A suicide bomber attacked the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, killing more than 20 people including at least one American. Vice President Cheney was on the base at the time of the attack, but nowhere near the explosion.
The Taliban took credit for the attack. And that should remind everybody that the global war on terror is still underway. And things are not going well.
There are a few key reasons for this. First, most nations are sitting out the war on terror, and a good many of them are rooting against the USA and our allies, if you can believe it. Muslim killers know they can count on people like Vladimir Putin, Jacques Chirac, and the government of Spain to allow them to kill at will.
Right now, the Taliban is taking advantage of Pakistan's unwillingness to shut them down. The Taliban killers have a sanctuary in that country. And President Musharraf is basically hiding under his desk.
The terrorists also understand that the far left in America doesn't want to fight the war on terror and will frequently undermine it. We're talking about organizations like the ACLU, far left Internet sites, and some mainstream media outlets.
Also, Iraq has clearly been a setback in the terror war, but not for the reasons the far left wants you to believe. Perhaps the best correspondent in Iraq is John Burns who writes for "The New York Times." His analysis is worth hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "TIM RUSSERT")
JOHN BURNS, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think again, to be fair, American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it. It lasted very briefly. It was exhausted quickly by the looting, and the astonishment, the puzzlement, and finally the anger of Iraqis that nothing or very little was done to stop that.
I think that -- to be fair to the United States, and I speak as a citizen of the United Kingdom, I think that the instincts that led to much that went wrong were good American instincts, the desire not to have to too heavy a footprint. The desire to empower Iraqis.
And I think that the policymakers in Washington and to be honest with you the journalists also, to speak for myself, completely miscalculated the impact of 30 years of violent brutal repression on the Iraqi people and their willingness, in President Bush's phrase, to stand up for themselves, to take authority, to take risks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And that is the crux of Iraq. I couldn't have said it better myself. Many people there will not fight for freedom, preferring to fight for revenge.
The setback in Iraq has hurt the entire anti-terror campaign. Iran and al Qaeda are emboldened. And many around the world believe America is the villain, not the Jihadists.
Clear thinking people must condemn that point of view. The USA tried to do something noble in Iraq and at the same time put pressure on Iran and other Middle Eastern terror enablers.
It hasn't worked out, but there are more battles to come, like we saw today. And America must stay strong in the face of a clear and present danger.
And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item
The cable news ratings for February are in and the FOX News Channel continues to dominate.
Just about doubling CNN in total audience, tripling MSNBC, quadrupling CNBC, the lowest ranked channel.
“The Factor" is No. 1 at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. Eastern Time. Total audience, about four million each day. At 8 we beat all of our competition combined with 350,000 viewers left over. A stunning margin of victory.
And that is thanks to you, of course. And all of us here at FNC realize that and appreciate it very much.
On the network news front, ABC is now in first place, as NBC continues to fall in the evening ews race. NBC's sharp turn to the left is obviously a disaster. And it's ridiculous to boot.
—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: email@example.com