Leah Barkoukis

Though our recently seated U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was only a toddler when Jane Fonda committed treason in Vietnam, at this stage in her career there’s no excuse for not knowing about “Hanoi Jane’s” history of anti-war "activism.” Thus, her comments on Wednesday are utterly inexcusable.

Speaking at the United Nations Association of the USA 2013 Global Leadership Awards in New York, Power said, “Hi everybody,” according to a transcript. “You know life has changed when you’re hanging out with Jane Fonda backstage. There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being 'all in' in every way — than Jane Fonda. And it’s a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her.”

As a reminder:

In July-August 1972 Fonda made her infamous trip to North Vietnam. By this time, over 50,000 Americans had been killed in the war. While there, she posed for pictures on an anti-aircraft gun that had been used to shoot down American planes, and she volunteered to do a radio broadcast from Hanoi. […]

Fonda also quoted Ho Chi Minh during some of these broadcasts. She referred to President Richard Nixon as a “new-type Hitler,” and advised South Vietnamese soldiers to desert: “You are being used as cannon fodder for U.S. imperialism.”

These radio addresses were aired repeatedly by the North Vietnamese Communists, for whom propaganda was a key tool of psychological warfare; they used the broadcasts not only to hearten their own citizens, but also to undermine the American public’s will to go forward with the war, and to crush the morale of U.S. and allied forces. […]

Fonda’s propaganda efforts played a major role in prolonging the war and increasing the death toll. As North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin explained in a postwar interview with The Wall Street Journal, the American antiwar movement “was essential to our strategy. Support for the war from our rear [China] 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 . . . gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses.” […]

When Fonda returned to the U.S., she told college students, “I bring greetings from our Vietnamese brothers and sisters,” and she lamented the war damage that she had seen in North Vietnam — inflicted, she said, by U.S. forces. She also sported a necklace given to her by the North Vietnamese Communists, made from the melted parts of a U.S. aircraft they had shot down.

Whenever stories about POWs getting tortured emerged, Fonda called them lies. When the POWs began coming home in 1973 and their accounts of torture began to gain credence, Fonda called the returning soldiers “liars, hypocrites, and pawns.” “Tortured men do not march smartly off planes, salute the flag, and kiss their wives,” she said. “They are liars. I also want to say that these men are not heroes.”

Fonda has made specious apologies (and excuses, including accusing “right-wingers” of propagating a “myth” about her infamous trip to Vietnam) in recent years. Regardless, Vietnam vets “all hate her,” Ned Foote, president of the New York State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America told Fox News.

Power was completely out of line to praise Fonda the way she did, but Breitbart’s William Bigelow notes that “standing with those who have savaged America isn’t new for [her].”

[I]n 2003 she wrote an essay for the New Republic in which she stated: “We need: a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the United States...A country has to look back before it can move forward. Instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors...Some anti-Americanism derives simply from our being a colossus that bestrides the earth...But much anti-Americanism derives from the role U.S. political, economic, and military power has played in denying such freedoms to others.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the woman representing the United States at the largest international organization in the world.


Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography