Published June 16, 2005
This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 15, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Another Iraq attack. This one kills 33, mostly Iraqi soldiers (search), in yet another Iraqi insurgent suicide/homicide hit, why more than one lawmaker this day is saying, enough is enough.
The good news is that an Australian hostage in Iraq has now finally been freed, unfortunately buried by the bad news that Iraqi insurgents have not stopped one iota, which has my next guest saying we should put a stop to our timetable in Iraq, and the sooner, the better.
Joining us now from Capitol Hill is former presidential candidate and Democratic Congressman of Ohio Dennis Kucinich (search).
Congressman, good to have you.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, D-OHIO: Thank you very much. Good to be with you.
CAVUTO: What kind of timetable are you looking at?
KUCINICH: Well, what we're doing is, we're trying to set in place a new beginning. And the way we do that is to bring Democrats and Republicans together.
This is all about bringing our troops home. And so the timetable will begin. Once we introduce the legislation tomorrow, we'll be unveiling what I call a set of metrics, certain dates that things have to be done by in order to make it possible for our troops to come home.
CAVUTO: All right. But if I'm an insurgent and I'm reading this, sir, I could just say, all right, wait to pounce until the American soldiers get out, right?
KUCINICH: Well, you know, the truth of the matter is that Iraq is going to be having problems for years to come, whether the U.S. troops are there or not. The question is, do we bring our troops home?
And so, I think that more and more American people want to see happen. And we're coming up with a plan, which we'll be releasing tomorrow, where Democrats and Republicans, for the first time, are coming together. And I think it's that plan which will be successful in helping to bring our troops home.
CAVUTO: What month are you looking at?
KUCINICH: Well, again, Neil, I want to state that we're going to unveil everything tomorrow. But the significance of it is, for the first time, Democrats and Republicans are putting it together. This is not about weapons of mass destruction. This is not about who said what, when or where.
It's not about how somebody voted, whether they voted for or against the war. It's all focused on the troops and the steps we have to put in place to bring our troops home. That's what it's about.
CAVUTO: All right. We're a couple of years into this. Do you think it's too soon to pull out?
KUCINICH: Well, no. I mean, it's not too soon to begin to set in place a plan to bring our troops home.
Wherever I go around my district and around the country, speaking to Democrats and Republicans alike, people want Congress to take action to bring our troops home. I think all the polls show that.
And now that Republicans are stepping into the leadership of this, it makes it possible for us to get together. And that's what this country needs right now. They need unity among Democrats and Republicans and a plan to bring the troops home. And tomorrow, we're going to unveil such a plan.
CAVUTO: Congressman, I think you're a very decent, patriotic American, but you're also a good student of history.
Do you think that, a couple of years into World War II, not too far ahead of the Bataan Death March (search), that, when we were sick of it then and we pulled out then, we might never successfully have stopped Adolf Hitler?
KUCINICH: You know, I think a better analogy would be Vietnam (search).
And, as a matter of fact, this plan that we're going to be releasing tomorrow is patterned very carefully after the way in which we finally brought our troops home from Vietnam. So, there's a point at which we have to recognize that the focus ought to be on our troops and about bringing them home. And that's what this plan is about.
CAVUTO: But, sir, I understand that. I guess what I'm saying is, at what point do you say you've had enough? I mean, we could have done this a couple of years into World War II and said, you know what? We're losing a lot of Americans. It's looking kind of dicey. Let's pull out now. Adolf Hitler would have been doing a jig, right?
KUCINICH: Well, I think we have to look at it an entirely different way. This is not about World War II. It's much closer to, where are we with our troops today?
Look, the United States, no matter how long we're going to stay there, our troops are going to continue to be killed. We're caught in the middle of an emerging civil war. We cannot do anything anymore for the Iraqi people with our presence there.
CAVUTO: But how do you know that? I mean, the insurgents that we're fighting there now — let's say we pull out, Congressman. Where do those insurgents go next?
KUCINICH: Well, the question is, what happens to our troops? This is about our troops. It's not about the Iraqi insurgents.
There may be conflict in Iraq for years to come. But the United States troops have done their job. They need to be given a chance to come home. And keeping them there is something that I think risks more losses, without having any affect on making things better in Iraq. Our presence there may be making things worse.
But let me tell you, what's important is, now we have a chance to unify members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, to come up with a plan to bring our troops home. And I think the American people are ready for such a plan.
CAVUTO: Do you think, Congressman, though, that you're feeling a little heat? Obviously, everyone pains for the loss of every American soldier who dies. And you pull tail now?
KUCINICH: Well, you know what? It's not about pulling tail.
Every American who has served there, every American who gave their life, every family that has felt a sacrifice there needs to be honored and appreciated. But we have to make sure that we don't...
CAVUTO: But do we honor and appreciate them, sir, when we pull out now, potentially creating civil war in that country and havoc and then, for all of the soldiers who have died, we're essentially saying, you wasted your effort?
KUCINICH: Oh, no. No. There's no lives wasted, because people who serve should be honored for their service to the country, but there comes a time when we have to ask, is it appropriate for our troops to be there any longer?
And we believe, and the ones who will be there tomorrow believe that it's appropriate for us to start planning to bring our troops home. There must come a time where we say, now we have to start bringing our troops home. Whatever reason we went there for, there's a point at which we have to say, it's about the troops. It's about bringing them home.
We should not leave them in that condition any longer. And so, we've come together with a plan, which we'll be releasing tomorrow, that will enable the American people to see that Congress is responding from both sides of the aisle with a plan to bring our troops home.
CAVUTO: All right. Congressman, thank you very much. Good having you.
KUCINICH: Thank you.
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