"I thought it was a war of choice, and it was a bad choice, and it was going to distract and distort American foreign policy. But, as history shows, and as you know as well as anybody, people like me were in a distinct minority, and did not prevail."
Interview with Chris Matthews, Hardball, www.msnbc.com, May 6, 2009
[Editor's Note: Prior to Richard Haass' May 6, 2009 Con position statement made above, his position was Pro as indicated in his Mar. 7, 2003 interview with Charlie Rose below.]
Interview with Charlie Rose, www.charlierose.com, Mar. 7, 2003
"Richard Haass: ...Saddam Hussein has destroyed his own country, he's squandered its resources. What we're seeing potentially here is the opportunity to give Iraqis the future that they've been denied now for several decades.
Charlie Rose: How do you avoid the impression among some that it is, in fact, an occupation and everybody in the Middle East, regardless of their religious affiliation, does not want to see the most powerful country in the world occupying any country in the region.
Richard Haass: I can understand that. I think one of the ways you'll see it is when the Iraqi people, I would predict, look fairly happy that they've been liberated. I think that will go some ways toward calming people's fears...
It's our hope to have this move along as quickly as is possible. The whole idea here is to empower Iraqis to run their own country. We're not after this for Iraqi oil. We're not after this to be an occupying power. To the contrary, this is about a liberation and as quickly as Iraqis are able to take care of themselves and their own country, they will have that full opportunity."