Granddaughter of FDR upbraids Bush over protesters' rights WAR IN THE GULF

January 31, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- A granddaughter of Franklin D. Roosevelt quietly challenged President Bush yesterday by reminding him at a Capitol Hill ceremony that Americans who oppose the war in the Persian Gulf are exercising one of the "Four Freedoms" that FDR first enunciated a half-century ago.

Her soft-spoken dissent came as a somber counterpoint to Mr. Bush's stirring call for national unity and support of U.S. forces during his heavily applauded State of the Union address Tuesday night.

"These are difficult days for persons of conscience," Anne Roosevelt said at a 50th anniversary commemoration of her grandfather's 1941 State of the Union message, in which he praised the freedoms of speech and worship and the freedoms from want and fear.

"Those wonderful, hopeful headlines -- 'The Cold War Is Over' -- have been replaced by 'America at War,' " she continued.

President Bush, speaking a few minutes after her unusually blunt comments, did not respond directly but invoked FDR's memory in justifying the war against Iraq as a quest for a moral standard in international affairs.

"The triumph of the moral order must still be the vision that compels us," Mr. Bush said.

But Roger Porter, a White House aide, indicated unhappiness with Ms. Roosevelt, telling reporters, "She's not like her grandfather."

Mr. Bush and top congressional leaders who gathered in Statuary Hall listened in silence as Ms. Roosevelt spoke.

"Last spring we held the hope of peace, on what turned out to be the eve of conflict," said Ms. Roosevelt, a political consultant who lives in Chicago. "Half a century ago my grandfather, in this Capitol, gave a speech about peace when we as a nation were on the very edge of war."

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