Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why Many Vietnam Vets Are Boycotting 'The Butler'

It is being reported how many Vietnam Veterans are both boycotting and calling on others to boycott the Lee Daniels movie, the Butler, leaving many, mostly younger people who weren't yet born or who were too young to recall those days asking why.

I hope this post helps those of you to understand as well as join us in boycotting this movie, also under fire for specious representation of Ronald Reagan.


Excerpt of an undated speech Hanoi Jane Fonda gave at U.C. Berkeley in the early 1970's, where she praises the Communist North Vietnamese and students in attendance applaud upon hearing her gleeful announcement of 34 American B-52's being shot down by the Communist North Vietnamese. That would be a potential 170 American Servicemen dying. Is it any wonder why so many of us Vietnam Veterans despise this person?

For any who wonder why we boycott and still despise Hanoi Jane, hear her in her own words. In July 2011 on her personal Blog, Fonda said, “I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us.” She has never apologized, she only expressed regret over the famous photo of her sitting at the anti-aircraft gun. She still stands by everything else she said or did.


And now she tells Vietnam Veterans we need to "get a life?"


It should also be remembered, prior to the Tet of 68 offensive, where the Communist forces were all but decimated, contemplating negotiating a surrender according to many, less than 20,000 American Troops had been killed. From Tet until we pulled out in early 1973, nearly 40,000 more American Troops were killed. Tet was also the turning point where the anti-war left, many actually supporters of the Communist North, gained in popularity and acceptability in America. Their efforts resulted in twice as many troops being killed and untold numbers of Vietnamese as they prolonged a war that was close to over in 1968.

Interviewed and published in the October 2005 issue of Vietnam Magazine, North Vietnamese General Nguyen Duc Huy was asked, “After the war, Giap told a group of Western reporters that Communist losses in the Tet Offensive were so devastating that if the Americans had kept up that level of military pressure much longer North Vietnam would have been forced to negotiate a peace on American terms. Do you agree?”

General Huy responded, “If the American army had fought some more, had continued, I don’t know. Maybe. I can’t say what would have happened.”


Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in August 1995, former North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin, who became disillusioned with the Victorious Communist Liberators and defected to France was asked and responded;

Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?
A: It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?
A: Keenly.

Q: Why?
A: Those people represented the conscience of America. The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.


Now deceased but also held in disdain by many Vietnam Vets, Walter Cronkite who reported on the failed North Vietnamese Tet of 68 Offensive, “Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I’m not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.”

In a 2000 speech, General Frederick C. Weyand said of his meeting Cronkite in Vietnam, “After Tet, General Westmoreland sent Walter Cronkite out to interview me. I was in Command of the Forces in the South around Saigon and below and I was proud of what we'd done. We had done a good job there. So, Walter came down and he spent about an hour and a half interviewing me. And when we got done, he said, ‘well you've got a fine story. But I’m not going to use any of it because I’ve been up to Hue. I’ve seen the thousands of bodies up there in mass graves and I’m determined to do all in my power to bring this war to an end as soon as possible’.”

“It didn’t seem to matter that those thousands of bodies were of South Vietnamese citizens who had been killed by the Hanoi soldiers and Walter wasn’t alone in this because I think many in the media mirrored his view…”

“When I was in Paris at the Peace Talks, it was the most frustrating assignment I think I ever had. Sitting in that conference, week after week listening to the Hanoi negotiators, Le Duc Tho and his friends lecture us. Reading from the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Herald Tribune, the Atlanta Constitution, NBC, CBS, you name it. Their message was always the same. ‘Hey, read your newspapers, listen to your TV. The American people want you out of Vietnam. Now, why don’t you just go ahead and get out?’ So finally a Peace Agreement was signed that everyone knew would be violated and with no recourse or hope of enforcement on our part.”

Gen. Weyand did not hold the media to blame, but they cannot be exonerated either in my estimation.


Hanoi Jane did more than just her part by traveling to North Vietnam, not just having her photo taken at an anti-aircraft gun, but also making a series of radio broadcasts from North Vietnam, aimed at demoralizing the American Troops and supporting the Communist North Vietnamese.


Prior to her trip to North Vietnam, she was instrumental in the production of an anti-Army film, F.T.A.


This is but a portion of why so many of us despise Hanoi Jane, Walter Cronkite, John F’n Kerry and more. If you are still unable to understand our why, I don’t know if you ever will.


Canuckguy said...

I hate it when movies tamper with historical facts to make a point.

LewWaters said...

We call it revising history down here, Canuck.

Even though not in history books, people will retain the visual they see and believe it, not opening books much any longer.

Unknown said...

I haven't seen the movie, but as someone far too young to have been a vet at that time, yet who is fairly studied on the social and political aspects of the war, I would like to suggest that you are biased by propaganda from that period.

When I look over the record--including the links you provided--what I see is a strongly anti-war activist, concerned with the deaths on both sides, but also, as any outsider would be, seemingly more empathic for the deaths of the non-aggressor, who in this case was Vietnam.

Vietnam lost more than a million, and perhaps two million, including women, children, non-military men and of course military. We committed terrible atrocities on the civilian population, and some believe we had no business being there. The government has admitted it was farce, that the gulf of tonkin incident didn't actually happen.

I can't see a logical reason to have bad feelings against someone who's central message is "stop killing innocent people," unless it is based on the misunderstand that those people "deserve being killed."

Consider an example. How would you feel if Iran or Syria bombed us mercilessly, right now, killing millions? You--and I--would both be pretty pissed. Yet both of those countries have an infinitely better reason to do so than we did in Vietnam; there is no debate that we are an existential threat to those two countries. Now how would you feel if we did that to them? Justified, I would guess, as you have heard the rhetoric that they are a threat to us. This is the bias. But can you understand that some people take the position: "Let us not murder people who have not--and could not have--hurt us?"

LewWaters said...

Small problem, Aaron, most of what you have studied is nonsense.

But, what would I know, I was only there.

Hanoi Jane did not just protest, she actively supported who we were fighting and if you think we were wrong in fighting them, I suggest you put down the books and seek out some of those Vietnamese who risked everything escaping as the Boat People and ask them.

But like me, they didn't read the books either.

We just experienced it first hand.

Canuckguy said...

"...for the deaths of the non-aggressor, who in this case was Vietnam."
You got to be kidding or I have been brainwashed. The commies were aggressively trying to take over and the Americans aggressively helped the non-commies. Don't go painting one side totally black.

Albert Vallejo said...

I hate when people like Jane Fonda is in the spotlight, I suffer from PTSD and everytime I hear her name, it triggers my thoughts of what his bitch did to our country, and if you have notice there another celebrity that's has done the same activity as Jane Fonda, it Jennifer Lopez, she was caught by the Human Rights Foundations for performing to Eastern Europe Dictators for years, and has received 10 million for her services, the same dictator countries that the United State is going to war with in Syria? When Jennifer Lopez was caught, she claim she did nothing wrong, and instead of returning the money or donating the money to the human rights foundations, she kept it, what a slap in the face to United States and the human rights foundation around the world. And now Jennifer Lopez land a job with American Idol as a judge for season 13, and is already making quotes that nobody can bring her down no even the article by the Human Rights Foundation about her activities with the European Dictators. I think now that she thinks she untouchable we should all boycott the sponsors of American Idol, Ford, Coke, AT&T, to show our support for human rights, and all the Iraq Men & Women Veterans?

Albert Vallejo said...

Can someone assist me how to contact Mr. Lew Waters? I need to asks some important questions. Thank you

LewWaters said...

Albert, you can contact me at lewwaters@gmail.com

Rennaisance Man said...

Thanks for posting this to educate folks on Hanoi Jane's treason during the Vietnam War. The moment she donned an enemy helmet and manned an enemy anti-aircraft gun, no matter if it was five seconds, five minutes or five hours, she immediately became an enemy combatant and that, is treason. Furthermore, her propaganda broadcasts on Hanoi Radio were treason. It's treason as very plainly defined in Section 110, Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Two witnesses? There's many millions who have seen the photos and heard the radio broadcasts. If all that weren't despicable enough, there's the public statements she made on several occasions that the repatriated POWs were lying about how they were maltreated and tortured by the North Vietnamese. I had some of my training on escape, evasion and techniques on how to survive captivity while continuing to resist the enemy if taken prisoner, most of which is maintaining a state of mind to keep one's sanity. One of the sessions was shortly after an Air Force Lt. Col. was repatriated and he was still grossly underweight, under strength, and recovering from all they did to him. Their graphic descriptions of the short-term and long-term mental and physical tortures they suffered were not only blatant violations of the Geneva Conventions regarding POWs, it was sadistic cruelty beyond imagining, in numerous cases for weeks on end. Hanoi Jane publicly denouncing them to be hypocrites and liars about how they were treated is absolutely, positively unforgivable, even though those Free Speech acts may not rise to treason. Set any forgiveness aside until there's punishment, appropriate punishment for treason during an armed conflict. Imprisonment in a maximum security federal prison for the rest of her life would be fine by me, provided she lived a very, very long life there without pardon or parole. She would have plenty of time to think about what she did, and to be very thankful it's not the Hanoi Hilton or the North Vietnamese "Alcatraz" prisons. "Aid and Comfort" by Mark and Erika Holzer methodically and thoroughly reveals what she did in meticulous and scholarly detail.