|President John Kennedy
stood up to Terrorism. He brought the world to the brink
of nuclear war because he was Vigilant about the protection of the
children's children's children. He used Courage over Fear
and Conviction to overshadow Intimidation by his willingness to go to
war with Russia over the Cuban missile crisis. What is the
difference between what he did and what George Bush is doing?
Read and find out.
Friday--November 22, 2002—Ground Zero Plus
Assassination Breeds Terrorism
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Nov. 22 --
Thirty-nine years ago today a Terrorist shot and killed President John F.
Kennedy. In those days we didn't call such acts "terrorism."
We called them "conspiracies."
The shroud that hangs over JFK's
death will probably never be lifted by the truth. His death will be
forever clouded by the range of
conspiracy theories ranging from the Mafia to Castro, from Russia to even
LBJ, the vice-president who assumed Kennedy's Presidency. Few if any
think the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone.
Not too many years ago Saddam
Hussein tried to assassinate former president George Bush, father of the
current U.S. President George Bush Jr. There are no conspiracy
theories over that attempt. Assassination of political war lords has
become an accepted article of speech and action. Today, we are publicly trying to
assassinate Osama bin Laden, and, the pen is poised over Saddam Hussein's
Assassination, once a dirty
word in both moral and political circles, has taken on a new dull
amorality. The word "assassination" can be easily spoken without
raising eyebrows or spearing the hearts of the "politically correct" who would
have once lost their lunch over hearing a world leader emit
such words in juxtaposition to another world leader--good or bad.
Osama bin Laden, regardless of his
lack of soil to rule, is a world leader. He leads the Terrorist
World, an amorphic state of shadows that appear to have spider-webbed
themselves into every nook and cranny of the globe. When Osama pops
up, the anti-Terrorist assassination guns swivel wildly in search of his
"kill zone." Nothing would sate the appetite of the Terror Hunters
more than to bring his head on a silver platter to Pennsylvania Ave.
He even has a $25 million bounty on his head--true blood money for
him--dead or alive.
Attack on McKinley
Attempt on Reagan
Attack on Garfield
aren't news to America. Four presidents have been killed in office: Abraham
Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. Below is a
chart of American leaders who were targets or victims from 1865 to current
time. Included in the list is an attempt on FDR's life.
Assassinations and Attempts in U.S. Since 1865
|Lincoln, Abraham (president of U.S.): Shot
April 14, 1865, in Washington, DC, by John Wilkes Booth; died April
|Seward, William H. (secretary of state):
Escaped assassination (though injured) April 14, 1865, in
Washington, DC, by Lewis Powell (or Paine), accomplice of John
Wilkes Booth. |
|Garfield, James A. (president of U.S.): Shot
July 2, 1881, in Washington, DC, by Charles J. Guiteau; died Sept.
|McKinley, William (president of U.S.): Shot
Sept. 6, 1901, in Buffalo by Leon Czolgosz; died Sept. 14. |
|Roosevelt, Theodore (ex-president of U.S.):
Escaped assassination (though shot) Oct. 14, 1912, in Milwaukee
while campaigning for president. |
|Cermak, Anton J. (mayor of Chicago): Shot Feb.
15, 1933, in Miami by Giuseppe Zangara, who attempted to assassinate
Franklin D. Roosevelt; Cermak died March 6. |
|Roosevelt, Franklin D. (president-elect of U.S.):
Escaped assassination unhurt Feb. 15, 1933, in Miami. |
|Long, Huey P. (U.S. senator from Louisiana):
Shot Sept. 8, 1935, in Baton Rouge by Dr. Carl A. Weiss; died Sept.
|Truman, Harry S. (president of U.S.): Escaped
assassination unhurt Nov. 1, 1950, in Washington, DC, as 2 Puerto
Rican nationalists attempted to shoot their way into Blair House.
|Kennedy, John F. (president of U.S.): Shot Nov.
22, 1963, in Dallas, Tex., allegedly by Lee Harvey Oswald; died same
day. Injured was Gov. John B. Connally of Texas. Oswald was shot and
killed two days later by Jack Ruby. |
|Malcolm X, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (black
activist): Shot and killed in a New York City auditorium,
Feb. 21, 1965; his killer(s) were never positively identified. |
|King, Martin Luther, Jr. (civil rights leader):
Shot April 4, 1968, in Memphis by James Earl Ray; died same day.
|Kennedy, Robert F. (U.S. senator from New York):
Shot June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan; died
June 6. |
|Wallace, George C. (governor of Alabama): Shot
and critically wounded in assassination attempt May 15, 1972, at
Laurel, Md., by Arthur Herman Bremer. Wallace paralyzed from waist
|Ford, Gerald R. (president of U.S.): Escaped
assassination attempt Sept. 5, 1975, in Sacramento, Calif., by
Lynette Alice (Squeaky) Fromme, who pointed but did not fire
.45-caliber pistol. Escaped assassination attempt in San Francisco,
Calif., Sept. 22, 1975, by Sara Jane Moore, who fired one shot from
a .38-caliber pistol that was deflected. |
|Jordan, Vernon E., Jr. (civil rights leader):
Shot and critically wounded in assassination attempt May 29, 1980,
in Fort Wayne, Ind. |
|Reagan, Ronald (president of U.S.): Shot in
left lung in Washington by John W. Hinckley, Jr., on March 30, 1981;
three others also wounded.|
little doubt we live
in a world of Terrorism even at the top of the political food chain. Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are not
new arrivals to the proliferation of Terrorism or assassination. They are not the head of the hydra. But
unlike most assassins, their targets are indiscriminate.
Rather than isolate one individual who represents a "political" or
"social" icon, these assassins prefer to target their "children,"
and other political "wards of the state." By killing the
women and children for whom the leader is responsible to assure their
safety, Terrorists believe they weaken the
leader's role of "protector." They believe such acts
undermine the nation's confidence. Also, modern political assassins
prefer the glee of making the "parents" suffer over the "children's
deaths." They like to hold the parent (leader) captive
while they torture their "children" on CNN.
The Mafia as well
as any criminal Terrorist will use the threat of reprisal against a
victim's family as leverage rather than sticking a gun to a victim's head.
"I'll kill your children, your mother, your father and all your friends
unless you do what I say. Their blood will be on your hands unless
you surrender to my will," is the twisted threat Terrorists use these
days. Such cruelty often begets equal cruelty.
Wreckage of al
Queda leader Abu Ali's car
In Yemen, we
recently allowed the CIA to assassinate an al-Queda leader with an
unmanned Predator. Nary an eye blinked in the U.S. when the nightly
news reported our act. From Washington, our leaders
openly speak of "killing" or "removing" or "erasing" or "eradicating" the
Terrorists and their allies, as though assassination was an endorsed
process of justice against Terrorists. Trials are no
longer camp. Capturing and prosecuting seems less important than
hunting and killing on sight.
America has a thirst for
But does it work, this
retaliation of sending "death squads" to counter "death squads?"
Injured 5 year-old
Fatma Abu Salah, in critical condition after being hurt by an
Israeli bomb blast.
Last evening on MSNB a host of
news pundits reviewed the success of Israel's "an eye for an eye"
retaliation strategy against suicide bombers It hasn't worked.
The more Israel "assassinates back," the greater the number of suicide
attacks. It seems violence begets violence, death breeds more
death, assassinations seed more assassinations.
Kid Bomber in
training in Palestine
The other night in the
Sopranos latest HBO episode, Mafia leader Tony Soprano became enraged
at one of his lieutenants and beat him to death. The other
lieutenants, suspecting Tony killed one of his own "top ranking" crime
bosses, questioned if their lives were safe. Tony broke the old
pact--"Thou Shalt Not Assassinate Another Leader." It's the same
pact the U.N. holds
dear when it denies the right of another nation to assassinate a political
leader to force a regime change. "Thou shalt not kill they
The undercurrent in the
Sopranos television crime drama is retaliation. The under-bosses
are now wondering whether they should "whack Tony" before he "whacks another of
them." Assassination sets into motion more assassination.
Newton's Third Law of
Motion also comes into play regarding assassination. "For
every force there is an equal and opposite reaction force."
What is interesting in
Newton's Law is the words "reaction force." If one uses
"assassination" as a political or social power tool, then one can expect "assassination" in return.
However, Terrorism's nature violates Newton's Third Law by expanding the word
"equal and opposite reaction force," to "unequal and opposite reaction
force." Terrorism multiplies its reaction force, and redirects it
from the object acted upon to
the innocent rather than the cause of the force. Terrorism would rather
react agaisnt the universe than exert direct force back on the one who
caused the disturbance. Terrorism justifies indiscriminate
reaction rather than discriminate retaliation.
World Trade Center
Attacks on innocent victims in Bali and the World Trade Center are just
two examples. Suicide bombers blowing up buses with women and
children aboard offer others. The recent thwarted attempt in London to blow up
subway commuters shows how Terrorism "assassinates" in
unlike "reactive" terms.
Thirty-nine years ago
today when President Kennedy was killed in Dallas by an assassin, it set
off a string of events unlike previous political assassinations or their attempts
on U.S. leaders.
Most believe Kennedy's
death was a well-planned, well-plotted conspiracy by nefarious forces not
unlike the al-Qaeda in design. It sent a message to those
vulnerable targets that a single Terrorist could infiltrate and wreak
death and destruction at will upon the highest of all leaders.
It cracked the egg of security of America.
Kennedy was a political
target. He threatened the Russians with nuclear war.
He launched the war in Vietnam. He tried to invade and topple
the regime in Cuba. There is even strong evidence he conspired
with the Mafia to assassinate Castro. Besides numerous
domestic enemies, he invoked the wrath of countless foreign ones.
Kennedy, like President Bush, didn't
win the popular vote. Nixon garnered 49.7% of the popular
votes compared to 49.5% for Kennedy, but Kennedy, as Bush, won the
electoral college votes.
Kennedy's administration took us to
the moon, but it also brought us to the brink of a horrible war, one that
would have decimated the earth. It also ushered in the
principle of "political assassination" as an open forum to eliminate
Today, the legacy of "assassination"
has become a household word. It belies a moral crumbling of
former respect for war as a tool to defeat enemies, and places in its
place crosshairs and Predators and the authorization of the CIA to "hunt
My concern with anniversary of
the assassination of President Kennedy is that it highlights the legacy of
Terrorism in America and abroad. I find it necessary in my own
thinking to try and seek the source of current events, and their
malformations through time.
If Terrorism begets Terrorism,
then November 22, 1963 hallmarks a critical timeline for its overt
appearance. November 22, 2002 hallmarks its presence in living
rooms across the world, and a sanction of its presence at dinner tables,
and its insidious ability to creep into the mushy minds of youth who hear
the news and wonder, "hmmmm, assassination must be okay."
As a Citizen of Vigilance I
believe this is cancerous to our children, and our children's children's
children. I fear it will bring more Terrorism, more