"And Now It's On To Chicago and Let's Win There." Robert F. Kennedy, June 5, 1968
As I traveled this day to Chicago to bear witness to and against an organization wholly culpable for the murder of countless and uncounted persons in the name of war, undaunted power and greed, I recalled words which Bobby Kennedy spoke to the world moments before he too was murdered. Within moments of his death, then presidential candidate Robert Kennedy gave an interview in which he gave extraordinary voice to ordinary people whom the United States was killing in Viet Nam, without cause or reason or care. The deaths of these people in that foreign land, as well as the deaths of the soldiers who were killing them, was reason and cause enough for Senator Kennedy to proclaim that “we just have to change our policies.” He “hoped that the Democratic Party would recognize that.” Kennedy stated: “Six months ago we were concerned about bombing Hanoi because we’re going to kill civilians. Now we’re killing larger numbers of them as we’re bombing Saigon.”
Robert Kennedy knew that the only way to stop the killing of Vietnamese civilians was to end the war forevermore. Before he could do so, he was shot and killed and the slaughter and bombing in Southeast Asia continued unabated.
I, for one, have come to Chicago this week to echo the voice of Bobby Kennedy while the NATO ministers of war and the head of the “Democratic Party” conspire with each other to militarily and economically dominate the world with impunity, no matter the cost. But cost is not the issue here. I have come to Chicago to be the voice of those who NATO and President Obama deem fit to kill and maim and destroy without cause or reason or care. I am not here, however, to barter on their behalf. I am not here to trade the beneficent sparing of their lives for more American jobs or better health care. The lives this government takes so cavalierly around the globe are priceless and I will not equate those lives nor reduce those souls to matters of US economics. They are, to my mind, incomparable. The wars must end and the killing must stop, even if they cost nothing and deprived no one of anything.
My thinking or hoping that the current Democratic Party will recognize the need for a change in policy regarding ending its wars and saving civilian lives as Robert Kennedy did is a pipedream. Nevertheless, thousands will gather in Chicago this week to at least try to make that dream come to pass because we must.
Ted Kennedy said it best as he spoke at his brother’s funeral: