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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly, reporting from Washington. Thank you for watching us tonight.
Show me the weapons of mass destruction. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
Americans seem to be taking a Jerry Maguire approach to the impending war against Iraq. They want to see specific evidence that Saddam is a threat to the USA before American troops go in.
According to a new poll by The Los Angeles Times, 90 percent of Americans believe Saddam is developing deadly weapons, but 72 percent say that President Bush has not provided enough specific evidence to justify starting a war.
The poll also found support for such a war is weakening. Last January, 70 percent of Americans supported removing Saddam Hussein by force, now 58 percent say that should be done.
This poll confirms to Talking Points that Americans remain a level-headed people who are asking the right questions. There is no question that Saddam is a villain, and most of us know it, but the threshold is high when it comes to beginning a war, as it should be.
Right now I believe there is no smoking gun, although to be fair, Saddam had plenty of time to hide his stuff, and you would be naive to believe that he's not a danger to the world. He is.
Once again, Talking Points will point out that Saddam continues to arm and fund the homicide bombers that murder Israeli civilians, captured PLO documents prove that. And as long as PLO-Israeli conflict goes on, the Arab world will rail against America. That gives al Qaeda the ability to raise money, recruit terrorists, and hide inside the Arab world.
Once peace talks reach fruition in the Middle East, the power and propaganda campaign al Qaeda has assembled will rapidly weaken. But is that scenario enough for America to attack Iraq? Many in the Bush administration believe it is. But the American people want to be convinced by Mr. Bush.
One footnote, it's entirely possible that inspectors will find Iraq in violation of the UN agreement, but no matter what the inspectors find, some countries will never support U.S. military action. President Bush, however, does not need to concern himself with that. His mandate is to make a compelling case that world peace will be served by removing Saddam.
Like the ghost busters, the American people are ready to believe Mr. Bush, but they want him to show them the symbolic money.
And that's The Memo .
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day..."
I'm beginning to think there is something amiss with the actor George Clooney.
As you know, we had a major dustup with Clooney last year at this time. We said some 9/11 charities were not doing the right things with your donated money. He said we were full of it. Subsequently, The Factor was proven correct, as the United Way released more money to the families and reorganized its 9/11 approach.
Now, in January's GQ magazine, Clooney attacks me again. All along, we have invited him to appear on this broadcast to hash things out, and, all along, he has refused. But now his spin is that he offered to debate me on the "Larry King" program. That's what he told GQ magazine. But that's absolutely false, and we can prove it. Also, Good Morning America tried to get Clooney and your humble correspondent together. We accepted. He declined.
Now why is this important? Well, it just goes to prove that some influential people, like George Clooney, will say absolutely anything. So you should be very skeptical when following controversies like this. Clooney simply is not, has not, and probably will never tell the truth about the 9/11 situation, and that is ridiculous.
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