Ironically, U.S. leaders adopted a line similar to the one pushed by the Soviet Union and communist groups around the world. They likewise blamed the "far right" for the assassination. A Soviet spokesman said that, "Senator [ Barry ] Goldwater and other extremists on the right could not escape moral responsibility for the president's death."
These were the myths that grew up around the assassination and, strangely enough, they are still widely believed. A new book, "Dallas 1963," put out by a respected publishing house, traces the assassination to "a climate of hatred" created by right-wing businessmen, religious leaders and media moguls.
The facts are that President Kennedy was a martyr in the Cold War struggle against communism. The assassin was a communist and not a [racial] bigot or a right-winger.Lee Harvey Oswald had defected to the Soviet Union in 1959, but unhappy there returned to the U.S. with his Russian wife, Marina. Life under the Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat didn't sober him up. Instead he switched his ardor to Fidel Castro, and the enemy (JFK) of his idol became his obsession too.
First, Oswald tried to kill a retired U.S. Army General, Edwin Walker--with the same rifle he later used more accurately against JFK. That failure led him to temporarily flee Dallas for the safety of New Orleans, where he read a newspaper interview with Castro, in which the Cuban dictator warned that U.S. leaders who attempted to assassinate Cubans would themselves not be safe.
Which declaration apparently inspired Oswald, and when he read, in November 1963, that JFK's motorcade would pass right by the building where he worked in Dallas, he took the opportunity it offered. Which facts seemed to have escaped the Dan Rathers of the world;
The JFK assassination was an event in the Cold War, but it was interpreted by America's liberal leadership as an event in the civil-rights crusade. This interpretation sowed endless confusion about the motives of the assassin and the meaning of the event. The vacuum of meaning was filled by a host of conspiracy theories claiming that JFK was a victim of plots orchestrated by right-wing groups.
The widespread feeling that disreputable elements in American culture contributed to Kennedy's death—fed by liberal media figures and politicians—encouraged an anti-American attitude that was a pronounced aspect of the radical and countercultural movements of the 1960s. In the process, the real assassin, his political coloration and likely motives were airbrushed from history.
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