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Senator Joseph Biden Responds to Bush UN Speech on Iraq

Aired September 12, 2002 - 14:38   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now to Senator Joseph Biden, also reacting to the Bush speech today at the UN.
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SENATOR JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), CHAIRMAN, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS: ... Saddam Hussein and his contempt for the world. Some of us have been saying for some time that this is not only the U.S.'s fight, it's the world's fight. It's the world's fight against Saddam Hussein. And the credibility of the United Nations is on the line as well here.

And I thought using the UN's own standards, using the resolutions the UN Security Council has passed, by definition unanimously the president has made it absolutely clear that Saddam Hussein has violated and reneged on every commitment made.

Some say, by the way, that, well, why focus on Saddam, other nations are seeking weapons of mass destruction, other nations are potential threats. No other nation invaded another country, lost a war, and a condition of staying in power agreed to a specific set of responsibilities they would undertake. The issue is weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein's flaunting of the UN resolutions requiring him, Security Council resolutions requiring him to give them up and have them destroyed.

I think the president, on second point, also did the right thing by going to the United Nations. It is very important, very important for our national interest that the president demonstrate what he did demonstrate today, and that is that there is nothing unilateral about what we are doing. We are reminding the world and the UN of its obligations. We think there is a serious threat, and we know there has been a flat, unadulterated rejection of the commitment made by Saddam Hussein after he was defeated after having invaded.

And so I think the president did a very good job today. I think that we should now wait and see specifically what resolution the president is going to ask the UN Security Council to respond to and move from there.

But I'm open to questions.

PHILLIPS: Democratic Senator Joseph Biden stepping up in front of reporters there talking about the world fight against Saddam Hussein. Strong support for the president -- said he thought the president did a very good job, that Saddam Hussein indeed is a serious threat and it is very important for the national interests for everyone to pay close attention to what the president had to say today.

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