Private Kristian Menchaca of Houston and Private Thomas Tucker of Oregon were captured by terrorists in Iraq, hacked to death, their eyes gouged, their bodies defiled. This was payback for the death of Zarqawi.

So now Americans must decide how to respond. I say Americans, because you and I have a stake in this. You and I must speak up so the murders of those two soldiers will not be in vain.

"Talking Points" believes the Bush administration has to stop being defensive about waging war. At this point, the new Iraqi government should declare martial law in areas controlled by insurgents. That means anyone can be arrested and shoot on sight curfews.

Saddam was able to control Iraq, as you know, and defeat insurgencies against him. The new Iraqi government can do the same, but it needs to get much tougher.

The Bush administration also needs to begin challenging those who are helping the enemy. The ACLU, for example, opposes just about every anti-terror strategy. This organization should be exposed.

The BBC also helps the enemy by consistently slanting the Iraq War coverage and portraying the coalition as villains. The vile Air America Radio Network does the same thing.

This may surprise you, but I don't consider dissenting from the Iraq War to be helping the enemy. Congressman Murtha, for example, is acting on his beliefs. He made a mistake by convicting the Marines in Haditha before the evidence was presented, but dissent makes America stronger.

Likewise, the left-wing editorial pages aren't helping the enemy. But last week, The New York Times allowed a suspected terrorist to write an op-ed piece saying he was tortured at Guantanamo Bay. However, The Times failed to tell its readers, the man's entire family, including his mother, were charged with terrorist activities and subsequently convicted. That kind of situation comes dangerously close to helping the enemy.

The truth is the USA needs Guantanamo Bay. It needs martial law in Iraq. It needs to fight the terrorists even harder. They do not deserve anyone's sympathy.

Last week, I chastised Reverends Ted Haggard and Jim Wallace for signing an advertisement, urging the USA to stop torturing people. I told both men that torture is not policy, and that the enemy would use that ad against us. And so they have.

The Egyptian newspaper al-Aram trumpeted the ad as an admission of torture. That kind of thing's got to stop. Reverends Haggard and Wallace did not mean to help the enemy, but they did. And so did Jimmy Carter.

Americans must wise up here. We are fighting a vicious world-wide War on Terror. We need to be more aggressive, not less. Anyone who says we're the bad guys, who claims America is the cause of terror, who splatters every mistake we make on page one, but fails to emphasize why the heck we're fighting in the first place, all of those people must be challenged.

No country can win a war against savages, unless harsh measures are employed. Let's hope the brutal ordeal of Privates Menchaca and Tucker will wake all of us up.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The saga of Lewis the Cat continues. You may remember, Lewis was running around his Connecticut neighborhood assaulting people, like the Avon lady. So authorities charged his owner, Ruth Cicero, with reckless endangerment unless she put Lewis down.

But now a reprieve. Judge Patrick Carroll has ruled that Lewis can continue to live but can never leave the house again. No comment from Lewis, even though he has his own page on MySpace.com, which might, of course, be ridiculous. Mess around with me, Lewis, boy.

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