On one side, the "stay the course" people led by President Bush. This group believes that pulling out of Iraq would have dire consequences for the USA. Karl Rove says it's a matter of courage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Like too many Democrats, it strikes me they are ready to give the green light to go to war, but when it gets tough and when it gets difficult, they fall back on that party's old pattern of "cutting and running."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

The other side believes Rove and Bush are warmongers and incompetent. Congressman John Murtha leads this group and fired back at Rove.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN MURTHA, D- PA.: He's in New Hampshire. He's making a political speech. He's sitting in his air conditioned office, big fat back side, saying "stay the course." That's not a plan!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Now minus ideologues on both sides who usually play follow the leader, most Americans are confused about Iraq. No question the conflict is nasty and depressing, but is America's sacrifice worth it? That's the key question.

At this point, mistakes like WMDs are not important. What is vital are the consequences if the USA pulls out of Iraq too soon. Without U.S. and British forces, Iraq would collapse into civil war.

On one side, Saddam loyalists — Sunnis and Al Qaeda. On the other side, Shi'ia, the majority supported by Iran. The Shi'ia would win the fight. Al Qaeda would get out quick, hoping to fight Americans in another place. And Iran would then dominate Iraq. That would make Iran the most powerful nation in the Middle East and give it control of vast reserves of oil, which it would use to blackmail China and other nations. Iran's nuclear ambitions would also be accelerated.

With Iran's approval, Iraq would become a fundamentalist state, much like the Taliban run Afghanistan. It would also become a terrorist training ground.

So if American forces pull out of Iraq before the government there can defend itself, terror would win a huge victory. Do you think Congressman Murtha understands that? Does the congressman believe Al Qaeda in Iran will just go away because we pull back from Iraq?

Until Murtha and his supporters addresses the geo-political danger — the unintended consequences of a fundamentalist Iraq — they can't wn the debate.

The stakes are huge, ladies and gentlemen. And the Iraq dissenter should acknowledge that and so should all Americans.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The results of our poll on Ann Coulter [are in]: We asked "do you approve of the personal attacks Ann Coulter uses in her new book?" Yes or no? More than 60,000 of you voted. Seventy-two percent say they do approve, a lot of Coulter fans. Twenty-eight percent say they do not.

Now if you approve, then you can't attack the other side when those people use the personal attacks. That's the rule. So the next time some far left Kool-Aid drinker calls me a poltroon (that is a spiritless coward), you just have to sit there — mute.

I, however, do not approve of Ms. Coulter's personal attacks, so I can let the Kool-Aid drinkers have it. Poltroon indeed.

Ridiculous? You make the call.

—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 and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com