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Shadows of Camelot

  • Published at 06:53 pm November 24th, 2013
Shadows of Camelot

Did the shot come from the building behind the motorcade or was there a concealed gunman in a bush in front? This one question keeps on troubling the world. President John F Kennedy was killed 50 years ago, and in that time frame, the world has changed immeasurably, though the question above has never been answered definitively.

The Cold War, the big headache of the JFK administration, is but a faded memory. Cuba’s fiery Communist leader Castro is no longer the bête noir intolerable and the map of Europe has changed so dramatically that the global geographical demarcation from the sixties may now appear totally outmoded.  

Yet, the events of that fateful November day in Dallas, when JFK was shot, carry on providing a rich premise for conspiracy theories. No matter how much we reveal, there still seems to be something missing.

Or, to be frank, we want to think there are some missing segments.

So, when one of the bodyguards, who accompanied the president on that day, was recently interviewed by the BBC, audience interest was revived on the hope that perhaps a small detail, unnoticed for so long, would possibly come out in the open now.

Of course, nothing of that sort happened.

The mystery surrounding the killing received a boost when a nurse, who was at the hospital trying to revive a fatally wounded president, dramatically declared that there was another bullet, not matching the ones from Oswald’s rifle, which was removed from the spot.

Well, here is another statement which only compounds the dark theories. Conspiracy lovers have a reason to rejoice!  

The truth is that the events following the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, said to be the sole killer of JFK, only compounded the fog around the whole assassination.

Oswald was shot in public by Jack Ruby, a night club owner– an act which is deemed by many as a move to eliminate the scapegoat.

In later years, those wanting to prove a more sinister force behind the killing have used technology to indicate the contour of a rifle-carrying man sitting under a bush ahead of the presidential motorcade.

Hence, the controversy as to the origin of the bullet!

Whatever the case, JFK refuses to let go of his attraction. One must also say that the regular revelations of his amorous relations with women only multiply that interest.

JFK’s many brief but tempestuous relations with members of the opposite sex are deemed not as embarrassments, but surprisingly, as acts spurred by a wicked streak. Anyway, salacious details keep on coming out and these revelations make the president appear more than a solemn (read boring) leader of a powerful nation.

All the saucy bits of his personal life have implanted the image of a flamboyant lady killer who, on the side, also ruled a country during a critical period of time.

Would JFK be so talked about if he had been alive or if he had been saved that day after being shot?

Very unlikely!

An analogy with Che Guevara becomes essential. If the firebrand Marxist revolutionary did not die in Bolivia to come back to Cuba, the cult surrounding him would not have developed. 

With the crumbling of the Communist Bloc, his revolutionary ideals would have lost lustre. Similarly, JFK had to die to give Camelot the enduring appeal.

Curiously, no one ever strongly suggested the hand of Cuba in the killing, though Castro did have a valid reason. During JFK’s presidency, several US attempts were made on the life of the Cuban leader, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, with the missile crisis putting the world on the verge of a nuclear war.

It must be said that the countless affairs with women, the threat of a third world war, rise of Communism in Cuba not too far away from the US mainland, the Apollo moon landing programme, and the ongoing Vietnam War coalesced to create a multi-dimensional portfolio for the president.

Though JFK died, these events later changed or directly influenced many global factors. There isn’t any definitive proof but Kennedy actually wanted to withdraw soldiers from Vietnam – a decision which was reversed during the Lyndon Johnson era.   

Now that the world commemorates fifty years of JFK’s assassination, many parts of the whole event still remain missing.  A new movie, made from the angle of the hospital moments after the president was shot, is due to come out while the old debate as to the direction of the shots is being reignited.

Should we be thrilled? Why not, since the mystery only becomes thicker. The world always has room for some more cloak and dagger.  Hence, “don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”