Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Bad news from the war front is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

Although the Bush administration is putting a happy face on it, things have begun to go south in Afghanistan.  Special forces soldier was killed today, warlords are stealing food intended for starving civilians, Mullah Omar continues to be protected by Afghan tribes, and Osama bin Laden could be in a Caribbean cruise for all we know.

Things are not good.  So some tough decisions are going to have to be made.  Number one, it's quite clear that the new Afghan government is a joke outside of Kabul.  It has no law enforcement power, and the bandits pretty much do what they want to do, and that includes stealing humanitarian aid.  The only force powerful enough to keep those warlords in line is the allied military, which thus far has stayed out of internal Afghan affairs.

If order is to be restored to that country, American and British forces will have to do it.

Number two, Mullah Omar is simply thumbing his nose at America.  He and his thug followers have bought protection, so they just sit there.  The U.S. military does not know who's protecting Omar at this point, then we have a colossal intelligence failure on our hands.  Something has to be done with this Omar guy and fast, because the rest of Afghanistan is watching the situation.

Number three, hundreds, perhaps thousands of hardcore al Qaeda fighters have been allowed to escape to Pakistan, and bin Laden is likely among this group.  The U.S. is trying to avert a war between Pakistan and India right now, so our leverage with the Pakistani government has declined drastically.

The Bush administration must convince India to back off for the time being, anyway, so the allied forces can track down the terrorists.

In the end, Pakistan has brought most of this on itself by supporting violent terrorist groups.  But now isn't the time to spank Pakistan because we need that country to crack down on al Qaeda.

Finally, America has to get tougher.  The bombing worked, the mopping up is not working.  We know who the bad guys are inside of Afghanistan, we must remove them, or that government over there has no chance to survive.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." 

The local NPR radio outlet here in New York is sponsoring a contest called "The Anybody But Bill O'Reilly Literary Awards."  Now, I love this.  It drives these NPR people nuts that The No Spin Zone book is still number one on The New York Times best-seller list.  I mean, it makes them crazy!

Over the past few month, radio outlets in every American city have invited me on their air, but not one invitation from any NPR station!  Of course, it's ridiculous, but it's also instructive.  The National Public Radio organization does not -- I repeat, does not -- believe in free speech.  All right?  NPR is a one-trick pony designed to further a politically correct agenda.  And the tragedy is that some tax money is being used to help them do that.  All things considered, NPR, my elbow!

 — You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com