The election in Iraq and your family, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Sunday's vote is a defining moment for America. If the Iraqi people step up and embrace the chance to vanquish terror, the world will be much safer. If they do not, the war on terror will get worse.
Take a look at this map of the Middle East. When Saddam was in power, there were three large countries -- Syria, Iraq and Iran, that were friendly to terrorists. As we know, Saddam supported or tolerated just about every Muslim terror outfit around, including Ansar al-Islam, an Al Qaeda group that operated in northern Iraq during his regime.
Syria openly supports Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran harbors Al Qaeda leaders and funds Hezbollah. So from the Mediterranean Sea to the Afghan border, you had free reign for terrorism.
Now if the Ba'athists and Zarqawi are successful in imposing totalitarianism on Iraq, the situation will get even worse. Al Qaeda will have another safe haven in addition to Iran, and will grow in power and ferocity, threatening all of us in the USA. Have I made the picture clear enough? I hope so.
Again, if the U.S. does not succeed in Iraq, worldwide terror will dramatically increase in power. Enter Senator Edward Kennedy (search), who today gave a speech demanding a timetable for American withdrawal from Iraq. While the senator is right in saying things aren't going well in the war right now, his solution is to systematically pull American troops out, and let the Iraqis pretty much fend for themselves. Whatever happens, happens.
The question is, is Kennedy willing to accept a terror state in Iraq if the forces of evil win? It is a simple question, Senator. "Talking Points" awaits your answer.
If you go to Kennedy's Web site, it emphasizes the need to involve other nations in the fight against terror. Of course, this is a pipe dream.
Here is a vivid example. Italy is one of America's strongest allies in the terror war. The Berlusconi government has helped us immensely. Recently five Muslims were arrested and charged with recruiting homicide bombers inside Italy to be sent to Iraq. This week, those charges were dismissed by Judge Clementina Forleo, who said the men were not terrorists, they were guerrillas, therefore had committed no crime.
The Italian government is outraged, but what that judge did is not unusual. There is sympathy for the terrorist devil all over the world.
Senator Kennedy and other internationalists have a completely unrealistic view of the world. We are fighting for our lives in Iraq. And most Americans don't even know it. The election on Sunday is vital to our safety. I will say it again. If Syria, Iraq and Iran are allowed to support and protect terrorists, there will be a world war in the future that will dwarf anything this planet has ever seen.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
We told you earlier this week that a bunch of shock jocks in New York City made fun of the tsunami victims using derogatory terms for Asians and other offensive material.
Well, those people have now been suspended indefinitely, and three advertisers have canceled spots on WQHT. McDonald's, Sprint and a tax company have bailed out.
The sponsors did the right thing. The D.J.s were ridiculous, and I'm happy to see the free marketplace responding. That's the way to do it here.
Also on the subject of the free marketplace, Valentine's Day is coming up, two-and-a-half weeks. Just a heads-up for that. The good stuff on billoreilly.com for both guys and gals is going fast. No-spin romance, the only kind to have.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org