President Bush (search) tries to rally the nation to support the war on terror. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
It seems Mr. Bush has gotten the message that he has to lead if he wants to regain the nation's support for the war on terror. There's no question that many Americans have doubts about the war and how it's being waged. A recent Gallup (search) poll says just 39 percent of us now think invading Iraq was the right thing to do.
Today in a wide-ranging speech, the president defined the enemy in no uncertain terms.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives. To enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers. And no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.
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O'REILLY: Now after 9/11 (search), most Americans were behind the terror war, which went well in Afghanistan, but is now bogged down in Iraq. Mr. Bush wants to rekindle the urgency of the war, reminding people of the danger we face from fanatics who will use nuclear weapons against us if they can get them. The president also warned Syria (search) and Iran (search) once again that the USA will not tolerate them aiding terrorism.
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BUSH: Any government that chooses to be an ally of terror has also chosen to be an enemy of civilization. And the civilized world must hold those regimes to account.
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O'REILLY: Well, the problem is that the civilized world will not unite against terrorism. And that's the president's big dilemma. Just like the world stood by and allowed the Third Reich (search) and the Soviets to gain in power, the world is doing the same thing now with Islamic fundamentalism.
The Iraq War would be over if the so-called civilized nations would help stabilize Iraq. Al Qaeda (search) couldn't exist if every nation fought them with the ferocity the USA is employing.
But countries like France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, scores of others, are content to let America do the heavy lifting. And so President Bush finds himself locked in a brutal war with only Great Britain and a few other countries helping out, and a growing minority of Americans bailing out.
So today's speech was an effort to instill a will-to-win into an increasingly distracted world. 9/11 seems like a million miles away. But remember,Bali (search) was only yesterday
"Talking Points" understands we are engaged in World War III, but also understands that millions of Americans simply will not acknowledge that fact. Hard to understand the thinking of people who would surrender to the terrorists in Iraq, who would blame the USA for the terror war in general, but they are out there.
The Bush administration has made mistakes in the terror war, no question. But the future is what's important, not the past. Does America have the will to win the war on terror or not? And that's “The Memo.”
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The paperback edition of "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" will debut at No. 9 on the New York Times (search) best seller list a week from Sunday, right behind the book, "Bad Cat," which by the way, is right behind the book, "Bad Dog." Do you sense a franchise here? "Bad Kimoto Dragon?"
Anyway, we thank all of you who have supported "The Factor for Kids" book. And of course, we'd like to reach No. 1 on top, ahead of all those bad animals. Because that would really tee off the New York Times, wouldn't it? Might be even ridiculous.
Thanks for buying the book. I appreciate it.
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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.