[En] What if Bobby Kennedy had survived?

Le 3 septembre 2010

Bobby Kennedy came through the Ambassador Hotel's attentat. He became president of the United States. A new era is coming for America. But pay attention to counter-revolution !

Bobby survives an assassination attempt

What is alternate history ?

Alternate history is a writing genre frequently used for political reflections. It consists in rewriting history starting from a particular history point modified by the author. Alternate history creates some kind of new history which shows what could have been. It’s a political imagination tool that begin most of time by : “what if… ?”

The true story of Bobby Kennedy

Younger brother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Robert Francis Kennedy, also known as Bobby, is nominated US attorney general by his brother in 1961. He is 35 years old. Married with Ethel and father of 11 children, Bobby is a tormented man and deeply marked by his brother’s assasination in 1963. Whereas he embodies the East coast’s White and catholic self-righteousness, Bobby manages a spectacular shift to the left in the second part of the 1960’s. Strongly opposed to the Vietnam war, a fervent proponent of minorities rights and a spokesperson for the poor, he took part in the Democratic primaries in prevision of the presidential election in 1968. Although he is set to win the race, he is assassinated at the Ambassador hotel in Los Angeles, on June 5, 1968. Millions of Americans accompany his remains all along the railway linking New-York to Washington. His name will remain forever stuck in collective memory as the one who might have given America another destiny. Just the opposite of what Nixon and Reagan did. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”, said Bobby Kennedy.

What if Bobby Kennedy hadn’t been assasinated ?

Bobby Kennedy came through the Ambassador Hotel’s attack. He became president of the United States. A new era is coming for America. But watch out for the counter-revolution !

1-Miracle man

The day Bobby Kennedy survived

Booby is know in a wheelchair

Excerpts of “Mon journal d’Amerique” by Jeff Pomerol de Launac

“Los Angeles, Ambassador Hotel, June 5, 1968.

It looks like the Shea Stadium. The same mad girls, the same foolish enthusiasm, the same electricity in the air. And the same deep feeling to be at the center of the world. But all the fanatic howling from those beautiful white-dressed American girls are not for The Beatles. They’re for Robert Francis Kennedy, a.k.a. Bobby. He’s the one who just won the Californian Democratic primary. However, it is not joy that causes their convulsions and tears. It’s terror. Because they saw everything. They where there, at the first rank, with their “Kennedy for President” hats, when the man fired. A staff member jumped over the stage, this place where a few minutes ago the former President’s brother pronounced his victory speech, next to his wife Ethel, mother to their 11 children. He took the microphone and said, tonelessly : “Senator Kennedy was shot.”

Thereafter came confusion. The Ambassador hotel’s lounge, jubilant five minutes ago, turned into a crime scene. The few policemen were overwhelmed. Excited by the smell of blood, camera crews made their way to the motionless body of the senator. We heard someone shout : “A doctor, we need a doctor !” Three doctors arrived and leant over the dead-still body. One of them tried to talk to him but he was already unconscious. A dark stain spread on the floor. Time seemed to have stopped. “About 10 or 15 minutes maybe”, a witness later said on television. Finally, Robert Kennedy is evacuated.

A few moments later, still shocked, an anonymous crowd gathered in front of the hospital where he was given first-aid treatment. Fire-trucks passed by. Close to there, a whole block was on fire. After a rapid check, they were told that there was no link with the assassination attempt. On television, special editions spoke of conflicting theories. What happened  exactly at the Ambassador hotel? How many persons had been stricken? Could Bobby Kennedy survive?

All night long, Americans were held in a dreadful expectation. It seemed impossible, simply unbelievable, that fate had stuck the Kennedys again. This time it wasn’t the perfect son-in-law but the rebel son, hero of popular classes, spokesman for minorities, for the young, a radical opponent to the Vietnam war, tireless defender of civil rights, JFK’s former attorney general, the one that John’s death brought to the more extreme edges of the progressive family, the hope of America’s forgotten ones.

For nearly 48 hours, they held their breath. They stayed on the pavement. They prayed. They refused to leave, staying out of resignation. People talked about it like he were already dead. They promised to take revenge. The shooter, a lonely person called Sirhan Sirhan, had been instantly arrested but people talked about a second shooter: a policeman. A conspiracy? How could we know? Faces looked tired. Revenge was roaring in wounded souls. Not him! First his brother, then Reverend King, assassinated 2 month before. Kill Nixon or the fake Democrat Johnson, if you want… But not him!

Suddenly, a mother, who had not slept in two days, pointed at the glass door. She wanted to shout but she stayed speechless. She was not hallucinating. Despite the difficulties, the patient wanted to run himself out of his wheelchair without the nurses’ help; he was in pain even if there was still this eccentric gentleness sparkling from his eyes. He would never walk again. He would never stand up on old barrels, in the ghetto, facing fervent crowds. The last bullet touched his spinal cord but he was alive. The roar of the crowd when he left hospital could confirm that. As a kind of answer, a small smile appear on his eternal New-England student’s face.”


In the afternoon, Humphrey, McCarthy et McGovern threw in the towel. On November 5, 1968, Bobby Kennedy became the 37th president of the United States of America, crushing Republican Richard Nixon. Four years later, he is easily reelected. But, really weakened, he died in February, 1974. Until 2008, all presidents will be Democrats. Things get bad thereafter… (Ed.)

2-Champagne socialist, an american invention

In Woodstock, we witness the birth of official culture. Subversion is no longer what it was.

Story published in french newspaper “Le Monde”, August 20th, 1969, by Sophie Planchet.

August 16th, 1969. Woodstock Festival, State of New-York.

From all over the country, the long-haired youth flocks here to see the huge show. Organizers are overflowed but Berkeley’s students, spearheads of the Democratic vanguard, ensure that everything goes well. There is no way Socialst Workers Party leftists opposing the government or embittered Black Panthers can come here to disturb this week-end. Participants set up their tents and brought enough weed for all of the United States to get high. Janis, Jimi, Joe, Pete… take the turns on the giant stage. They praise RFK when we would have expected them to criticize the goernment, had the war gone on much longer. But the new president, Bobby Kennedy, called the boys back from the Vietnamese jungle, breaking with the pro-war policy of his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, the “Texan redneck” supported by the army. The last platoons left Hanoi and were welcomed back as heroes. Moreover, here they are, pouncing around, their uniform opened, showing their chest, on the wide plain of Bethel, 37 miles away from Woodstock. They are the guests of honor in the festival, where a brand-new form of patriotism is in the makings. For Democrats strategists, they’re also the guarantee that Army headquarters will remain quiet. Those who blame soldiers must count with a hostile public opinion. And the opinion prefers to see America’s kids at home rather than 10.000 miles away, being crushed by Vietcongs.

As the sky glows darker, a severe storm threatens the hundred of thousand people who came. In spite of this, an orgasmic wave runs through the crowd as one organizer, the fearless Michael Lang, negotiated quietly the arrival of a special guest. It could be – we might use conditional tense – I could be true that the President honors the festival with his presence! When the first drops start falling on the giant camp, the whisper become reality. The presidential helicopter lands exactly where artists themselves landed earlier. A quarter of an hour later, Bobby is on stage. Straight on his wheelchair, like an amazing reincarnation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he delivers the most beautiful speech of his tenure in front of a silent crowd. He says to conclude : “Your are the future. You are America. God bless you, God bless America !” There are kisses and tears. We are no longer at a rock concert, we are attending mass!
In the VIP corner, Ethel Kennedy looks like a girl receiving her First Communion.

When Jimi Hendrix gives her a big joint, she takes it, politely, and she’s nearly suffocating in laughter. The “Star-Spangled Banner” man does not insist. Some talk about him as a special council at the White House, in charge of Cultural affairs, so it might be better not to transform the First Lady into a junkie. On his part, Bobby is holding a conversation  with the Who. Santana joins them while Crosby, Stills & Nash listen to every word. The President talks about America’s new face, this “third way to socialism” which he promotes since his election. Graham Nash whisper to Stephen Stills : “Fuck ! If I had been told that in one year we’d shift from counter-culture to state-culture…” Stills, hilarious: “That’s the reason why we fought !”

On the stage Joan Baez sings “We pray for you, Mister President.” For sure, the Woodstock festival will remain in History as the victory of liberal Americans. Well done, beatniks! Their hair are on the good side of respectability. Nice paradox…

3-The Union of Socialists States of America

Bobby and “socialism with a human face”

The Culture Minister

Excerpts of President Robert Francis Kennedy’s State of the Union address, January, 1974.
(Bobby Kennedy’s last speech)

“ (…) The United-States of America are now going into a new road, the road of democratic socialism. I would like to pay homage to you all, senators, congressmen, that made this possible. I also address the Republican opposition, which allowed us to bring this upheaval to a successful conclusion without violence. The life of a great nation at peace is at this cost (…)”

Make no mistake about it: this socialism with a human face is nothing compared to the one which enslave millions of our brothers in the East. It refuses to abolish individual freedoms in order to bring equality. It condemns the godless society that marxists theorists are building up on hatred behind the iron curtain. It is shocked to see that the utopia of a classless society has been betrayed by Moscow’s zealots. Because of them, the very idea of a revolution against the capitalist order is becoming supicious, while it is the only great idea that we, poor sinners, have been able to retain from God’s teaching.

In the past six years, we stoped the foolish war in Vietnam. We established a social security system for everyone. We enforced the legislation for equality between citizens, whatever their ethnic origins, religious beliefs or sexual inclinations. We punished exploiters, gave rights to workers and women. We took from the rich to give to the poor.

We chose justice abroad as well. (…) I’m proud that Congress heard the heart-breaking cry of the Chilian people by financing the heroic fight of those who follow my friend Salvador Allende against the backward goals of general Pinochet. Without you, Pinochet would still lead the government in power in Santiago instead of serving is life in prison sentence.

But all these outcomes are nothing compared to what we still have to accomplish. My strengths are leaving me, but I know I can count on a new generation of young leaders devoted to the idea of common good, a generation that will make our dreams come true in order to change the life of millions of men and women. Abolish poverty. Crush down injustice. Change our cities into sweet havens, banish violence from our ghettos. Seek peace in all circumstances and all around the world. Understand our ennemies while being assured that one day, they will follow our way. And finally strive to achieve the only valuable goal in all political action: unite men under a planetary democratic society, where love will reign (…)”

4-China attacks America!

President Palin announces massive retaliation

Five chinese terrorists attack the WTC

Interview of Sarah Palin by Diane Sawyer, live on CBS, September 13, 2009.

Madam President, thanks for having us in the Oval office at a time when America is living its the most tragic hours. My first question will be to-the-point: What are you going to do now?

War.The United States of America have been savagely attacked. We will retaliate. Quickly, strongly, and without any kind of hesitation. 2,500 innocent Americans perished in these attacks. It’s about time our great nation reacts instead of looking cowardly at our enemies crushing us. For the past forty years, we only opened our hands to those spitting at us. This era is over. Blood calls for blood.

But China is not a typical country. We are waging a war against almost 1,5 billion people!

We have the means to win the war.

Not all Chinese are guilty!

We have nothing against the Chinese people. All those ready to collaborate with us will be spared. Others will be punished.

Do we have irrefutable proof that the Chinese government is behind the attacks? Beijing denied any involvement.

At 9am, this 11th of September, two airliners struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Our intelligence services are clear on that: All 5 Chinese terrorists were members of the Chinese Communist Party. What other proof do you need?

What do you mean? Are you implying that America is made of cowards?

Forty years of Democrat administration let the vital energies of our country go dry. Democrats abandoned Vietnam. They wanted to make peace with the USSR. They encouraged regimes on our continent that had no respect for freedom and property rights. They have, at home, discouraged people from working and encouraged state charity. In 1984, they had a Negro elected at the White House. I have nothing against colored people in general and against rev. Jackson in particular, but there are things that simply should not be done. And that give a very bad example to the world. How can we be surprised to be attacked after we showed everyone our weaknesses?

The leader of the Democratic opposition asks for a Senate inquiry over the circumstances of the attack…

You are talking about the islamophile, pro-Chinese Hussein Obama? I think he should have stayed where he belongs: as a social worker in the slums of Chicago. That’s where he’ll be most useful for his people. Judging from their history, Blacks cannot be patriots. We can regret it, but that’s the way it is. Go ask the families of the dead firefighters if they need an inquiry. Facts speak for themselves.

Isn’t this war against China a way to rally Americans around an issue?

It is, first and foremost, a way to defend ourselves. But it is also an unexpected way to fight the poison of decadence that grows in the hearts and minds of Americans since 1968. We must repair the original sin of the Bobby Kennedy presidency. We have waited 40 years for this moment. I can tell you we’re not going to let this opportunity slip through our hands.

5-Carla and Cecilia: “Together, everything is possible”

The First Ladies’ revenge

Sarah Palin and Nicolas Sarkozy have an affair...

Published in Hello!, April 12, 2010 (the photograph in the inner pages is taken from the magazine cover, where we see – blurred – Cécilia Attias, Sarkozy’s former wife, and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy French kissing each other).

What a story! The whole planet is upside-down ever since we revealed that Nicolas Sarkozy was having an affair with Sarah Palin (Hello!, February 5).

Everything started at the Nato summit, in December last year. Sarah and Nicolas quietly held hands during the official dinner, following a ‘one-to-one’ conversation. A stolen kiss a few days later in Washington… we know the rest. From a simple ‘foolish moment’ (according to the press release from the Elysee Palace and the White House), we went to a full-blown love-story, where world affairs are being dealt with under the sheets. France just sent 10,000 additional troops on the Californian front! That’s how persuasive women can be…

Brave Todd Palin cannot stand to be laughed at anymore. He gathered around him an army of lawyers and is hoping to get a divorce at-fault. Right in the middle of the Thild World War, that’s cheeky. As for Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, she did not bother with all the judicial stuff. She is in the middle of her own – Italian – love story with what seems to be a ghost: Cécilia Attias. Sarkozy’s ex-wife said she was ‘very happy’ to have got rid of her ‘rather boring’ husband and to show the world that “it’s not so hard” to be a free woman. Ah, Nicolas, we had warned you: “No penis in the office!”

Select timeline

1969: The promotional movie Easy Rider premieres at the White House. In the film, two Democrats criss-cross the US to explain the reforms of the RFK administration to uncooperative peasants. The concept of “change driver” is born.

1970: Medicare reform gives every American comprehensive social benefits, even in case of an abortion.

1971: The death penalty is abolished throughout the US. The right tolerates the move.

1972: Massive demonstrations from the Republicans in protest of the handshake between Kennedy and Mao Zedong in Beijing.

Jimi Hendrix nominated

1973: Congress votes the budget for the US to support Chilean President Allende against the rebels of Pinochet. Sept 11, 1973: Victory of Allende. A military treaty is signed between Chile and the US.

1974: Bobby Kennedy dies. 1 million persons follow the funeral cortege from Washington to New-York. Among the officials present is the new French president, François Mitterand. Vice-president McGovern takes office until 1976.

1975: Fidel Castro declares that “Cuba must become the 51st state of America”.

1976: McGovern is elected. He launches the New Economic Policy (NEP).

1977: The right wing of the democratic party is marginalized at the Cincinnati convention. Jimmy Carter, a man who made a fortune growing peanuts, becomes general secretary.

1978: Defense Secretary Harvey Milk escapes a terrorist attack.

1979: The Tin Drum is the only Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival. Francis Ford Coppola goes back empty-handed with his uninviting piece, The Vietnam War Will Not Take Place.

Woodstock turn into a democrats meeting

1980: Jimmy Carter elected president. Considered to be soft and easily influenced, he will remain in History for he remained only 4 years in office.

1981: François Mitterant is reelected with 54% of the vote in France, against Raymond Barre.

1982: Carter denies he belongs to the 4th International.

1983: Carter steps up for the copper miners in Phelps Dodge, AZ. That’s the best proof of his being a Trotskyist!

1984: Greenville, SC, hometown of rev. Jesse Jackson, cannot believe the election result. Jackson is the first African-American to be elected president of the United States.

1985: Nelson Mandela is freed.

1986: Sandinists win in Nicaragua, financed by the US.

1987: The Washington treaty puts an end to the Arab-Israeli wars.

1988: The “French Jesse Jackson”, Harlem Desir, acclaimed by public opinion, leaves his NGO and runs for president. He wins against Raymond Barre, who was running with far-right support, on May 8.

1989: In January, Jackson takes oath for his second term. He promises to “rid America of the cancer that is racial segregation”. Gearge H. Bush, his contender, declares privately that he is fed up with “these Niggers that run America”.

A new ideological model is born : The United Socialists States of America (USSA)

1990: Jean Leloup sings “1990″.

1991: Francois Mitterrand is awarded a Pulitzer prize for The Secret of the Grain.

1992: Jesse Jackson is reelected with a thin margin. Republicans strongly improved their standing in Midwest states.

1993: Race riots in Los Angeles following the Rodney King affair.

1994: The US win the Soccer World Cup at home, beating France in the finals (Cantona is given a red card after he beat up the referee).

1995: Desir is reelected in France. Bertrand Delanoe becomes prime minister. “A Negro and a fag, where is France headed for?” asks Prof. Choron.

1996: Bill Clinton, former Vice-president, is elected.

1997: Hillary Clinton, Health minister, revamps the Medicare system: 93% of all drugs will now have to be paid by the patient. The Democrats’ left wing are up in arms.

1998: France loses against Croatia (1-0) during the semi-finals of its World Cup. Sports minister Lilian Thuram is very upset.

1999: George W. Bush falls back into alcoholism and will not get over it.

2000: Clinton is reelected despite the “Monicagate”.

Chinese soldiers invade California

2001: A space odyssey.

2002: President Clinton talks of China and North Korea as the “Axis of Evil” in his State of the Union address.

2003: Republicans are crazy about an anchor on the Fox News channel: Sarah Palin.

2004: Al Gore is elected thanks to a fraudulent vote. Democrats, feeling the defeat, manipulate the votes in Tennessee. The end of the Democrat era nears.

2005: Al Gore declares that, while he remains alive, the US will never sign the Kyoto Protocol.

2006: Jacques Chirac bathes in the Seine river.

2007: Hu Jintao burns the Star-Spangled banner on Tienanmen Square.

2008: Sarah Palin wins the presidental election. Beginning of the conservative counter-revolution.

2009: Sept. 11: Chinese terrorists Attack the World Trade Center. Sept. 15: The US fire missiles against Beijing and Shanghai. The UN protests. For the first time, two members of the security council are at war. Sept. 18: China attacks the US. California is targeted by the Chinese Navy. A curfew law is passed in Los Angeles, leading to gang wars and plunders.

2010: The US government signs the armistice in Guangzhou and acknowledges defeat. For 74% of Americans, “we deserved it”. The United States become a province of China. Sarah Palin chooses to collaborate. Together with Nicolas sarkozy, they adopt a boy named ‘Hu’.

They adopt a young Hu

Famous alternate histories

Writings :
> The plot against America, by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, 2004). Roosvelt lost the 1940 presidential election. Charles Lindberg, non-interventionist republican, became president and sign a non-agressive treaty with Nazi Germany.
> The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H., by George Steiner (Faber and Faber, 1981). Hitler did not commit suicide. He’s alive, hiding in the Amazon forest. A Jewish commando finds him and wants to bring him back to civilization to judge him.
> Fatherland, by Robert Harris (Hutchinson, 1992). Berlin, 1964. The Nazis won the war. They rule everything as far as east Russia. No Jews remain to testify of the Holocaust.

Movies :
> Jean-Philippe, by Laurent Tuel (2006). Jean-Philippe Smet never became Johnny Hallyday because he missed his first audition. He’s still a kind person named Jean-Philippe.
> There is also the “Back to the Future” trilogy, by Robert Zemeckis (1985-1989-1990) where the young Marty (Michael J. Fox) goes back in time and interferes in his parents’ romance.

First published in Usbek & Rica (article on OWNI when the #1 was published)

Texte : Thierry Keller / Illustrations : Eleanor Wood.

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