As we told you last night, the Iraqi town of Fallujah (search), about 35 miles west of Baghdad, has been the center of terrorism in the Sunni Triangle. This town of 200,000 people continues to kill Americans and celebrate the barbarity. Fox News continues to withhold the graphic pictures of Fallujah citizens stringing up of four dead Americans and dancing them around. You might have seen those pictures in other media. We simply think they're too brutal.
Now there is no question the U.S. military should have dealt with Fallujah a long time ago, but there is a continuing hesitation on the part of the Pentagon (search) to confront terrorism in Iraq. As "The Wall Street Journal" points out today in an editorial, not a single one of the thousands of Iraqis detained for attacks on coalition forces has been visibly punished, not one.
This is simply bad policy. In order to stabilize Iraq, a carrot and stick approach must be used. 75 percent of the country has now been pacified. The remaining dissenters must be harshly dealt with. Fear can be a good thing. Homicidal terrorists and their enablers must be killed or incarcerated. And their punishment must be an example to others.
How do you think Saddam controlled Iraq all these decades? He did it by fear. We can't use his tactics, but we can certainly punish murderers and deprive towns who harbor killers of liberty.
"Talking Points" fully expects the U.S. Marines to use maximum force in punishing the Fallujah terrorists. That town should be quarantined, placed under marshal law and a curfew imposed. Any violators of the curfew should be shot on sight.
It's obvious that the terrorists in Iraq believe they can murder Americans and get away with it. The Pentagon has not contradicted that belief. It is time to start protecting American soldiers. It is time to use the stick.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
One of the bad things about doing "The Factor" on TV and radio is that I don't have very much time for other things like getting out there and meeting you. I only have time to do five book signings, and I get to do very few public speeches.
Perhaps the last one of the year will take place on May 2 at the Office Depot Arena (search) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That's where the Panthers play. I'm going to be in the arena. This is going to be a major event, and we hope you can get down there.
Tickets are available on Ticketmaster, and info has been posted on billoreilly.com, our Web site. That's Sunday, May 2, 2:00 p.m., Lauderdale. I think I'll dress up like a hockey guy. It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm going to do a speech and a Q&A, we'll have some laughs, we'll throw some bombs, and we hope to see you down there in Lauderdale, and that's not ridiculous at all.
So I'm sorry I can't do more of those, but, you know, Lauderdale's a good place. So let's all convene for a little "Factor" convention.
--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org