RFK Sr. And Sirhan Sirhan—Memories Of 1968
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Earlier (2019) Immigrant Assassin Sirhan Sirhan Still With Us 50 Years Later—Because Of Kritarchy

From the front page of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner newspaper on June 5, 1968:

I no doubt read this article before flipping to the Sports section to read about Don Drysdale breaking the major league record by pitching his sixth consecutive shutout.

Emilio Estevez’s not great but not bad 2006 ensemble movie Bobby about the Ambassador Hotel workers who were there that night makes the central character the busboy Juan Romero of the famous Carravagesque photo.

But in Estevez’s retelling of the fateful 24 hours leading up to the assassination moments after RFK Sr. was declared the winner of the 1968 California Democratic primary, Romero tried, resentfully, to avoid his rendezvous with destiny because he didn’t want to work that night because he had a ticket to see Drysdale pitch, which I very much identified with.

I’m not proud to say that at age 9 on the morning of Wednesday, June 5, 1968, I was glued to my transistor radio, waiting for the news stations to finally cut away from nonstop RFK assassination coverage to at least mention whether Drysdale had broken the record. (He had, three-hitting a Pittsburgh Pirates lineup with four Hall of Famers—Clemente, Stargell, Mazeroski, and Bunning—and also featuring Matty Alou, Manny Mota, Maury Wills, and Don Clendenon.)

Anyway, like many Americans, I read the part about “Sirhan was born in the Jordan sector of Jerusalem” and totally zoned out about the significance: Sirhan Sirhan was the first major Palestinian terrorist.

June 5, 1968 was the first anniversary of the Six-Day War. To appeal to California’s crucial Democratic Jewish bloc, RFK had promised to send 50 fighter planes to Israel, outraging Sirhan, a Palestinian Christian.

Sirhan spectacularly failed to Raise Awareness in the West about Palestinian nationalism.

But over the next four years his successors, such as fellow Palestinian Christian George Habash, arranged a series of outrages, such as the 1970 simultaneous skyjacking of multiple airliners and culminating with the 1972 Munich Olympics atrocity, that made the Palestinian Question vastly more well-known than it had been in 1968. They didn’t succeed in persuading all that many in the powerful nations to side with their national aspirations, and indeed revolted many.

But their terrorism meant that their terrorists wouldn’t be described as being from “the Jordan sector of Jerusalem.”

RFK Jr., who was 14 when his historic father was murdered in the moment of his greatest triumph, has taken rather different lessons than I have from that searing memory.

I’m not going to blame him.

[Comment at Unz.com]

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