Jonathan Freedland is right to single out hope as a major reason that the Kennedy myth endures (JFK 50 years on: Idealism of a story that ended before its time, 22 November). The Kennedy story also remains a masterclass in public relations. The creation of the Camelot image, the careful use of film and photography, the image of vitality. The problem is that the PR has largely taken over from any semblance of reality in the popular perception of Kennedy. The family man was actually a serial adulterer, the man of vigour and vitality kept going with drugs.On achievements, the truth of what might of have happened in Vietnam will never be known. What the Kennedy administration did do was create a blueprint to promote the support of some bloody dictators across Latin American and beyond, favoured only according to their usefulness to the overall goal of US global hegemony. The enduring fascination with Kennedy does relate to a desire for something better. It does though also amount to idolatry, a desire to filter out the truth and live in the past.
- Guardian letters - 27/11/2013