From the Democratic Party Web Site:
Here are a few questions Bush has to answer in this first debate.Let me see how easy it would be to answer these.
1. Three years ago, you said you would capture Osama bin Laden "dead or alive." Now you refuse to say his name and have said, "I don't think about him much anymore." Hasn't Iraq been a distraction from the fight against al Qaeda, the most dangerous threat America faces?
2. There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There were no ties between Saddam Hussein and the September 11 attacks. When will you finally admit to misleading the American people about the threat from Iraq?
3. Your disastrous mismanagement has turned Iraq into a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists. And all your rosy statements about Iraq are contradicted by your intelligence services, military leaders, fellow Republicans, and even Secretary of State Colin Powell. When will you come clean to the American people about the current disaster in Iraq?
4. Like Iraq, Afghanistan is now in chaos. Warlords control much of the country, and the central government has no power outside Kabul. The Taliban is actually making a comeback. Why should America trust your promises on Iraq after you failed to secure Afghanistan, and continue to hide the truth about it?
5. Like Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the government of Saudi Arabia is brutal and repressive. Fifteen of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. According to former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham, Saudi Arabia has direct financial ties to the terrorists. Why did your administration deceive America about ties between Iraq and al Qaeda and ignore ties between Saudi Arabia and al Qaeda?
6. Iran and North Korea have flouted the international community and moved ahead with nuclear programs that present a genuine danger to America and the world. Why are you ignoring these threats?
1. During the time period when we have conducted OIF, over 140 mid and senior level Al Queda members have been captured or killed in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries. They have been unable to mount any major attacks on US interests during the same time because we continue to disrupt their operations. So no, Iraq has not been a distraction.
2. US forces in Iraq have found enough chemical weapons to kill over half a million Americans. Is 500,000 dead Americans not "mass" enough for you. It is for me.
3. It has been the administration's position all along that the fight in Iraq would be long, hard, and bloody. There have been setbacks, and there have been victories. Why does the Democratic Party want to concentrate solely on the setbacks as opposed to the victories? Are you trying to make the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines on station in Iraq think that their sacrifices have produced no good, even though they themselves know better? The short-lived victory the Germans managed to win in the Battle of the Bulge did not negate the great allied victory that was the D-Day landings on Omaha beach, even though the Bulge was tens of miles of lost ground, and Omaha beach was merely 30 meter wide foothold on the Continent. We now have a beachhead for democracy in the Middle East. It's worth fighting to maintain that beachhead, no matter how slim it may appear to be at hightide.
4. Afghanistan is about to hold the first elections in their history, a history that stretches back before the time of Alexander the Great. Just three years ago, women were routinely stoned to death for minor offenses and made to hide in the back rooms of their houses behind windows painted black. Now the schools are full of both boys and girls, the economy of Afghanistan is making baby steps back to normalcy, Afghanis are returning to their country by the hundreds and thousands to help in rebuilding their proud land, and kites fly in the sky pulled by children who aren't afraid to laugh. Like Iraq, you are concentrating on only the setbacks we have faced in Afghanistan, and refusing to see the improvments. Why?
5. This administration has never deceived the American public about the connection between Al Queda and Iraq, or Al Queda and Saudi Arabia. If you feel that is incorrect, then please provide a quote from an administration official doing so, so I can answer to that directly rather than try to dispute a vague generalization.
6. Iran and North Korea are dangerous, rouge countries. I said so years ago when I called them part of the "Axis of Evil". I was roundly ridiculed by Democrats at the time, but now it appears you have come over to my way of thinking. I appreciate the support for my earlier statement. Each threat America faces must be dealt with in the most appropriate manner, and it should be clear that dealing with each in a like manner, or even all at the same time, is not in the best interests of this nation. I believe the American people will be the best judge of whether my decision to free the Iraqi people first was correct. I believe I was correct then, and I believe so still.