Monday, November 22, 2010


Today, November 22, is the anniversary of the death by assassination of our nation's youngest elected President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Unlike the commemorations on the date of the natural death of President Ronald Reagan, the "Great Communicator" apostle of "deregulation," you probably won't see it given much notice by the mass media.

We are ashamed of what happened to JFK. When he was shot in Dallas Texas, under the noses of the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service, he had reversed the Cold War confrontation of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and was beginning to reverse the growing Vietnam War. The exact background of the complicated killing of the President is unknown, but enough details are on record to show that this was not the work of some accidental hothead of whatever political persuasion.

ttention must be paid to the motivation for the murder. Certain members of the Mafia, Cuban exile community, and the group typified by President Eisenhower as the military industrial complex, thoroughly hated President Kennedy, and his brother Robert [later shot down as well.] I don't often recommend a whole book in these postings, but JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass [available at local libraries & Amazon] is unique in that it points strongly to the culpability of many, in allowing this death of a statesman happen—a yet unanswered unexorcized crime. Read at least the intro and chapter 1, "A Cold War Warrior Turns."

JFK had feet of clay, yet was struggling to make his Presidency another profile in courage—battling the unspeakable evil of those who would sacrifice hundreds of thousands, millions, of lives to achieve Cold War nuclear victory. Another very different person also joining the conflict against the unspeakable, and banned by his order from any further publishing on nuclear cold war issues, was the Trappist monk Thomas Merton. [See his posthumously published book, Peace in the Post-Christian Era] Unspeakable was his term for the evil of an age which has become so accepting of corporate violence. Of Kennedy he said:
What is needed is really not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don't have: depth, humanity and a certain totality of self forgetfulness and compassion … a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe… Kennedy will break through into that someday by miracle. But such people are before long marked out for assassination." JFK [above] p.11

illing Kennedy also partially killed a spirit that was coming alive in America—"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." A call to service, to help removing the causes of poverty and violence that led directly to the Peace Corps and the War on Poverty. I knew many young people answering the call, and being given the financial means to do so. Then the war in Vietnam ramped up, and grabbed the national consciousness and treasury. War hot and cold surged. Civil Rights was dealt a blow in the murder assassination of Martin Luther King. The Peace Corps has stalled at 4000 to 7000 yearly participants on average [the original plan was to soon deploy 100,000] in its 40 plus year existence. The War on Poverty was abandoned.

o today remember the death of young President JFK, and rededicate to taking a hard look at the truth of who we are as a people. Let's move on, with special invitation to our young people, to fully engage an international war on the human misery that forms the sources of terrorism, invoking the principal method of another fallen hero, MLK, "Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people."

"It is no longer reasonable or right to leave all decisions to a largely anonymous power elite that is driving us all, in our passivity, toward ruin." Thomas Merton, Feb. 9, 1962

Illuminations by Kathy Brahney

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