Sunday, February 13, 2011

The “Myth” of Hanoi Jane Fonda Now?

Note microphones (3) being held to capture her words
Ask just about any Viet Nam Veteran to name a public figure they despise and invariably, the name of aging actress Jane Fonda will be said. How odd then that one who lays claim of being a “Viet Nam Veteran” himself not only defends the traitorous conduct of Fonda, but authors a book decrying such claims as a “myth?”

The author, Marxist Associate Professor of Sociology College of the Holy Cross, member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War seems to have spent his time in Viet Nam as a draftee Chaplains Assistant. Lembcke, who penned a stinging rebuke of Chaplains on VVAW web site stating, “I left Vietnam pretty disgusted with the chaplaincy as an institution.”

Lembcke also authored a book in 1998, “The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam”  wherein he claims to put to rest the “myth of the returning Vietnam Veteran being spat upon.” His pathetic effort at revisionist history and shoddy research was easily exposed by people like Jim Lindgren and several others.

Others, trying to support Lembcke make claims such as, “Most servicemen would have given the spitters a mouthful of bloody Chiclets instead of turning the other cheek like Christ” perpetuating the myth of the explosive Veteran as once stated by failed 2004 presidential candidate John ‘F’in Kerry who stated in his questionable 1971 testimony before the House, “The country doesn't know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence…..”

Very craftily set-up. Fight back and you are a monster. Don’t fight back and you are a liar. The left wins no matter.

Lembcke now pulls much the same in yet another book, “Hanoi Jane: War, Sex, and Fantasies of Betrayal” where he now makes the claim,
“’Hanoi Jane’ did not reach the eyes and ears of most Americans until five or six years after the end of the war in Vietnam. By then, anxieties about America’s declining global status and deteriorating economy were fueling a populist reaction that pointed to the loss of the war as the taproot of those problems. Blaming the antiwar movement for undermining the military’s resolve, many found in the imaginary Hanoi Jane the personification of their stab-in-the- back theories.”

The review on Jane Fonda’s own web page continues,
“Hanoi Jane is a book about the making of Hanoi Jane by those who saw a formidable threat in the Jane Fonda who supported soldiers and veterans opposed to the war they fought, in the postcolonial struggle of the Vietnamese people to make their own future, and in the movements of women everywhere for gender equality.”

Lembcke relies in part on a questionable email circulating a few years ago that contains a smattering of untruths relating to Fonda’s treasonous activities, along with many truths. As I wrote in a Dec. 2007 Op-Ed, “Just who salted the email with the falsehoods is unknown. Having done so, they ran the risk of watering down her true treasonous actions. Her actions were injurious as they were no need to add to them.”

Perhaps, as we now see in Lembcke’s latest screed, that was the intent back then all along, just as I feared.

The April 2011 edition of Vietnam Magazine includes review of the “book” by Marc Leepson. Personally, I am pleased he read it because I will not read any more Marxist garbage and revisionist history than I must.

Of the effort by Lembcke, he writes in part,
Lembcke is on shaky ground, however, when he minimizes the plight of American POWs, including challenging the well-documented fact that many were severely tortured. Plus, his regular lapses into academic jargon (“post hoc cultural construct,” “crisis of masculinity,” “amniotic existence of fore-life,” “gendered logic,” “post-imperial economic contraction,” et al.) do little to illuminate or buttress his arguments. Nor does Lembcke’s all-but-Marxist interpretation of the American war in Vietnam as an “act of aggression” that we pursued for “our own economic and political reasons.”

Still, he concludes,
Hanoi Jane provides much food for thought on how – and why – the story (or in Lembcke’s words, the myth or legend) of the Jane Fonda “betrayal” has gained so much currency among so many Americans.”

In this bloggers personal estimation, the answer lies in that she was the embodiment of what the American Fighting Man fights to defend. Beautiful girls back home, one that was actually Miss Army a few years earlier. Even though she was well into her thirties at the time of the trip, many of us saw any celebrity that was female and as beautiful as the picture of our girls back home, our pin-ups, if you will. Fighting Communism, we felt it was our girls back home and celebrities as Ms. Fonda that we were fighting for to keep Communism away from our shores. She betrayed that image by her actions, before and after her notorious visit to North Viet Nam. By labeling our returning POWs as liars when they spoke of tortures they had endured and by her two very public “regrets” she attempts to make out as apologies.

Much like his effort at denying how the returning Vietnam Veterans were mistreated failed to persuade any, other than the anti-war leftist crowd who already tried to distance themselves from their reprehensible conduct then, this effort at rehabilitating the tarnished image of the again old hag Fonda will also convince no one, other than those who already embrace her as some sort of tinsel screen heroine.

Fonda herself says of the book and author,
“I met the author yeas ago when he was considering writing this book. I have read his important book about the myth of anti-wat activists spitting on soldiers, “The Spitting Image.” Based on what I sensed (and read) of his values and research ability, I endorse the book (which I have not yet read and which may well say unfavorable things about me) because I think this is an important topic.” (misspellings contained in original)

Fonda, who has never known a day of poverty is lesser known for her other actions during that era, most focusing only on her trip to North Viet Nam. In November 1970, in a speech to University of Michigan students, she said, “If you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become Communist.”

Later at Duke University in North Carolina she said, “I, a socialist, think that we should strive toward a socialist society, all the way to communism.”

A year later at the University of Texas she said, “We’ve got to establish a socialist economic structure that will limit private profit-oriented businesses. Whether the transition is peaceful depends on the way our present governmental leaders react.”

Both Lembcke and Fonda have expressed an extreme loathing of Capitalism, yet both utilize it to amass their own personal fortunes. How hypocritical can one become?

When the old hag Fonda dies, they might just as well place a urinal at her grave. She has yet to atone for her treason or make a personal and sincere apology for it directly to Vietnam Veterans.

It isn’t up to America to forgive her. It is up to us Veterans of the Viet Nam War and she has not asked us yet.

Instead, she depends upon the likes of Jerry Lembcke to carry her dirty water for her.

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