Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"Treason," revisited

Although I've written extensively about treason, the president's recent use of the word was about to get me back in the saddle until a standing google alert of mine turned up my name in the middle of a newspaper essay. It's a good current summary of treason, and I comment it to your attention.


 
tampabay.com

"The Nixon administration declined [prosecution of Jane Fonda] because officials thought it would generate too much negative publicity as they tried to wind down military operations in Vietnam," as Henry Mark Holzer, professor emeritus at Brooklyn Law School, told the San Francisco Chronicle."
 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jane Fonda's non-apology "apology"

Because of the Megan Kelly-Jane Fonda recent TV squabble the latter's supposed apology is again in the news. It is untrue today as it was when she first floated it years ago. At that time, Erika Holzer and I had this to say about it....................

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HANOI JANE’S APOLOGY: OLD WHINE IN NEW BOTTLES

With the publication of Jane Fonda’s autobiography, the public in general and veterans in particular have once again been insulted by her contentless “apology” for a single episode in her multi-faceted junket to Hanoi in July 1972.  Fonda’s charade on “60 Minutes” the other night was simply a robotic reprise of what she has been repeating as a mantra for years in words carefully crafted by her spin doctors.

In our 2002“Aid and Comfort”: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam, Erika Holzer and I wrote the following:

[After the Vietnam War ended], Fonda went on with her life – garnering more adulation as an actress; becoming a fitness guru; providing untold millions to her office-seeking politician husband Tom Hayden in support of an assortment of far-left causes; marrying media billionaire Ted Turner; establishing herself as a Hollywood icon; piling up award upon award; and recently pursuing other causes. But she has never been made to account for her wartime trip to North Vietnam.

            Fonda’s seeming apology on Barbara Walters’ TV show “20/20” in 1988 was hollow and insincere – not to mention, incomplete.  Her pose, she told Walters, on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down American planes was “a thoughtless and cruel thing to have done.” She was sorry she had hurt the prisoners in the Hanoi Hilton, she had been “thoughtless and careless.”  [This footnote followed the text]:   During an interview in 2000 Fonda told Oprah Winfrey, “I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in antiaircraft carrier [sic] which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes.  That had nothing to do with the context that photograph was taken in.  But it hurt so many soldiers.  It galvanized such hostility.  It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done.  It was just thoughtless.  I wasn’t thinking; I was just so bowled over by the whole experience that I didn’t realize what it would look like.”  The Washington Times, July 7, 2000 (commentary by Bruce Herschensohn). 
             Fonda limiting her “apology” to the antiaircraft gun incident is yet another example of her attempt to minimize her activities in North Vietnam.   On February 9, 2001, Fonda was at it again on Walters’ “20/20” show. Walters said Fonda had been “against the war,” and the actress agreed, leaving the implication that being against the war justified her propagandizing for the enemy from its own soil.  Yet millions of loyal Americans, who also opposed the war – including some much more prominent than Fonda – never traveled to the capitol of a country that was killing our troops and torturing our prisoners.  Fonda said, “It just kills me that I did things that hurt those men,” apparently referring to our POWs.  It’s obvious she never bothered to find out how she hurt “those men” – men who were injured, sick, debilitated, and treated by their captors in a manner that in [our] book [we] could hardly bring [ourselves] to describe.  She made no effort to learn the toll her activities took on the morale of our prisoners and men still in the field, nor the punishment some received for upholding their honor and refusing to meet with her.  Worse . . . after repatriation was concluded on April 1, 1973 and the details of our POWs’ ordeal were revealed, Fonda called the returned POWs “liars and hypocrites” for reporting that they had been brutally tortured.  Finally, Fonda told Walters and her viewers that hurting the prisoners was “not my intent.”  In [our book] we spend dozens of pages discussing Fonda’s intent. One wonders what Fonda’s answer would have been if Walters had asked Fonda what her intent was. So, once more, the Jane and Barbara show allowed Fonda to offer yet another glib, superficial “apology,” just like her earlier ones, aimed at convincing the gullible that Hanoi Jane is truly sorry for what she did in North Vietnam.  She is not.  She never was.  Once the full truth is known, even the gullible will not take seriously any more Fonda “apologies.”  [Our text then continued]:  What makes Fonda’s regret ring so hollow and self-serving are her revealing words in a 1989 interview, in which she stated categorically: “I did not, have not, and will not say that going to North Vietnam was a mistake . . . I have apologized only for some of the things that I did there, but I am proud that I went.” [This footnote followed the text]:  Even genuine repentance on Fonda’s part would not have erased . . . what she had done in Hanoi. 

Jane Fonda’s conduct in Hanoi is examined at length in “Aid and Comfort,” but to summarize:

·         Touring the so-called “War Crimes” museum in the company of North Vietnamese Communist civilian and military officials and members of the international press, and there making pro-Communist and anti-American propaganda statements. . . .

·         Touring a North Vietnamese hospital in the company of North Vietnamese Communist civilian and military officials and members of the international press, and there making pro-Communist and anti-American propaganda statements.

·         Touring dikes and populated areas in the company of North Vietnamese Communist civilian and military officials and members of the international press, and there making pro-Communist and anti-American propaganda statements.

·         Touring the North Vietnamese countryside in the company of North Vietnamese Communist civilian and military officials and members of the international press, and there making pro-Communist and anti-American propaganda statements.

·         Making a live broadcast, through the radio facilities of the North Vietnamese regime, containing pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda, which broadcast was taped for later replay.

·         Touring a textile center in the company of North Vietnamese Communist civilian and military officials and members of the international press, and there making pro-Communist and anti-American propaganda statements.

·         Making a second live broadcast, through the radio facilities of the North Vietnamese regime, containing pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda, which broadcast was taped for later replay.

·         Meeting with seven captured American airmen and haranguing them with pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda.

·         Being interviewed by a French journalist and continuing to make her pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda statements.
                 
·         Making a third live broadcast, through the radio facilities of the North Vietnamese regime, containing pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda, which broadcast was taped for later replay.

·         Holding a press conference in Hanoi, where she described her activities since arriving in North Vietnam, and continuing to make her pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda statements.

·         Making a fourth live broadcast, through the radio facilities of the North Vietnamese regime, containing pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda, which broadcast was taped for later replay.

·         Making two more live broadcasts on one day, through the radio facilities of the North Vietnamese regime, containing pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda, which broadcasts were taped for later replay.

·         Meeting with North Vietnamese Vice Premier Nguyen Duy Trinh and continuing to make her pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda statements.

·         In the company of Communist civilian and military officials and members of the international press, posing in the control seat of a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun, feigning taking sight on an imaginary American aircraft, and, by her conduct and words, continuing to make her pro-Communist, anti-American propaganda statements.

Has anyone heard an “apology” for any of this from Hanoi Jane?


Jane Fonda in North Vietnam

With Jane Fonda back in the news--thanks to Megyn Kelly's TV comments--I want to remind interested Americans of "Aid and Comfort:" Jane Fonda in North Vietnam," by Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer--the only book (to our knowledge) that tells the story of her infamous trip as measured by the yardstick of the United States' law of treason.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

CORRECTION: North Korean/South Korean talks are sham

SHARPER EYES THAN MY AGING ONES PICKED UP THE TYPO IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH, NOW-CORRECTED BOLD FACE WORD.

The Korean War began in June 1950. After nearly being pushed into the sea at the Pusan Perimeter, the September breakout on the heels of MacArthur's successful amphibious landing at Inchon led to UN forces retaking Seoul, destroying the North Korean army, occupying Pyongyang, reaching the Chinese-North Korean border at the Yalu River, and then retreating south across the 38th parallel where the lines stabilized.

In July 1951, a year after the North invaded the South and the Chinese realized they could not overcome the South, four-party armistice negotiations began in Panmunjom. While the so-called negotiations dragged on for two years, until 1953, the Chinese rebuilt the shattered North Korean army, resupplied both, and dug in on the formidable hills and mountains, killing thousands of UN and American troops.
 
Now the North Koreans want to initiate conversations with the South about the former's athletes participating in February's winter Olympic games.

Right.

What the NorKor's want is quite different: To plant even more agents in the South, to distract world opinion from nuclear madness to sports, and to drive a political/military wedge between South Korea and the United States. Most important--because the Olympic talks will inevitably be a springboard for other conversations--the Kim regime will use protracted negotiations to buy time to at least advance, perhaps complete, their ICBM/nuclear weapons program.

Let's hope that our naive State Department and White House were speaking with forked-tongues when they reacted positively to the Olympic discussions.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Aristotle, Ayn Rand and Robert Bidinotto



It is obvious that Robert Bidinotto—author of the three Hunter novels—was influenced by the late Ayn Rand, whose fiction (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, We the Living, Anthem) was influenced by Aristotle.

In the July 1968 issue of The Objectivist Rand wrote “[t]he most important principle of the esthetics of literature was formulated by Aristotle, who said that fiction is of greater philosophical importance than history, because ‘history represents things as they are, while fiction represents them as they might be and ought to be’.” Rand added that “[a] novel is a long, fictional story about human beings and the events of their lives. The four essential attributes of a novel are: Theme—Plot—Characterization—Style.” (The latter won’t be discussed here because as Rand has written, “[t]he subject of style is so complex that it cannot be covered in a single [review].”)

It is against these attributes that the worth of fiction generally, and Bidinotto’s current Winner Takes All in particular, must be judged (without, in a review, deliberate or accidental spoilers).

Rand holds that “[a] theme is the summation of a novel’s abstract meaning” as for example “[t]he theme of Gone with the Wind is: ‘The impact of the Civil War on Southern society’.”

In today’s popular fiction “thriller” genre—politics, terrorism, journalism, crime, war, revolution, pestilence—even though interesting characters and exciting events abound, usually a clear, significant theme is either difficult to discern or entirely lacking. The novels of Robert Crais, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Robert Ludlum,Tom Clancy, et al., while entertaining and set in today’s dangerously tumultuous times, do not rest on a pervasive objectively important theme from which their plots and characterizations arise.

No so with Winner Takes All, whose theme is anchored in a profoundly important psychological and moral question that drives the book’s plot.

Rand on plot: “[T]he crucial attribute of a novel, the attribute which makes it a specific entity, a novel (as distinguished from a work of non-fiction): the plot. Since a novel is a story about people’s lives, it has to be presented in terms of action, i.e., in terms of events. A story in which nothing happens is not a story.” 

Not so with Winner Takes All. So much happens in this page-turning novel—all growing from the book’s theme—that the requirement of action and events is met over and over again: multiple murders, fierce fights, unsolved crimes, double crossings, love affairs, financial machinations, political intrigues, intelligence agencies, confused identities, foreign affairs, and more.

Rand again: “Since the nature of an action is determined by the nature of the entities that act, the action of a novel has to proceed from and be consistent with the nature of its characters.”

In Winner Takes All, the author has populated his story with a diverse group of them, good guys and bad guys, straight-shooters and devious manipulators, strong patriots and weak bureaucrats, loyal friends and disloyal opportunists. 
         
At the book’s center is vigilante Dylan Hunter, an enigma to some, adversary to others. But to those who count in his life, a hero.

Ayn Rand—a fan of Mike Hammer, and his creator Mickey Spillane—would have liked Winner Takes All.