(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) conceded Friday that Iraq's Saddam Hussein is a significant threat who must be disarmed. But the United States should do it in a way that minimizes the risk to our country, he said.
House Republican Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) rejected Kennedy's assertion that the United States should postpone confronting Saddam Hussein.
"Senator Kennedy offered the most thorough and cohesive argument for complacency so far, but given the grave dangers, the price of failing to confront a threat like Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction could be unbearable," said DeLay.
While this Kennedy was accused of arguing for "complacency," another Kennedy back in 1938 was recommending "appeasement" in the face of a rapidly growing military power that the United States would eventually have to fight in World War II.
Joseph P. Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain and Senator Kennedy's father, was awed by the strength of the Nazi military machine. Like most Americans in 1938, he believed the world's democracies had to co-exist with the Nazis.
"The horns of the dilemma are economic chaos and war and any step to prevent either of these is worthwhile taking," Joseph Kennedy was quoted as saying at the time.
He further angered the British and many Americans by predicting in a newspaper interview, which he thought was mostly off the record, that democracy was finished in Britain and perhaps in the United States.
The remarks caused British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to call Kennedy "a defeatist, an appeaser, pro-Hitler." He also felt that Kennedy should be discredited.
In February of 1941, the elder Kennedy submitted his resignation to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as ambassador and thus ended any hopes of a political career.
Author Ronald Kessler, in his book entitled "Sins of the Father," wrote Kennedy believed the Jews had "brought on themselves" whatever Hitler had wrought.
Kessler wrote that during a 1938 meeting "Kennedy assured the German ambassador that America only wanted friendly relations with Hitler."
"Joe said that Hitler's government had done 'great things' for the country, and that the Germans were 'satisfied' and enjoyed 'good living conditions.' Joe told the ambassador that a recent report which said the limited food in Germany was being reserved for the army could not be true," wrote Kessler in the book.
Kennedy, until his dying day, held a grudge against President Franklin D. Roosevelt for getting America involved in World War II. He blamed FDR for the death of his oldest son, Joseph who died during an air mission in Europe.
Many believe if Joseph Kennedy Jr. had lived, he would have gone into politics and possibly on to the presidency instead of the second son, John, who also served in World War II as a PT boat commander in the South Pacific.
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