Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bobby Kennedy and the Last Good Campaign

In the wake of the terrible news that Ted Kennedy has an aggressive brain tumor, the type that usually kills within six months, I thought I'd mention that this month's Vanity Fair cover story is enlightening, uplifting, and very much worth reading. What a tragedy that he was murdered before he had a chance at the Presidency. You can read Thurston Clarke's "The Last Good Campaign: Power and Politics" here. And here's an excerpt that is just as pertinent about Iraq as it was forty years ago about Vietnam. What a fine President he would have made.

“I am concerned—as I believe most Americans are concerned—that the course we are following at the present time is deeply wrong.… I am concerned—as I believe most Americans are concerned—that we are acting as if no other nation existed, against the judgment and desires of neutrals and our historic allies alike.”

He urged his audience to consider “the young men that we have sent there; not just the killed, but those who have to kill; not just the maimed, but all those who must look upon the results of what they are forced and have to do,” and to consider “the price we pay in our own innermost lives, and in the spirit of this country.” This was why, he said, “war is not an enterprise lightly to be undertaken, nor prolonged one moment past its absolute necessity.”

The Senator, asleep with his dog Freckles sharing the pillow.

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