Jane Fonda’s Broadcasts on Radio Hanoi
Co-authors: Dr. Roger Canfield, R.J. Del Vecchio
From July 8 – 22, 1972, the American actress Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam at the invitation of the “Vietnamese Committee of Solidarity with the American People.” During this period, she recorded at least 19 propaganda interviews that were broadcast by Radio Hanoi. Twelve of the speeches focused on American servicemen as their primary target. Fonda’s key themes included: demands to halt U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, allegations that the Nixon Administration was “lying” about the war, endorsements of the Viet Cong “7 Point Peace Plan,” claims that the U.S. military was violating international law and committing “genocide” in Vietnam, and statements of confidence in North Vietnam’s continued resistance and ultimate victory over America.
Listed below are all available transcripts of Jane Fonda’s Hanoi broadcasts, as recorded by the CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). Slightly redacted versions of several broadcasts also appear in the Congressional Record for Sept. 19-25, 1972, “Hearings Regarding H.R. 16742: Restraints on Travel to Hostile Areas.” The transcripts are listed by the dates on which they were originally broadcast by Radio Hanoi.
July 10, 1972: Fonda to American POWs
“Brave heroes of the war would come back from Indochina and I was told that it is we who committed crimes, it is we who burned villages and massacred civilian people and raped the Vietnamese women. It is we who did it and we are sorry, and we want the American people to know what is being done in their names.”
July 13, 1972: Jane Fonda condemns U.S. bombings
“They seemed to be asking themselves what kind of people can Americans be who would drop these kinds of bombs so callously on their innocent heads, destroying their villages and endangering the lives of these millions of people.”
July 17, 1972: Fonda to American pilots and airmen
“I don’t know what your officers tell you, you are loading, those of you who load the bombs on the planes. But, one thing that you should know is that these weapons are illegal and thats not, thats not just rhetoric. They were outlawed, these kind of weapons, by several conventions of which the United States was a signatory — two Hague conventions. And the use of these bombs or the condoning the use of these bombs makes one a war criminal.”
“The men who are ordering you to use these weapons are war criminals according to international law, and in, in the past, in Germany and in Japan, men who were guilty of these kind of crimes were tried and executed.”
July 19, 1972: Fonda on visit to Nam Dihn
“I went to the dike, the dike system of the city of Nam Dinh. Just this morning at 4 o’clock, it was bombed again, and I was told that an hour after we left the city, planes came back and rebombed Nam Dinh. The dike in many places has been cut in half and there are huge fissures running across the top of it.”
July 20, 1972: Fonda on Geneva Accords anniversary
“There is an invasion taking place. It’s taking place from the 7th Fleet, from the aircraft carriers, from Thailand, from Guam, but essentially from the Pentagon and from the White House.”
“You men, it is not your fault. It is in fact tragic to think how you are being so cynically used because the time is coming very soon, it is already half-way there, when people are admitting openly that this is one of the most horrible crimes ever committed by one nation against another.”
July 20, 1972: Fonda press conference
“I’ve met with students, with peasants, with workers and with American pilots who are in extremely good health, I might add and will I hope be soon returned to the United States, and when they are returned, I think and they think that they will go back better citizens than when they left.”
July 20, 1972: Fonda press conference Q & A
“I would like to accuse Richard Nixon of betraying everything that is human and just in the world today. I would like to accuse him as being a new Hitler.”
“I will be working with all of those other people, ah, to that end - to end the war according to the demands made in the Seven-Point Peace proposal of the Provisional Revolutionary Government.”
July 21, 1972: Fonda to American pilots
“The people back home are crying for you. We are afraid of what, what must be happening to you as human beings. For it isn’t possible to destroy, to receive salary for pushing buttons and pulling levers that are dropping illegal bombs on innocent people, without having that damage your own souls.”
“I know that if you saw and if you knew the Vietnamese under peaceful conditions, you would hate the men who are sending you on bombing missions.”
July 22, 1972: Fonda to U.S. pilots and airmen
“Should you then allow these same people and same liars to define for you who your enemy is? Shouldn’t we then, shouldn’t we all examine the reasons that have been given to us to justify the murder that you are being paid to commit?”
“If they told you the truth, you wouldn’t fight, you wouldn’t kill. You were not born and brought up by your mothers to be killers. So you have been - you have been told lies so that it would be possible for you to kill.”
July 22, 1972: Fonda to U.S. pilots and airmen
“And I think, I - I think that - well, the other day, for example, someone told me that one of the pilots that was recent - recently shot down, uh, near Hanoi, as he was, uh, driven across the river, uh, uh, he was, he was, uh, being being rescued by, uh, the people and he was shown a bridge and the people said, uh, that bridge was, uh, bombed, uh, recently. And he said: Well, my parents are rich. Uh, we can buy you a new bridge, we can afford to build you a new bridge after the war. And the people said to him in Vietnamese and it was then translated by the interpreter, they said, but can your parents replace our, our children, our mothers, our wives who have been killed by your bombs? And the soldier hung his head and he said: I didn’t think of that.”
July 25, 1972: Fonda to U.S. pilots and airmen
“Every time you drop your bombs on the heads of these peasants it becomes clearer to them — to them who the enemy is. How could they possibly by asking for help from a country which is destroying their land, their crops, killing their people, mutilating their babies? How can we continue to rain this kind of terror on these people who want nothing more than to live in peace and freedom and independence?”
July 26, 1972: Fonda to South Vietnamese students
“We have understood that we have a common enemy - U.S. imperialism. We have understood that we have a common struggle and that your victory will be the victory of the American people and all peace-loving people around the world.”
“Recently in the United States we’ve been doing a lot of political propaganda work among the students and the soldiers with your Vietnamese comrades.”
July 28, 1972: Fonda to U.S. servicemen on bombing dikes
“There is only on way to stop Richard Nixon from committing mass genocide in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and that is for a mass protest all around the world of all peace-loving people to expose his crimes, to prevent him from fooling the people of the world into thinking that if there are floods this year it would be a natural disaster.”
July 29, 1972: Fonda to South Vietnamese soldiers
“Many people in the United States deplore what is being done to you. We understand that Nixon’s aggression against Vietnam is a racist aggression, that the American war in Vietnam is a racist war, a white man’s war…”
“We deplore that you are being used as cannon fodder for U.S. imperialism. We’ve seen photographs of American bombs and antipersonnel weapons being dropped, wantonly, accidentally perhaps, on your heads, on the heads of your comrades.”
July 30, 1972: Fonda to American servicemen in South Vietnam
“They believed in the army, but when they were here, when they discovered that their officers were incompetent, usually drunk, when they discovered that the Vietnamese people had a fight that they believed in, that the Vietnamese people were fighting for much the same reason that we fought in the beginning of our own country, they began to ask themselves questions.”
“I heard horrifying stories about the treatment of women in the U.S. military. So many women said to me that one of the first things that happens to them when they enter the service is that they are taken to see the company psychiatrist and they are given a little lecture which is made very clear to them that they are there to service the men.”
August 7, 1972: Fonda on Quang Tri and Patrick Henry
“So that now, when the People’s Liberation Armed Forces arrived in Quang Tri and joined together with the peasants to liberate the province of Quang Tri, the people have risen up, in the words of a journalist who just came from - from Quang Tri - like birds who have been freed from their cages.”
“We should be able to understand this very well as Americans. One of our revolutionary slogans, called out by Patrick Henry, was ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.’ And this is not so different than Ho Chi Minh’s slogan ‘Nothing is more precious than freedom and independence.’”
August 9, 1972: Fonda on “Democracy”
“Like tens of thousands of other Americans, I’m extremely concerned these days about the betrayal of everything that my country stands for - about the betrayal of our flag, about the betrayal of the very precepts upon which our country was founded: equality for all people, liberty, and freedom.”
“Richard Nixon, history will one day report you as the new Hitler… It is no wonder that you are so cynically manipulating the American public into believing that you are striving for peace, when you are in fact committing the most heinous crimes against the innocent civilians of Vietnam.”
August 15, 1972: Fonda on meeting with American POWs
“I had the opportunity of meeting seven U.S. pilots. Some of them were shot down as long ago as 1968 and some of them had been shot down very recently. They are all in good health. We had a very long talk, a very open and casual talk. We exchanged ideas freely. They asked me to bring back to the American people their sense of disgust of the war and their shame for what they have been asked to do.”
“They asked me to bring messages back home to their loved ones and friends, telling them to please be as actively involved in the peace movement as possible, to renew their efforts to end the war.”
Jane Fonda will forever be a traitor to many of us who served our country. Some say we should forgive and forget, that Fonda has apologized for her behavior.
Here is a statement from a fellow vet:
For what it is worth, Ms. Fonda has never spoken the kind of direct apology for her activities during the war, the statement that she made a huge mistake in allowing her picture to be taken at the AA gun is not exactly what most vets would accept as a heartfelt apology. She has always been consistent in belief that she was doing the right thing in all she did there. Below are transcripts of the things she broadcast to US servicemen from Hanoi. They qualify in the minds of most of us as treason.
Keep in mind that when the POWs returned and spoke of their being tortured, she made these comments very publicly.
Jane Fonda said, POWs “implied they were forced into seeing [antiwar visitors] that’s laughable. They are hypocrites and liars ….” At UCLA, “We have no reason to believe [they] tell the truth. They are professional killers.” She wrote the Los Angeles Times, “It is a lie, an orchestrated lie… that the policy was torture.”
“Jane Fonda Claims POWs Not Tortured,” Pasadena Star News, April 1, 1973; Also: San Francisco Chronicle, April 1, 1973, 4.
So, it’s very difficult for those of us who know this, and in my case, know POWs and heard in person their accounts of torture, to just write it off as in the past and not worth thinking about anymore.
Jane does not deserve, and has not earned, our forgiveness.
This article was originally posted on the blog for Vietnam Veterans for Factual History. Here is a direct link to their website: https://www.vvfh.org/
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