To watch "The Talking Points Memo" in the Screening Room click here.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly, reporting from Los Angeles. Thanks for watching us tonight.
The U.N. humiliates the USA. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
No way the Bush administration can spin this. If America does not call for a U.N. mandate authorizing force against Saddam as the president promised, it will be a major defeat for President Bush.
America's intentions were good. The USA hoped the world would see Saddam's defiance of 18 U.N. mandates was unacceptable in a world that is supposed to be fighting against terror.
But President Bush miscalculated. He did not see how strong anti-American feeling is in countries like France, Germany and Syria. And he did not understand how venal politicians would pander to those who hate America.
In hindsight, Mr. Bush should have done with President Clinton did with Milosevic, attack him without U.N. approval. You remember that France opposed bombing Serbia, even though soldiers from that country were committing mass murder throughout the Balkans. Mr. Clinton, to his credit, ignored French objections and bombed Belgrade.
But President Bush was persuaded to take the diplomatic road on Saddam, and that has failed dismally. Once again, even after the U.N. passed Resolution 1441 last November, demanding that Saddam account for his weapons of mass destruction, the U.N. will not force him to do so.
That's what this is all about, the U.N. not backing up its mandates with force.
It is frustrating for those of us that see Saddam for what he is -- a killer with huge stocks of anthrax and other deadly weapons -- to constantly hear more time is needed to disarm the man. If all of the so-called civilized nations of the world would enforce 1441, Saddam would already be out of power. We have said that many times before.
But logic is not in play in the U.N.--anti-Americanism is. And thus President Bush has been humiliated. So what now?
Well, Mr. Bush and the leaders of Britain and Spain will immediate in the Azors on Sunday. And soon after that Saddam will receive an ultimatum to disarm. And soon after that, the allied forces will remove him from power if he does not account for his weapons.
What nobody knows is what will happen after Saddam is removed, and it could be one giant mess, made worse by the fact that the image of the U.N. is now pitted squarely against Mr. Bush.
These are very difficult times for all of is here in America. But, again, we must do the right thing. Saddam is evil and a threat to the world; he must go.
But the Bush administration must also learn a lesson from this debacle and either repair relationships with powerful countries or make it quite clear to the world that we will fight alone against dangerous tyrants and terrorists if we have to.
USA cannot straddle the middle ground any longer.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Your humble correspondent -- that's me, in case you didn't know -- appeared with Jay Leno last night [Thursday, March 13]. Here's the highlight:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: It comes down to this. I respect the -- I respect people who don't want war. I do. But they've got 8,500 liters of anthrax unaccounted for, and he won't say where they are. He being Saddam.
JAY LENO, THE TONIGHT SHOW: Right, right.
O'REILLY: Unacceptable. All right. Ten letters shut this country down. Shut the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) down. We had to shut my building at Fox now. NBC Tom Brokaw's secretary got sick.
LENO: Sure, sure.
O'REILLY: Eighty-five hundred liters of anthrax...
LENO: That's a lot.
O'REILLY: ... and this clown will not say where he got it.
O'REILLY: Now how many -- how many more mandates do we got to give this guy until we send him a little message which Secretary of State Leno is going to do?
LENO: Well, let me ask you this. Now...
LENO: Did you say -- I'm not sure if it was you who said it -- when Dan Rather was there to interview him -- why didn't he just kill him? Was it you that said that?
O'REILLY: That wasn't me. I didn't. I'm a non-violent person.
LENO: Let me ask you a question. Let me ask you a question. Suppose someone said Saddam Hussein knows that you're the number one cable show. Saddam Hussein wants you to interview him.
O'REILLY: You think Saddam wants to go on the no-spin zone?
LENO: No. Let me ask you. And suppose I said here's a pen, this pen is filled with poison.
O'REILLY: Jab him in the eye?
LENO: No, just -- just spray it and he'll -- would you kill him?
LENO: I mean, it's for -- it's for the greater good. I'd say...
O'REILLY: It is.
LENO: ... put this in your pocket. You pull this. You and he both blow to kingdom come.
O'REILLY: Oh, I got to go, too?
LENO: Oh, yes. Hey, there's got to be something in it for us!
O'REILLY: Right. Oh, yes.
O'REILLY: I would do it.
LENO: You would do it?
O'REILLY: I would do it.
He would do it!
O'REILLY: I would do it.
LENO: There you go. All right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: I think Jay wants to get rid of me. Ridiculous? You make the call.