Fifty years ago, President John Kennedy was murdered by a Marxist assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in Dallas, Texas. Millions of Americans wept at the terrible news.
But do we understand why Nov. 22, 2013, marks two 50th anniversaries, not just one?
The murder of President Kennedy was tragic and horrific, and it is remembered as one of the darkest days in our history. That day was horrible in both human terms and for its political consequences. It may be a cliché, but it’s true America has never been the same since.
But beyond the obviously political character of any political murder, the reason that day has turned out to be a historic turning point has as much to do with the cultural myth-making that began that day in Dallas as with the horrific assassination itself.
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Beginning that day, Dallas and the state of Texas – and by implication America itself – was indicted for the “atmosphere of hate” that allowed the assassination to take place. We have heard that theme of collective guilt resurrected this past month in the barrage of media commentaries and pseudo-documentaries on the anniversary of the event.
The day of the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with two murders, the murder of a Dallas police officer and the murder of President Kennedy. The evidence against Oswald was, and remains, overwhelming.
Despite speculations about a “magic bullet” and the shadows on the “grassy knoll,” Oswald’s presence as the shooter is beyond dispute. Ballistic tests have proven that Oswald’s rifle was capable of firing three shots in the time frame of the shots fired at Kennedy motorcade. Oswald was in the building from where the shots were fired, his palm print was on the gun that fired the shots, and there is no question that Oswald was a marksman and owned the gun used in the assassination.
While there have been numerous attempts to make a case for a “broad conspiracy” involving figures other than Oswald, the simple truth is that none of the other theories has the compelling evidence collected by the Warren Commission Report, which concluded a year later that Oswald was the lone assassin.
The main theme of arguments that someone else did it has been a cultural argument designed to take the focus off Oswald and put it on Texas’s “culture of hate.” That theme comes down to this: let’s blame Texas, not Oswald, because Texas’ “culture of hate” was capable and motivated to kill the Dreams of Camelot. So, Texas did it, not Oswald.
You see, to the cultural left in America, debating Oswald’s guilt or innocence is debating the wrong question. To the cultural left, even if Oswald was the trigger man, he must have had help, must have had puppeteers, powerful capitalists and CIA types or mafia figures, people who manipulated Oswald and propelled him to his target. The corporatist culture of America was threatened by Kennedy’s progressive agenda, and so they got rid of him. And if you don’t believe that, you’re a patsy.
Now, there has been one huge obstacle to the success of this cultural campaign aimed at blaming Texas and sidetracking the factual question of Oswald’s guilt or innocence. That obstacle is the mountain of evidence on exactly who Oswald was and what his motives and marksman capabilities were. There is simply no doubt about Oswald’s communist views, his pro-Castro sympathies, his trip to Mexico earlier that year, his visit the Soviet embassy in Mexico City – and his hatred of Kennedy because of the attempted overthrow of Castro in the Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961.
A recent revelation only reinforces the earlier evidence that it was Oswald’s Cuban sympathies that fueled the assassination. It is now known that Fidel Castro knew of Oswald’s Mexico City activities and that Cuban intelligence had a file on Oswald before the assassination. According to a defector from Castro’s Cuban intelligence agency, on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, four hours before shots were fired in Dallas, Cuba’s electronic listening facilities on the north cast of the island nation were told to turn their attention from Miami and Washington, D.C., to Dallas, Texas. You have to be extraordinarily naïve to believe this was mere coincidence.
Yet, for 50 years now, Hollywood and the American left have continued their myth-making aimed at diverting attention from Oswald. They must blame someone else, some invisible group of sinister puppeteers, but not the avowed Marxist Lee Harvey Oswald. Maybe a rogue group within the CIA? Maybe the mafia? Maybe LBJ in league with the mafia? It had to be some nefarious group tied to the establishment, not a man who had lived in the Soviet Union, married a Russian woman, repeatedly proclaimed his Marxist views, hated President Kennedy for trying to overthrow Castro, had visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City to offer his services to Castro and owned the rifle used to kill Kennedy.
No: To our cultural left, it had to be anyone but Oswald or some group manipulating Oswald. To the American left and the liberal media, the hero of Camelot had to have been killed by a conspiracy of the right, not the left. And the cultural myth-making continues 50 years later.