Oh, Come On, Were The Commies ReallyThat Bad?

PhillipJennings – July/13/2010

That,in a phrase, was the underlying assumption of much of the anti-war Left.It’s a pretty awful assumption. The short answer is yes, they were thatbad if you were a member of the clergy, or a landowner, or a capitalist, orwealthy, or valued freedom, or were opposed to inescapable state control andindoctrination, or if you wore glasses (a sign of deviationist intellectualismat various times in Cambodia or China), or became in any way an enemy of theCommunist Party. Globally, Communism was the largest and most deadly socialexperiment known to mankind. When it collapsed in the 1990s, it had killed,according to the best estimates, 100,000,000 men, women, and children. Morethan 30,000,000 more were killed in its wars against other countries.

This was the ideology of the North Vietnamese regime that was supported by themovie stars, college students, professional agitators, academics, and leftistjournalists who prided themselves on being anti-war. And they weren’t theonly ones. Most people assume that it was the young in the 1960s and 1970s whowere most opposed to the war. That’s because most media coverage was ofstudent protests. But actually, statistically speaking, if you were opposed tothe war, you were an “old woman.” Polls taken throughout the warwere consistent—older people were more opposed to the war than youngerpeople, and women more than men. In a series of twenty-two polls taken from May1965 through May 1971, support for the war was greater among those under thirtythan those over forty-nine. In fact, the support for the war was greater fromthose under thirty than those between the ages of thirty and forty-nine in allof the polls except September 1966 and September 1969. As late as February1968, the majority of Americans were definite hawks. Twenty-five percent wantedto “gradually broaden and intensify our military operations,” andanother 28 percent wanted to “start an all-out crash effort in the hopeof winning the war quickly even at the risk of China or Russia entering the war.” Ifthe polls are to be believed, support for the war declined after 1968 (hardly surprising after the defeatist blather of the media afterTET). But the most important polls to remember are the presidential elections.The American people elected Richard Nixon in 1968 and reelected him in alandslide in 1972.

So who were the visible and angry protesters? Surely the most visible would beactress and political activist Jane Fonda. Her actions during the Vietnam Wardefined her for most Americans. For those few who don’t know—shesupported the enemy. There really is no other way to put it. She traveled toHanoi, called American soldiers “war criminals,” thanked theRussians for supporting the North Vietnamese, posed for photos sitting in aNorth Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery, and dismissed American POWs as liarswhen they said they had been tortured. Jane Fonda bought the whole anti-warprogram down to accepting Communism as not such a bad thing after all. Or, asshe put it in a speech to Duke University students in1970, “If you understood what Communism was, you would hope and pray onyour knees that we would someday become Communist.”

Fonda’sunderstanding of the war always seemed a bit sketchy, though this did notinhibit her in the slightest in leading protests against it. During her tour ofNorth Vietnam she said, “Every man, woman and child in this country has adetermination like a bright flame, buoying them, strengthening theirdetermination to go forward, to fight for freedom and independence.”Fonda was perhaps unaware that North Vietnam was independent; it was trying todeny South Vietnam’sindependence. And freedom Well, Jane thought the North Vietnamese had a betteridea about that than we did. “And what interests me so much that as an American . . . the one unifying quality Ibelieve about the American people, the common denominator that we all share, isthe love for freedom and democracy. The problem is that definition of freedomand democracy has been distorted for us, and we have to redefine what thatmeans. But the Vietnamese who have been fighting for four thousand years knowvery well.”4 Tell it to the boat people, Jane.

Only in Americacould a woman like this be made a gazillionaire through aerobics videos and Hollywood stardom. Jane Fonda pandered pathetically tothe Communists; she used her celebrity to flatter anti-war activists; andanti-war leaders flattered her by feigning to take her seriously.

Editor’s Note:Phillip Jennings is the author of the “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War.”You really should buy one – you will like reading the truth!

Phillip Jennings served in Vietnam withthe United StatesMarine Corps, flying helicopters, and in Laos as a pilot for Air America. He isthe author of the critically acclaimed comic novels “Nam-A-Rama“and “Goodbye Mexico“,and won the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society first prize for fiction with hisshort story, “Train Wreck in a Small Town.” A successfulentrepreneur, he is currently CEO of Molecular Resonance Corporation, which isdeveloping technology to detect and disarm Improvised Explosive Devices. Helives with his family near Seattle, Washington.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *