Woes of Hanoi Jane: Dissed by the

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

Hanoi Jane has been hum­bled. Re­cently, the home shop­ping chan­nel QVC can­celed a sched­uled ap­pear­ance by Jane Fonda. The ac­tress was sup­posed to dis­cuss her lat­est book, “Prime Time.” She is shocked and an­gry that QVC dis­in­vited her be­cause of mount­ing pub­lic op­po­si­tion.

“The net­work said they got a lot of calls,” Ms. Fonda wrote on her per­sonal blog, “crit­i­ciz­ing me for my op­po­si­tion to the Viet­nam War and threat­en­ing to boy­cott the show if I was al­lowed to ap­pear.” She added: “I am, to say the least, deeply dis­ap­pointed that QVC caved to this kind of in­sane pres­sure by some well-funded and or­ga­nized po­lit­i­cal ex­trem­ist groups.”

QVC is right. In fact, they should never have in­vited her in the first place. Ms. Fonda did more than op­pose the Viet­nam War: She ac­tively aided and abet­ted the en­emy. Like many in the anti-war ’60s left, she was a traitor who openly sup­ported the North Viet­namese com­mu­nists. For years, Ms. Fonda has sought to cyn­i­cally and men­da­ciously ob­fus­cate her moral cul­pa­bil­ity.

The great lib­eral myth — the ba­sis of the mod­ern new left — is that the ’60s rep­re­sented a tri­umph for free­dom and so­cial jus­tice. All of the “lib­er­a­tion” move­ments — ho­mo­sex­ual rights, mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and rad­i­cal fem­i­nism — stem from that tur­bu­lent decade. Yet, at its core was op­po­si­tion to the Viet­nam War. For peaceniks, Amer­ica’s in­volve­ment in that con­flict re­flected the coun­try’s pro­found sins: racism, im­pe­ri­al­ism and mil­i­tarism. Only a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat could cleanse the United States of its chau­vin­is­tic, evil na­ture.

This is why anti-war ac­tivists, such as Ms. Fonda, cham­pi­oned a vic­tory by the Viet Cong. They cel­e­brated North Viet­nam’s Marx­ist dic­ta­tor, Ho Chi Minh, as a “peas­ant re­former” and “na­tion­al­ist” who sought only one no­ble goal: to re­unify his nation free from im­pe­rial dom­i­na­tion. The ’60s left even re­ferred to him as “Un­cle Ho” — a beloved el­der patriotic states­man. Ac­cord­ing to Ms. Fonda and other rad­i­cals such as Bill Ay­ers, Bernardine Dohrn and Noam Chom­sky, the war marked the defin­ing event in the cri­sis of cap­i­tal­ism. The bur­geon­ing peace move­ment would act as the cat­a­lyst, the van­guard for utopian so­cial­ism. “Bring the revo­lu­tion home,” went the slo­gan.

Hence, Ms. Fonda was not just an ac­tivist, but a self-styled rev­o­lu­tion­ary. She went to Hanoi in 1972, pub­licly praised the work­ers’ par­adise and sat on top of a North Viet­namese ant-air­craft gun — one that was tar­get­ing U.S. planes and U.S. boys. She cheered the mur­der of Amer­i­cans. Her ac­tions gave aid and com­fort to the en­emy. Her in­ten­tion was to de­mor­al­ize Amer­i­can pub­lic opin­ion and dis­credit the war ef­fort. In the end, the left suc­ceeded. Amer­ica pulled out, the war was lost and South Viet­nam fell to the com­mu­nist North.

Viet­nam has been over for decades. Lib­er­als ro­man­ti­cize it as the heroic strug­gle of the ’60s. Their Or­wellian nar­ra­tive — false as it is malev­o­lent — is that U.S. with­drawal led to re­gional peace and se­cu­rity. The very op­po­site oc­curred: The vic­tory by North Viet­nam un­leashed a holo­caust. Ram­pag­ing com­mu­nist forces sum­mar­ily ex­e­cuted more than 100,000 civil­ians. Viet­nam’s eth­nic Chinese com­mu­nity was ex­ter­mi­nated. A to­tal­i­tar­ian state was erected. More than 1.5 mil­lion boat peo­ple took to the high seas — many of them drown­ing in dan­ger­ous waters. Hanoi would wage a war of ag­gres­sion against Laos, wip­ing out the Hmong tribe. The de­clen­sion of Amer­i­can power also re­sulted in Cam­bo­dia’s fall to com­mu­nism. The Kh­mer Rouge — ini­tially armed and sup­ported by Hanoi — mas­sa­cred more than 2 mil­lion Cam­bo­di­ans. Amer­ica’s de­feat led to the “Killing Fields.”

Ms. Fonda bears sig­nif­i­cant re­spon­si­bil­ity for these atroc­i­ties. She urged U.S. with­drawal. She glo­ri­fied the mur­der­ous North Viet­namese com­mu­nists. She mis­rep­re­sented the true na­ture of Ho’s regime and of the war it­self. Rather than be­ing a strug­gle for na­tional lib­er­a­tion, Viet­nam sig­ni­fied the Marx­ist con­quest of the South. It’s akin to Stal­in­ist North Korea hav­ing de­feated South Korea in 1953 — a sig­nif­i­cant set­back, not a vic­tory, for hu­man free­dom. To sug­gest other­wise is to en­gage in dis­hon­est pro­pa­ganda or pa­thetic self­delu­sion.

The Viet­namese have had to live with the tragic con­se­quences of Marx­ist-Lenin­ism. Ms. Fonda, how­ever, hasn’t. She couldn’t last a day in com­mu­nist Viet­nam. In­stead, she went on to be­come a Hol­ly­wood ac-

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