October is now the deadliest month ever in Afghanistan for U.S. troops, with 55 killed so far. And it has now been 59 days since commanding General McChrystal asked for 40,000 more troops to provide security in that theatre.
The request hangs in the air because President Obama says he is continuing to assess the situation:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: While I will never hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests, I also promise you this, and this is very important as we consider our next steps in Afghanistan. I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Because "Talking Points" does not have the information the president has, it would be unfair for us to second guess Mr. Obama. However, John McCain does have that information and says this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: It's time to make a decision and send those troops there. And the longer we delay, the more they're in harm's way and in danger. And the time is up. It's time to act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now there are some people who believe President Obama is waiting until after next Tuesday's election to make a decision. That is speculation, but it does make some sense. Many liberals do not support the Afghan war and angering them before the vote could cause them to stay home.
Again, that's speculation.
What is fact is that the Taliban is growing bolder. On Wednesday they attacked a building in Kabul which was considered to be relatively secure. There is no question the Taliban is making a statement, throwing violence right into the president's face.
There are people on both the left and the right who feel the Afghan war is un-winnable, and that may be true. Col. Ralph Peters doesn't support more troops, nor does New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
Writing Wednesday, Friedman says it is impossible to nation-build Afghanistan. But he also says he's not sure if the Taliban would take over should the USA pull back.
"Talking Points" believes that's nuts. What do you think the Taliban is fighting for? They want to regain power, and if the USA pulls back, who's going to stop them? The Italian forces?
This whole situation is very dangerous to Barack Obama, who is perceived in some quarters as being timid. If Afghanistan goes south on his watch, he will get the loss. Terrorism will achieve a great victory and America will be embarrassed. That's why you have to send the 40,000 troops.
Like Iraq, you give it one more push to stabilize the situation. With the stakes so high, you have to try.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
As you may know, teen singer Miley Cyrus ran into some trouble posing for pictures and generally acting older than her age. But Ms. Cyrus also does some very nice things.
While raising money for the City of Hope cancer facility, she sang this duet:
For doing that, she is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, a viewer warning on this. Some offensive material coming up.
Larry David is a controversial comedian who tries to shock people, this time by mocking Christianity. In the latest escapade, he uses the bathroom at a religious woman's home. The woman then thinks she's witnessed a miracle:
For that crude display, Mr. David is a pinhead.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org