Fighting terror, funding Iraq: That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
President Bush wants $80 billion more to fund the actions in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next two years. This is on top of the $300 billion already allotted.
Congress will make the decision, but "Talking Points" believes the money should be cut in half. $40 billion should be allocated for one year so we can see if true progress is being made in that chaotic country.
This compromise would put pressure on the new Iraqi government to perform and also on the Bush administration to quickly correct the mistakes that have been made.
The anti-Bush faction led by Senator Edward Kennedy wants out of Iraq quickly. That, of course, would lead to worldwide disaster as terrorists would declare victory and become emboldened.
Senator Kennedy disagrees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The war has made us less secure, not more secure. It has increased support for Al Qaeda, made America more hated in the world, made it much harder to win the real war against terrorism, the war against Al Qaeda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now we could take Kennedy's thesis more seriously if the senator had a plan to defeat terror, but, on his Web site, he falls back on the same old "working with other countries" nonsense.
For nearly 20 years, the USA allowed worldwide terrorism to go unchecked. From the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut in 1983 to the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 to the Khobar Towers bombing that killed 240 Americans in Saudi Arabia to the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa to the attack on the USS Cole and finally to 9/11, Kennedy and every other American leader failed to protect us.
And like the senator, millions of Americans still can't come to grips with the problem. According to a new Pew Research Center (search) survey, only 17 percent of Americans who voted for John Kerry believe military force is the best way to defeat the terrorists. Incredible.
Does anybody really believe you can convince Bin Laden and Zarqawi to stop slaughtering civilians in the name of Allah? What will it take to convince the world that these guys are Nazis, fascists who kill for sport in the name of God?
The United States needs to fight a brutal, smart, aggressive war against these fanatics. Iraq may be the wrong place, so Congress must provide oversight, but the war will not be won inside the United Nations or in the minds of people like Ted Kennedy.
We all need to wise up — and fast. Our lives depend on it.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Word is that Robert Redford (search) called me a "barking dog" or something like that on another cable network that nobody watches. Apparently, Redford thinks I concocted a story about him moving to Ireland. Here's what I actually said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Time now for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
There's a report The National Post of Canada, which I cannot verify, that actor Robert Redford may leave the USA because President Bush was reelected. Redford is thinking about moving to Ireland, according to that newspaper. But I may physically try to stop him from doing that.
Bob, babe, go to Canada, France, Croatia, not Ireland.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now this is just another example of how Mr. Redford and many other showbiz people believe stuff without checking it out.
Ridiculous, of course, but utterly predictable.
I—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.