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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama in NY visit says Iraq war avoidable

May 26, 2010

NEW YORK — The Dalai Lama told a gathering in New York that the U.S.-led war in Iraq could perhaps have been avoided through negotiations with Saddam Hussein.

Responding to a question about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhists said Hussein was not a foolish person and could not win a war with America.

The Nobel Prize winner appeared Sunday at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine after wrapping up four days of teaching at Radio City Music Hall.

He was joined by Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith Youth Core, and Sakena Yacoobi, founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning.

Nearly 2,000 people, including actors Richard Gere and Naomi Watts, filled the cavernous Gothic cathedral to hear the man whom followers believe to be the reincarnation of his predecessors.

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