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Thread: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    I would disagree that she was right in her actions while in North Viet Nam. Many U.S. Citizens were against that War, but unlike Hanoi Jane, they did not produce audio tapes urging U.S. troops to throw down their arms, and turn against their N.C.O.'s and Officers whom she had deemed to be criminals, or at least acting in a criminal way. nor did they upon being given messages from U.S. prisoners, hand these messages over to the Prison authorities. The photographs of her at an A.A. gun site were nothing in comparison to those other actions.
    It would be a different matter had she been told by the North Vietnamese Authorities that unless she did these things, the Prisoners would suffer even more heinous treatment, but this has never been stated as being the case. By making the tapes, and handing over the messages, she did (In my mind at least.) physically give aid, and comfort to the Enemy.
    You may hold whatever opinion you wish, but you will if you open the subject of Hanoi Jane, certainly hear mine.
    I don't mind hearing your opinion on the subject, Tank. Millions agree with your viewpoint. Millions disagree as well. Few things divided the American people quite so much as the Vietnam war. My point about the hysteria surrounding Jane Fonda is that she was only one of millions who opposed the war. Her celebrity gave her prominence and access but one doubts if anyone could prove her antics changed anything regarding the war's outcome to even the smallest degree. A lot of people focus on her as a locus of their loathing, but, honestly, what many loathe is that their sons, brothers, uncles and nephews - not to mention mothers, sisters and daughters - were also marching in the streets against this conflict, and that is perhaps harder to accept.
    Last edited by royal744; 09-07-2013 at 09:06 PM.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    I would be reluctant to characterize the citizens response to Hanoi Jane's actions as hysteria, Moral outrage might be more accurate. A good portion of the younger populace did oppose the war, and not few of the older generations all very true. They however did not deliberately travel to, and meet directly with the Enemy, and give tangible aid to their efforts at the expense of those imprisoned at Hanoi. Nor did they produce audio recordings in their own voice urging U.S. troops to turn on their leadership. This alone sets her apart from your cited Millions who protested the war on U.S. soil. Had Hanoi Jane done only as those others had done, there would be no Hue and Cry for her to be prosecuted, or added to the rolls of the traitorous of U.S. History. Her deliberate, and chosen actions have brought about the consequences she has since experienced. She is a pitiable creature, best left in history's dumping cupboard. (And the occasional late night talk show, or home shopping segment )
    We will I guess, have to remain in disagreement concerning Ms. Hanoi.
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 09-07-2013 at 06:32 PM.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    I'm skeptical that the Vietcong were more brutal than the South Vietnamese. Didn't South Vietnamese forces routinely commit atrocities. As far as punishment for atrocities go, I'd be curious to know how many Americans were punished for committing atrocities. People bring Calley up, was there anyone else?

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    I also think people might be better served to direct their anger at politicians who got the U.S. involved in the Vietnam in the first place...like Johnson and Nixon and perhaps the people who voted for them. Fonda and other anti-war protesters were not the ones responsible for sending troops there.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    I also think people might be better served to direct their anger at politicians who got the U.S. involved in the Vietnam in the first place...like Johnson and Nixon and perhaps the people who voted for them. Fonda and other anti-war protesters were not the ones responsible for sending troops there.
    True, they did not send them, but that does not relieve them from responsibility or accountability for their individual actions under Federal, State, and local law. Neither does it from our Cultural traditions concerning Rats, or Traitors.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    You need to get a couple things straight.
    Viet Cong WERE South Vietnamese.
    They were the National Liberation Front who initially wanted independence from French Colonialism and others.
    They waged brutal warfare, much based on terrorist tactics against the rural population which exploited them for resources and draftees.
    The Governmment of the South we recognize fielded ARVNs-Army of the Republic of South Vietnam.

    The NVA were North Vietnamese Army who actually were invaders and their intent was to consolidate the country under Communism.

    The NVA and VC used atrocities and terrorism to a great extent.
    The ARVNs are not innocent.

    The VC and NVA used these tactics as everyday business.
    This separates them from random isolated and rare incidents bu American troops.
    There were certainly GIs prosecuted for crimes. My Lai simply stood out as a media event and was not representative of our actions my a long shot.

    We never declared war on the North as the basis for our involvement was to eqip and train the South to take over the fight on their own. They failed and our mishandling of the process resulted in weak politicians forcing our withdrawal.
    A bad day for all.
    We drug our feet and the ARVNs never stepped up.
    All this was based on the "Red Tide and Domino Theories" prevalent in the 50s and early 60s.
    It was felt that Commies were growing to big worldwide and a stand had to be taken to counter their expansion.

    It is kind or amusing that the North claimed none of their troops were ever in the South the whole time.
    I personally saw a lot of evidence contrary to that claim.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Not defending Jane Fonda, but recently she stated yet again that she deeply regretted mounting the AAA gun and said the picture in no way conveyed her sentiments and she never wished anyone shot down. As much as what she did annoys me, it's hard for me to get angry with enormous bastards like Kissinger sending troops to die in a war they knew they no longer could win with the waning budgets...

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    I'm skeptical that the Vietcong were more brutal than the South Vietnamese. Didn't South Vietnamese forces routinely commit atrocities. As far as punishment for atrocities go, I'd be curious to know how many Americans were punished for committing atrocities. People bring Calley up, was there anyone else?
    There were brutalities committed by all sides. But I think historians tend to agree that the NLF/PAVN (NVA) tended to be far more ruthless overall. The VC carried out large scale massacres during the Tet Offensive and used terrorist bombings against the civilian population. The NVA also liked to indiscriminately fire ordnance into civilian areas solely to terrorize or test morale of the civilian populace. The South Vietnamese forces varied widely, from the often incompetent and corrupt to units that were as good or better than anything we fielded. It should be noted that there were separate and distinct force structures which changed dramatically after Gen. Westmorland handed command over to Gen. Creighton Abrams, greater emphasis was placed on the reserve or militia components such as the "Regional Forces," sort of a mobile reserve, and the Popular Forces, as local self-defense militia akin to an anti-Viet Cong/NLF.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.


  10. #40
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    All crimes, war or otherwise, should be dealt with.

    Very few are.

    That's life.

    As for your links and question about them, this raises the interesting question to which I have yet to receive a satisfactory answer:
    Why is it that there is considerable and justifiable criticism of proved and alleged war crimes by Americans in Vietnam in the Western press and from other commentators such as academics and the usual rent-a-crowd of leftist anti-everything-that's-not-them professional protesters and whingers, but never a word from those morally superior and indignant quarters about the proved and alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Viet Cong and NVA?

    If it was alright for the VC to go regularly into villages to terrorise the inhabitants by all sorts of vile conduct, commonly involving huge and protracted violence no different on a small scale from the Rape of Nanking, against the citizens of South Vietnam to the extent that this still doesn't excite the moral outrage of the press and usual rent-a-crowd etc, then why are Americans judged on a different standard?

    After all, if a villager's life taken by the VC in profoundly brutal circumstances to encourage support for the VC isn't worthy of moral outrage and condemnation of the offender, why should a different standard be applied to the Americans responding to a village of perceived VC supporters? If peasants tortured and killed by the VC aren't important enough to warrant moral outrage in the West, what makes them important enough to warrant moral outrage in the West just because they were tortured or killed by Americans?

    The problem here is not in selectively ignoring the nature of the crime but in choosing to ignore one set of offenders while choosing, on no rational basis, to get wound up about another set of offenders involved in the same sort of crimes but based purely upon their nationality.

    What gives the North Vietnamese NVA and South Vietnamese VC a 'get out of jail free' card but denies that to the Americans?

    How many civil aid programs, from improving water supply, sanitation, health and education were run by the VC compared with those run by the Americans?

    What motivated the VC to target and disrupt or destroy such programs by the Americans which were of benefit to the local people to whose advancement, such as by improved health etc, the VC were supposedly devoted?

    Any serious examination of conduct and moral equivalence will, in my view, demonstrate that the VC, and NVA via its ruthless leadership in Hanoi in pursuing the invasion of what amounted to another country in pursuit of its politically doctrinaire aims, routinely engaged in a policy driven campaign of war crimes and crimes against humanity as part of its general strategy, while the Americans engaged occasionally in roughly equivalent conduct as an aberration from American policy.

    But I'd still like to see evidence of American troops sneaking into a village at night and rounding up all the villagers to witness the head man or his son being tortured and disemboweled in front of the assembled villagers to demonstrate the fate of all them if they supported the VC and, on pain of death if not paid, levying a tax on all the villagers to support the American military effort.

    And the fact that Jane Fonda wasn't aware of, or chose to ignore, these aspects before publicly supporting the NV regime and therefore the NVA and VC shows just how dumb and uninformed she was, like so many other celebrities whose dumb and uninformed opinions have excessive influence on the unformed minds of morons who think that being a celebrity (e.g. fat Kardashian sheilas, anorexic English sheila married to Beckham soccer bloke) makes celebrities' opinions more important or accurate than the shambling drunk at the bus stop.
    ..
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  11. #41
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    One possible reason for outrage is the because America is supposed to hold people accountable for atrocities (at least in my view). I don't think anyone is trying to suggest that the North Vietnamese respected human rights. America is not a military dictatorship where everyone in the military is untouchable and can do whatever they like without consequences. Moreover, I was under the impression that in the conflict in Europe Americans were punished for atrocities some via execution. If we could prosecute people for war crimes than why not in Vietnam?

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    One possible reason for outrage is the because America is supposed to hold people accountable for atrocities (at least in my view). I don't think anyone is trying to suggest that the North Vietnamese respected human rights.
    I'm sure that people generally expect a standard of conduct from America consistent with the noble principles expressed in its founding document etc, and so they should.

    I'm also sure that people generally didn't expect a similar standard of conduct from the VC and NVA (strictly PAVN), nor the ARVN, but I don't see why that occurs or is acceptable.

    What I find troubling, and what I was adverting to in my last post, is why is it that prominent commentators and sundry others get wound up about American misconduct but not that of the other side? I'm all in favour of prosecuting people who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, and all other crimes, but I am offended by the selective focus on America, and other countries in various situations such as South Africa during the apartheid period when the international Left was full on in attacking the white South African regime for its apartheid polices and related oppression of blacks and coloured people but silent on the appalling atrocities commited by blacks on the same continent such as Angola.

    The most obvious explanation is that there is an implicit racism in which good behaviour is expected from whites / Americans / Western Europeans but not Africans or Asians. The problem with this attitude, which I think is at the heart of the problem, is that the loud commentators who condemn America (or South Africa, or Rhodesia, or France etc) for misconduct also invariably proclaim themselves as universal defenders of human rights. Yet they don't condemn profound breaches of human rights by, for example, the VC or opponents / enemies of the America etc. This is the same blinkered attitude which allowed communists and leftists in the West to condemn various actions by Western nations from the Russian Revolution to the end of the Cold War while choosing to ignore the endemic and gross abuses of human rights in the USSR and PRC.

    A more recent example is that I don't see the people who rightly condemned the Abu Grhraib abuses by American troops mustering the same public outrage about the far, far, far worse and more damaging campaigns of bombing innocent civilians by sundry local or Islamist irregulars, nor demanding that they be brought to justice in the same way that demands for prosecution of the Abu Ghraib offenders were made. Nor did it seem to penetrate the consciousness of the loudest of the anti-American commentators demanding prosecution of the American offenders at Abu Ghraib that what they did barely scratched the surface of the grave abuses committed over many years againt countless Iraqis at that prison under Saddam's regime and that if these commentators were truly committed to equal justice for all they would have been screaming for the Americans to hunt down, prosecute and execute the vile bastards who participated in and oversaw those abuses.

    It follows that while the criticisms of America etc may have been, and often were, valid in various wars and conflicts, those criticisms were selective and unbalanced and let far, far worse abusers of human rights and war criminals off the hook because the commentators themselves were selective and unbalanced in choosing to focus only on one set of offenders.

    Applying the same approach to domestic issues in Western countries, crimes by whites or men would be condemned by those sorts of commentators but crimes by, say, blacks or women, would be excused because of social disadvantage in a white / male dominated society. Which, oddly enough, is exactly what happens in my country with comments from certain quarters.

    I prefer to take the view in the example in the last paragraph that one needs to look at the circumstances of each case rather than pre-judging it on the basis of race or gender, or in the wider context because America did it.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 10-19-2013 at 04:46 AM.
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  13. #43
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    One possible reason for outrage is the because America is supposed to hold people accountable for atrocities (at least in my view). I don't think anyone is trying to suggest that the North Vietnamese respected human rights. America is not a military dictatorship where everyone in the military is untouchable and can do whatever they like without consequences. Moreover, I was under the impression that in the conflict in Europe Americans were punished for atrocities some via execution. If we could prosecute people for war crimes than why not in Vietnam?
    I'm unaware of any instances where American servicemen were executed in WWII for atrocities committed. A captain and senior sergeant were prosecuted during the Italian campaign for executing Italian (mostly) and a lessor number of German prisoners of war. Their trials were largely secret at the time as to prevent retaliatory killings of Allied POW's and the sentences were rather light...

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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I'm unaware of any instances where American servicemen were executed in WWII for atrocities committed. A captain and senior sergeant were prosecuted during the Italian campaign for executing Italian (mostly) and a lessor number of German prisoners of war. Their trials were largely secret at the time as to prevent retaliatory killings of Allied POW's and the sentences were rather light...
    There may have been some executions, and certainly some harsh penalties, in relation to rapes and related crimes behind the lines in Normandy and the expanding front from there in the second half of 1944 and perhaps into 1945. My recollection is that whatever punishments were awarded were largely or exclusively imposed on American Negro troops. There was certainly a major problem at the time with such crimes in rear areas, as is usually the case because front line troops are too busy fighting for their survival to get engaged in the various physical and property crimes which are more common in rear areas.
    ..
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    The atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Vietnam can be partly laid at the the door of General Westmoreland, and his failed strategy that was little more than attrition --using U.S. firepower to inflict maximum casualties on the PAVN and NLF combined with a "Search and Destroy" mentality. In part, the strategy was to keep U.S. ground forces highly mobile as to avoid set piece battles and making them vulnerable to high casualties and a series of "Dien Ben Phu's." The failure of this strategy lies in the fact that it clearly shows that Westmorland did not understand the fundamentally political nature of the war and did not understand that this was not a war the United States could win without a strong South Vietnamese regime and political infrastructure. Merely killing lots of Northern Vietnamese and Southern communists would not lead to victory when facing an enemy willing to sacrifice enormous numbers of its men and even women. There is a large body of contemporary literature based on the notion that the United States and her South Vietnamese allies largely won the insurgency battle against the NLF and the evidence is compelling.

    The palpable change in the United States' focus under the much more able General Creighton Abrams after Tet led to strategies of counterinsurgency, population control, and changing the focus of U.S. troops from "Search-and-Destroy" to "Clear-and-Hold" paralleling the pacification efforts under the controversial Phoenix Campaign. This more than anything, including Tet, led to a complete marginalization of the National Liberation Front. This was in no small part a shifting of internal security duties away from the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) to the Regional & Popular Forces (reserve/militia) that often turned out to be much more effective and populist, and I think ultimately would have led to a more vibrant and democratic Vietnam had they survived. In many cases, some "Ruff Puffs" were better armed with light infantry weapons than their ARVN counterparts. Under Abrams, U.S. forces were broken up into smaller units and imbedded into Vietnamese rural society by placing them into fortified compounds within, or nearby, villages they were charged with protecting. This allowed Americans to bond with the Vietnamese and they no longer saw them as merely a strange, alien race but as people to be defended and protected rather than just feared and loathed while on mobile SAD operations. The argument put forth is that the U.S. actually won the counterinsurgency aspect of the war and largely crushed the VC/NLF and was increasingly rendering PAVN infiltration into South Vietnam moot by preventing North Vietnamese access to the population. It was of course too little, too late as funding for the war was being drastically cut and the U.S. population as a whole was largely fed up with the war that seemed endless after Westmorland's dubious "Saigon press conferences" that often were little more than exercises in boastful exaggerations and misinformation --whereas Abrams was ever the pragmatic realist...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 10-19-2013 at 12:29 PM.

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