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 fighters.
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 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.
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.
Jane Fonda Speech
Broadcast Over Radio Hanoi To American Servicemen