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A Couple of Thoughts and Memories

Reader comment on item: The JFK Assassination's Continued Importance

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Dec 23, 2013 at 20:37

I join those who feel that JFK would most certainly NOT have followed LBJ's path into Vietnam. As someone whose political awareness came fully alive during the 1960 campaign d followed his career before and after his death, I feel that JFK would have practiced a justifiable cynicism in the 1964 campaign, in order to fend off Republicn charges of being 'soft on communism', and then cut his losses sometime after the election.

One of many things lost by his assassination is not talked about. Strangely enough, Kennedy and Goldwater liked each other and supposedly had agreed that if BG won the Republican nomination, they would campaign some of the time together, on the same platform, on the model of the Lincoln/Douglas campaign of 1858 in Illinois. It's easy to imagine this appealing to JFK's strong historical sense.

If this had happened, imagine how different the campaign of '64 would have been, indeed the whole tone of the 1960's. Little short of breathtaking.

In short, no ugly campaign of '64. No Vietnam, at least nothing remotely like 550,000 Americans there 5 years later. No excesses of legislation (JFK might have been able to get a Voting Rights Act, but its doubtful he would have gotten Medicare - I give LBJ all credit for that).

Immersed in hours of the 50 years TV replay of that terrible event, a couple of new thoughts came to mind. For it seems clear that while there was no conspiracy behind Oswald or instead of Oswald, there was something like a conspiracy to cover up the failure to prevent Kennedy's death. Especially the failure to connect the dots with regard to Oswald, who had appeared on almost everybody's radar (DOD, CIA, FBI), except the Secret Sevice, who had the most immediate responsibility and whom nobody thought to bring into the picture.

Among other details, it is tragicomic that there were 70 agents, including plain clothesmen waiting to guard Kennedy at the Trademart to which he was headed (especially from the particularly menacing talk and recent near mob behavior of a handful of rich people in Dallas), but no one thought to check or at least monitor the upper story windows which Kennedy's car moved slowly directly under.

It is also incredible that Oswald almost killed the inflammatory right-wing general Edwin Walker, grazing his head with a bullet while he sat in his library a few weeks before Kennedy came to town, missing not because he was a poor shot, but because the bullet was slightly deflected by hitting the wood of a window sill first. On a matter of an inch or two did history pivot, i.e. with the opposite result of 1981, when John Hinckley came within a inch or two of changing American history at least as much as did Oswald.

For those who might be interested, there's a recently published book, Dallas 1963, by Bill Minutaglion and Steven L. Davis, which reads like a thriller, even though you know its tragic conclusion.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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