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Jane Fonda's exploits, please read

Joe Offer 19 Nov 15 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,Barbara Dane 19 Nov 15 - 03:02 AM
mg 15 Dec 00 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 15 Dec 00 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Guest 15 Dec 00 - 10:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Dec 00 - 06:15 AM
Skeptic 14 Dec 00 - 05:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Dec 00 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 14 Dec 00 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 14 Dec 00 - 02:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Dec 00 - 08:34 PM
Skeptic 13 Dec 00 - 06:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Dec 00 - 04:34 AM
katlaughing 13 Dec 00 - 01:13 AM
Troll 13 Dec 00 - 12:42 AM
katlaughing 13 Dec 00 - 12:00 AM
Troll 12 Dec 00 - 11:29 PM
mg 12 Dec 00 - 11:20 PM
mg 12 Dec 00 - 11:02 PM
Barry Finn 12 Dec 00 - 10:56 PM
Troll 12 Dec 00 - 09:50 PM
Lucius 12 Dec 00 - 09:07 PM
Barry Finn 12 Dec 00 - 07:37 PM
Greg F. 12 Dec 00 - 07:24 PM
Troll 12 Dec 00 - 07:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Dec 00 - 06:54 PM
mousethief 12 Dec 00 - 06:01 PM
Troll 12 Dec 00 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 12 Dec 00 - 02:40 PM
Ebbie 12 Dec 00 - 02:20 PM
NH Dave 12 Dec 00 - 01:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Dec 00 - 01:54 PM
mousethief 12 Dec 00 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Stackley 12 Dec 00 - 01:33 PM
DougR 12 Dec 00 - 12:48 PM
mg 12 Dec 00 - 12:41 AM
Troll 12 Dec 00 - 12:17 AM
Barry Finn 11 Dec 00 - 05:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 00 - 02:41 PM
Midchuck 11 Dec 00 - 02:16 PM
mousethief 11 Dec 00 - 01:36 PM
Troll 11 Dec 00 - 01:30 PM
Troll 11 Dec 00 - 12:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 00 - 12:22 PM
Jeri 11 Dec 00 - 11:18 AM
Troll 11 Dec 00 - 10:17 AM
Jeri 11 Dec 00 - 09:37 AM
Seth 10 Dec 00 - 11:24 PM
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Midchuck 10 Dec 00 - 09:48 PM
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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 03:50 AM

Thank you for posting, Barbara. Over the years, you have made a lot of us think seriously about a lot of important issues. I only wish we knew the answers to those issues.
-Joe Offer, veteran and pacifist-


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: GUEST,Barbara Dane
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 03:02 AM

Thank you Seth for your wise council about moving on.. But I have to correct you about Jane Fonda. I had the opportunity to work with her when we both were deeply committed to the GI movement, in support of the active duty GIs resistance to the war. She is far from a "bimbo" actress, (has academy awards etc.) and, even with the celebrity thing to content with, she really dug her heels in and worked alongside everyone else on the nitty gritty, giving excellent speeches at the rallies and at the other extreme, making dinner for a few dozen volunteers after the marches. She was born into film royalty (Henry Fonda was her father) but she didn't let that stand in the way of following her antiwar and anti-imperialist heart and risking everything.

And you, mg… Thank you for outing the hypocrisy that is the curse of certain hand-on-heart liberal folkies. One particular guy I last saw in the 60s at meetings of the Sing Out! Board when we both were members, who was a "pacifist" of the coffeehouse variety, who complained that the magazine never should have printed the NLF anthem, especially with the English lyrics I had supplied which said "Arise, heroic southern land, arise, take rifle in your hand, etc." Oh no, we shouldn't be endorsing violence. That wouldn't do, for the little guy in rubber sandals to defend his family from the most powerful war machine in history!!

But before signing off, I would like to express my admiration and gratitude to all those genuine pacifist folksingers who have struggled, since singing began on the planet, to unite everyone behind the idea that "Love thy neighbor" is not just a slogan, that "We are all one" is not just a fantasy. Oh dear ones, keep on singing, forever and forever, even as the darkness falls, even as the drones and bots continue to crowd reality off the map and the social media drowns out the sound of heart-to-heart conversation, even when the goal seems ever further down the road, like the receding horizon, because singing is where the joy lives, that is where the love revives itself and grows, it is in the songs that we find ourselves and realize we are not so bad, possibly even worth saving. Goodnight.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: mg
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 11:18 AM

sometimes I read things that are just plainly idiotic..at least to my ears...I kept my mouth shut for how many years now? For fear of the banshee in me coming out I guess. Indifference was wonderful....live and let live. There was precious little indifference in the roads I traveled....people were hateful and mean about veterans...and they wouldn't even think that I was one, although stateside, so the very limited amount of self-control they might have had they didn't exercise. They said the most horrible things...and people in folk music, which I love, were the worst. And the people in Vancouver, B.C. were the very worst. Up to a few years ago I thought I just can't attend their stuff anymore..I can't go to anything without hearing good people slammed...when I knew there were American and at least one Irish-Canadian Vietnam veterans in their audiences. The songs that have been sung with such assurance and such righteousness, as if they knew diddly...the commentary that went with it. I screamed bloody murder at one patriarch of Canadian folk music when he told me, and a room full of people, some of whom were sympathetic, that there were no heroes in Vietnam. Imagine saying something like that...

mg


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 11:06 AM

Why?


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 10:54 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 06:15 AM

The people who remember the war are the people who were there. Vietnamese civilians on both sides and in the middle. Veterans on both sides. And in a diffetrent way, the people who threw themseelvs into the struggle against the war. All in a sense brothers in arms.

I think Mark Knopfler's song is about that, among other things, and the last lines put it well. "We are fools to make war on our brothers in arms". And on our sisters in arms.

BROTHERS IN ARMS

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Skeptic
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 05:10 PM

I think it was Nietzsche. And I think McGrath hit it. The indifference is the worst.

The pain and anger spawned by something as innocuous as this thread show how much it mattered, or should matter. The personal conflicts and paradoxes engendered by the War and its aftermath demand a resolution that, for a lot, has never happened. What's needed is a recognition that all that emotion is there. Its real. A lot of people do deal with it (or do a good job hiding it away.) All deserve support. Not condemnation or pity or false sympathy or rationalizations to neatly compartmentalize the War.

Hiding from intense emotion, hoping it will just go away, is all to common. To paraphrase, healing takes a community.

Its one of our jobs and one a lot of us don't do all that well. A lot more don't even bother.

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 03:41 PM

"That which doesn't destroy you makes you stronger." Or "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger." Nietsche I think is the normal source given for that. He probably got it from some one else though. Probably been have been saying it since the Ice Age, one way and another. Sometimes it's true. You can turn it round the other way - if it doesn't make you stronger, it'll kill you. In time. That's why people have to let go of hatred and bitterness, in order to survive.

I'm not doubting the antagonism to returning vets happened, in fact I'd be surprised if it hadn't. I'd question whether it's best understood as primarily an aspect of the anti-war movement.

People get frightened by the idea of defeat, the same way they get frightened by the idea of bereavement, or any kind of suffering, and they back away, and stay away, and they hit out. I'd imagine, and I'm guessing, that what must really have hurt most wouldn't have been so much the hatred, it'd have been indifference, people turning away and not wanting to know.

At least the people who were actively against the war thought it mattered.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 02:45 PM

Help, Joe, or Joeclone. Can you fix my mistake? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 02:42 PM

The facts are, as my brother Skeptic said, that it did happen, wasn't rare, and efforts to now make it seem as though it didn't are attempts to collectively assuage the guilt of a nation and a generation. We treated a generation of kids as cannon fodder. We didn't even acknowledge that they went to war. No one threw us a parade until 9 or 10 years ago, and by that time most of us us had said fuck it, ain't worth the time to participate. We continued to deny the affects of Agent Orange, and acted like PTSS was just a bunch of fecking weak minded cry babies lookin' for a VA pension. And mostly we did the worst thing ever...........we made the Vet's invisible.............until one went crazy and started shooting. Then we assumed that all of them were crazy. And then made them invisible again. I have attempted to help folks understand how it was for us in this thread, and in THIS THREAD but I don't think it sinks in. That is why I tell Troll and others to not bother, they won't get it, take the lessons.........remember that That which doesn't destroy you makes you strong (God I hate quoting that fucking G. Gordon Liddy, even though he got it from someplace else.......attempt to make a difference in this world and move on.

MARY, it goes like this.
Binh Dinh. Probably and amphib base located near a ville called by this name
Det. 3 - refers to the detachment this sailor was attached to. Could also be a Marine designation.
Qui Nhon - probably refers to the province that was the area of Operation for this Det.
GMG3 - Stands for Gunners Mate, Guns. This is referred to in the teams as an arm rate. It is the trade that this individual practiced in the Navy.
IUWG-1.... Inshore Undersea Warfare Group One... this was the Operational Unit that was charged with spreading uncommon fucking maelstrom in the coastal waters and the inland waters within a certain number of miles of the coast. It was made up of UDT/SEALS, Force Recon (I believe) and the PBR's that delivered these warriors.
My guess is that this person was a Third Class Petty Officer, Gunners Mate, attached to either the teams as a SEAL, or one of the support staff. Just a guess.

I did not look this up, am just pulling from memories that I have not thought about for a lot of years here. But I will bet I am not off on much.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 08:34 PM

Putting the blame for the babies and the women and old people who were slaughtered and the villages which were burned on the individual soldiers who were involved against their will in most cases, that didn't happen with people who thought it through.

Since you say you saw it happening, it happened. Not that surprising if it did. It takes a lot of thinking through to make the distinctions as to where the real blame lay for things like that, and a lot of time people like simple answers. You see awful things happening on the TV, and you know that there are things happened that were more awful than that, and it'd be easy to feel that those guys in GIs uniforms putting torches to then houses and so forth are the ones who are to blame, and to look at people in the same uniforms and feel angry.

Apply it in Northern Ireland, it's not that easy to see the paratroops who shot down unarmed people on Bloody Sunday as victims more than as villains. But they were, And the real blame for that lay higher up.

But all I've heard and seen and remember from the Vietnam times tells me that the anti-GI stuff was far less than could have been expected. Weekend hippy stuff as Skeptic said. And not typical weekend hippy stuff either. And including some agent provocateurs up to dirty tricks on behalf the warmaking machine as well, I'd be sure of that. And from what I've also heard, returned veterans who got involved in the anti-war movement got some vicious treatment from people who backed the war, at the time, and long after it, and that seems to be forgotten sometimes.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Skeptic
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 06:32 PM

People I knew in the anti-war movement always felt Jane was a bored little rich girl acting out the cause de jour. Her "apology" always seemed be the epitome of sophistry and self serving self delusion.

McGrath, Sorry to say that people did spit on returning servicemen. "Baby Killer" was the least of what I heard returning Marines called. I knew guys who were back stateside on leave and came back to the Base early because of what their "friends" called them and how they got treated. It got worse as time went on. One of them summed it up this way "You sit in a bunker, smoking whatever. talking to a buddy who's saved your ass a time or too. Then half his head is gone before you'd even realize the what the "pow" was. Then come home and get called a criminal and people spit on you in the streets". But calling them "anti-war protestors" is wrong (see below).

Troll, I group the anti-war protestors you talk about with Jane Fonda. Weekend hippies slumming with daddies AmEx card. There were protestors who knew who was to blame, who set up coffee houses around military bases and tried to help returning servicemen cope with what had happened to them. Set up legal clinics to help them avoid the draft and visited them in jail when they refused to service. Bailed there friends out who got busted protesting the war. Who tried (and maybe did, a little, point out the true villians).

I know peole who went, came back and went on with life, who agree it was a stupid war but they had a duty as an American to go. Maybe they're "in denial". Maybe thats how they cope. Maybe they're insensitive, non-introspective drones. Maybe they just don't agree with me.

Letting go of the anger, fear, pain and loss is hard. It gets distant but never goes away, not really. Maybe I've learned to deal with it, over time. Being reminded, bringing it up, is upsetting. And necessary. I don't want to ever forget what Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, DeGaulle and Ho Chi Minh, started. Or that McNamara, Kissinger, Taylor, Westmoreland, LBJ, Ho and the rest sent young men off to die by the hundreds of thousands and treated it like some kind of management problem. Moving colored pins on a map and not really caring about the lives they represented. (At least LBJ used to cry over the lists of the dead. To most of the "Brightest and the Best" that just proved that LBJ wasn't their sort of person). As mentioned early, when we forget, when it's just dull, dry, emotionless history, it makes it that much more likely that it will happen again.

I've got a lot of friends who aren't around anymore. Either dead too soon, or changed, going through the motions, trapped in some unshakeable, private hell. Dealing with my anger, sadness and sorrow is hard. It seems wrong, somehow, to let it go. Like if I do, then it all was just a futile, stupid and all the rest 'police action'. Something to discuss calmly and reasonably. Dispassionately. Devoid of meaning. Just another management problem to be solved, filed away and forgotten.

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 04:34 AM

"On the harassment issue, I was refering to the jerks who spit on returning servicemen in airports and jeered them for enlisting. The ones who called them "baby killers" and acted as though they, personally were totally responsible for the war."

If you say that happened, that happened. Over in England the only people we called baby-killers was LBJ and Nixon and the people in charge, because that is what they were. Killing real babies by burning them and bombing them, and killing kids who were little more than babies by sending them to die in a brutal and pointless war, and turning a few of them into William Calleys.

But so far as I know Jane Fonda never went in for that kind of harassing of vets, and nor did anyone Americans I ever came across in the anti-war movement.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 01:13 AM

Sorry, Troll, I guess so, but I have also learned a lot, here at the Mudcat, which gives me more to write about, hopefully, with some intelligence.

Even if they were from affluent families, then, doesn't mean they continued in that vein. But, I don't mean to quibble with you, Troll, I really respect all that you and the others have written in here and do not want to diminish that in any way.

thank you,

kat


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 12:42 AM

Sorry Mary. No Help
Kat, most of the anti-war people that I knew were college students from fairly affluent families. We write about what we know I guess.

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Dec 00 - 12:00 AM

Troll, sorry, but I do not agree with your generalisation about people who were against the war. A great many of the ones I know today are low-to-middle class and care very much about veterans, including some of my family. During the protests against the Gulf War, my daughters and I were shoudler to shoulder with many who had been anti-war in the 60's and 70's. They came from all walks of life and most economic levels; I say most because there were not any from gated communities etc.

I would like to say thank you to you, Troll, and you, Barry for sharing so much, even if you don't see eye-to-eye. I am sorry for the pain and anger and the lost lives and, for Earl and everyone else who still is effected by that time in our history. To some degree, we all are, I suppose, just not as directly.

Thanks to Big Mick, as always a strong voice on this subject and to Mary Garvey, who has shared a bit of her pain before with us.

We do need to hear your voices, everyone's voices in order to understand and to work through, and hopefully, to prevent such a terrible thing from happening, again.

Please don't stop talking about it, esp. if it helps in anyway, even one person.

With respect,

kat


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 11:29 PM

I don't want the last say, Barry, because that implies that it won't be talked about any more. And it needs to be talked about until enough people get angry enough to make the Government hear.
But it won't be the anti-war crowd from the 60's and 70's that does it. They "stopped" the war. They did their duty and now they can go back to their gated communities and their safe jobs and shopping at the mall. Back to their comfy, warm fuzzy lives.
The Vets mean nothing to them. As you said, it's the people like you and me who have to make the Government listen. troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: mg
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 11:20 PM

troll or anyone...does this mean anything to you: Binh Dinh....Det. 3....Qui Nhon....GMG3...IUWG-1.... Inshore Undersea Warfare Group One... someone is looking for info on an uncle. mg


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: mg
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 11:02 PM

so you think they in America weren't put in harm's way..well if the POTUS were here he could tell us what "harm" is. There is financial harm of losing your breadwinner. The harm of losing your one true love at the age of 17. The harm of never seeing your father who died before you were born. The harm of being an elderly woman now and trying to locate your son or perhaps daughter on the streets. Of being in high school and never being able to tell anyone your brother had died for fear of the response you would get. Of getting a phone call from someone who saw the obituary saying it served him right. mg


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 10:56 PM

Hi Troll, ya know you went & ya fought a war, what were your words, you had to want to be there. I'm sorry that you're still upset that someone called you "Baby Killer" when you came home, you probably never thanked them for trying to end it & bring you home sooner either, did you? My brother went & became a seal, bad choice, he's paid for it ever since, every day since. Troll, in this country we don't allow teenagers to drink or think for that matter, what the hell were teenagers doing in some far off country learning the fine arts of killing & dying when they hadn't even been out of diapers long enough to have a sense of self. We still haven't settled WHY & we still can't live & let live. Of all my friends that did come home, none came back alright & most died before reaching mid life & still we bicker about who did what to whom instead of really trying heal those that live the pain & horror ever since, that's unspeakable, speak of that instead of Jane at least it's not like pissing in the wind. There's no concerned effort to give real help to them in need, they served, now fuck 'em, we don't need them anymore they're as much expendable now as they were way back when, that's what this goverment's gotten away with, it's them you/we/me should focus on. I ran into a Beau a friend of mine, haven't seen him in 20 yrs, he doesn't know if any of the others are still alive, he's had one job since the conflict, firefighter for a couple of yrs till they found out he was lighting a few of them himself, he's gotten no real help, only a check,. My cousin died last yr he was never right afterwards either, accidently over medicated himself, just like one of my best friends, Peter, he couldn't live with the pain that the doctors couldn't find, that was within a few yrs after returning, my high school chum & roomate, Allen right off walked into a jewelry store to relieve them of their contents, Little Stevie got drunk & robbed a bank, died on the side of the road somewhere far from home, Billy by now's most likely killed himself drinking cause he couldn't stand to keep seeing the same sniper still alive with a hole in his gut the size of a basketball, you already know about my brother. These were just a few & everyone has stories of their friends like these, Jane didn't do this & she's not the one that's still denies them help. It's not an angering situation it's a grossly sad situation & I'm thinking that if you can go beyond that anger you'll find that there's a world of hurt that's causing it. I'm done with this go for it & have the last say. Barry, Earl's brother


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 09:50 PM

Where to begin. Where to begin.
McGrath. Thank you for that first paragraph. You stated my intent very well.
On the harassment issue, I was refering to the jerks who spit on returning servicemen in airports and jeered them for enlisting. The ones who called them "baby killers" and acted as though they, personally were totally responsible for the war.
Greg. So nice of you to check in with a little of your vitroil. Please read my post of 12/12/00@05:44pm and then go crawl back under your rock.
Barry. "Shove it" was a response to the response to my post of 5:44pm. I tried to let everyone know where I was coming from and why. I even thanked everyone for their postings. But some people just have to have the last word. There is nothing in the statement,"If you don't like what I'm saying, don't read it." that remotely hints at stifling argument or opposing views.
But I got flamed. OK.
I'm quite capable of defending myself and my ideals. If anyone has a problem with that, understand that I will answer reasoned argument with as reasoned an argument as I can make.
I will answer flame with flame.

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Lucius
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 09:07 PM

Funny how well we remember Jane Fonda, and William Calley is all but forgotten.

Lucius


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 07:37 PM

Shove it, solves everything, great. Wish someone had told the goverment that before all this happened, they sure tried yelling it later.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 07:24 PM

But I NEVER wavered in my support of the guys on the ground

What was explained above, several times- and what you still don't get, was that at least half of those "guys" were Vietnamese! And their wives and children were being napalmed. The families of American GI's were never placed in harm's way. And perhaps you might want to watch that self-reightous sanctimony yourself?

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 07:07 PM

I've tried to explain why I feel as I do. If you don't like it, you can shove it.
Read or not. It's up to you. I made that statement to let anyone who cares know that I will not pull punches or be gentle to spare someones feelings.
Anyone on the forum is entitled to discuss anything they choose and disagree in any way they see fit. I cannot stop them nor would I if I could.
It is only the sanctimonious and self-righteous little prigs of this world that think that others are out to silence them because of the diamond purity of their utterances which are beyond argument.
And then you try to discredit me with "This is bullshit".
Gag YOU?
Why would I want to do that? You provide me with so many good straight lines.

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 06:54 PM

If you don't like what I'm saying, don't read it.

I don't reads that in the sense mousethief took it, as trying to close down disagreement. I took it as meaning something more like, if you are going to get upset by reading something that disagrees with you, you don't have to read it. Which seems fair enough to me.

People being rude about Jane Fonda doesn't matter that much, unless some damaged soul or publicity hungry nutter takes encouragement from it to get a gun, and blow her away. Which of course isn't at all impossible,,or even particuarly unlikely.

But there is an injustice involved. Going to Hanoi at the height of the War-that-Wasn't-a-War was not a prudent thing to do, it might not even have been a wise thing to do, but I can't see any malice in it. (Prudent = this is going to harm me; wise = this is going to harm the cause that I support.) I can't see how it can be seen as "harassing returning combat veterans", or as anything but an attempt to bring the war's end closer.

Insofar as one intention would have been to get over the message to Vietnam's leaders that there were Americans who were against the war, there may even have been a hope that it might make it more possible for prisoners to be seen as human beings, and not as alien devils. And people who are living in fear of bombs do not find it easy to recognise that. When I was a child the Germans were dropping bombs on the city I was living in. But the bombing was never as heavy as it was in Vietnam.

The idea that the war could have been in any way extended by Jane Fonda's visit just doesn't stand up. The government in Hanoi weren't on the point of giving in, they intended to win, no matter how long it took. They'd been fighting for 30 years already. A visit by some American film star was light relief, made for good photo calls, but that was all.

And I can't imagine how it could have made the American government any more reluctant to admit the fact that they could never win, and cut a deal.

I hope none of our governments ever get involvead in an unjust war again. But if they do, I hope that people will not feel frightened to do whatever they feel is right to oppose it. That's why I feel very uneasy at an ongoing campaign over 30 years against an individual for doing that in difficult circumstances.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 06:01 PM

If you don't like what I'm saying, don't read it. This goes for anyone out there.

Ah. So we're not allowed to discuss things we disagree with? Say why we disagree? Give an opposing view?

This is bullshit. Sorry, you can't gag me that easily.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 05:44 PM

Mick,, I was stationed in Little Creek but the ship I was on was docked at Norfolk. Thanks for the post and the insight .Alex, I am not stewing in anger and bitterness. It is my task to poke holes in the smug, comfortable cocoons that people have built so they don't have to look at things like Viet Nam up close. If I release the anger it allows me to be more passionate about what I have to say. I control it . It does not control me. If you let anger control you, you are less effective And let me say this now. If you don't like what I'm saying, don't read it. This goes for anyone out there.
When names like Fonda, McNamara, Kissenger, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, Clark and others come up with reference to Viet Nam, I WILL speak. The effect of their actions on ordinary GI's in that war must not be glossed over and shoved into some dark corner to be forgotten. My conscience and sense of duty to the dead of BOTH sides demands it. When I went in the Navy in 63, I supported what I thought we were doing. By the time I got out I wasn't so sure. In time I came to oppose how our Government was prosecuting the war although I still believed in the stated objectives for some time to come. But I NEVER wavered in my support of the guys on the ground, and I did what I could to help those who had a hard time when they came back to the World. I'm still helping some of them. Protesting the actions of the Government is one thing. Harassing returning combat veterans is quite another story. I want everyone to know what happened and why people like Jane Fonda are held in such contempt in the hope that that kind of "protest" will never happen again. Mick, thanks again. Doug, Mary, in fact all those who posted on this thread, thanks for your input. You gave others food for thought and, hopefully, were made to think a little yourself.

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 02:40 PM

Troll, a little info, if you don't mind. You indicated that you served in one of the amphib units. Would you mind sharing which one? And whether it was out of Coronado, Little Creek, or one of the other bases? I am just curious.

The problem I have with most of this conversation is the premise that the whole thing is constructed on. When I hear guys like troll, still so angry after all this time, it tells me that they haven't dealt with the experience. They haven't learned its lessons and then used to to move to a higher place. Very dangerous. It seems to me, as one who experienced much of this tragedy and participated in it, that the only way to make sense of it all is to view it from a distant place. Distant as in remove yourself from it, roll it around, smell it, and compare it to what has gone before. Do this and you find that Fonda was a passionate, ill informed young woman who believed fervently that what she was doing served a larger good. Many of us were rejecting many of the values and institutions of the day. Try to remember when you were that age, remember the things you believed that today you know you were a bit off base on, and then imagine what you would have done if you had the type of forum that Fonda had by virtue of family and profession. I reject her actions based on being a warrior in that conflict, but I understand that she believed that she was ending the war. If you will distance yourself, and then factor in the information on the Viet Minh that friend NH Dave (great post, Dave!!) supplied us, you will understand how many people found Ho Chi Minh and his troops to be heroic in their attempts to liberate their country. This is why many of us reject attempts to villify them. And when you also factor in McGrath's comments (another great post, if one thinks it through.) with regard to how Americans view it as compared to how the world views it, then you have the chance to grow beyond this kind of nonsensical discussion of how one misguided, naieve, and ill informed child of privilege pissed off so many people.

I guess what I am asking, especially to friend Troll, is that you attempt to use these experiences and these times, and this anger to grow and become more perfect. One never can attain the perfection, but one must never cease to attempt to attain it. If you have allowed yourself to stew in this anger for this long, I wonder how much else you are allowing to seethe within.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 02:20 PM

One thought keeps recurring to me: In each country are peope cursing other people. I do not believe that US hands are lily white...

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: NH Dave
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 01:59 PM

Troll, if you want to hate the folks that started the Viet Nam, as Pogo(a cartoon character in US newspapers some time back) said, "We has met the enemy and he is us." We, the OSS, forerunner of the CIA, armed the Veitnamese guerilla groups during WWII, promising that if they fought with/for us against the Japanese, we'd support their eventual bids for independence from the French colonists after the war.

After the war, we were trying to keep a peace with the French - we lost - as well as assure the flow of natural rubber, much of which was tapped in Vietnamese plantations, so in the name of political expediency, we rolled over on the Vietnamese people who had helped us, during the war. I might add we treated large numbers of the mountain tribes like the Hmong who formed irregular fighting forces during the Viet Nam War very similarly, after the war began to wind down and it became apparent that the South Vietnamese would not be able to hold.

With lots of help from many communist countries, the Viet Mihn tossed the French out of their country following their disaster at Dien Bien Phu - a battle definately staged at a dificult place to hold. We had a similar battle forced upon us at Khe Sahn, but close air support and resupply carried the day.

IMHO, Jane Fonda, daughter of a good movie actor, never rose to the position that her background might have supported/warranted. She was an adequate movie star, but never great, not one to be mentioned in the same breath with Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyk, or, say, Lauren Bacall, who in similar circumstances went to Washington with her husband to appear before the House Unamerican Activities Committee in support of many persecuted movie stars and writers.

This whole issue has not been in vain as Fonda still has her picture prominently displayed on the backsplash of the urinals of countless American Legion and VFW halls, more puhblicity/notoriety than her films could ever have given her.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 01:54 PM

Is it unfair to expect that Americans would see the tragedy of Vietnam in the way the rest of the world does?

I mean, with the central focus being on what happened to the people of Vietnam, and is still happening today, rather than on what happened to the far smaller number of Americans who suffered and continue to suffer?

And that doesn't mean that I'm saying that what happened to the Americans didn't matter and doesn't matter. All suffering is one by one and family by family, and it doesn't matter whether they are Vietnamese or American.

But at times I get the feeling as if people see Vietnam as a struggle between two lots of Americans who disagreed about it, with the Vietnamese off in the distance forgotten. And I see them in the foreground, with the Americans off in the distance.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 01:37 PM

Troll, you really don't get it, do you? YOu can remember and preach foreign policy which avoids "another VietNam" without being wrapped up in pointless anger and bitterness.

Well, let me rephrase that. Many people have found a way to do this. If you cannot, I am very, very sorry.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: GUEST,Stackley
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 01:33 PM

Hey, Doug, you want a real traitor to his country who should give YOU nightmares & who is responsible in fact, not fancy, for tens upon tens of thousands dead men, women, and children, try Henry Kissinger.

Your contempt & hatred is misdirected.
Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: DougR
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 12:48 PM

I haven't contributed to this thread for one reason only. I was not in Vietnam, and I don't believe anyone who was not there, participated in the war, and suffered from it, can truly understand how a Vietnam veteran feels. I saw how Troll was getting trounced, and decided to jump in. I won't post further on this subject, however. It's getting too personal for my liking.

I do join the few of you who view Fonda as a traitor to her country. How she could do what she did with so many of her fellow countrymen dying as she did it, should give her nightmares (but I wouldn't bet on it.)

DougR


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: mg
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 12:41 AM

Vengance might belong to the Lord but also so should smarmy righteousness.

and for those who were in the war or lost loved ones or at least are respectful, here is a web site to hopefully put you in the Christmas spirit...hope it doesn't bring up bad memories...

http://grunt.space.swri.edu/xmastime.htm

mg


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 12 Dec 00 - 12:17 AM

Alex, you really con't understand do you? My anger is toward all those who started and continued that war. I don't WANT to forget because if I do then my friends will be forgotten and they deserve some memorial other than that black slab in Washington. The anger comes when people try to excuse Fonda and Kennedy and Johnson and McNamara and the rest.
Yes, it happened 40 years ago and no, I can't change it now . Thank you for your permission to remember and feel anger.
As for the rest of your post, Uriah Heep couldn't have said it better.
Barry, I'm sorry you feel you have lost your brother. Men are not drafted or assigned to the SEALs, they volunteer and have to WANT to be there.
I was in the Amphibs and I've worked with them all: SEALs, UDT, Marine Recon, Rangers, it takes a special breed to do those jobs, they have to have something going in that makes them different. I've only known a few who got out whole.
I can't remember any of it without remembering all of it. I'd like to see all of them pay for what they did. But that won't happed in my lifetime. Maybe history will sentence them as they deserve but if we who were there don't keep our memories alive to pass on, then the history books will only tell the story of the powerful moneyed men.
So although Jane Fonda is more a figurehead than anything else, she serves as a symbol of ALL the others, the Westmorelands and the rest.As we remember her, we remember them.
So it's not tripe Barry. It's a part of history; a rallying cry like "Remember the Maine", of the photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima or the dead at Kent State.
You have your anger, I have mine. Our reasons are not so far apart.

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 05:49 PM

My anger Troll is for those that keep this war alive, now & then. I lost a brother whom I hardly knew to begin with but upon his return there was no hope of getting to him. This past Thanksgiving he was gonna spend with the rest of the family he never makes it, this Christmas well try to have him over, he'll try but just like all the other times in the last minutes he'll get lost some where. I believe he dwells with his dead & will stay there till he truely gone. He was a seal & what his job was, was far more illegal that the war & anything that Hollywood could've sent there. His job continued right up to mining the harbors of South America, I wish Jane could've helped, no else did, not even after the end, they just kept it going from one country to the next. The Citzens In Action (CIA) that would accomany him & his mates could only dream up the actions that they were sent on, so please don't talk to me of anger or Jane, the real criminals became very wealthy, very private & very powerful & tripe like this takes the focus & blame from those that rightfully should be imprisoned. Goodnight


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 02:41 PM

"love your enemies and forgive those who do you wrong."

But what is sometimes even harder is to forgive those to whom you have done wrong.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 02:16 PM

Actually, Troll's got a good point.

The executive branch, and the military, chose to fight a war without any declaration of war, because, first, who would they have declared war on? North Vietnam? As I recall, they denied its existence as a sovereign nation. And, second, they weren't sure they could get a declaration of war out of Congress. So had no basis for a charge of treason, if they wanted to bring one. They kind of painted themselves into a corner. One of many that they painted themselves into in that period.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 01:36 PM

Troll, I hope as you stew in your anger and vengeance that you enjoy the gravy. Life's too short in my opinion to spend any energy on anger about something that happened 40 years ago and that at any rate can't be changed now.

You are of course free to believe otherwise.

I don't know which god you worship. The one I worship says that vengeance belongs to Him and not to us humans. The one I worship says to love your enemies and forgive those who do you wrong. So I shall try to do this (realizing I do it poorly, of course).

You have to worship your god; I can't expect you to worship mine.

Have a day.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 01:30 PM

McG As I said in an earlier post, Jane Fonda risked nothing. The trip was set up by Ramsey Clark who had ben Atourney General under Lyndon Johnson.
He was certainly savvy enough to research the legality of the trip before he placed himself in jeapordy of being tried for treason, regardless fo his anti-war sentiments. They KNEW they were safe before they ever left the US.
What they did was not legally treason because there was no formal declaration of war. Had there been, let me assure you that the trip would never have happened. In wartime such people are executed; witness Lord Haw-haw and Tokyo Rose.
Fondas career was not endangered as it would have been in the McCarthy era. The mood of the country was much diferent then and red baiting was a popular sport among the populance; a popular TV show was "I Was A Communist For The FBI". I doubt that would have flown in the early 70's.

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 12:26 PM

I blame Jane Fonda and her companions for what they did. To my mind they did not receive the punishment they deserved for their treason. That is all.
Fonda is not merely a symbol. She actively supported those who were killing American men and women and, in the opinion of some military historians, helped to prolong the war. She is only one of many who did this. Some were politicians like McNamara who let it go on for self-serving goals.
The knowledge that these people are walking around free and enjoying life while so many are permanently scared by what they did opens the wounds again.
And the real and complicated causes have to be examined one more time.

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 12:22 PM

"I think it's the feeling that a person with no money and no connections, who did the same thing she did, might very well have stood trial for treason."

Jane Fonda was in no way responsible for any decision not to put her on trial. It would have been made by the pro-war authorities, trying to damp down opposition, and wary of what would have been a show trial with lots of publicity.

There was a real possibility they might have decided the other way. And bigger stars than Jane Fonda had had their careers destroyed not that many years previously, for being politically out-of-step.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 11:18 AM

Troll, I do believe there are some people who treat the anger as something they value above all else. Yes, it is part of being human, but some do let it rule their lives.

Some, as you said, use Fonda as a focus. People hold her responsible for all the horrors they endured, because she's become a symbol, not a real person anymore. I can't quite see why she's become a symbol of all the war time horrors you mentioned, though. Anti-war horrors I can understand if not agree with. I can even see how Fonda could be associated with torture done by others, even if she wasn't the cause. But I don't believe in placing blame for everything on individuals unless they actually were responsible for everything.

There are opposites to the people who dwell on the past. They're the ones who say things like "It was a WAR, dammit! There's always killing and death and horror in a war! Tell all those whiny people to just get over it - I did. I don't want to hear about it anymore!" I've met a few of those, too. The ones who never admit it was anything more than a job they did. I suspect many of them may have the horrors buried under so many layers of bravado that the anger comes out in other ways.

There are all sorts of people in between. People who feel anger, sadness and fear when they remember. People who, as you said "bring it out, talk about it and get your life back under control so you can go on with it." But they go on with it. If they do venture into that dark place, they may look for real reasons and causes for what they went through and now feel, Finding a symbol to punish in one's mind is another way of not having to think about real and complicated causes.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Troll
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 10:17 AM

" A hallowed shrine"? Anger is not a thing that is cherished, that brought out and polished and replenished from time to time.
Fonda is a focus for the sorrow, the anguish and the horror; of seeing the life of someone who saved your life snuffed out as his head explodes beside you; of having a little kid run up and hand your buddy a live grenade; of being spit on and called a baby killer.
These things aren't your life but they are part of your life.You accept them as facts of life and, for the most part, go on about your business. They are not constantly on your mind, they just ARE.
But then something reminds you and, just for an instant, it's all there in glorous, living color. And you deal with it as best you can. And if that way is to express the anger that you feel, well, it's better than drinking yourself into insensibility, or picking a fight with your wife.
You bring it out, talk about it and get your life back under control so you can go on with it.
I doubt that Mick and Barry have NO anger. They simply know, as I know, that anger cannot rule their lives. That doesn't mean they don't FEEL the anger sometimes.
I'm sure that they, like most of us, don't want sympathy. We can find that in the dictionary
Between "shit" and "syphilis".

troll


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Dec 00 - 09:37 AM

My personal feeling is forgiveness isn't about the person being forgiven - especially when you never met them and probably never will. It's about living with yourself.

I've met miserable, bitter people who have built their lives on hate and anger, on grudges and vengence. Anger sometimes leads to action, when there's action possible. When there isn't, anger festers.

As far as what Fonda did - yeah, I think if had been John Doe, he would have been drawn and quartered. I don't think that punishment borne solely out of a need for revenge is right.

I don't have much sympathy for people who've made a hallowed shrine for anger in their hearts. They choose their own path, and no one but themselves is responsible.

What I choose to remember is love. My friend Big Mick, who made it home, forever changed, but holding onto love. My friend Barry, who remembers his brother Earl, and remembers that love. These are the sort of people I respect. So, in the midst of this discussion on the worthiness of vendettas, here's a toast to love...lest we forget.


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Seth
Date: 10 Dec 00 - 11:24 PM

Well, as John Prine put so eloquently " You forgive me and I'll forgive you, we'll all forgive each other till we all turn blue..." There's nobody on any part of this bloody mess who doesn't need it. I need to revise my statement about Jane Fonda. She made some pretty good movies. "Klute" is worth renting at your local video store I went to a talk that she gave with Tom Hayden at UC Berkeley sometime in the early 70's. I don't remember what they said other than it had to with the CHristmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972?. Tom Hayden is a pretty unpretentious guy( at least he was then). He walked to the front of the stage, sat on the steps. and spoke to the people in the first few rows. He was theoretical, and serious. After he finished talking, there was a pause, Jane eentered from the back of the stage, did what can only be called a star turn, smiled her radiant smile, and started her talk as she walked to the front of the stage. OF course, by the time she got there, she had the whole audience. Her talk was full of passion. I came away thinking that here was an actor, first, and a political activist second or even third. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Vietnamese used her or duped her one way or another, why wouldn't they try to? I believe that she tried to use what celebrity she had to make difference, it didn't turn out quite how she had wanted but that was true for most of us whatever side we were on, but she was a very popular actor at the time, so sought and got more attention than other people who might have been more politically savvy. I forgive 'em all. When that magazine publishes its list of "100 greatest War Criminals", I hope they reserve a spot for McNamara, Bundy, Rostow, and others of that ilk, who did the careful analysis that demonstrated to themselves that the war could not be won by the U.S., yet kept it going for many more years. If your brother, husband, father or son had to die for that.if they were Vietnamese or American, what can you call it but a bloody. miserable waste of life. time and money. Still workin' on it here in China Seth


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Dec 00 - 11:16 PM

"Peace will come, Let it begin with me." Thanks, Spaw. You know I love you, my friend.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Jane Fonda's exploits, please read
From: Midchuck
Date: 10 Dec 00 - 09:48 PM

It's hard to understand why Fonda still receives a level of disdain far greater than that directed at Nixon and LBJ. Could it be misogyny?

I don't think so. I think it's the feeling that a person with no money and no connections, who did the same thing she did, might very well have stood trial for treason. And the hypocrisy of her becoming so completely an establisment figure in later life (although that's a fairly standard pattern - who was it said "I could never trust a man who was not a Socialist before he was twenty, or who was a Socialist after he was twenty," or something to that effect?)

But that's just my personal take on it.

Peter.


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