Nolte: We Should Accept Jane Fonda’s Apology About Vietnam

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

After numerous apologies over four decades, it’s time to let Hanoi Jane Fonda off the hook for Vietnam.

During an interview with Barbara Walters 35 years ago, Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda apologized for being used as propaganda for North Vietnam when we were still fighting North Vietnam.

In 2005, she apologized again on 60 Minutes.

She’s apologized again and again. But…

Last week, she was asked to answer for it yet again.

Here’s what she said to Walters in 1988 about the 1972 incident:

I would like to say something, not just to Vietnam veterans in New England, but to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I’m . . . very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families.

Here’s what she told 60 Minutes in 2005:

I will go to my grave regretting that. The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda’s daughter, just a woman sitting on an enemy aircraft gun, was a betrayal. It was like I was thumbing my nose at the military. And at the country that gave me privilege. It was the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine. I don’t thumb my nose at this country. I care deeply about American soldiers.

In 2013, she called it an “unforgivable mistake,” adding, “I don’t know if I was set up or not. I was an adult. I take responsibility for my actions.”

She apologized again in 2018.

As Fonda herself said, she was an adult at the time. Yes, she was 35. As Fonda herself said, it was indefensible. Yes, it was. But after 35 years of apologies, isn’t it time to forgive and move on? Should someone who has repeatedly apologized over four decades still be called on the carpet and asked to continue to explain herself?

I don’t think so, and I say that as someone who is not a fan of Jane Fonda the person. In-person, she never fails to strike me as anything other than boorish with her exhausting politicking. On the other hand, she’s one of the greatest actresses who has ever lived—so good I forget how much I dislike her. But back to the apology…

What I want to do is use Fonda to make a bigger point about apologies…

I will tell you right now that half the problems in this country stem from refusals to accept apologies.

All of America’s manufactured racial problems come down to a group of leftists (of all colors) who refuse to forgive and move on when it comes to slavery and Jim Crow. It’s not enough that hundreds of thousands of white Americans died to settle the matter of slavery. It’s not enough that after 5,000 generations where slavery was accepted as normal, it was Western Civilization that put an end to it. It’s not enough that two Constitutional amendments were passed to end American discrimination or that a black president was elected and re-elected, or that no American living today has ever owned or been a slave.

Why is it not enough?

Because with these race hustlers, fascists, and crybabies, it can never be enough. By not accepting America’s countless apologies and countless attempts to atone, they keep us divided, at each other’s throats, angry, and unable to heal.

You see, that’s the whole thing: If you don’t want a relationship to heal, you refuse to accept the apology and move on. That’s the secret to destroying a friendship or a marriage… No matter how sorry and contrite the offender is, you can destroy the relationship by constantly throwing whatever this person did in their face. And that’s what the left is doing to America and to millions of Americans.

And what’s the result?

Well, a lot of scumbags get rich and powerful, but overall, the results are devastating for those who refuse to forgive and move on. Instead, they remain angry, poor, ignorant, unhappy, and dissatisfied. That’s no way to live. And that’s the best-case scenario. The worst is all the rioting, which destroys cities forever.

What I’m trying to say is that holding a grudge is a poison you give yourself. That includes those who get rich. Race-baiters like Joe Biden, Al Sharpton, Wesley Lowery, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the mostly-white monsters who anchor CNN and MSNBC… Their souls are wrecked. You cannot preach hate for your fellow man or lie about a country as tolerant as ours without damning your soul. The human wreckage is just too vast.

On some level, I get it. One of the joys of holding a grudge is the sense of superiority that comes with it. If you never let go, you are always superior to the offender. Heaven knows, I’ve been guilty of that. But as I grow older I grow a little wiser…

Few things are as liberating as saying, “I’m sorry.”

Just as freeing is accepting that apology…

Be it from a Jane Fonda or from a country.

Besides, there are plenty of other reasons not to like Jane Fonda.


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