Barbara Lee

Secretary of state Colin Powell himself eloquently pointed out the many ways to get at the root of this problem… economic, diplomatic, legal and political, as well as military. A rush to launch precipitous military counterattacks runs too great a risk that more innocent men, women and children will be killed. I could not vote for a resolution that I believe will lead to such an outcome.

Recently, I was in Africa monitoring elections when right on the street, this guy started beating a woman. I got out of my car, pulled her inside and drove her to the hospital. But after the doctors treated her, she was too afraid to press charges. I’ve seen this over and over in America, too.

We must not let history repeat itself in Iraq. The reality is there is no military solution in Iraq. This is a sectarian war with long standing roots that were flamed when we invaded Iraq in 2003. Any lasting solution must be political and take into account respect for the entire Iraqi population.

[To the House of Representatives before casting the only vote against allowing George W. Bush to use ‘all necesary and appropriate force’ in response to 9/11:] We must be careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target. We cannot repeat past mistakes.

I think that there’s going to be a rush to judgment on civil liberties, and a clamping down, a suspension of our democratic rights. And I believe that those who are good Americans would want to see this not happen and that we debate how to find a balance between the public safety and the protection of civil liberties.