September 6, 2005
Sirhan Sirhan in a 1998 mug shot
from the California Department of Corrections at Corcoran Prison.
From the beginning, both Sirhan's lawyers and the U.S. media sought to portray the assassination of Robert Kennedy as the act of a deranged individual bent on seeking fame and notoriety. But Sirhan was a political assassin. He murdered Kennedy to advance the cause of the Palestinians.
by Mel Ayton
For nearly 40 years conspiracy advocates have built their arguments not only around the controversies surrounding the ballistics evidence and the scene of the crime but the oft-repeated cry that the assassin had no real motive for his act. Yet there is a mountain of evidence to prove the contrary.
From the time he was a child Sirhan had been indoctrinated in ideologies that are at the center of his murderous act. Sirhan's hatred had its roots in the milieu in which he was raised and the education he received. Later, as a young adult, Sirhan sought meaning to his increasingly hopeless life by embracing anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and Palestinian nationalism.
As a child Sirhan had been taught by Arab teachers who instilled in him the principles of the Palestinian cause. They promoted the cause of Palestinian nationalism and made constant references to the great Arab warrior, Saladin, who had expelled the foreign crusaders from Jerusalem. Teachers would attempt to inspire their young students to fight for Palestinian rights.