In 1972, Jane Fonda was at the height of her fame, a movie star and icon in her own right, out of the shadow of her famous father.
That’s when she decided to use her fame to oppose the war in Vietnam. Jane Fonda took to the streets here at home to let her views against the war be known. But she didn’t stop there.
She took her show on the road: to the enemy. During her stay as a guest of the North Vietnamese government, she climbed atop an enemy gun used to shoot down American airplanes.
She broadcast messages on Radio Hanoi, telling American pilots to disobey orders and stop their bombing runs. And she betrayed American POWs, who covertly identified themselves to her, only to see her tell the enemy that they had tried to communicate with her.
She now says that her trip to North Vietnam was a large lapse in judgment.
But she doesn’t regret the radio broadcasts or taking her opposition to the war to American soldiers in harm’s way.
And that’s precisely the problem. Jane Fonda has a new book out, and soon, a new movie. Her so-called â€œapologies,â€ coming 30 years after the war, now ring hollow and opportunistic. She just doesn’t get it: She sided with the enemy. She endangered the lives of American soldiers.
And she betrayed her country.
Which is why a Vietnam Veteran, Michael Smith, spit on her this week in Kansas city. I am not condoning what Mr. Smith did. But I certainly understand the anger that led to his action.
She jeopardized his life and the lives of his buddies. She gave huge propaganda value to the enemy. And she turned her back on her country.
Those who fought for this country have no respect for her, and I can’t blame them.
Her half-hearted apology was not a request for forgiveness. And that tells me that her character hasn’t changed one bit.