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Hi. I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
Fighting the terrorists the American way. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. The most powerful weapon in the world is the U.S. Military machine. And the second most powerful weapon is the American consumer, you. Saddam Hussein now knows about American military power, and France is finding out about your consumer power right now.
As we reported last night, The Factor-led boycott of French products is crushing the French wine and tourist industries, among others, and the Paris business community is not real happy with Jacques Chirac right now.
Americans have the right to buy whatever they want, and Talking Points believes we can use our dollars to influence those who are working against the USA in the war on terror. Take China, for example. The United States needs that country to persuade North Korea to drop the nukes. China provides North Korea with energy and food and can absolutely destroy Kim Jong-Il's government if it wants to.
Americans buy $125 billion worth of Chinese stuff every year, $103 billion more than they buy from us. So, if Americans stop buying Chinese goods, China sinks into economic depression, and the way to encourage China to help stabilize the world is obviously economic.
Last night Talking Points warned Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien that storm clouds are gathering down here because of his proactive belligerence towards the USA. Americans buy $210 billion worth of Canadian stuff every year, $50 billion more than they buy from us. So, do the math.
If we stop buying Canadian, they're in major trouble up. Thus, it is you, the American consumer, that holds a tremendous amount of power in the world. I believe Americans must begin to use that power.
The USA simply cannot fight all the bad guys. Gun boat diplomacy impossible in this age of high-tech information and organized propaganda. But checkbook diplomacy is very possible, cheaper, and perhaps as effective. Take Russia, the USA sends that country $155 million every year in assistance, and we buy another $7 billion of their stuff.
Russia doesn't do anything for us economically. So, if Putin continues to work against the USA, well, Americans might want to send him a little message.
Never before in history has one people, Americans, had so much economic influence. We should never use our power to threaten or intimidate unless we ourselves are at risk. Sending missiles to Iraq puts us at risk. And France and Russia did that.
Failing to support your biggest trade partners in the removal of a vicious dictator, not a friendly action. Are you hearing me, Mexico and Canada?
The end game is this -- we the people of the United States of America have the freedom to purchase what we want from whom we want. And countries that go out of their way to hurt us had best consider that fact.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Coalition forces are cracking down on looters in Baghdad, as you know, but it's too late for 300 animals missing from the Baghdad zoo. Monkeys, bears, horses, and camels have all disappeared -- this monkey didn't get out, I guess -- either carted off by thieves or simply the cage is open and they're running around.
The only animals not taken, lions and tigers, for obvious reasons. No, not taking you. Sorry. However, bears may be a big -- I wouldn't be taking a bear, if I'm a looter, no. Anyway, that's it.
Well, we saw it, and it could be ridiculous. I feel bad for those animals, and -- I had a line, but it doesn't work.