Unintended Consequences in Iraq

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You really have to feel sorry for the American military personnel in Iraq. It's brutally hot and chaotic, violence could erupt at any time and the process of building a civilized society in Iraq will take years.

It's clear now that the Bush administration, particularly Defense Secretary Rumsfeld (search), underestimated the problems in getting Iraq under control. My analysis is not based on politics. I still believe that removing Saddam was the right thing for America and the world. No dangerous dictator should be allowed to violate U.N. sanctions in the post-Sept. 11 world, period.

But there was a massive intelligence breakdown by both American and British spy agencies, vis-a-vis Iraq. And that has yet to be explained and will not go away.

The people who supported President Bush in this endeavor deserve a thorough explanation on weapons of mass destruction and the continuing fighting.

Sources tell Talking Points that Mr. Rumsfeld made a large mistake in allowing Iraqi forces to go home without interrogating them thoroughly after they were defeated. Now some of those hardcore individuals who fled the battlefield are fighting again, this time as civilian guerrillas. In other words, American won the war, but did not defeat the enemy.

Sabotage is a big problem now. The coalition forces simply do not have enough people to slow it down. Thus the oil flow is being disrupted and simple services are not coming online.

This infuriates the Iraqi people who rioted over the weekend. Their lives may be better in theory with Saddam gone, but still they are in very difficult straits in practice.

The USA will never defeat terrorism in Iraq if the regular folks don't help us. So we must provide incentives for them to do that. War is always hell and so is any occupation. Militant Muslims don't like us. And that's not going to change.

In order to protect our troops, we must bring more resources to Iraq and fast. Hearts and minds will never be won there until goods and services are available. Right now Iraq is a dangerous, unstable place and the Bush administration needs to feel some urgency about that.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

As we told you last week, federal judge Napolean Jones, San Diego, has ruled the Boy Scouts are a religious organization. Now we interpret that ruling as trying to punish the Scouts because they will not accept openly gay individuals and declared atheists.

So we asked the question on billoreilly.com was the federal judge wrong in his ruling. More than 20,000 of you voted -- unscientifically, of course -- and 95 percent say the judge is wrong. Five percent say he's right. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. An amazing landslide.

Also, we'd like to encourage billoreilly.com premium members to evaluate this evening's program on the Web site. It's always helpful to us. To not do so would be ridiculous.

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