WASHINGTON, January 23, 2014—In her most recent interview with People Magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama was asked about turning 50, getting her AARP card, botox, becoming a grandma and a plethora of other topics. Naturally, she was also asked if there are any role models she looks to and thinks ‘when I’m 70 or 80, I want to look and live like her!’
Of all the lovely ladies in our country today, the 50-year-old First Lady of the United States chose none other than 76-year-old Jane Fonda – otherwise affectionally known to military veterans across the nation as “Hanoi Jane” – and Cicely Tyson.
“I just went to see Cicely Tyson on Broadway. She is in her 80’s and did a two-hour play with stamina and passion. I told her ‘I want to be you when I grow up!’ There’s Jane Fonda,“ she continued, “a beautiful, engaged, politically savvy, sharp woman.”
Is anyone really surprised that the First Lady admires Hanoi Jane? Let’s be forgiving for a second and imagine that she really just admires the woman for her good looks at the ripe old age of 76, and if that’s the case, good for her. But that raises an entirely different question: is the First Lady just trying to get a jab in at our military veterans, pick a fight with patriotic Americans, or is she so insensitive that she doesn’t have the scruples to figure out that it’s best to keep this one to herself, what with her being the First Lady and all. Either way, it’s infuriating.
Allow me to explain, for those who really don’t understand what all the hoopla is about.
Lady Jane Seymour Fonda was born on December 21, 1937 in New York, New York and earned the nickname ‘Hanoi Jane’ after “aiding and abetting” the North Vietnamese enemy in 1972. A famous photo taken during Fonda’s visit to North Vietnam (pictured above) portrayed Fonda sitting atop a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun laughing it up and pretending to shoot. A few hundred yards away was the Hanoi Hilton, where American POW’s were being held and brutally tortured.
During her two week visit, Fonda toured North Vietnam and addressed the North Vietnamese in a radio address filled with anti-American propaganda and – interestingly enough – frequent mentions of colonialism. During the visit she also participated in a North-Vietnamese-staged press conference with American POW’s, reportedly to prove they were being treated well by their North Vietnamese captors. Many years later, when U.S. soldiers testified about the torture they endured at the hands of the enemy, she called them “hypocrites and liars”.
Prior to 1972, Fonda used her finances and influence to advocate for communism and anarchy against the United States government. In 1970, she told a very large University of Michigan audience (h/t Lisa Mei)
“If you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would some day become communist.”
She later told a crowd at Duke University
“I, a socialist, think that we should strive toward a socialist society, all the way to communism. “
Fonda also allegedly met with communists during a visit to France, and helped organize a group called “F**k the Army” (F.T.A.) that would perform in coffee houses near American military bases encouraging soldiers to desert, often allegedly promising jobs and money if they did so. She frequently appeared on radio broadcasts and led rallies (and was often pictured alongside the current Secretary of State, John Kerry).
Years later, the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Bui Tin, who served on the General Staff of the North Vietnamese Army. During that interview, Tin was asked if the American antiwar movement had an impact on the North Vietnamese victory. His answer:
“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.”
When asked if they paid close attention to the visits, his response was “keenly,” and he continued.
“Those people [Jane Fonda and others] 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.”
Anti-war propaganda and a complicit media are the reason South Vietnam was forced to surrender to the North on April 30, 1975. After the surrender, Fonda returned with her family to North Vietnam to celebrate the victory, and was honored for her “political and moral support”. During that visit, her newborn son was christened after a Viet Cong hero who attempted to assassinate Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara during his 1963 visit to South Vietnam. The hero’s name? Nguyen Van Troi. The name she gave her newborn son? Troy.
Jane Fonda has, to her credit, made several apologies over the years to our American servicemen for her actions during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, she has proven time and time again that her words are meaningless. After being criticized recently for her role as Nancy Reagan in The Butler, Fonda told American veterans to “get a life”. (h/t Katie Pavlich)
Larry Reyes, a Navy veteran and founder of the “Boycott Hanoi Jane Playing Nancy Reagan” Facebook page has been particularly vocal about the casting decision, given Fonda’s past frolicking with the enemy during the Vietnam War.
“Growing up in a military family I heard my father and uncles talk about what Jane did, so from an early age I knew about her history with the war and how upset veterans were about it. Yet it amazed me that people just turned their backs and kept supporting her exercise videos and movies. I made a commitment early on not to support her projects,” Reyes told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “Then when I heard she was going to play such a well-liked and highly respected president’s wife, it got to me. They (the filmmakers) knew by picking Jane for the part they were going to stir up some stuff. I’m not a conservative or a liberal, I’m an American. And that was a slap in the face.”
This week, Fonda had a simple message for Reyes and the page’s fans.
“Get a life.”
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Fonda said of her casting: “If it creates hoopla, it will cause more people to see the movie… I figured it would tweak the right. Who cares?”
So, if you think all the talk about First Lady Michelle Obama admiring Jane Fonda for her politically savvy is being ridiculously overblown, think again. The 58,260 families who lost loved ones in the Vietnam War may beg to differ.