Tuesday, August 31, 2021

My Problem With Sirhan

In case you haven't heard the latest. a California parole board yesterday recommended that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan be released for the June 1968 murder of New York Senator and candidate for the office of the presidency, Robert Francis Kennedy. The decision is now in the hands of Governor Gavin Newsom whether-or-not Sirhan is to be set free as a bird. This is a horrible idea on too many levels to count. Let me explain:

1. In 1968, as a presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination, Bobby Kennedy was determined to end America's involvement in Viet Nam if inaugurated in January of 1969. Had he lived, he would probably have been elected on Election Day 1968. If not for Sirhan's fatal bullet, there would today be thirty-thousand less names on the wall of the Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington D.C. Most of the fatalities of that idiotic conflict occurred under the watch of Dick Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

2. Had RFK been elected in 1968, his term, I am sure, would have lasted until January 20, 1977. The progressive enlightenment that his administration would surely have swept upon the American landscape might very well have prevented the election of Ronald Reagan  three years later, and the decades of right wing lunacy that would come close to destroying this country. It is not-at-all far fetched to lay the blame for Donald Trump at the feet of Sirhan Sirhan.

3.  Had Robert F. Kennedy been allowed the gift of time, we would have been spared the nightmare of Watergate. In short, we would all be better off if Bobby were still walking among us....Sure, he probably would have died a long time ago - he would have turned ninety-six on November 20 of this year - but it's nice to imagine what might have been.

4. Oh, yeah - and it's a pretty safe bet that Henry Kissinger would not have been advising President Robert F. Kennedy on foreign policy. That's just a lucky guess on my part. Americans would still be dying in Viet Nam in the spring of 1975 - nearly seven years after Senator Kennedy stepped so violently into eternity. 

I was just two months and ten days shy of my tenth birthday on June 6, 1968, the day Bobby Kennedy died. He had lingered in a coma all day Wednesday the fifth. I can still remember early Thursday morning when my father came into our room and quietly woke Brother Pete and I with the words, "Senator Kennedy passed away a few minutes ago." I can still clearly hear his voice in my memory all of these decades later. To say that I was completely traumatized would be an understatement.

I loved Bobby Kennedy. I still do.

His two sons, Douglas and Robert Jr.,  have been spending the last two weeks pleading for Sirhan's release. I don't know much about Doug, but I know for certain that young Bobby has spent the last few years stumbling around the country, spouting off some perfectly nutty things; one of those perfectly nutty things is his absurd contention that Sirhan is innocent - despite the testimony of over twenty eye-witnesses. Joseph P. Kennedy II, the late senator's eldest son, has vehemently condemned Sirhan's parole. I imagine that the conversation around the Thanksgiving dinner table in Hyannis Port should be quite lively this November. 

The fact of the matter is that Sirhan Sirhan stabbed democracy in the heart on June 5, 1968. His defence is that he was too young to know any better at the time. REALLY??? He wasn't a child - he was twenty-four years old! When I was twenty-four I certainly was old enough to know the difference between right and wrong! When Bob Dylan was twenty-four he had already recorded six albums! When Buddy Holly was twenty-four years old he had been dead for two years! The defense that he was just a kid doesn't pass the giggle test - Sorry. Robert Kennedy was murdered for no other reason than the fact that he had supported Israel in the Six Day War the year before. His life was taken away because Sirhan Sirhan was an anti-Semite. He probably still is for all we know.

FUN FACT: Lee Harvey Oswald was twenty-four when he murdered Jack Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Do the arithmetic: By the standards of Sirhan, had he lived, Lee should have been paroled in 2016. Really?

Sirhan was originally supposed to receive the death penalty. During his sentencing, the Kennedy family - to their great credit - pleaded for his life, as well they should have. I have never been a proponent of capital punishment, and I'm happy that his life was spared, but he should never again see the light of day. The damage that the silly little bastard did to this once-great nation is incalculable. A pardon for Sirhan Sirhan would also set a sad and dangerous precedent. An assassin should never be allowed to cast the ultimate and fatal ballot. Any potential murderer of any candidate for public office should know that the key to the jail cell door will be thrown away forever once it has been slammed shut behind him.

Governor Newsom was born eight months before Robert F. Kennedy died. He has no recollection of the trauma that RFK's murder put the nation through. I hope he does the wise thing.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is ABC News coverage of the assassination of Robert Kennedy late on the night of June 5, 1968. We should never forget what Sirhan's twisted little trigger finger did to America.

Never forget.


I'm sorry I've been off for over two weeks. Lately I've been having balancing issues. I spilled a large cup of vodka and V8 juice on my keyboard and it was rendered  completely useless. I was only able to replace it this afternoon.


At 6:05 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Two things that are 100% True. Sirhan was always in front of,and never got within 10 feet of RFK, who was shot at CLOSE RANGE from the REAR.

And if Bobby Kennedy lives, Nixon loses in 1968.

Let that sink in. (cue "you know who" to repeat that phrase)

At 2:20 AM, Blogger JRD said...

Well, his mom lived forever (or almost). You never know, he might still be alive.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Wow. I make the correct assessment of the RFK assassination an no one, not even Sybil challenges?


At 6:21 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

OK, can we bring up the Nazis in texas now?

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Testing...1...2...3...is this on?

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Les Holmes said...

Dear Tom, have you seen a GP about your balance issues? I do hope you are feeling better. Take care of yourself, my friend.

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Hey Tom, I sincerely hope you are OK...

But why has your blog gone quiet?


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