Jane Fonda, then and now
After the notoriety of Jane Fonda's book tour cools down, she will still be the anti-American icon people love to hate, and for good reason ("No apologies," Culture, et cetera, April 14). Regardless of her motivation, "Hanoi" Jane gave aid and comfort to the enemy in 1972, which undoubtedly caused more American casualties in Vietnam. And she played a frontline role in holding soldiers up to public hatred and ridicule as they returned from their difficult tours of duty.
Certainly, there's not much difference between Miss Fonda and Iva "Tokyo Rose" Toguri, who was convicted of treason after the defeat of Japan in World War II. Miss Fonda wasn't prosecuted because of the antiwar sentiments whipped up by fanatics and because of her celebrity status, neither of which make for a good excuse.
A little contrition can't change her identity. Miss Fonda deserved the spit-in-the-face from a Vietnam vet at a book-signing earlier this month. She should be treated for what she is: an unapologetic traitor who, along with her fellow anti-Vietnam War zealots, ignored the purpose of that war. Like the Korean War, its purpose was to stop brutal aggression and the advance of communism.
Miss Fonda is now 67 years old. In the 1950s she knew about the Korean War. And in July 1972, when she arrived in Hanoi, she was old enough to know better than to get caught up in a movement she couldn't handle. Sadly, she has spent her comfortably troubled adult life trying to find herself. Other than knowing she is a very good actress, she might never succeed.
Note: While hawking her book, My Life so Far, as the featured guest of the National Press Club covered by C-Span on April 14, 2005, and under the watchful eye of her mentor Gloria Steinem, who was seated at the head table, Fonda seemed bent on re-energizing the feminist fight with a bitter tirade of male-bashing. Obviously neither of them comprehend that they've already won the war against men and boys, and that only the radicals continue their relentless revenge... just for the spite of it. Alas, Jane Fonda's life so far is little more than a living bad memory for most people.