Jane Fonda on ‘Hanoi Jane’ Scandal: ‘It’s Horrible for Me to Think of That’

Jane Fonda, visits anti-aircraft gun position near Hanoi, Vietnam, July 1, 1972. (AP Photo)
Associated Press

Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda reflected on being labeled an anti-American traitor during an appearance this week at Television Critics Associations Summer Press Tour.

“Prior to me becoming an anti-war activist, I had lived a meaningless life,” Jane Fonda said. “So when I decided to throw in my head in with the anti-war movement everything changed.”

“I am proud I went to Vietnam when I did. I am so sorry that I was thoughtless enough to sit down on that gun at that time and the message that that sends to the guys who were there and their families,” she said adding, “It’s just horrible for me to think of that.”

“Sometimes I think, ‘Oh I wish I could do it over’ because there are things I would say differently now.”

Fonda’s anti-war activity hit a whole other level in 1972 when she earned the nickname “Hanoi Jane” during a trip to North Vietnam after she was photographed sitting on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down American pilots and planes.

Fonda also aided the North Vietnamese by making radio addresses on Hanoi Radio during her two weeks there. It was pure anti-American propaganda:

After 4,000 years of struggling against nature and foreign invaders–and the last 25 years, prior to the revolution, of struggling against French colonialism–I don’t think that the people of Vietnam are about to compromise in any way, shape or form about the freedom and independence of their country, and I think Richard Nixon would do well to read Vietnamese history, particularly their poetry, and particularly the poetry written by Ho Chi Minh.

After America abandoned Vietnam, the dominos on Cambodia and Laos fell, and millions of innocents died in communist North Korea’s re-education camps and communist Cambodia’s killing fields.

It was a human rights massacre unlike anything seen since the Holocaust.

Fonda, who just turned 80, is promoting a documentary about her life.

“I try to listen more than I talk,” she said. “I wouldn’t use the word revolution. I’m still changing. I’m only 80, and why be alive if you’re not changing. You may not be able to make your life longer, but you can make it deeper and wider.

“We’re living longer than we have ever before, I’m a late bloomer!” 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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