Bill Clinton Weighs In On Iraq

Speaking on subjects ranging from the economy to Saddam Hussein, former President Bill Clinton speaks at a fund-raiser on behalf of the reelection campaign of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., at the Santa Ana Performing Arts and Events Center Thursday, Sept. 5, 2002, in Santa Ana., Calif. AP

Former President Clinton warned on Thursday that a U.S. attack on Iraq could prompt Saddam Hussein to use chemical or biological weapons against U.S. interests because he would have nothing to lose.

Speaking to a group of Democratic Party supporters at a Santa Ana, California fund-raiser for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Mr. Clinton said President Bush had to consider Saddam's reaction to an invasion before taking action.

"Saddam Hussein is not a good man by our definition," said the former president. "There's no question ... he has significant stocks of chemical and biological agents."

"I think we have to assume that if he knows we're coming ... he'll do everything he can to use them," said Mr. Clinton. "That's the only risk ... it's an issue the president has to address."

Mr. Clinton added that President Bush should finish to finish the job with Osama bin Laden before taking on Iraq, because Osama bin Laden "is still our biggest security threat."

"Saddam Hussein didn't kill 3,100 people on Sept. 11," he said. "Osama bin Laden did, and as far as we know he's still alive."

Mr. Clinton emphasized that he supports President Bush's efforts in Afghanistan, including military action and support of the Afghan government.

"I also believe we might do more good for American security in the short run at far less cost by beefing up our efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere to flush out the entire network," said Mr. Clinton.

The former president said America's role in foreign policy should be "to turn the world into a global community."

The question, he said, is do "you want to run the world of the 21st century or do you want to lead the world? There's a big difference."

  • Dan Collins

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