- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 30, 2005


“Hanoi Jane” Fonda seems to have tired of her moniker. The wilted flower child who firmly established her place in American history when she mounted a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun has decided it’s time to teach a whole new generation to blame America first. If she goes through with her plans for a new protest movement, she may be called “Jihadist Jane.” It has a better ring, more alliteration.

Miss Fonda says she wants to criss-cross the nation in a bus powered by vegetable oil, advocating an end of U.S. military operations in Iraq. She is inviting veterans’ families to ride along as props because, she says, veterans she met while hawking her autobiography urged her to “break her silence.”

Unfortunately, her publicists won’t give the names of any veterans slated to join her tour, and the only notable encounter she had with a veteran recently ended with her wiping the wheelchair-bound hero’s saliva off her face. “I’ve decided I’m coming out,” she said. “It’s another example of the government lying to the American people in order to get us into war.” She added, “It’s going to be pretty exciting.” Maybe. Miss Fonda recognizes she carries “a lot of baggage” — and she wasn’t talking about stuff removed by her plastic surgeon.

One way Miss Fonda can overcome the lack of enthusiasm for her “nationwide tour,” is to grant “exclusive access” to journalists who could help tell her story. She could include NBC anchorman Brian Williams, who could put the tour and the war in historical perspective. After all, it was Mr. Williams’ brilliant insight during a recent broadcast that revealed to the American public what they never before knew — that the first few American presidents were “terrorists.” Another suggestion is to include former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett. Peter, who lives in Baghdad, would do a great job explaining the war and its meaning — from the terrorists’ point of view.

Another A-list guest Jane should include is Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll. It seems Mrs. Knoll likes to crash the funerals of fallen heroes and hand out bumper stickers and yard signs. Liberals started this a few years ago when they turned Sen. Paul Wellstone’s funeral into a foot-stompin’, heart-thumpin’, hand-clappin’, barn-burnin’, get-out-the-vote affair. But when Mrs. Knoll showed up — uninvited — to the funeral of Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich to assure the grieving family that, “Our government is against this war,” it crossed the line of decency, making her a perfect candidate to join Jihad Jane.

Finally, Miss Fonda needs to select an exciting itinerary. Herewith, are a few suggestions:

Jane, start in the South. Southerners are naturally hospitable. Take in the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. It’s full of surprises. You like the canard that “Iraq had nothing to do with September 11.” The Germans didn’t attack us at Pearl Harbor, but we fought them anyhow. A bit of advice: Bring your own mechanic. Though the South has its fair share of farms, Cooter’s Garage outlets, and NASCAR fans, no self-respecting mechanic will fix a broken-down vegetable oil-powered bus.

Then, swing by a few sites in Texas to tell soldiers they’re “fighting and dying for lies.” Fort Hood — home of the 4th Infantry Division might work. These soldiers I covered for FOX News have already spent a year in Iraq — and they preparing to go again. They clearly need your help because they are re-enlisting at a phenomenal pace — the unit has already exceeded its retention goals for the entire year.

The Burn Unit at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston would surely have a few of the soldiers you claim to support; perhaps they would be interested to hear your opinions about the low value of their disfiguring sacrifices.

CENTCOM, Fort Stewart, Camp Lejeune, and Fort Bragg, the home of our Special Forces, are all “must sees” along the way.

Finally, Jane, you’ll want to finish in our nation’s capital. When you get there, pick up Teddy Kennedy and Dick Durbin. I would love to be a fly on the wall when they relate their historical analogies to the boys over at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center.

Be sure to visit the graves of America’s heroes at Arlington Cemetery before making your final stop at a polished granite Wall on the National Mall. There, you will find the names of 58,249 heroes you spat upon when perched atop that VC gun.

Hopefully at some point during your Jihadist Journey, you will bump into Sgt. Christopher Missick of the 319th Signal Battalion. In Iraq, Sgt. Missick met hundreds of good Americans through his blog, “A Line in the Sand.” Home now, he and a fellow veteran are driving around the country, on conventional gasoline, to meet some of the patriots — his “Web of Support” — who sent letters, packages and prayers. He wants to personally thank them and “meet the heart of America.”

That’s the kind of support the troops appreciate, not your caravan of craven critics.

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist and founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance.

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