Attacking America's enemies first. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." The Bush administration has released a report that says the policy of preemptive action in the War on Terror will continue. As you know that policy led the USA into Iraq, which has become a more difficult situation than the administration predicted.
In the report, the president singled out Iran as a country that is threatening the USA right now, clearly signaling to the Iranian government that a nuclear weapon is not acceptable. Now the policy of striking perceived enemies before they attack us is controversial and made more so because of the nation's disenchantment over the war in Iraq. Every poll shows most Americans have turned against that action. It's not for philosophical reasons. War is a performance business. If the USA had stabilized Iraq, Mr. Bush's approval ratings would be through the roof. But since the conflict is dragging on with no clear definition, many Americans now feel it's not worth it."
"Talking Points" believes the Iraq war can still be won, and the world will be a far safer place if it is. If the terrorists lose in Iraq, they'll be confined to a very few places on this earth, Iran and Syria being the two primary sanctuaries. But here's the key question: Can America win the war on terror if it does not strike first? Consider that the Clinton administration had a number of chances to kill bin Laden and decimate Al Qaeda before 9/11.
But had President Clinton struck first, against a man few knew anything about, the Muslim world and many others countries would have condemned the action. President Clinton didn't want to put the USA and himself in that position.
In hindsight, a mistake, but an understandable one. The cold truth is many nations are cowardly and will not support the USA in the War on Terror no matter what. It's simply disgraceful that the United Nations has not condemned Iran for enabling terrorism and destabilizing the war with its faithful policies. The U.N. will not right obvious and dangerous wrongs, everybody knows it.
Which brings us back to first strike. According to a FOX News poll, most Americans do not believe we can police the world, but when it comes to confronting obvious danger, I believe most Americans will rally, even though the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction debacle has caused skepticism.
Muslim killers are capable of committing murder on a mass scale we all know that. To rule out a first strike would be foolish and dangerous for America.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Apparently, actress Jessica Simpson has been disrespectful to President Bush. The "Dukes of Hazzard" co-star is involved in a charity that helps children overseas with facial deformities. That's good. But according to the Reuters news service, Simpson was invited to a Republican fundraiser which was being tied into the charity, Operation Smile. Simpson was offered a meeting with President Bush, who was attending the fundraiser, and apparently said no, even though evidence indicates she does know who the president is.
Now, that snide remark was completely uncalled for, of course, and is ridiculous. I admit it. But not as ridiculous as Jessica Simpson disrespecting the president of the United States. If he's nice enough to invite to you a meeting, you go, even if you don't agree with him.
—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.