic chains to say the least ( consciousness, attitudes, morals, etc…) You have absolutely no need to put your self at risk like this but you do and I applaud you for it.
    Joe Colangelo
    St Catharines, Ontario

  15. Your post is so powerful! Too powerful for me, personally! I just wanted to thank you for educating me on the Vietnam War and support you 110%. My brother, Jimmy was a Vietnam vet himself and talked very little to me about it only twice. He died on December 28, 1998 at the age of 52 (I am now 52) and his death changed me forever.

    God bless you!


  16. Brian has a good point, but the question now is how to get people to understand how you are now a spirit of the current times, and not that flash from the past anymore? This article was great, but how do you get everyone to read it? It seems to me a lot of people still need a national healing over Vietnam. Worthy of some sort of public attempt. You are still a focal point for it all.

  17. By the way, I hate to admit it, but my favorite was “Barbarella”. I have seen it dozens of times.

    There was some interesting symbolism hidden in the amusing story line. You don’t have to be embarrassed about it.

  18. Like so many of those who posted comments, I like and respect Jane a great deal, and was very appreciative of her efforts to end the cruel US war against Vietnam in the 60s and 70s. But while I think it may help many to understand the context of the photo for which she has been vilified for decades, my reaction is different from most others. What I wish is that she had also provided the context of why the Vietnamese had to have anti-aircraft guns in the first place. I have to admit, as a human being, a mother and a grandmother, my sympathies are far more with the hapless Vietnamese families — men and women, girls and boys, babies and grandparents — who through no fault of their own were prey to the devastating bombardment of their homes, fields, schools and hospitals, churches and pagodas — than with the soldiers who were shot down while dropping those bombs. The Vietnamese did not come to the US to attack us; we took the war to them, for selfish geopolitical reasons. How many readers remember the photo of the screaming Vietnamese 6 year old girl running screaming down the road, her clothes burned off her by napalm dropped from a US plane? (I met her when she was a college-age student, still trying unsuccessfully to live a normal life despite the constant headaches and trauma that plagued her for the rest of her life). If a Vietnamese could have fired an anti-aircraft gun to bring down the plane that dropped that napalm on those defenseless villagers, could anyone have blamed him? How much less, then, could someone who deeply believed the war was wrong, as Jane knew it was, be blamed for sitting there years later? It’s a shame Jane has to spend so much time defending herself for that brief moment when someone snapped a picture instead of spending all her time talking about how wrong it was for those anti-aircraft guns to be needed in the first place.

  19. Dear Jane,

    I am not as articulate as some others who wrote, but I’m ticked off about this. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Why don’t you tell all the Haters to just Kiss Your TIGHT GLUTES and then Hang a White Flag from your Roof…The Vietnam War has been over for a long time people. It’s time to end the HanoiJane War and get on with your lives!

    I wish you well Jane. I appreciate your talent, your grace under pressure and your ability to stand firm in your beliefs. Stay Strong, Stay Fierce and remember you are Jane Freaking Fonda and the rest of us are jealous that we are Not! LOL..Love Ya

  20. as someone who was active against the war starting in 1965 while in college, worked at a va hospital at the height of the war in 1968-69 (the same one where ron kovic was, but our paths didn’t cross), and was active in supporting the gi coffeehouse movement and vietnam veterans against the war, i remember well the role that jane fonda played.
    you–or someone–need to tell the story of how popular you in fact were among the growing numbers in the service who were against the war–the thousands of gi’s who came out to the fta tours with donald southerland, holly near, and yourself, the numerous gi coffee houses located near military bases that were centers of anti-war organizing within the military that you helped, as well as the numerous anti-war gi newspapers around the country.
    you deserve full respect for not backing down from the fundamental justice of the anti-war movement that you were a part of. i was at the ny premiere of “sir no sir !”, the best documentary on that gi resistance, and where you appeared to speak after the showing, along with the late dave klein and others.
    when will the attacks on you stop ? i think it’s good that you have further explained what happened on your trip to vietnam, but for those who are attempting to demonize and poison the atmosphere around you, i don’t think it would really matter whether you sat in that chair or not. there’s a process of criminalizing dissent motored by the right wing that’s part of the on-going assault of american people. keep fighting back, as you’ve done with your post !

  21. I wanted to write and tell you that I support you 100%.

    I am an attorney who works in the area of GI Rights law and have been involved with the coffee house movement in the recent era, mostly with Under the Hood cafe near Fort Hood, Texas ( I can tell you that your support of GI resistance during the Vietnam war has been an inspiration to us all. We have had showings of the Sir! No Sir! movie at Under the Hood, and it was such an inspiration.

    Please keep speaking out, not just about the truth about what happened then, but also about the desperate need to end the Americans wars and occupations today. To me the great tragedy of Vietnam (among other tragedies) was that we as a nation didn’t learn our lesson but have continued to engage in wars that we have no business fighting in. And we have continued to sacrifice our youth so needlessly.

    So keep up the good work and please keep fighting.

    Your fan,

  22. Jane:

    I’ve only read the opening of your extraordinary piece on Hanoi, but wanted to remark straight-away that the most authentic thing about you — and I think the thing that your father, a complex and often unemotional (if that’s the word) man, would be most proud of over the long look back — has *always* been the authenticity of your heart: i.e., the way you’ve foregrounded the most intelligent feelings available, at any time in your acting or real life, to the best of your ability, and to rich (if often “envulnered”) ends. This first hint I had of this was, I think, in _Electric Horseman_, where this beautiful (if neurotic) reporter almost systematically winnows away a hard-to-reach outsider doing things his own way in the mediaverse, so to speak, of up&coming Hollywood (read, commercialism) of the 70s. That film almost reads like life imitating art, if one fast-forwards to _On Golden Pond_, where this miraculously courageous daughter *finds a way* through what basically amounts to a family’s art, to reach that unreachable senior figure . . . the object of all true affections in a young woman’s life, the transferral from young-to-old, and old-to-young again. I remember being extremely moved at this novel attempt to succeed where almost any other daughter, let alone any other lover (in _Horseman_ . . . or, later still, w/ Ted Turner, another eccentric horse-fella to be sure) would have failed; what gridiron makes up the constitution of so labile and mercurial a heart & soul is probably beyond even my wordsmithy 🙂 to generate tonight, but all of this is subtext, I think, for the fragilities of much that you encountered in the hard realms of advantage-taking, as well as the tensile strengths that were clearly required to do what you did, as you recount masterfully, in your France of the 60s, and then as a “kind” of ex-pat in the 70s.

    I need to read more, it’s late and I’m harvesting my energies for a trip to Florida, as I’m trying to compose something epic(al), in long-form verse, about the end (if it is an end) of America’s drive to space. That is, I’m hoping to get a close look at Atlantis before it is decommissioned, and one of the great pieces of technology of all time hits the scrap-heap of fabled museums, but no longer fabulous exits off our mortal coil into firmaments beyond. It is risky, of course, to “log in” thoughts and reactions without reading something as pregnant as your 22 July post thoroughly, and likely more than once. But, in honor of that very spirit in you that, I think, has made you one of the more irresistible women ever to grace the screen, in addition to a personality (or persona) who, as your website portrays, can glide her way into so many areas of experience and contemplation, it seemed right, somehow, to congratulate you, at whatever date, and after however many scores of visions on the Hanoi affair, or, as Eliot would say, *revisions,* for the FULLNESS of your self-exposure on this, and the nearly bottomless depth of your effort to interrogate yourself (and as such, several cultures, really). Only true leaders and visionaries, I think, can do this. Occasionally, crazy people take to managing battles that last a life-time, and they (as you must know) pay great prices for such!

    It seems to me you’ve managed a phenomenal middle-way here, and I’ve never been able to resist an elegant compromise, if I run into one. On the one hand, you are not giving in a bit with regard to the right and true history of your efforts, your influences, that time, and what it all “amounted to” . . . particularly vis-a-vis the pathologies of power, which I think N. Cousins first best articulated. On the other hand, you make the thousandth apology not only for the soldiers and families of today who, after Fox News distortioning, and (in all likelihood) Murdochian criminality, embarrassingly *need* such apologizing, but for the political system that you (and your “conserving” father) love & loved: a system that should have been able to police itself, at the highest as well as the “lowest” levels, and obviously could not. This is saying a great deal, because Nixon was, of course, an aftermath, the predominance of the war being carried out under Kennedy and Johnson, not exactly raving right-wingers. From what I’ve read so far, and it is only about a third of what you’ve boldly put forward, again, in a life so far, that seems to be going farther still, this middle way of retaining all your tensile (true) strength & allegiance, while softening your authentic interiors (of perception and remembered reality), will serve, in my mind, as not only correctives that history and culture desperately need, but which intellectuals of the brand of Errol Morris can digest for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    I hope you write a full-scale essay on this, or, better still, think about a second memoir, in which you approach confessionialism from a corrective and leaderly stance, for this would not only work to usher in a new generation of women who balance the head and the heart, as Jefferson said, with exquisite (im)perfection, but it would also stand as a model for young men today, summoning their strange strengths and fantastical self-heroism, such that, perhaps, the verity of their goals & the verisimilitude of their valor, might find deeper anchor in a matriarchal world-view that has lost no edge for the sexy or the sweet, but has been improved immensely by the tough and tender-routed. I’d be happy to meet with you and talk, if you like, about some future course or prospect with regard to this aspect of your exceptional legacy; when your father died, I lamented . . . when your brother, recently, began talking more about the genesis of _Easy Rider_ and, as well, the challenges of a “certain kind of dad,” I, a little, wept. . . . His title, ironically, seems now in the light of clearer memory, and a more refreshed heart, to be absolutely antipolar to yours, and justly so: you, dear woman, Tell Everyone of the things that would scare any other feline, or l(ar)ynx, into primitive shelter.

    Thank you seems, apropos of that, a primitive enough salutation at this late hour (just after 2am, EST), so I’ll maintain my own sophistication and just ask you to stay-tuned, as I will enjoy the opportunity to say something again, after I’ve taken the better measure of the conclusion of the piece. Bravo, though, and, as my dear-departed father used to say, BRAVISSIMA, for having leapt out into the light again, neither electric, nor horsewoman, but surely a little bit of both!


  23. I’ve always known what was being said about you could not be true, and what you’ve written here confirms my faith. Living in Texas, I’ve had more than my share of opportunities to glare daggers at pickup trucks with those vicious anti-Fonda bumper stickers… but I haven’t seen one in a couple of years, so maybe enlightenment is dawning at last.

    Perhaps you should write a book or produce a documentary on dissent, using your personal vilification as a jumping-off point to discuss what so often happens to those who speak out against the status quo. It’s an intriguing question, I think: America was built by people seeking radical change — so why do we now resist change so vehemently?

    From that premise, there are so many places you could go — one of them being the creation of labor unions to protect workers from the horrific abuses that were standard practice until then. In light of the current rightwing assault on workers’ rights, you could do some real good by providing background on the battle that earned those rights, and on the brave leaders who fought for humane workplace standards.

    Throughout our history, so many forward-thinking people have suffered for standing up and saying unpopular things that would, in a few years, be embraced. What makes Americans so resistant, and what approaches have worked best to overcome that resistance? Which is more persuasive — solid information, or passionate speechifying? Exactly what does it take to change a mind?

    Gosh… the more I rattle on, the more I’m loving this idea. I want to sit down and write it right now! 🙂 I hope you’ll think about it… and again, thank you for this article. I hope it finds its way to those who most need to read it.

  24. Dear Jane,
    Following WWII with 45 million people killed, a pattern of hate and xenophobia has persisted in the USA and Canada against victims of our aggressive unequal trade (plunder). Your standing up to the Media-Industrial-Military-Complex with truth from your deep personal contact with service-men is a tipping point in our national consciousness. You helped a whole generation understand that war is wrong. Thank you for standing up to the bullies and perverts. As a people we only need to go 10,000 times further. compiles strengths about humanity’s universal indigenous heritage from everyplace on earth. Indigenous heritage holds the keys of peace on earth.

  25. Jane, I hope you also know that there were millions of us who always believed in what you were doing and still believe that we were right in our beliefs and actions at the time, and for forty years we have never given those criticisms against you the slightest concern. I was a volunteer in Tom Hayden’s 1976 campaign while I was going to college, and I feel very blessed to say that I have never lost the ideals and visions of that time.

    And surely you must know that it was people like you and Tom, like Jack and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, that gave us the courage to stand up for what’s right in this world? While your role during those times was perhaps not as large as others, it isn’t lost on us that the same smear-merchants attacked you all with the same kinds of lies, and it’s the same garbage that’s going on today.

    So I would encourage you to take confidence in knowing that what you did was done with a true and pure heart, and that millions and millions of us knew that, and that your actions helped inspire a generation, and helped end a horrible war, and that we loved you and will always love and remember you for standing up and having the courage to do the right thing during a tough time for our nation.

    Now, let me ask you, if you had known then that standing up for peace and humanitarian causes might later cost you 15 minutes on QVC 40 years later, would you go back in time and take all that back? Didn’t think so.

    Blessings to you and all your loved ones always.

  26. Thanks for sharing – I remember it all so well back then, although I was a teenager. I’d like to send you a copy of my film called “Taylor Camp.” It explores the hippie community on Kauai between 1969 and 1977 and has a very moving section with Vietnam vets who returned from the war and sought refuge and found healing in nature. Previews at Thanks again for helping clear up many misperceptions about that time period – my hope is that truth will continue to spread! Peace and Blessings, Robert C. Stone

  27. Dear Jane,

    I chose to leave the country rather than fight in Vietnam. I have been inspired by you for a long time and have continued to lead the life of an activist. Most recently, I have visited Iran, in 2007 with Global Exchange and in 2010 with Fellowship of Reconciliation. Iranians are WONDERFUL, peace loving people and they haven’t attacked another country in over 200 years. 70% of the population is under 30 years old and they LOVE Americans, despite all that our various administrations have done to them.

    I am currently setting up a “Bridge of Hearts” ( between the children of the U.S. and the children of Iran. I have also edited 28 hours of footage I have from Iran down to 5 hours and a filmmaker friend of mine will be editing this down even further, to 30 minutes. It will be called “The Lovely People of Iran” and I’ll be showing this in schools across the country, starting in the Bay Area. I will be accompanied by a 10 foot tall Gandhi Puppet that I built with the help of some high school students prior to the occupation of Iraq. I’m a teacher.

    I will be seeing you shortly … at the upcoming event in Berkeley and I REALLY look forward to thanking you personally for taking such a strong stand in the face of adversity. This is why they are so bothered by you … because you’re not intimidated, and ESPECIALLY because you’re a women … these are men who are used to getting their way, even from men! If there is ANYTHING I can do to help, please let me know.

    I am a BIG fan of yours … not only for your amazing acting abilities, but for your strong stand as a woman. Best wishes and may you continue to love your “enemies” … it is your love that will win them over … LOVE is the ONLY way.

    Jes Richardson

    PS Please check out my website: and if you like, send me an email: [email protected]

  28. Dear Jane,

    I’d like to say thank you for standing up for what was right.

    For many years, I intuitively believed that your intentions were good, despite the way that you have been portrayed. Their version never made sense except as cover for their own atrocities.

    It was a pleasure to finally read your side of the story as opposed to the “official” reich wing version.

    My gut feelings were validated when I saw the movie FTA 4-5 years ago. I saw the effort and the love that you put into speaking out against what most of us now know was a great injustice that was genocide against the people of Vietnam and our own armed forces. As a very public person, you took a fearless moral stand, and I love you for it.

    Violence is evil. In my opinion, war is only necessary when it’s truly used to stop a greater evil. Perhaps WW2 was the last time we were at war when that was true. But isn’t that how they sell us all wars?

    You took enormous risks to speak out for what you felt was right and are still being villified for it. When did being against killing, against lies, and against profiteering become anti-American? When I see an email that is false, whether it is about you or on any issue, I respond to it with facts. Sadly, most people ignore facts that don’t agree with their ingrained beliefs.

    It would be a lot harder for those in charge to abuse their power if more of us looked beyond the hype and sought out the truth as you did when you investigated what Vietmnam was all about.

    Progagandists count on hate and fear to spread their lies and too often they are successful in o influencing the easily persauded.

    There is too much of that these days and it’s cost this country dearly now the same way that it did then.

    I hope that we can get enough people to wake up now the way that we did then when the majority of us saw that an injustice was being done and that we were being lied to.


  29. This is an important part of 20th Century American history, and a poignant moment in one American woman’s life, brilliantly written, bravely shared, and — hopefully — duly noted once and for all.

    It was an honor to share this blog post on Facebook, and to install the petition widget on my own blog.

  30. I wonder if any of these oh so supportive individuals on the site were actually even alive during the infamous Hanoi trip. Did they know one thing about it before this? Have they tried to find out?
    All the gushing, “I knew it couldnt be true Jane, and I support you Jane” is based on what exactly? The fact that Jane Fonda says so? That you liked her in a movie? What? If one cares to research just a little, one can read Fonda’s own words during that time, she never minced words or shrank from speaking the truth of her communism. One cannot support and endorse that way of life and then still claim to support American military troops as Ms Fonda is just recently claiming was the case. I realize some of you may prefer not to be confused by facts but the evidence is abundant and available if you care to look. I lived during the Vietnam era. I remember the war, the soldiers, this story, the truths and the lies of it.
    I am very sure that Ms Fonda is sorry. She is sorry that some evidence still exists of her shameful behaviour. Much like the criminal that is sorry to be caught and going to jail. I doubt the Hanoi trip is a reason for being dropped from QVC. Perhaps Ms Fonda it is simply that none of the customers know or care “who you are”. It could just be that you no longer have any drawing power. They likely never heard of Hanoi Jane. Why is it still so disturbing to me all these years later? Perhaps for the same reasons it still disturbs you Ms Fonda. We both know the truth of it.

    • In fact, Elizabeth, many people who have written and have signed the petition are Vietnam vets. They were there. Were you? And to say that I am a communist is just one more myth that has been circulating. Pure lies. Too bad you are still so mired in hate..

      • About 10 years ago I had a friend, 3 years older than me. He volunteered and went to Cambodia. His job was to follow the advancing troops, and pilfer the ID’s off the dead, or bayonette them, then do it.

        He screamed at night still, 30 years later, as a result of doing what he was told.

        He told me he could still see the faces of the kids inside dads’ wallets, and was going to end his life. I simply told him that the world is crazy, and we’re all dead soon enough, so stick around.

        His wife saved him from two suicide attempts (cut a rope, and turned off an ignition), but he got it right on the third attempt with a bullet.

        I weighed in here because of my friend Tom, and let’s please remember the real victims here, and not get mired in some fucking personality debate.

        • Oh Joe, this breaks my heart! I know others who went into Cambodia then. It was an especially horrific duty cause the U.S. wasn’t even supposed to be there so it was all done hush-hush. Awful. I am so sorry. I have held many in my arms as they shook from PTSD. From what I have seen, the veterans who have done the best in terms of returning and living a ‘normal’ life are those who recognized that the war was wrong. many of those went back to Vietnam in groups and helped build medical clinics and orphanages. This turned out to be very healing experiences.

      • Ms Fonda insists her reputed communist sympathies are all a myth perpetuated by those who oppose her politcally and that she has always supported American troops. Why would one think otherwise?…

        On November 21, 1970 she told a University of Michigan audience of some two thousand students, “If you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would some day become communist.” At Duke University in North Carolina she repeated what she had said in Michigan, adding “I, a socialist, think that we should strive toward a socialist society, all the way to communism. ”

        As the American POWs returned home in 1973, they spoke out about the inhumane treatment and torture they had suffered as prisoners of war. Jane Fonda, in her response to these new allegations, referred to our returning POWs as being “hypocrites and liars.”

        Is this factual.? If not I stand corrected, at least on those two points.

        I did have to smile at the response to me from Ms Fonda, or what is purported to have been from her. That common liberal trait of condescension and imagined superiority is ever present.

        • If you read my blog about my Hanoi trip you will see that I accept responsibility for saying that about the POWs and I explain why I said it. As for the other 2 things you claim…about my wanting to be a communist or socialist… those are lies that have circulated since 1970.

    • Elizabeth,
      Jane’s a big girl, and I can see she already replied to your slam on her. To reply to her blog by turning this into an assault on someone’s political beliefs with unsubstantiated remarks is a typical right-wing response with the art of mis-direction.
      Truth is, I, as have many other responders on this blog, lived through this era. There are things that occurred back then that are still just making it to the eye of the public. “just because jane says so”..this is her blog, this is her life she is exposing. She has apologized for some errors she made, (ie posing for picture)..but she has not backed down for her reasons for standing up to the powers that be (Washington) for what they were doing to our servicemen. It boggles me to think that people like you still think she was against her own troops and in favor of the North Vietnames. Get real…with her ability to have already lived in France, and elsewhere,then if she hated the USA, why would she come back? Check your facts, Elizabeth. The Nixon administration has already been revealed to be corrupt…history has more than proved that. So, why would it be a far cry for it to be revealed that they were behind making scapegoats of the likes of Ms. Fonda…again, the art of mis-direction at play.
      Thank you Ms. Fonda, for being humble enough, and human enough, to express yourself here. I suppose some people will go to the trouble of logging on here just to jab or poke at you. I applaud you at taking the time to reply (with referances, I might add).

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I was a little surprised to see your reply. I have been researching Fonda’s involvement with the antiwar movement for months. If you take the time to look at contemporary responses to her trip, you would see that she was exonerated by the Justice Department, which concluded she had said nothing worthy of prosecution, and that, apart from a handful of opportunistic politicians, almost no contemporaries thought she did anything wrong.
      The woman spent years of her life talking to veterans, raising money, performing for GIs, and taking to regular Americans about what was going on in Vietnam – when she could have been spending time making money and being a popular Hollywood actress. Also, this is far from the first time she has “claimed” to have supported the troops during the war. She made Coming Home in 1978 – a pro-veteran film, and in 1988 she apologized on 20/20 for any hurt she may have caused soldiers or their families. Have YOU researched her activism? And are you aware that by the time she went to Hanoi, there were very few troops left and a majority of the American public was antiwar?

  31. Wow.

    Wisconsin ummm San Francisco Walsh is harking you. if she doesnt confess her crimes to you during the interview you can get rid of her. spooks dont work for us who we dont protect.

  32. Mrs Fonda, I read your heartfelt testimony with tears in my eyes. It is frightening that hateful propaganda has been around for so many decades. But I am positive that most people believe you and not the vociferous extremists. Extremist right wingers just can’t live without fear, intolerance and smear tactics. I commend your human rights work.

    Greetings and support from an international fan, much love,


  33. I believe you’re taking the wrong approach. You must admit to heinous deeds, embrace them, spin them as the traits of a true patriot ala Liddy, Rove and North and wait for Fox news to come calling. (The obvious hitch would be your innocence.) You never know, maybe Rup is ready for change.

  34. I have been to Cambodia, Vietnam & Asia . When the Republicon Nixon was president hospitals and schools were targeted for bombing in Vietnam and hundreds of thousands of children were murdered. The book ‘A People’s History of the Vietnam War’ goes into detail about this. The United States
    and China both supported Pol Pot in Cambodia. After millions of the Vietnamese were killed in the Vietnam War and they kicked the United States a$$, they were still brave enough to
    liberate Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge.

  35. Dear Jane, (may I call you Jane?)

    Being one of the first of the “Boomers”, looking back makes me shutter to think how blind we were. I remember having teachers in the lower grades asking, “how could the Germans, a people that were supposedly smart, commit such atrocities”? Today we know exactly how it’s done and why. To think our leaders could persuade an entire nation to attack a country such as Iraq, a country that hadn’t done anything to us; we should hang our heads in shame!

    You were made a scapegoat and I owe you an apology as well. At the time I questioned why you were doing the things they accused you of doing because it didn’t make logical sense? Keep up the fight to restore your name, many of us are behind you and I am willing to led a hand if you should ever need me.

    A road map from one of the masters of deception, Herman Goering.
    “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Need I say more?

  36. Jane:

    Rock on girl. I have stood up for you for 40 years and will continue to stand up for you. I am thrilled to have this article as a response for the hate-mongerers. This world is a mess. Thank you for being a patriot of human beings Jane.

    Elizabeth, I am sorry you have drank the kool-aid. I WAS an adult when Jane was fighting for what was right.

    Blind patriotism is like blind faith: ridiculous. No one loves the US more than I do, but why would anyone blindly follow actions that harm innocent people for political gain?

    Thank you Jane for the article. It will be passed on and on. Maybe a few will understand and be adult enough to finally understand.


  37. Dear Ms. Fonda,

    The sorrow and grief you have carried all of these years is just one more torture the power players put people through in the name of keeping their power. Business as usual.

    I feel compassion for you having to defend yourself against lies and in such a public manner, for so many years.


    Things are changing and fast. We don’t have a choice to accept or reject change any longer… we have a bigger choice to go with the light and create a NEW Energy on Earth. If we choose not to we will be equally honored however will not be a part of the NEW Energy. The plus side is that those who choose to not become a part CAN NO LONGER DO HARM or go against the will of another; they shall stay in a state of reality they believe is true which is really like the movie “Ground Hog Day”. In their reality you will always be guilty and sadly there is nothing you can do about it. But soon such people will no longer be able to harm you. Very soon; it is already taking place in the Earth herself and already the humans have responded.

    As an energy worker I want to share a poem I made about forgiveness; I feel that there is still a part of yourself in regards to this subject that needs attention and Love.

    Most of the other posts were very long and my intent was to keep it short; I did not succeed; I apologize for taking up your time; I hope you get a small boost from knowing that many others see Love when they look at you; the haters see hate everywhere and you are an easy target.

    Love is about to overcome hate on Earth. Believe it.

    Love on You. LEG


    Please Grant This

    Please Request of Yourself
    for forgiveness.
    Please give your best effort
    to grant this.
    We are all
    children of Creation.
    We are all
    deserving of existence.
    We are all
    deserving of our free will
    and we will
    recognize this.
    And we will
    go about
    our own healing.
    And we will
    make this our will.
    when we
    practice forgiveness
    when we
    love ourselves
    enough to see
    the inner connectedness
    of all that we encounter.
    when we
    practice forgiveness
    then we forgive each other
    and then we love our neighbor
    and so we chorus
    together to
    make this when

    And So It Is

    © 2007 L.E.Grimshaw

  38. “In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not its taste but its effects, not how it makes people feel at the moment, but how it inspires them to act thereafter. Criticism may embarrass the country’s leaders in the short run but strengthen their hand in the long run; it may destroy a consensus on policy while expressing a consensus of values. Woodrow Wilson once said that there was ‘such a thing as being too proud to fight;’ there is also, or ought to be, such a thing as being too confident to conform, too strong to be silent in the face of apparent error. Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism, a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals of national adulation.”

    –Senator J. William Fulbright (1969)

    • What a good man, Senator Fulbright was! I met with him in 1971 to discuss the G.I. Office that I had opened in DC and I remember him describing Congress as “a herd of turtles.” !!

    • What a good man, Senator Fulbright was! I met with him in 1971 to discuss the G.I. Office that I had opened in DC and I remember him describing Congress as “a herd of turtles.” !!

    • What a good man, Senator Fulbright was! I met with him in 1971 to discuss the G.I. Office that I had opened in DC and I remember him describing Congress as “a herd of turtles.” !!

  39. Dear Ms Fonda:
    I had often wondered about your motives during that era. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, the reading public. So that you know, I served two tours of duty in Indochina and worked, slept, ate and fought alongside the indigenous peoples of Viet Nam (Vietnamese, Montagnards and Cambodians) as a so-called minority member of the Special Forces (the Green Berets). I didn’t ask to go to Viet Nam but chose to adhere to what I believe to this day as my duty to serve my nation. All of my training had prepared me for doing what I was supposed to do whether it was in Indochina or elsewhere. I lost several close and very dear friends during both tours. I have no regrets nor remorse for what I did while in Viet Nam.
    Today, 40 years after returning from Viet Nam, I still find myself reflecting on what I did there as a soldier and as a fellow traveler on this vessel we call Earth.
    Althugh proud of my personal service and sacrifice, I have never felt the “sense of entitlement” that others have shown. Still, I came home to a society who viewed me with disdain because of my loyalty to the ideals expressed in our Constitution of the United States of America. I served for more than 20 years in defense of all Americans’ Freedom of Expression. Many of us before and since seem to have forgotten that whatever Freedoms we might enjoy should always be accompanied with Responsibility.
    If I may express my personal opinion, I believe that the morass that you found yourself in had something to do with your timing
    (towards the end of the height of the “Anti-War” movement here then and going up against what History may judge as “shameless and unscrupulous hypocritics”. Your notion of possibly having been set up with the photos at the end of your trip may have some validity but the image was very painful and was the very bullet that your detractors used to shoot you with.
    If you, as you say, were doing what you felt was right then you owe no more apologies to anyone. All of us will have to give an accounting for what we have done or will do in our lives. Let’s hope that our lives will have meant something good. I wish you the best and I hope that others will do so as well.

    • I felt that going to North Vietnam to try and stop the bombing of the dikes (it stopped a month after my return) was right. The huge lapse of judgement that led me to sit on that gun site was not right and so I will continue to apologize for that. FYI, In 1970 I was arrested for handing our Bill of Rights to U.S. Servicemen. Amazing, huh? Thanks for your comment. xx Jane

  40. Dear Jane,

    This article moves me very DEEPLY as I reflect on the role that lies have played in my own life and in our society. Now nearing 50, I grew up in an extremely conservative family. My uncle is none other than Sen. James Inhofe of anti-climate-science fame. In my junior high years I was sent to a youth camp run by the John Birch Society and to a similar youth program which preached “Christian Americanism.” My mother, a very sincere laborer for truth as she understood it, was a precursor to the “Christian Right” and helped bring it into being, long before the term was commonly used. In such circles I frequently heard your name demonized and associated with betrayal.

    I now realize that you are, and always have been, a Warrior for Peace, and that the lies and spin that have followed your courageous actions are the wounds you have carried, inflicted by ruthless men who were seeking to preserve their personal interests and the interests of the ruling elites that put them in power and profited from their warmongering policies, at the expense of the rest of us. And now, as I seek to spend the rest of my years waging peace – principally, in my case, by seeking to create a model local economy based on radically modest consumption and cooperative economics – your example is before me, to encourage perseverance even if vicious opposition eventually rears its ugly head.

    Antonio Gramsci, an Italian socialist, developed a wonderfully useful concept called “cultural hegemony,” which Gramsci scholar Steven J. Jones defines as follows: “the ability of a ruling power’s values to live in the minds and lives of its subalterns as a spontaneous expression of their own interests.” In other words, our oppressors try to get us to think like them and so to rationalize the oppression as normal. Jesus, I am convinced, challenged at every turn the cultural hegemony by which the Roman rulers and their aristocratic priestly Judean underlings sought to kept the common peasants subjugated. He did this by treating women as equals, by organizing the poor into societies of mutual aid (practicing cooperative economics, like Essene groups had been doing for over 100 years before him, essentially the same cooperative economics that every extended family in Palestine already practiced, but widening the web and making it more resilient by expanding it beyond mere ties of blood), by challenging the rich Judean landowner (see Mark 10) to sell his possessions and join the same cooperative society, etc. I am relying here on the scholarship of Reta Halteman Finger, Ched Myers, Richard Horsley, and others who have brought to light the anti-imperialist agenda of the early Jesus communities. “Savior,” “Lord,” “gospel,” “kingdom,” etc. were all terms associated in the public mind with the Roman imperial ideology, which Jesus and his early followers adopted with ironic sense, to subvert their meaning and overthrow the hierarchical values and replace them with egalitarianism. Later generations of Christians, co-opted by the empire, lost the ironic sense and re-filled these terms with imperialist content, so that generations of biblical interpretation has been deeply skewed.

    And you, in your life, have been done the same thing, challenging the lies by which powerful interests seek to get the rest of us to go along. And it is what I am dedicating most of my waking hours to doing too.

    The men who wrote the words below had not yet attained to feminist consciousness, yet I believe the Spirit of Love animated and shown through them, in spite of their weaknesses and blind spots, as they attempted to understand the practical implications of love. It is a long quote, but I think much worth pondering, phrase by phrase, in the context of these struggles in your life. It represents a part of the Christian legacy – one of the best parts – that those who have smeared your name have very flagrantly and conveniently ignored:

    “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.”
    (Proverbs 18:17)

    From a teaching aid used by the 17th C. (and current) Presbyterians:

    Which is the ninth commandment?

    The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

    The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between [person] and [person], and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things: Whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of: Whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

    What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?

    The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth; passing unjust sentence, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calls for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice;speaking untruth, lying, slandering, backbiting, detracting, tale bearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults;hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession;unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any, endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering: What we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.

    This article and others on your site have made me aware of how much I LOVE you and the ideals you have stood for, from the bottom of my heart. I stand with you in total solidarity, with the Vietnam vets, with the families of the dead and wounded on both sides, and with all the victims of lies, propaganda, and abuses of power with whom you have stood and sought to support.

    • Steven, what a fascinating history you represent and what a beautiful path you have chosen for yourself! Where are you developing this model of a sustainable economy? Thank you deeply for sharing your thoughts and this quote with me. I became a christian in 1998 and have read with fascination the writings of Elaine Pagels, Stephen Michaels (“The Gospel of Jesus”) and everything I can find about the Gospel of Mary. I often imagine how today’s extremists would react to Jesus. I’m sure you’ve thought of this too. thanks again for your thoughts and your love. xx

      • Just a quick plug on a book I enjoyed reading (and learned very much from it):
        “Sermon on the Mount” by Emmett Fox.
        I believe it was written in the 1930’s, or thereabouts. It enlightened me so much on the spiritual teachings of that famous sermon given by Jesus.

  41. Dear Ms Fonda,

    I never once doubted you. From the very moment the lies started about you, I recognized them as fabrications of the Nixon administration.

    I too, for my refusal to recant my values have borne the brunt of the Nixon administrations lies. The systematic demonization of protest and the scapegoating of the peace and love crowd embodied in the “war on drugs” has destroyed dissent in America.

  42. Jane went to Hanoi after my tour in Vietnam, and at a period when I felt like a stranger in this land. Fortunately I had the GI bill and worked to get a college degree. It allowed me to pull back from society and to take a good look at the propaganda and lies being told to America. Like Jane, I too read a great deal about the war and the history of so-called demons like Ho Chi Minh. I also read about John Foster Dulles, his brother Allen, and one of the key players in our involvement in Vietnam – Henry Cabot Lodge. Similar to today, Americans had evolved into not being too affected by the war. Those families affected by the draft remained affected, but for the most part people went about their lives worrying more about the New York Jets and The Kansas City Chiefs.

    As I viewed the stories of Jane’s trip, I recalled the “training” by the Army about the war and the propaganda youths were told to encourage them to think of the lives of Vietnamese as having less value than an American life. It seemed transparent that Jane became a victim of lies and propaganda more for her views than for the pictures taken on the anti-aircraft gun.

    Next month, there will be a reunion of those like me who worked at 3rd Field Hospital. Staff of the hospital lost track of one another and yet with Facebook and the Internet those with common experiences have found one another. At first, I was excited to attend. However as email groups soon exposed, there is a marked difference between those who became disillusioned by the lies and the war and those who bought the line of fighting the spread of Communism and the many other rationale used to convince youths to fight. After one posting of anti-war sentiment I was assaulted by one response as being “anti-American.” Actually I had posted a speech given at the Unitarian Church in Kansas City about lies in history and primarily about a book given to Obama by Hugo Chavez – “The Open Veins of Latin America” by Eduardo Galeano.

    The importance of Jane’s article is that as posted the timing could not be better for a discussion of propaganda used on Americans by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and family. We have needed this discussion for a long time – as to how it it intellectually corrupt to discount people based on lies – either “Swift Boating” or any other form of denigration.

    As for Jane, I have always felt respect for her holding to her views. She has shown terrible grace in the face of unwarranted assault, and Americans should view her in the category of people like Howard Zinn and Daniel Ellsberg.

    Being a Vet from Kansas City, I cannot easily express the regret for the actions of a fundamentally crazed Vet who spat upon her during a book signing event. If you are reading this note Jane – please be aware of the many people in Kansas City who were appalled by action of this idiot.

    He is typical of the reasons I cannot attend my so-called reunion for 3rd Field Hospital. I feel terrible about how polarized America was then and is now, but it seems the timing to work toward turning this tide is now.

    • Yes, George, that one Kansas City vet spt at me. But I knew there were six other Vietnam Vets in the audience who had a very different perspective. i feel saddened by the vets who harbor hatred as it is a sign that the healing they so need has not taken place. Thanks. xx

  43. Jane, I’m not at all surprised that this incident is still being used by the extreme right in a pathetic attempt to discredit you and (perhaps mostly) everything liberal. Well, we all know that lies, deceits, half-truths and smears are the right’s stock in trade because the truth never suits their purpose.

    I am a decorated veteran of combat in the central highlands of Vietnam, 5th Special Forces Group-Airborne, A-245, Dak Seang – ’69-’70, and I’m proud to stand by your side for the truth and have signed the petition. I know my late wife, a Vietnam era WAC, would have done the same.

    I hope your article will enlighten many more who are open to truth. Love ya, Jane. Always have, always will. ~Robin

    • Thank you, Robin. This, from a vet, is especially important to me.

  44. Jane,

    Detroit, Michigan, Camden, New Jersey, and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas are among the locations that are under consideration.
    However, the building/retrofitting of a physical community will be preceded by educational and research efforts in the form of a Skype-delivered course and related Internet discussion group. The course itself will facilitate much of the foundational research, staff recruitment, location selection, and other aspects of the project. A detailed theoretical foundation for the project already exists and is constantly being refined with the help of regular input of experts from around the world. The project also enjoys commitments of sufficient initial funding to ensure its staying power.

    A précis at offers a very general description. Much more detailed materials, laying out the project vision in its multiple stages, are undergoing a process of review and revision, and will soon be uploaded to a web site. Interested persons may be kept in the loop by contacting me at: thinkingaloud at (a common domain beginning with g and also containing the letters l, m, and a) and ending with ., c, o, and m.

  45. Jane wrote: “I often imagine how today’s extremists would react to Jesus.”

    It’s the same story in every generation, isn’t it? Ignore, distort, attack. Wherever the benefits are thought to exceed the costs, kill.

    I’m reminded of these lyrics that Bruce Cockburn wrote in a song about the Guatemalan civil war:

    Like some kind of never-ending Easter passion,
    From every agony a hero’s fashioned.
    Around every evil there gathers love —
    Bombs aren’t the only things that fall from above
    Down where the dead squad lives

  46. Well Jane, others have said it better and probably much more lavishly than I could but it’s a shame that this has to be revisited so many more other times. I’m posting some of my comments made over at Huffpost here as I think they fit as well.

    IF you read these comments here and on all the other sites where your writing has been posted Ms. Fonda I think you will see the tides are changing, albeit slowly.

    The most tragic aspect of all of this is no matter how much you tell about your actions at that time, no matter how many times you apologize, talk to people, explain what you did and why you did it, they are so vested in their hatred for you, nothing is going to change their minds.

    They have a very serious emotional stake in this.

    You could go to each of them in person, bring tons of proof, anything they wanted and they would not budge a single inch. They are suffering from very severe cases of cognitive dissonance­. To give in to the truth of the matter would almost be tantamount to them having a nervous breakdown.

    Here on this very thread, you see them. They won’t believe you because they don’t want to. It would shatter their world view and they hang on to that tightly.

    Besides you and tens of thousands of others myself included, being vindicated­, there is something that ever so often needs to be brought up and read aloud in Congress.

    WAR IS A RACKET by Two Time Medal Of Honor Marine General Smedley Butler (don’t you love that name, it just drips with pure education, class and honor).

    In his essay, Butler who was no Johnny Come Lately, this guy had been in the trenches and worked his way up through the ranks,says it as well as anyone on Earth today could and his writings are almost 80 years old.

    I think this should be read in every high school and every congressio­nal meeting and by every president before he commits a single troop anywhere.

    Please take the time to read this and you will see how Jane was more than just right, she was trying to save lives. And the war profiteers were using the deaths of thousands and millions to line their pockets.


  47. IF this account were true (which I DO NOT BELIEVE) why did it take almost 40 years to explain something which you say was untrue.

    • Jack, I have told this story for 40 years…to individuals, on national TV and in my memoirs.

  48. About the QVC cancellation, you say “None of it is true. NONE OF IT! I love my country. I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us. I do not understand what the far right stands to gain by continuing with these myths.” However in your ‘explanation’ of your Hanoi trip, you “regret” some of your actions and blame others for not warning you of your reaction to the events.

    I’m sorry, but I was there ’69, ’70, ’71 and ’72.
    The only one who profited from your trip was YOU.

    I did notice that most of the posts come from females (probably never in the service of their country) and from draft dodgers. Quite appropriate, don’t you think?

    • Hey Jack,

      Ms. Fonda didn’t benefit from her trip. In fact, she has suffered attacks and boycotts for 40 years as a result. How did this benefit her?

      She regrets one photo. I can’t think of a single politician in this country that hasn’t suffered at least one bad photo. Are you going to condemn Ms. Fonda for the rest of her life because of one bad photo? And, if so, aren’t you showcasing what a shallow, one-dimensional, and extreme right-wing partisan person you are?

      Finally, just FYI, I’m a male who joined the USAF as a volunteer in 1973. Not a female, and not a draft-dodger. And in 1976 I worked as a volunteer for Tom Hayden because I recognized what a travesty the Vietnam war was, and I wanted to help right that wrong and end that despicable war, which was only being waged for the benefit of oil companies, the military-industrial complex, and politicians (the same people who are benefiting from our military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan today).

  49. Ms. Fonda, that is so fabulously cool to hear – I love it – I wish I could have talked Tom into something like that, but I didn’t know of it, and we were both alcoholics.

    The guy was a gem, heart of gold. He said I was his best friend once, and I said ‘Get a hotel?’

    We beat the shit out of each other, and were brothers til the end.

    I have Major Depression, Anxiety Attacks, PTSD, and nightmares, for reasons I won’t share here.

    THAT’s what we had in common.

    You so resonated with me when you talked about that rapid speech in whispers, but then I was 13 when Barbarella came out too – oops, sorry, did I say that out loud???

    RIP, brother Tom

  50. Jack,
    How would Jane had “profited” from a trip to Hanoi, that cost her sponsors and acting parts? She was not paid to go. There was no ticket sales.

    The reality is that the US lost lives, money, and international credibility by abusing a poor little country like Vietnam, that deserved independence, after fighting off the Japanese and French.

    I understand you are upset because you felt it undermines what you were told to do. But have you considered that what you were told to do may have not only been wrong, but impossible? In which case someone like Jane helping to end it, just saved us many more casualties.

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