Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 11-Apr-05
Jane Fonda's half-hearted selective apology

Web Log - April, 2005

Jane Fonda's half-hearted selective apology

This puts John Kerry in the spotlight.

I was sufficiently confused about the Vietnam War in the 70s that I didn't know what to make of Fonda's trip to Hanoi. But I did clearly understand the difference between criticizing the President (first President Johnson and then President Nixon) versus criticizing the soldiers who were bravely doing the jobs that their nation asked them to do.

Jane Fonda mirthfully posing with enemy North Vietnamese soldiers
Jane Fonda mirthfully posing with enemy North Vietnamese soldiers

So when Fonda now apologizes and says she didn't hate our soldiers, I know she's lying. That was a big part of the antiwar campaign. Antiwar protestors, led by the likes of Jane Fonda, would spit on soldiers, call them war criminals and baby killers, and even become violent with them.

The adjoining picture is that one the Fonda now disavows. She says that as soon as the picture was taken, she immediately regretted it, because she knew it would look that she was demonstrating against the soldiers rather than against President Nixon.

Jane Fonda, back from Hanoi, wearing a necklace gift from the North Vietnamese. The necklace was made from the melted parts of a U.S. B-52 shot down by Hanoi.
Jane Fonda, back from Hanoi, wearing a necklace gift from the North Vietnamese. The necklace was made from the melted parts of a U.S. B-52 shot down by Hanoi.

Well, her "regret" didn't last long. In the above picture, she's shown wearing a necklace made from the melted parts of a U.S B-52 shot down by Hanoi. So her regret didn't last long enough to avoid celebrating the death or capture of the American soldiers shot down with it.

And Fonda's real feelings came out in 1976, when it became clear that the Chinese and North Vietnamese were supporting a holocaust and genocide of historical proportions going on in Cambodia. Millions of people were being tortured and killed, but Fonda, allied with her communist leaning friend William Kunstler, refused to condemn or criticize the Vietnamese or Chinese in any way. Finally Kunstler, speaking for himself and Fonda, said, "I would never criticize the actions of any Socialist government." So Fonda actively supported and helped our enemies, and then refused to condemn the same people when she perpetrated a massive genocidal holocaust.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there's an important context to this story. The political turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s occurred in a "generational awakening" period. A generational awakening period is characterized by massive political struggle based on a "generation gap," a conflict between the aging (World War II) war heroes and their children. Basically, the younger generation is opposed to whatever their fathers are for.

In the 1970s, Fonda's hatred of her father, Henry Fonda, was well known. The father had starred in a number of WW II moves that Jane Fonda now despised, along with her father. They only finally made up in 1981, when they starred in the movie On Golden Pond together.

Still, let's let bygones be bygones. I'm glad that Jane Fonda has finally figured out the distinction between hating Nixon and hating our soldiers, and that's she's apologizing for the latter. Of course, she's lying about it, and she's only doing it because she's promoting her new book and her new movie that's coming out next month, but I'm glad that she apologized anyway.

That brings us to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

In 1971, Kerry said that American soldiers in Vietnam were committing war crimes "on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." He said that these atrocities included rape, torture, and cutting off ears, heads and limbs.

Now, when I wrote about this during last year's Presidential campaign, I said that I didn't care what Kerry said decades ago, but I wanted to know what he believes today. I believed that Kerry must repudiate his 1971 remarks, because if he were elected President without repudiating those remarks, then he'd have to do it anyway as President, because the War on Terror cannot be led by a President who believes that America committed the same kinds of atrocities in Vietnam that Islamic terrorists are committing today.

I discussed this issue with some friends of mine who were strong Kerry supporters. Their response was to say that Kerry's 1971 statement was correct since, in essence, American soldiers in Vietnam were the equivalent of Nazi Storm Troopers of World War II who committed atrocities against the Jews.

Well! Anyway, Kerry didn't win, so it's no longer absolutely necessary for him to repudiate his 1971 statement. But it would be nice if he took Jane Fonda's leave and apologized for them.

But still, I live in Massachusetts, so Kerry is my Senator. And I would still like to know what Kerry believes today. Does Kerry believe today that American soldiers in Vietnam were no different than Nazi Storm Troopers? Enquiring minds want to know, but I have a feeling we aren't going to find out. (11-Apr-05) Permanent Link
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