Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From Nixonland Tonight

In 1972 Jane Fonda traveled to North Vietnam to see the POWs and to determine if the Air Force was in fact bombing dikes in an attempt to flood the rice crop and starve the population (Nixon's protestations to the contrary notwithstanding).  Quoting now,

Fonda arrived in Hanoi alone, a woman armed with only cameras, hobbling on a fractured foot.  The day before, Jean Thorval of Agence France-Presse had been standing on one of the earthen dikes when bombs struck another nearby.  It seemed, he reported in Le Monde, "the attack was aimed at a whole system of dikes."  Fonda gave a speech over Radio Hanoi, hoping it would reach the pilots, describing, in case they didn't know, how the antipersonnel bombs beneath their wings functioned:

"They cannot destroy bridges or factories.  They cannot pierce steel or cement.  Their only target is unprotected human flesh."  They "now contain rough-edged plastic pellets, and your bosses, whose minds think in terms of statistics, not human lives, are proud of this new perfection.  The plastic pellets don't show up on X-rays and cannot be removed.  The hospitals here are filled with babies and women and old people who will live for the rest of their lives in agony with these pellets embedded in them. . . . Tonight, when you are alone, ask yourselves: what are you doing?  Accept no ready answers fed to you by rote from basic training on up, but as men, as human beings.  Can you justify what you are doing?"       
This while Nixon claimed to be "winding down" the war.


  1. notacynic:

    And for telling the truth, Jane Fonda became anathema to too many Americans.

  2. Whit,
    What truths - that the war was wrong or our aircrews were attacking targets that they were non-combatentant locatios. That is bullshit! Our crews attacked specifically target North Vietnamese targets. Kevein, "collatoral damage is a fact of war in any air strike. Like it or not - that happens - innocent people die.
    We all know that damned war was wrong - the kid I rode a tricyle with stepped on a "bouncing betty" pressure release land mine in Quange Tri
    province and suffered what the military calls, "traumatic amputation" - Bobby was medivaced out to the USS Repose in Cahm Rahn Bay and then to Danang. Bobby was airlifted to Yokota AB in Japan and taken to the Army hospital at Zama. Bobby died at Zama. I got the letter my fifteenth day of training at Lackland.
    I cried and I cried....

    Fuck that damned war!


  3. Americans often don't want to hear the truth, Whit. They "can't handle" it. Better to cling to their comfortable misconceptions.

  4. Sarge, you need to read up on that war, a bunch. You've swallowed their bullshit. Fine. These assertions that you make are addressed in this book and others. I don't have time to type out the whole book. If you wish to read some very eye-opening history I could make some recommendations. But I think maybe you "need" to believe the official line. My condolences.