The "Talking Points Memo": Outlining the Bush strategy in the War on Terror. The presidential visit to India and Pakistan was a success, even if many Americans have no idea what Mr. Bush is doing over there. The president is deeply involved with a very specific long-term strategy to fight terrorism and the trip was part of it. Let's lay things out and see what you think.
Mr. Bush believes the only way to defeat Al Qaeda and other terror groups is to deny them sanctuary, that is limit the places where these people can openly operate. Right now the countries of Iran, Syria, and the out-of-control northern border areas of Pakistan harbor and finance terrorists. These places are, of course, enemies of the USA.
Iraq was invaded to create a friendly country between Iran and Syria, thereby pressuring those nations to do a more sensible foreign policy. Unfortunately, the Iraq conflict has proven to be much more difficult than the Bush administration had anticipated. And so the conflict rages on.
The Mideast countries that actively help America are few, but growing. Jordan, Kuwait, the Emirates, Egypt and Afghanistan are all now reliable allies in the War on Terror. We need to keep those people on our side. And that's why the ports debacle involving the Emirates is so serious.
Saudi Arabia helps the USA when it feels like it. And the same goes for Pakistan. However, Al Qaeda is a growing threat to the Saudi royal family and so is Iran. So the kingdom is cooperating more with the USA.
Pakistan is a dicey situation. If the military dictator Musharraf is assassinated, you'll see a blood bath, as Islamic fanatics are everywhere. But having two U.S. friendly countries on either side of Pakistan makes it easier for America to help Musharraf survive.
The rest of the Middle East nations are basically bystanders. Turkey wants Western assistance, but isn't going to outwardly fight Islamic fascism. The same for Oman, Qatar, and Yemen.
Despite the chaos in Iraq, the Bush administration has been effective in keeping Al Qaeda pinned down on the defensive. Our intelligence is much better than it was pre-9/11. And our military is now battle- hardened. And those are important things.
"Talking Points" believes the Bush administration deserves credit for bringing the fight to the terrorists. It is depressing that so few Americans understand what the stakes are. The press continues to quibble over minor matters. And the far left continues to undermine the War on Terror every way it can.
So that's what's in play. And we are talking life and death here, not partisan politics. I hope this Memo wises some people up. It's a brutal world, not some theoretical game. Nothing is more important than winning the War on Terror.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
As you know, the Academy Award people give an Oscar to the best song every year and in the past, classics like "A Whole New World," "Arthur's Theme," "Fame," "Moon River" have delighted film gores all over the world. Thus we were happy to see last night the best movie song of the year was awarded to "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp," by the group Three 6 Mafia. Roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Jesus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for giving us a chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank the Academy, you know what we're saying? Everybody, we love you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got plenty of time. I'm not going home tonight!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Ridiculous? No, of course not. People will be humming that tune all day long. "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp," — Best song of the year.
—You can catch 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
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