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Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Forty years ago tonight, Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

Would he have been a great, progressive President who acted in the interests of the majority of Americans and not just the big corporations and the rich? Or would he have proved a huge let-down?

Of course, we'll never know. John Pilger, who travelled around with Kennedy during his ill-fated Presidential campaign and was actually present in the hotel when Kennedy was shot, puts the case for the prosecution here. If you'd like an alternative, pro-Kennedy view, then Martin Meenagh, who knows more about American political history than any person I have ever met in my life, is your man.

While we'll never know what kind of President Bobby Kennedy would have become, we do know one thing. That Kennedy was one of the most eloquent politicians who ever lived. Listen below to the speech he gave in Indianopolis in April 1968, when he announced to a crowd of African-Americans the tragic news that Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Can you imagine George W. Bush or indeed any contemporary US politician quoting Aeschylus?

And above you can watch the end of the 2006 film Bobby, which includes Kennedy's very moving 'mindless menace of violence' speech.

"What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another".

Forty years on the need for "love, wisdom and compassion" is greater than ever, not just in the United States but across the whole world.


Anonymous said...

John pilger went with him around America, and the picture he gives about him is not so bright.
RK was talking in white areas about their interests, and in mixed areas in their tonge. a lip service shouldn't fool us any longer.

Douglas said...

I've been browsing through news sites today, and I've seen no mention of the anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Perhaps it is being crowded out by news of Obama's victory, or Hillary's conniving for VP.