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Monday, June 6, 2011

What If... RFK, Bobby Kennedy hadn't been assassinated....

The United States got stuck with only one of the four Kennedy brothers, sons of Joe Sr and Rose, living to old age.  This power-hungry Irish Catholic clan had great plans for their eldest son, Joe Jr. who was killed in World War II.  Son number two, JFK John Fitzgerald Kennedy fulfilled his father's dream and became the first Catholic President of the United States in 1960.  He and his wife were immediate glamorous myth-making legends.  Then JFK was assasinated before finishing even one term in office.

Son number three, RFK Robert Francis Kennedy was then pushed into the limelight and ran for president in 1968.  He, too, was assasinated and never even had the chance to actually be the official candidate.

So the USA and the world got stuck with young, immature Teddy Kennedy who grew into a very professional politician, although his private life was less successful.

Joe Sr was known as an antisemite and friend of Nazis, especially during his time, pre-WWII, as United States Ambassador to Great Britain.  I don't think his son Bobby shared those feelings.  Lenny Ben-David has a site with RFK's articles about his visit to pre-state Israel.

There's a lot of amazing stuff in his articles.  Here are a couple of excerpts:
Our government first decided that justice was on the Jewish side in their desire for a homeland, and then it reversed its decision temporarily. [Editor (Lenny Ben-David)’s note: In March 1948 the State Department reversed its support for partition and called for a UN trusteeship.]

Because of this action I believe we have burdened ourselves with a great responsibility in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world. We fail to live up to that responsibility if we knowingly support the British government who behind the skirts of their official position attempt to crush a cause with which they are not in accord. If the American people knew the true facts, I am certain a more honest and forthright policy would be substituted for the benefit of all.

...
Stabilizing Factor

The Jews on the other hand believe that in a few more years, if a Jewish state is formed, it will be the only stabilizing factor remaining in the Near and Middle East. The Arab world is made up of many disgruntled factions which would have been at each other’s throats long ago if it had not been for the common war against Zionism. The United States and Great Britain before too long a time might well be looking to a Jewish state to preserve a toehold in that part of the world.
I just wonder if Bobby Kennedy would have been a better president than his brother had been, and would he have been more pro-Israel as a former president and elder statesman etc than others were and are since his murder.

Or would he, like all the others accept the anti-Israel ideologies of the State Department and be no different from the others.  We'll never know.

9 comments:

Lenny Ben-David said...

Bobby Kennedy actually went against his father's wishes when he went to Palestine, according to RFK's biographer.

Robertcw72 said...

Remember it was the Kennedys that escalated our involvement in Vietnam. Sorry but, as an American I have many other reasons to be glad that RFK did not become President.

Batya said...

It's clear from RFK's articles that he didn't agree with his father about Jews.

Robert, Vietnam would have had been the same no matter who was president.

Robertcw72 said...

Batya,

That is a leap. I would imagine, given the pride that the Kennedys had it would have been far far FAR worse. Given that JFK began the steady esclation of advisors in the early 60's. JFK would have been sucked in..and if RFK became president after JFK there is no way he would want to be the first Kennedy let alone American President to lose a war. I think the whirlwind would have been far worse than what actually happened under Johnson/Nixon. At least no Gulf of Tonkin situation would have been needed to leap from advisors to flat out ground troops and maybe the rules of engagement would have been better, oh no I take that back they are still democrats but at least after the mold of Truman...not McGovern.

Batya said...

Generally the politicians have little control over facts on the ground.

Robertcw72 said...

Batya,

True to a good extent but even JFK's successor Lyndon Johnson was such a micro-manager that he personally picked sites in Vietnam that should be bombed.

Then there is the entire issue of the discretionary power to determine what facts get released, which ones don't and which ones get put into the Friday news dump.

Batya said...

LBJ was amazing. JFK and his intellectuals never passed a bill. It was LBJ who passed Kennedy's programs and made them happen.

Robertcw72 said...

Batya,

You know, this is where it gets really interesting. It's one thing to pass a law, great props on LBJ..but the democrats have always been piss poor in actual implementation. Who sent the troops to Little Rock? Eisenhower. Who actually got Desegregation implemented? Nixon! The only way LBJ go the Civil Rights laws passed was with Republican support. It sure as hell wasn't southern democrat support. Remember Storm Thurmond (a democrat at the time) and Grand Keagle Robert Byrd filibustered their own party to prevent the passage of those Civil Rights laws.

Batya said...

Do you remember Communist China?