The death of JFK

Baroness Deech

The personal, not the political.  The stream of newspaper supplements, plays, documentaries, is upsetting me even more than it did at the time.  Like everyone else, I remember the moment well.  I was at a party at Oxford, which broke up as the news came through.  A fellow student invited me back to his room to listen to the radio: we have been married for 46 years.  It may be simply the realisation that 50 years, almost a lifetime, have gone by since that momentous evening.  Or it may be the loss of western innocence, as I see it, being brought home to me.  Never again did we take the charisma and rhetoric of a president at face value.  Never again did world leaders travel in open top cars (remember Benazir Bhutto’s end) or anywhere without the utmost security.  Soon it was to be the turn of the rest of us, unable to travel without worrying about our safety and random terrorism. Never again did we trust what seemed to be a straighforward explanation of a crime, and the conspiracy theorists took hold.  Never again did we believe that heads of state were less vulnerable than anyone else (remember Princess Diana.)  The USA lost its shine, the glamour it had acquired in British eyes as a result of its assistance in the war and the largesse it distributed afterwards, not to mention the movies and the music.  Even my own student era, a time when higher education and maintenance were free, and the Beatles were new on the scene, was tarnished from that moment.  The only good reflection I have is that democracy emerged unscathed.  The transition to LBJ was relatively smooth, international relations did not worsen as a result of the assassination, civil rights in the USA and man’s first landing on the moon were soon to arrive, and no widespread unrest, vengeance or looting took place.  But the pattern of tragic deaths of the Kennedys continued, save only that Caroline Kennedy emerged relatively unscathed, and I see today that she has been appointed US envoy to Japan.  Normally I think it wrong to give key diplomatic posts to inexperienced non-diplomats, big donors and the like, but in this case I wish her, and the US-Japan relationship well.

4 comments for “The death of JFK

  1. Gareth Howell
    17/11/2013 at 4:54 pm

    Arnie Shwarznewgger was said to be married to one of them, but I read later that it was only a name…Kennedy.

    The USA lost its shine
    But has certainly regained it with presidents, regardless of party, such as the poet Reagan, and the fine natural leader called Obama.

    The Baroness’ matrimonial story is a charming one.

    It was the dimension of the news story which so impressed a young mind,
    as 09/11 must have done to the young mind of 2001.(I was about 12-13)
    Looking at the skyline Cathedrals of the modern world of city states which are so hugely scientific in construction. 09/11 is surely far more of a US/world story than a mere mortal death could ever be?

    Cathedrals have been here for centuries, and skylines which transcend them, will be here for many more, whether in the Arab world or the Christian one, or even those of Southern Asia.

    What did Gandhi represent for the future of the world? The unity of part of continental India…..rights of man……peaceful protest and so forth, but JFK?

  2. maude elwes
    19/11/2013 at 12:00 pm

    JFK. That stratospheric lover at the helm of the world. An enigma filled with fascination and desire to be.

    What he did and the killing of him shone a light on those in power and the dangerous games they play which had this event not taken place would have left us completely in the dark.

    I was mesmerized over the years by the Kennedy compound and what it contained and still am to this day. Mystery being the maker of Kings. Having read everything I could lay my eyes on. My view is, if you want an entirely new dimension of what the Kennedy years were about, there are two must reads that put all the rest into perspective. Most would not consider these books, on the face of it as enlightenment because they address the small stuff. But, to me they were and are a revelation.

    The first is a book titled, Nemesis, by Peter Evans. It covers the Onassis long term affair, prior to marriage, with Jackie and what it meant to the White House. It exposes the utter corruption in politics and within their almost incestuous relationships. And the second: Once Upon A Secret, by, Mimi Alford. This relates his love affair with an eighteen year old catholic virgin who was an intern. It lasted until his death. I was spellbound by it, as I too would have been by Kennedy, had he been my secret lover. I, like her, would have been putty in his hands, as well as in full knowledge of what a dog he was. LOL.

    And this is my favourite picture of him painted by Aaron Shikler.

    His father certainly was a King maker.

  3. Gareth Howell
    23/11/2013 at 2:37 pm

    What a futile gesture Lee Harvey Oswald made, or any such assassin, to think they might change anything, least of all the power strcture of the state, change a man whose main skill is
    politico-speak at which world leaders have to be adept, or think that are not 1001 other individuals every bit as capable of the same thing.

    The theatrical charisma of some people can lead others to do such things, commit such crimes through sheer excitement;
    the fame and glamour of it all. Both Oswald and Ruby were drawn in to that perfomance.

    Even now remembering at the time and the place of the killing
    in Dallas. Futile.

    • maude elwes
      25/11/2013 at 1:31 pm

      From what I’ve read and seen, LHO was as likely an assassin as Santa Claus. Anyone with the slightest understanding of the ability of guns and sharpshooters would be well aware the gun that was said to be Oswald’s, was incapable of aiming straight or equipped to reset in the time needed to shoot twice at a moving target in a motorcade on that street. Besides, there were at least three and possibly more gunshots heard.

      Another obvious ‘clue’ is in the many videos made of the shot Kennedy received and how he was clearly hit the second time by a bullet coming from the front right side of his head and blowing his brain out of his skull to the rear of the car. (Oswald’s so called rifle was incapable of this kind of wound) Which was why his wife climbed onto the trunk of the limo in panic. The bullet came directly toward her. She thought she was to be the next in the line of fire.

      What puzzles me to this day, is how gullible people are, and why didn’t she tell openly what she knew of the shooting? The amount of shots fired and from whence they came? Oswald, was what he said he was. a Patsy.

      And the last most obvious sign of a cover up was, the limo washed before forensics could go over it, on arrival at the hospital, the missing brain on the flight after arrival in Washington, and the notes the pathologist who performed the autopsy being likewise missing. Those notes were said to have found fragments of the bullet that blew his brain apart.

      The Warren report was afraid of the truth because it indicated an internal conspiracy of some kind. Either bought or ordered from the top.

      The Zapruder film.

      And last, what Fidel Castro thinks.

      Which is why I mentioned in a previous post, a book titled Nemeses. Had me breathless, unable to put it down.

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