Reaction to the president's speech on Iraq: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
According to a snap poll by Gallup, 74 percent of Americans thought the president's speech was a good one. The left wing media, however, did not see it that way. The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times continue to pound the president for believing that Saddam's regime had any links toAl Qaeda (search) or 9/11 and for fouling up the situation in Iraq in general.
Saddam certainly did allow Ansar Al-Islaam, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, to openly operate in northern Iraq. That's a fact. And Al Qaeda big shotAl Zarqawi (search) was treated in Baghdad for severe wounds he suffered fighting Americans in Afghanistan. Links? — You make the call.
As for mistakes in Iraq, definitely. From WMDs to failing to secure the ammo dumps, the USA has made errors there. But what good does harping on those errors do now? Every sane person knows if the USA pulls out of Iraq, Al Zarqawi and his terror killers take over setting up yet another terror state to go along with Iran and Syria. Obviously, that can't be allowed to happen, no matter what has happened in the past.
Even German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (search), no friend of ours, understands that. So let's stop the nonsense. Let's stop undermining the war. American must defeat terror in Iraq. And if that takes more troops, send more troops.
I do agree with the left wing media press on one thing: President Bush must be held accountable for what happens from here on in. I think it's fair to give the military one more year to train the Iraqis to fight for themselves. If things are awful in Iraq this time next year, then it will be fair to say the Bush administration has failed in that country. We must see improvement. And the president must keep us posted. He should update the situation every month or so in a press conference.
To those people who want a troop withdrawal time table, I saw you're completely foolish, brutally wrong. Nobody fights a war with a time table for troop withdrawal. Why give the enemy that advantage?
So let's all pull together here for the good of the country. We must defeat the terrorists in Iraq and stop the partisan nonsense for the sake of our fighting men and women on the battlefield. And any media outlet that refuses to do that will be exposed on this broadcast.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day":
Our pal Ted Turner (search) gets a big award, the Clinton Center Award for Leadership and National Service, presented by former President Bill Clinton (search). And Turner got it because he gives away a lot of money and is interested in the environment. And that's fine with us.
We think Mr. Turner is misguided politically, but he does put his money where his mouth is. And that's a good thing. So congratulations on the award, Ted. Looking forward to talking to you about it right here on “The Factor,” which would be very interesting and not at all ridiculous. Wouldn't that be good? Right here...
—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