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The Candidates on Iraq - 2004-10-09

The war in Iraq and its aftermath continued to provide some of the sharpest exchanges of the debates between President Bush and Senator Kerry.

Mr. Bush defended his policy on the Middle Eastern country, saying ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein could have given weapons of mass destruction to an organization like al-Qaida.

Mr. Kerry says before the war began, U.N. sanctions on Iraq were working, and if the United States had used, in his words, "smart diplomacy," the war could have been prevented.

Mr. Bush says the sanctions were not working.

The Democratic candidate says the war on Iraq has hurt the U.S. war on terrorism, but Mr. Bush says the efforts are related.

Mr. Kerry says if he is elected, he will work to have allies help in Iraq. But Mr. Bush said his opponent's criticism of the war will discourage other countries from providing aid.