I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.... The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors...and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.
I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.
You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.
And here in an interview a month later:
If (the invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam) has happened, what the debate's really going to be about is; what's our long term commitment there? How much is it going to cost? What does it mean for us to rebuild Iraq? How do we stabilize and make sure that this country doesn't splinter into factions between the Shias and the Kurds and the Sunnis?
What I would have been concerned about was a carte blanche to the administration for a doctrine of pre-emptive strikes that I'm not sure sets a good precedent.