CNN’s Late Edition

Senator Biden appeared on CNN’s Late Edition on Sunday with Senator Richard Lugar from Indiana to discuss Iraq. One of the early questions concerned whether we are making any progress, as the President reported in his recent speech:

BLITZER: Do you agree, Senator Biden, that there is significant progress going on in the Iraqi security front?

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: I think there is progress going on in the Iraqi security front. But I think that as, usual, Dick put his finger on the most critical element here.

When the president made his speech in Annapolis, he identified our enemies as rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists.

But the overwhelming, big enemy we have is, if this ever devolves, this sectarian violence backed up by very powerful militias in the North and South, ends up being a civil war, then all the king’s horse and all the king’s men aren’t going to be able to put Iraq together.

And so, that’s why, to me, the overwhelming priority — the overwhelming priority is getting buy-in from the Sunnis on the constitution that’s going to be voted on, as Dick said, in about 40 days after this election on December 15.

And what I haven’t heard from the president is: What are we doing in order to get what everybody knows has to be done? There has to be some concessions on the part of the Shia, some concessions on the part of the Kurds to get buy-in from the Sunnis. And that is the number one overwhelming requirement.

See the full transcript here.

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