New York The Dalai Lama said Sunday that the U.S.-led war in Iraq could perhaps have been avoided through negotiations with Saddam Hussein.
Responding to a question about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhists said that Hussein was “not such a foolish person. War with America. He can’t win.”
The Dalai Lama has criticized the Iraq war effort in the past. He did not offer any solutions to continued violence there.
“Now, I don’t know,” he said.
The Nobel Prize winner appeared at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine after wrapping up four days of teaching at Radio City Music Hall.
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.
Billed as a panel discussion on “Kinship and its Meaning in Our World Today,” the event was more of a free-floating meditation on ecumenicism.
As is his usual practice, the 74-year-old Dalai Lama smiled broadly and chuckled at his own remarks.
“Whether you like it or not, there are different traditions,” he said, laughing. “And no one can change that.”