Analizing Vice Presidential Debate
October 5, 2004 · Transcript provided by Federal News Service
The order of the first question was determined by the candidates in advance, and the first one goes to Vice President Cheney.
Vice President Cheney, there have been new developments in Iraq, especially having to do with the administration's handling. Paul Bremer, the former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, gave a speech in which he said we have never had enough troops on the ground -- or we've never had enough troops on the ground. Donald Rumsfeld said he has not seen any hard evidence of a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (Bush的致命弱点). Was this the fruit of a report that you requested that you received a week ago that showed there was no connection between Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein?
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Gwen, I want to thank you and I want to thank the folks here at Case Western Reserve for hosting this tonight. It's a very important event, and they've done a superb job of putting it together.
It's important to look at all of our developments in Iraq within the broader context of the global war on terror. And after 9/11, it became clear that we had to do several things to have a successful strategy to win the global war on terror, specifically that we had to go after the terrorists wherever we might find them, that we also had to go after state sponsors of terror, those who might provide sanctuary or safe harbor for terror (What about Afghanistan?). And we also, then, finally had to stand up democracies in their stead afterwards because that was the only way to guarantee that these states would not again become safe harbors for terror or for the development of deadly weapons.
The concern about Iraq specifically focused on the fact that Saddam Hussein had been for years listed on the state sponsor of terror; that he had established relationships with Abu Nidal, who operated out of Baghdad; he paid $25,000 （不算多少钱吧） to the families of suicide bombers; and he had an established relationship with al Qaeda.
Specifically, look at George Tenet, CIA director's testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations two years ago, when he talked about a 10-year relationship.
The effort that we've mounted with respect to Iraq focused specifically on the possibility that this was the most likely nexus between the terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. The biggest threat we face today is the possibility of terrorists smuggling a nuclear weapon or a biological agent into one of our own cities and threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do. If I had it to recommend all over again, I'd recommend exactly the right -- same course of action. The world is far safer today because Saddam Hussein is in jail, his government's no longer in power, and we did exactly the right thing.
MS. IFILL: Senator Edwards, you have 90 seconds to respond.
SEN. EDWARDS: Thank you. Thank you, Gwen, for moderating this debate. Thank you, the folks of Case Western, and all the people in Ohio for having us here.
Mr. Vice President, you are still not being straight with the American people. I mean, the reality, you and George Bush continue to tell people, first, that things are going well in Iraq. The American people don't need us to explain this to them. They see it over the television every single day. We lost more troops in September than we lost in August; lost more in August than we lost in July; lost more in July than we lost in June.
The truth is, our men and women in uniform have been heroic. Our military has done everything they've been asked to do.责任推给总司令。不得罪士兵，表示同情和赞赏。
And it's not just me that sees the mess in Iraq. There are Republican leaders, like John McCain, like Richard Lugar, like Chuck Hagel, who have said Iraq is a mess and it's getting worse. And when they were asked why, Richard Lugar said because of the incompetence of the administration. （Richard Lugar looks like a traitor, hh）
What Paul Bremer said yesterday is they didn't have enough troops to secure the country. They also didn't have a plan to win the peace. They also didn't put the alliances together to make this successful.
We need a fresh start. We need a president who will speed up the training of the Iraqis, get more staff in for doing that. We need to speed up the reconstruction, so the Iraqis see some tangible benefit. We need a new president who has the credibility, which John Kerry has, to bring others into this effort.(也不敢说直接撤军，也就是不敢否认侵伊是错误的，与Kerry立场相左)
MS. IFILL: Would you like 30 seconds to respond, Mr. Vice President?
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: I would. We've made significant progress in Iraq. We've stood up a new government that's been in power now only 90 days. The notion of additional troops is talked about frequently, but the point of success in Iraq will be reached when we have turned governance over to the Iraqi people, they've been able to establish a democratic government. They're well on their way to doing that. They'll have free elections next January for the first time in history.(sounds reasonable, well-planned. But 伊拉克民主关你什么事，未来可预料？ )
We also are actively, rapidly training Iraqis to take on the security responsibility. Those two steps are crucial to success in Iraq. They're well in hand, well under way, and I'm confident that in fact we'll get the job done. 我不信
MS. IFILL: You have 30 seconds --
SEN. EDWARDS: Yes. Mr. Vice President, there is no connection between the attacks of September 11th and Saddam Hussein.
The 9/11 commission has said it. Your own secretary of State has said it. And you've gone around the country suggesting that there is some connection. There's not. And in fact, the CIA is now about to report that the connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein is tenuous at best. And in fact, the secretary of Defense said yesterday that he knows of no hard evidence of the connection. We need to be straight with the American people.
MS. IFILL: Time for a new question, but the same topic, this time to you, Senator Edwards.
You and Senator Kerry have said that the war in Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time. Does that mean that if you had been president and vice president, that Saddam Hussein would still be in power? (good question)
SEN. KERRY: Here's what it means. It means that Saddam Hussein needed to be confronted (不敢推翻，其实何妨？关键自己有弱点，就是曾经投票支持出兵)-- John Kerry and I have consistently said that, it's why we voted for the resolution; but it also means it needed to be done the right way. And doing it the right way meant that we were prepared; that we gave the weapons inspectors the time to find out what we now know, that in fact there were no weapons of mass destruction; that we didn't take our eye off the ball, which are al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, the people who attacked us on September the 11th.
Now remember, we went into Afghanistan -- which, by the way, was the right thing to do. That was the right decision. And we -- our military performed terrifically there. But we had Osama bin Laden cornered at Tora Bora. We had the 10th Mountain Division up in Uzbekistan available. We had the finest military in the world on the ground. And what did we do? We turned -- this is the man who masterminded the greatest mass murder and terrorist attack in American history. And what did the administration decide to do? They gave the responsibility of capturing or killing Saddam -- I mean Osama bin Laden to Afghan warlords who just a few weeks before had been working with Osama bin laden.
Our point in this is not complicated. We were attacked by al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. We went into Afghanistan, and very quickly the administration made a decision to divert attention from that, and instead began to plan for the invasion of Iraq. And