In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR), actress Jane Fonda, once infamously referred to as “Hanoi Jane” after she posed on top of a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun in the midst of the Vietnam War, stated that President Trump “suffers from PTSD.”
Fonda told THR, “I believe he suffers from PTSD because like many men he was, I believe, brutalized by his father when he was very, very young. And some men … lose empathy for others [and] also totally lack empathy. And he has been very brutal with his own sons. Father son, father son, it’s very sad. I hate this. I have empathy for him, it’s difficult, I try; I work at it.”
Fonda, not satiated with her attack on Trump, also launched a broader assault on the “patriarchy,” intoning, “Martin Luther King said, ‘I don’t have to like you, but I have to love you.’ It’s not easy at this moment. We live in the patriarchy, and the patriarchy makes us think that empathy and love is weak, but it’s not. That is where our strength is. We have two strengths — there are more of us, and also we go forward with love and open minds and warm hearts.”
During the Vietnam War, Fonda made recordings that were meant to discourage the fighters in the American military. In one, she stated:
This is Jane Fonda speaking from Hanoi, and I’m speaking particularly to the U.S. servicemen who are stationed on the aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin, in the 7th Fleet, in the Anglico Corps in the South of Vietnam.
You are very far away, perhaps, and removed from the country that you’re being ordered to shoot shells at and bomb. And so it’s perhaps very hard for you to, to understand in concrete human terms what the effects of, of these bombs and these shells are having.
I’m sure if you knew what was inside the shells that you’re dropping, you would ask yourself as, as I have been doing for the last few days since I have seen the victims: What do the men who work for Honeywell and the other companies in the United States that invent and, and, and make these weapons — what do they think in the morning, at breakfast? What do they dream about when they sleep at night?
Yesterday, I went through the war museum in Hanoi, where there is a display of all the different kinds of antipersonnel weapons, the different kinds of bombs, the guava bomb, the pineapple bomb, the spider bomb, different kinds of shells that contain toxic chemicals, the new kinds of napalm, combinations of napalm and phosphorus and thermite. The list is endless as are the, the victims from these weapons. And, it absolutely amazed me, the length to which man’s mind — or at least some men in the United States — their minds have gone to create new ways of killing people. They must want to die very much themselves to think this much about new ways of killing people.
I don’t know what your officers tell you that you are dropping on this country. I don’t know what your officers tell you, you are loading, those of you who load the bombs on the planes. But, one thing that you should know is that these weapons are illegal and that’s not, that’s not just rhetoric. They were outlawed, these kind of weapons, by several conventions of which the United States was a signatory — two Hague conventions. And the use of these bombs or the condoning the use of these bombs makes one a war criminal.
For Fonda to raise the specter of PTSD when she once offered aid and comfort to the enemy is bitterly ironic, to say the least.