Hanoi Hilton

I couldn’t sleep last night. I got up at 4:30 and channel surfed a little until I came upon the “Hanoi Hilton”. I remember reading the book years ago. It upset me then and the movie really upset me now. It wasn’t particularly well done, but it got the message across. The scenes with Jane Fonda were particularly upsetting. We tend to have short memories here in the U.S. because our lives are so good. This movie was another reminder of that disgraceful act of hers. It also made me realize that Hollywood hasn’t changed one iota since then. Well maybe it has. At least back then there was a handful of actors (including her dad) that would speak out publicly about such bahavior. We put these shallow out of touch people on a pedestal. For what? They have a talent for memorizing lines and maybe they are good looking. There are so many everyday people that we should be holding up as examples of good. We have a lot of military funerals here in Colorado Springs. Most of them are for soldiers that didn’t do anything particularly heroic, but they put the uniform on, raised their hand and went where ordered. Next time you see a serviceman, thank him. Help out that single mom. Put a buck in the boot next time you see a fireman on a median. These are the real heroes in our society.
Chili out.

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4 thoughts on “Hanoi Hilton

  1. Jane Fonda represents what some call the “ugly American.” Her attitude encapulates much of the world’s anti Americanism.

    Obviously, South Vietnamese regarded her as the enemy.

    But it is more than that. Even many nominally pro North Vietnamese people around the world were more critical of America lying to and betraying the South Vietnamese than they were of America supporting the South Vietnamese against the North Vietnamese in the first place.

    To this day many say you can’t trust Americans. Americans are liars who delight in stabbing their friends in the back in their moment of greatest need. We Americans are still to some degree seen as taking pleasure in breaking our word.

    We Americans remain in denial regarding the degree to which our reputation and past actions fuel global anti Americanism.

    Jane Fonda was young, naive, uninformed and not particularly bright back then. She is much older, more mature and hopefully wiser now. She should visit Westminster, Orange County, California, and apologized to Vietnamese Americans for her past misdeeds.

    Why are so many of us so reluctant to apologize in public?

    For example, if Pres Bush would publicly apologize for not doing more to train, fund, advise and equip the Iraqi Security Forces between 2001 and 2006 [between 2001 and 2003 to the anti-Saddam Iraqi resistance], it would go a long way towards improving Iraqi perceptions of him, including the perceptions of Iraqis who are grateful to him and the perceptions of Iraqis who hate him.

  2. What I’ve seen in Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq is a decided lack of resolve to finish the job because of political pressure at home in the U.S. Our government needs clear end goals and the resolve to achieve them. What we’ve effectively done is spent billions of dollars and approximately 70,000 American lives for three wars that we have failed to define and finish correctly. We protected the Kurds and rid the world of Sadaam Hussein. That requires no apology. Apologies don’t change anybodies mind or perceptions.

  3. I think there is a bit of change in Hollywood, not as much as I’d like to see but even the hardcore activists in Hollywood have been relatively quiet. Maybe it’s because their guy is in the White House and it’s tough to criticize what you initially fought for. But maybe just maybe a few have seen the world isn’t so easy to define and America isn’t always wrong.

    Those that don’t subscribe to the usual liberal line are starting to speak out more. This list of those not so liberal is growing. Here us a list of generally conservative celebrities.
    • Trace Adkins: Country Music Singer & TV Personality
    • Danny Aiello: Film Actor
    • Stephen Baldwin: Actor, Radio Personality
    • Pat Boone: Singer, Songwriter
    • Wilfred Brimley: Commercial Actor & Star of Cocoon
    • Jerry Bruckheimer: TV & Film Producer
    • James Caan: Legendary Film Actor
    • Drew Carey: Game Show Host & Former TV Star (more libertarian)
    • Adam Carolla: Former Host of The Man’s Show
    • Tom Clancy: Espionage and Military Science Author
    • Jon Cryer: Notable Film & TV Actor
    • Robert Davi: TV & Film Actor
    • Bo Derek: Model, Film & Television Actress
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr.: American Race Car Driver
    • Clint Eastwood: Academy Award Winning Film Actor & Director
    • John Elway: Hall of Fame Quarterback & Super Bowl MVP with the Denver Broncos
    • Sara Evans: Country Music Singer
    • Lou Ferrigno: TV Actor (Star of The Incredible Hulk & King of Queens Guest Star)
    • Mel Gibson: Film Actor & Academy Award-Winning Director
    • Kelsey Grammer: TV & Film Actor, Star of TV’s Long-Running Series, Frasier
    • Angie Harmon: TV & Film Actor, Star of TV’s Law & Order
    • Elizabeth Hasslebeck: Former “Survivor” Contestant & Co-Host of The View
    • Dennis Hopper: Actor, Director & Two-Time Academy Award Nominee
    • Patricia Heaton: TV Actor, Female Lead in TV’s Everybody Loves Raymond
    • Naomi Judd: Country Music Singer, Actress & Author
    • Lorenzo Lamas: TV Actor
    • Heather Locklear: TV & Film Actress
    • Susan Lucci: Emmy Award-Winning Actress & Soap Star
    • Dennis Miller: Actor, Stand-Up Comedian & Political Commentator
    • Chuck Norris: Legendary TV Actor
    • Ted Nugent: Legendary Musician, Speaker
    • Richard Petty: Seven-time NASCAR Champion
    • Johnny Ramone (John Cummings), Legenday Musician, Founder of The Ramones
    • John Ratzenberger: TV Actor, Voice-Over Personality
    • Robert James “Kid Rock” Ritchie: Singer, Song Writer & Rapper
    • Adam Sandler: Legendary Stand-Up Comedian, “Saturday Night Live” Alum & Hollywood Film Star
    • Pat Sajak: Wheel of Fortune Game Show Host & Political Columnist
    • Curt Schilling: World Series Champion & Former Phillies, Diamondbacks & Red Sox Pitcher
    • Tom Selleck: TV & Film Actor
    • Ron Silver: TV & Film Actor
    • Jessica Simpson: Singer, Actress & TV Personality
    • Gary Sinise: Academy Award Nominated Film Actor & TV Star
    • Sylvester Stallone: Producer, Director, Writer & Legendary Film Actor, Star of Rocky & Rambo Films
    • Ben Stein: Film Actor, Game Show Host & Political Commentator
    • John Stossel: Investigative Reporter, Speaker (more libertarian)
    • Janine Turner: Film & TV Actor
    • Jon Voight: Academy Award-winning Film Actor and Political Activist
    • Bruce Willis: Legendary Film Actor & Two-Time Emmy Award Winner
    • Lee Ann Womack: Country Music Singer
    • James Woods: Noteable Film Actor
    • David Zucker: Director of Airplane & Naked Gun Films

    Anan, I see no reason for Bush to apologize at all. If it weren’t for him where would the Iraqis be today? They would be living under the same oppressive regime. Some would be doing ok but many, very many in the north would have continued to be killed almost randomly.

    The Hussein brothers would have continued to rape, murder and torture at will. No, Bush isn’t the one that should apologize.

    Frankly I don’t think anyone wants an apology from Jane Fonda either. She once attempted an apology but it appeared to be purely to get her career back on track.

  4. It’s good to see that list, JB. Maybe I spoke too soon. At least about the lack of patriotic support from the entertainment industry. The rest of what I wrote I stand solidly behind. You personally saw in the early 90’s the consequences of Sadaam’s brutality in Northern Iraq. It’s so easy to critisize from afar….from the comfort of an office, from the lecture hall, from the state department, from the blogosphere, from the coffee shop. if you’ve never set foot onto the field and seen the results of a brutal dictator, a failed policy, it’s easy to be critical. Unfortunately it will always be that way for a certain segment of our society. A certain intellectual elitist arrogance from people who refuse to get their hands dirty.

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