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Sen. Jeff Sessions on Staying the Course in Iraq

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 20, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Now, tomorrow, Democrats are going to lead a charge to set a timetable for getting our troops out of Iraq.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is with us now.

Senator, how does that look for tomorrow?

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-ALA.: Neil, you know, it's a resolution that I don't think has any good in it, and only mischief. Remember, we just voted a few days ago, 93-6, to reject a timetable as of the end of this year. And I think we will reject this proposal. It is a modified, wishy-washy kind of thing, requiring the president to set up some sort of plan, a withdrawal and redeployment, and to accelerate that, and has those kind of statements in it, which I think can only confuse our allies and only can embolden our enemies, causing them to think that, if they just hang on, we're going to withdraw.

And that's not the message we should be sending.

CAVUTO: Now, I have heard other Republicans, Senator, saying: Bring it on. We want these votes. The more we get, the more we can sort of frame the Democrats the way we want.

Is that true?

SESSIONS: Well, perhaps, politically, I think it does expose the Democrats as being far too cut and run, far too unwilling to stay the course and stay with our soldiers and the work that they're doing.

But I worry about mostly our troops that we have committed to the field. They're in harm's way, because we sent them. They need our undivided support. The people of Iraq need to know that we're not going to cut and run, that we are going to help and continue to transform their military, and then begin to draw ours down.

That has always been our plan. And we just don't need to set specific goals and timetables, because I think that can only lead to mischief.

CAVUTO: Now, I know, Senator, you can't respond to the day-of news, but, obviously, the finding of these soldiers today, many feared kidnapped — ultimately, they were brutally murdered — doesn't that help the cause of those who want to get out?

SESSIONS: I don't think so.

I don't think it makes the soldiers who are there feel that way. I think they're more determined than ever that we be successful. I talked to a number of soldiers recently. You know what they told me? They wanted to win. They wanted to be successful in Iraq.

And I have got to tell you, being successful in Iraq is critical to our national interests, our foreign policy. It's critical to our allies in the region. It's critical to the people of Iraq. But, mainly, it's critical to our own legitimate national interests. And we are going to have to go through, for years to come, a tough battle between these terrorists who will attack our homeland, attack our bases around the world, attack our soldiers.

And we have got to continue to stay firm. I wish it weren't so. I wish we could avoid this problem. But there's no way it's going to happen. And there's nothing this nation can do but to stay strong and resolute. And we will prevail, if we do.

CAVUTO: All right.

Senator Sessions, good seeing you again. Thank you very much.

SESSIONS: Thank you.

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