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August 22, 1972: Fonda on her impressions of North Vietnam

FBIS Transcript #19:

Hanoi Radio attributes talk on DRV visit to Jane Fonda

B221928 Hanoi in English to American Servicemen involved in the Indochina War 1300 GMT 22 Aug 72 B

Herebs Jane Fonda telling her impressions at the end of her visit to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam:

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

This is Jane Fonda. During my 2-week visit in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ibve had the opportunity to visit a great many places and speak to a large number of people from all walks of life -b workers, peasants, students, artists and dancers, historians, journalists, film actresses, soldiers, militia girls, members of the women's union, writers.

I visited the (Dam Xuac) agricultural Co-op, ((?in Ha Tay Province)), where the silkworms are also raised and thread is made. I visited a textile factory, a kindergarten in Hanoi. The beautiful temple of literature was where I saw traditional dances and heard songs of resistance. I also saw an unforgettable ballet about the guerrillas training bees in the south to attack enemy soldiers. The bees were danced by women, and they did their job well.

In the shadow of the temple of literature I saw Vietnamese actors and actresses perform the second act of Arthur Millerbs play "All My Sons," and this was very moving to me b- the fact that artists here are translating and performing American plays while the U.S. imperialists are bombing their country.

I cherish the memory of the blushing militia girls on the roof of their factory, encouraging one of their sisters as she sang a song praising the blue sky of Vietnam b- these women, who are so gentle and poetic, whose voices are so beautiful, but who, when American planes are bombing their city, become such good fighters.

I cherish the way a farmer evacuated from Hanoi, without hesitation, offered me, an American, their best individual bomb shelter while U.S. bombs fell near by. The daughter and I, in fact, shared the shelter wrapped in each otherbs arms, cheek against cheek. It was on the road back from Nam Dinh, where I had witnessed the systematic destruction of civilian targets b- schools, hospitals, pagodas, the factories, houses and the dike system.

As I left the United States 2 weeks ago, Nixon was again telling the American people that he was winding down the war, but in the rubble?strewn streets of Nam Dinh, his words echoed with the sinister ((words indistinct)) of a true killer. And like the young Vietnamese woman I held in my arms clinging to me tightly -b and I pressed my cheek against hers -b I thought, this is a war against Vietnam perhaps, but the tragedy is Americabs.

One thing that I have learned beyond the shadow of a doubt since I've been in this country is that Nixon will never be able to break the spirit of these people; hebll never be able to turn Vietnam, north or south, into a neocolony of the United States by bombing, by invading, by attacking in any way. One has only to go into the countryside and listen to the peasants describe the lives they led before the revolution to understand why every bomb that is dropped only strengthens their determination to resist.

I've spoken to many peasants who talked about the days when they and their parents had to sell themselves out to landlords as virtually slaves, when there were very few schools and much illiteracy, inadequate medical care, when they were not masters of their own lives.

But now, despite the bombs, despite the crimes being created -b being committed against them by Richard Nixon, these people own their own land, build their own schools -b the children are learning, literacy b- illiteracy is being wiped out, there is no more prostitution as there was during the time when this was a French colony. In other words, the people have taken power into their own hands, and they are controlling their own lives.

And after 4,000 years of struggling against nature and foreign invaders -b and the last 25 years, prior to the revolution, of struggling against French colonialism b- I don't think that the people of Vietnam are about to compromise in any way, shape or form about the freedom and independence of their country, and I think Richard Nixon would do well to read Vietnamese history, particularly their poetry, and particularly the poetry written by Ho Chi Minh.

((Recording ends b FBIS))

Last Updated Thursday, June 19 2008 @ 01:31 PM MDT; 4,439 Hits View Printable Version