By Robert A. Vella
Last week, the hosts of a local sports talk radio show (which is quite entertaining, provocative, and covers current issues far beyond the realm of sports) discussed a very compelling topic – what historical mysteries would be the most significant if they could be solved. Their discussion inspired this post.
Here’s my top three questions:
Does God, or do gods, exist?
Believers say YES, and non-believers say NO, both emphatically I might add. But, the question remains unanswered from an empirical standpoint. There is insufficient evidence to objectively prove either assertion, although the burden of proof must fall more heavily upon the believer’s position. Still, if we did know the answer, it would have the most profound consequences imaginable.
The demonstrable existence of an omnipotent god(s) overseeing human activities would immediately nullify all secular institutions and practices, completely change the nature and functions of government, and – even more importantly – fundamentally alter how we human beings go about living our daily lives. Personal responsibility, for example, would shift from conforming to societal norms towards strict obedience to the almighty god(s).
Conversely, if our cosmological origins were discovered exclusive of creator-gods, theological religions would collapse in a heap confusion. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam would be great institutional houses resting on no foundations whatsoever. They would react by attempting to redefine themselves, although their efforts would likely be futile. In place of religion, billions of people would look to other forms of guidance. Science, for instance, might become the preeminent point of reference. Spirituality would probably cease being externalized and become more internalized, more personal. The world would be very, very different.
Are advanced extraterrestrials involved in human affairs?
If the day ever comes when E.T.s announce themselves publicly on Earth, the shock would be incalculable and be dependent upon the nature of their involvement. If they proclaimed their superiority and demanded our subservience, the impact to human civilization would be similar to the demonstrable existence of god(s) except that the E.T.s would assume the omnipotent position. If their involvement was something less than that, the impact would still surely be a game-changer. Such an occurrence could radically alter human evolution for the better… or, for the worse.
Was a conspiracy behind the JFK assassination?
I’ll not rehash the details of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 because it has been covered ad nauseam over the years and readers here should be well-versed in the subject. Government officials and conspiracy debunkers have supported the Warren Commission‘s lone gunman theory for half a century now, with the exception of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, despite unresolved questions about Lee Harvey Oswald‘s activities leading up to the shootings in Dallas. Had it been perpetrated by a conspiracy however, and not by a rogue assassin, the consequences resulting from a successful criminal prosecution of the case could be profound to say the least. The geopolitical world could be tilted one way or the other, or the U.S. government could be destabilized depending on the nature of the conviction. Let’s look at the possibilities involving one or more of the following suspects:
Anti-communist forces inside the U.S. intelligence community – Warmongering neocons have held sway over U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II. They prompted the 2003 Iraq War on false pretenses (i.e. WMDs) and spurred the Reagan Administration’s aggressive policies in Central America during the 1980s. However, there was never a time when these rabidly anti-communist antagonists wielded so much power, and met so much resistance from the executive branch, than during the height of the Cold War under President Kennedy. The CIA never forgave JFK for his lukewarm support of its failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in early 1961 as well as his subsequent firing of the agency’s director Allen Dulles. Kennedy had also dragged his heels as the military geared-up for Vietnam, a war realized less than a year following his assassination with another false pretense – the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Coincidence or not, and I think not, previous president Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against the growing influence of America’s “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address which he described as a “potential enemy of the national interest.”
The Italian-American mafia – Powerful mob bosses such as Carlos Marcello in New Orleans, Santo Trafficante Jr. in Florida, and Chicago’s Sam Giancana all had personal grudges against President Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy who was the U.S. Attorney General in his administration. The mafia was furious at Fidel Castro for kicking their lucrative hotel/gaming businesses out of Cuba after he took over that country’s leadership in 1959, and it worked very closely with the CIA to assassinate him even though each of the attempts failed. When President Kennedy refused to commit the U.S. military in support of the previously mentioned Bay of Pigs operation, the mafia turned their anger towards him. The mob was also enraged by the Kennedy administration’s crackdown on their criminal activities, in that same year, as well as their infiltration of organized labor which centered on Teamsters’ president Jimmy Hoffa.
Fidel Castro – The communist dictator of Cuba was the target of numerous CIA/mafia assassination plots, and would’ve had plenty of motive for retaliation against a high profile symbol of the U.S. government like President Kennedy.
The Soviet Union – Embarrassed by the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, frustrated by its inability to outflank the U.S. in the western hemisphere, and still roiling over being outmaneuvered by the Americans in Germany following World War II, the Soviet government would appear – at least superficially – to be the prime suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy.
The extreme right-wing of American politics – Ultra conservative factions entrenched themselves in America’s political institutions early after the nation’s founding. Prior to World War I, it was the Democratic Party which housed racist, pro-slavery extremists. With the advent of fascism in Europe during the 1920s, this movement began expanding its ideology to include laissez faire libertarianism (e.g. the economic philosophy of Ayn Rand), neoconservative foreign policy (e.g. anti-communist aggression advocated by the John Birch Society), and religious sectarianism (e.g. the political activism demanded by Christian dominionists). From the end of World War II to the presidential election of Richard Nixon in 1968, this ideological expansion coalesced and found a new home in the Republican Party. That conservative Republicans despised JFK was certainly no secret. They continue to this day the assertion that he stole the 1960 election from Nixon with the aid of the Chicago mob. Furthermore, they resented Kennedy’s sympathy towards blacks and other minority groups, his popular appeal to hopeful idealism through activist government, his pragmatic caution in world affairs, and the fact that he was Catholic.
If it could be proved in a court of law that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was perpetrated by a conspiracy involving the CIA and/or other forces inside the U.S. government, and that the crime has been officially covered up since then, the resulting impacts would be vast domestically and internationally. The entire U.S. intelligence community and its apparatuses would be called into question. Counter-terrorism and surveillance operations would undoubtedly be intensely scrutinized and likely impaired. U.S. diplomatic relations could immediately deteriorate as America’s standing in the world suffers a crippling blow. The geopolitical balance of power could shift markedly towards China, Russia, and perhaps Europe. At home, the states’ rights movement could gather steam as the federal government weakens from the scandal. If not quickly reformed, this could lead to infighting among the states over contentious issues and possibly to calls for secession. America would be in turmoil.
Any other criminally exposed conspiracy not involving the U.S. government would surely be fascinating and even scandalous, but the resulting impacts would be limited in scope. The Italian-American mafia is only a diffuse shadow of its former self, and all its powerful mob bosses are long gone. Castro is dead, and the Soviet Union lays in the dustbin of history. However, had right-wing extremists in the Republican Party conspired to perpetrate the crime, the American political landscape could change rather abruptly; but, the damage to the GOP would likely be temporary as those directly involved are all probably deceased by now.