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July 22, 1972: Fonda to U.S. pilots and airmen (2)

FBIS Transcript #10:

Alleged Jane Fonda statement to U.S. pilots, airmen

B251935 Hanoi in English to American Servicemen involved in the Indochina war 1300 GMT 24 Jul 72 B

Now let's listen to Jane Fonda speaking to U.S. pilots and airmen:

((Follows recorded female voice with American accent b FBIS))

This is Jane Fonda in Hanoi. Yesterday, July 15th, I'm told that the record for B?52 bombing raids in Vietnam, and on July 14th, UPI, United Press International, reported that in "Operation Linebacker" against North Vietnam in the first 99 days of the renewed air war in North Vietnam, U.S. bombers flew more than 20,300 raids. In each of these raids, an average of 2 tons of bombs were dropped on the country.

Now we know that B-52's are strategic bombers. These are planes that were built, invented to -b in the event that a large country with its own air force and heavy arsenal of military weapons like Russia, uh, would, uh, need to be attacked. To use B-52's against the civilian population is like trying to kill a butterfly with a machinegun. It's barbaric.

I am assuming that because you are so far away from the land here, because you are on the ships, or because you are in Thailand, or because you are so high up in the sky that you can hardly see what it is you're bombing, that you don't really realize what the effect of these bombs is.

And I think, I b- I think that -b well, the other day, for example, someone told me that one of the pilots that was recent -b recently shot down, uh, near Hanoi, as he was, uh, driven across the river, uh, uh, he was, he was, uh, being being rescued by, uh, the people and he was shown a bridge and the people said, uh, that bridge was, uh, bombed, uh, recently. And he said: Well, my parents are rich. Uh, we can buy you a new bridge, we can afford to build you a new bridge after the war. And the people said to him in Vietnamese and it was then translated by the interpreter, they said, but can your parents replace our, our children, our mothers, our wives who have been killed by your bombs? And the soldier hung his head and he said: I didn't think of that.

Ibve heard this from several of the, uhh pilots -b I didn't think of that. I think we have to start thinking about it. I think we have to start thinking about the incend b- incendiary bombs that are being dropped. These bombs asphyxiate people to death, people who are in the shelters. Now, who goes into shelters? The women, the old people, and the children b they're suffocating to death. They're being burned in ways that is beyond the imagination, and I think we have to think about that.

What are you being told by your commanders? Are you being told that you're bombing to help the people? To save the country for democracy? What kind of democracy? Fifty thousand American lives have been lost here for a one?man election. Is that a democracy? What kind of democracy when just after the last one-man election, the Thieu regime in the south passed new economic reforms which were planned and set up by the United States.

And what in fact do these reforms do? They benefit the U.S. businessman. They give him tax-exempt go-ahead to make the most incredible kind of profits in South Vietnam. He will not have to pay taxes, the rich men in America. They will not have to pay taxes on the fortunes that they are making, off the riches in South Vietnam.

And this country is a rich country b- the soil is rich, the growth is rich, the tin, the tungsten, the rubber, the lumber. Eisenhower knew it well, that why he said it was necessary for us to finance 85 percent of the French, the French-Indochina war against the Vietnamese people. The people in the Pentagon knew it. The Mekong Delta is called one of the richest pieces of real estate in Asia.

But what does this have to do with you? What does this have to do with the masses of people in America? It is not to our interest. In fact, it is quite the contrary. You know that there is rising unemployment in the United States. There is for the first time since 1893 a trade deficit, an imbalance of payments, inflation.

In fact, the war is falling on the backs of the working people of America. What are our corporate bosses doing? They are going into countries like Vietnam or trying to b- they're going into the Philippines, into Brazil, into Okinawa, into other, what we call underdeveloped countries around the world, and they're setting up factories, factories which make component parts. One part will be made in the Philippines, another part will be made in Vietnam, another part will be made in b- in Brazil. They would be assembled in Mexico and they'll be sold on the American market at American prices. But the American worker will not be given a job, and why are the bosses going elsewhere and why are they trying to go to Vietnam? Because the workers are paid from 40 to 90 percent less than the workers in the United States?

When youbre on the ground in South Vietnam and you see the Esso signs and the Shell signs and the Coca-Cola signs and the Hondas and the TV sets. And it is after all for that that youbre fighting.

Is that worth risking your life for? Is that worth killing innocent people for? I think not. And in fact, what is the war doing? The war is only making the people of Vietnam understand who their enemy really is.

There was a time perhaps when a certain amount of the peasants were unclear. I don't really know because I have never spent enough time in Vietnam to really know that. But I do know now because I've talked to many, many, many people of all kinds in the er -b the northern part of Vietnam. And I have spoken to many of the Vietnamese students in the United States. And I know that they say that because of the incredible killing and slaughter and the number of bombs that are falling on the people of Vietnam, they now know very clearly who their enemy is.

And their enemy is not b- are not people from another part of their own country who are coming down to help them fight. The enemy to them are the people who are sending the planes to drop bombs on them. These people are -b are, as I'm sure you know, their ((as heard)) 80, 80 percent of the people in Vietnam are peasants.

They live in their land. It is part of them and their land is being destroyed and so they will fight, and they will fight to the end. And this is not -b these are not easy, empty words. When it comes to national freedom and independence, you can make no compromise. Like in -b like in loving, if you love a woman, you don't compromise, you either love her or don't love her.

For the United States of America, if our country was attacked, we wouldn't compromise, we would fight to the end.

Well, the Vietnamese people will fight to the end, and their determination is something incredibly beautiful to see. Despite all of the suffering, despite the tears that have been shed, there is much determination. They are continuing, as I'm sure you know, in the battlefields of the south, they are winning.

The Thieu regime has not taken back one inch of liberated territory despite all his promises. He has sent his two el b- elements of his two best divisions into the Quang Tri area, and they are being decimated -b the paratroopers and the marines b- they are scared. Nixon and Thieu are scared. And that's why they are sending some of the -b of their -b of their ARVN soldiers into incredibly dangerous situations.

So I think that -b that maybe American people have to begin to see clearly who is fighting who and for what, and should we be fighting on the side of the people who are, who are murdering innocent people, should we be trying to defend a government in Saigon which is putting in jail tens of thousands of people into the tiger cages, beating them, torturing them -b I have met some of these victims and it is a horrible thing to see.

And I don't think as Americans, we who come from a country which was founded on freedom, independence, and democracy, that we should be risking our lives or fighting to defend that kind of government.

((Recording ends -- FBIS))

You have just listened to Jane Fonda's address to American pilots and airmen.

Last Updated Thursday, June 19 2008 @ 01:21 PM MDT; 4,203 Hits View Printable Version