Congress House Committee on Internal Security, Travel to Hostile
Areas, HR 16742, 19-25 September, 1972, page 7671
This is Jane Fonda. During my two week visit in the Democratic
Republic of Vietnam, I've had the opportunity to visit a great
many places and speak to a large number of people from all walks
of life-workers, peasants, students, artists and dancers, historians,
journalists, film actresses, soldiers, militia girls, members
of the women's union, writers.
the (Dam Xuac) agricultural coop, where the silk worms 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 unforgettable
ballet about the guerrillas training bees in the south to attack
enemy soldiers. The bees were danced by women, and they did their
In the shadow
of the Temple of Literature I saw Vietnamese actors and actresses
perform the second act of Arthur Miller's play All My Sons, and
this was very moving to me-the fact that artists here are translating
and performing American plays while US imperialists are bombing
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-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.
the way a farmer evacuated from Hanoi, without hesitation, offered
me, an American, their best individual bomb shelter while US bombs
fell near by. The daughter and I, in fact, shared the shelter
wrapped in each others arms, cheek against cheek. It was on the
road back from Nam Dinh, where I had witnessed the systematic
destruction of civilian targets-schools, hospitals, pagodas, the
factories, houses, and the dike system.
As I left
the United States two 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 sinister (words indistinct)
of a true killer. And like the young Vietnamese woman I held in
my arms clinging to me tightly-and I pressed my cheek against
hers-I thought, this is a war against Vietnam perhaps, but the
tragedy is America's.
that I have learned beyond a 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; he'll never be able to turn Vietnam, north
and south, into a neo-colony 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 their
parents had to sell themselves 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-being committed against
them by Richard Nixon, these people own their own land, build
their own schools-the children learning, literacy- 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.
4,000 years of struggling against nature and foreign invaders-and
the last 25 years, prior to the revolution, of struggling against
French colonialism-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.