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.
I visited 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 job well.
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 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--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
I cherish 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.
One thing 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
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
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.
And after 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.