Scott Hardie | April 20, 2005
Missouri Man Spits Tobacco Juice on Jane Fonda: (link) (link)

In this story, I don't much about his political stance or hers, but I have to admire the guts it took for him to make such a crystal-clear statement of his opinion. What do you think?

(The first story gives more detail, but the second story mentions that the spitter ran away and was caught fleeing by guards, so maybe he's not so brave after all. I thought it best to provide both.)

Kris Weberg | April 21, 2005
I'm not sure that spitting on another person is a statement of opinion so much as a form of assault. If someone violently disagrees with your politics or past actions, should they be allowed to spit on you as well?

I'm aware that Fonda did more than have an opinion -- I find what she did inexcusable, and I tend to agree that her later recanting and apologies don't undo the damage she did. That said, I think that, say, John Walker Lindh did something inexcusable and deeply wrong, but I wouldn't support anyone claiming the right to spit on him either.

Amy Austin | April 21, 2005
The timing of this whole thing is quite funny to me...

Surely, everyone has seen the "never forget" e-mail that continues to make the rounds -- especially in the services. (I say "surely", but I don't really know... I just know that I've seen it about 4 or 5 times during my enlistment.) Every time I read it, I thought, "Wonder what ol' Jane thinks about this... does she know that this e-mail exists? Has it been to her mailbox, too???" I even asked E recently (right before all the press about her memoir) if he thought about that, and he said that he doubted she ever gave it any further thought. I disagreed -- not that I think she loses sleep over it or anything, but I wondered what kind of conversations that she and Ted have had about it and how often -- and evidently, I was right... she apparently has more to say about it.

I admit to being curious about her book, but I also don't think that I would pay for it. And I'm rather surprised that she actually has the cojones to sell it! She must have more than a few supporters out there to make it a worthwhile publish, but wow! What nerve!! If all that I've read is true (and of course, I'll never know), then I'm sure that there are those who will never see fit to forgive her for it. If I were in her position, I think that I would at least promise all profits to some POW/MIA organization.

Evidently, she is not surprised by the guy's behavior -- perhaps she even expected something like that to happen -- and I'm glad that she acted graciously and didn't press charges. If I were her, though, I would be rather afraid of making these types of appearances... probably why there were police already present.

Anna Gregoline | April 21, 2005
I read the recent Rolling Stone article about her and I have to say I was (and still mostly am, cause a lot of RS articles suck these days) clueless about what the heck she ever did. Even now that I've got the broadstrokes, I'm assuming there must have been one overriding action that turned opinion against her, but I'm too lazy to do research cause I really don't give a shit. =)

John E Gunter | April 21, 2005
First of all, let me say that what that vet did was wrong in my opinion. You should never spit on someone else, at least on purpose, it's crude and disgusting! But I understand why he did it.

Course, if I were to do something like that, I wouldn't have run from the incident though. I probably wouldn't have hit her or anything like that, but I would have spoken my mind about what she did to my fellow soldiers, at least until the police took me away. I would have continued to speak my mind, but would not have resisted the police as they drug me off.

I do believe that she did some very bad things during those times, but don't think she really is to concerned about what she did. I could be wrong, but from what I understand, she isn't remorseful about it.

As far as reading her book, I might read it, but I wouldn't buy it. Course, that's what libraries are for.

John

Anna Gregoline | April 21, 2005
"In 1972, Fonda was photographed sitting in a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft tank. About her involvement in the Vietnam War, Fonda has apologized for her anti-aircraft tank photo. She has called it an incredible lapse in judgment."

I knew about this, but what did she SAY? Cause I know that can't be it.

Amy Austin | April 21, 2005
Ditto, John.

Well, Anna, I saw her on Hannity & Colmes -- I think it was -- and that is pretty much all she said. She claims to understand that what she did was to fly in the face of our troops, especially as a woman. And she did say that she regretted that photograph being taken but not her stance or her visit, etc. All of which says to me that she just regrets having the picture taken and having all those vets pissed off at her.

What she does not address -- and the real story, described in detail in the above-mentioned e-mail, that I want to know the truth about -- is her supposed part in the death and maiming of a handful of POWs. Like any item of Internet origin without a reliable source, the veracity is subject to question. Some of it is so awful, too, that it's hard to believe that it could be true. But either way, it definitely shows the extent to which she is so hated... that anyone would "cobble together" such a story about her.

This contains the e-mail and some biographical:

(link)

Anna Gregoline | April 21, 2005
Pretty sick if it was true. Who knows though. At any rate, I somehow missed all of that, don't know why, although I never knew much about Jane Fonda at all anyway.

Scott Hardie | April 21, 2005
Her words:

"I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in an anti-aircraft gun, which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes. It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless."

"The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda's daughter ... sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal ... the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine."

(link)

Follow some of those links and there's a debunking of the belief that soldiers returning home from Vietnam were spit upon by anti-war protestors: There's no media record of such spitting ever taking place. But that misses the larger point that the soldiers received such a hostile reception that they felt as if they had been spit upon – the feeling was so strong as to crystallize in the collective consciousness – and Jane Fonda was the queen atop that hostility. For this Missouri man to spit on her today, however wrong, is a major act of symbolic retribution. My heart cheers for him.

Amy Austin | April 21, 2005
My stupid desktop slowed me down -- had to switch to laptop -- but was trying to find other links. Hannity/Colmes was not the one I was thinking of -- that was actually Oliver North on the subject:

(link)

Amy Austin | April 21, 2005
This was the quote I was looking for... what followed the one Scott posted:

"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."

I guess it was part of the 60 Minutes interview that I saw. More below...

(link)

(link)

Kris Weberg | April 21, 2005
What she said was that U.S. troops were not only being treated well as POWs, but that it was US troops torturing, raping, etc. in Viet Nam.

Basically, she called U.S. troops criminals, claimed that the Viet Cong weren't torturing soldiers -- they were -- and that the "police action" in Viet Nam was a crime.

On top of that, reports -- reports besides the one Amy linked -- have strongly suggested that she mocked actual U.S. POWs. To their faces. While the VC had them.

That's beyond the pale.

Hell, I consider the Viet Nam police action one of the lousiest uses of the military in the last 40 years, and I think that in a number of documented cases, certain U.S. troops and U.S. units did bad bad things there. See My Lai, for starters.

That doesn't mean the Viet Cong are heroes, or that it's okay to spout their propaganda. They were monsters. They mutilated, tortured, killed civilians, and worse.

It's like Iraq. I think that Abu Ghraib is a stain on my country's honor, and I think we shouldn't have gone in.

Doesn't mean I'm like "rah insurgents! car bombers are cuddly! go Saddam!" I just think that "we're better than Saddam" is an abominably low standard to hold America to.

But Fonda? That's over the line that separates reasoned dissent from effective treason. And treason isn't a word I throw around.

Jackie Mason | April 22, 2005
[hidden by request]

Kris Weberg | April 22, 2005
Had Viet Nam been an actual declared war, it would surely have been treason. As a "police action," especially then, it was a bit murkier as to the legal status. Similarly, had the Viet Cong been an actual, recognized government, it would've been treason. Treason is pretty strictly defined by the Constitution.

This is also why, despite his actions and the claims of pundits, John Walker Lindh couldn't be charged with treason -- we aren't recognizing Al Quaeda as the legitimate Afghan army, which is part of why pro-Taliban fighters aren't considered POWs. Trying Walker Lindh for treason would raise other legal quetsions, at least as I understand it.

That said, I'm still not going to support someone who spits on either one of them. If you're on the right side, act like it.


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