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Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: On this 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attack

By Bill O'Reilly

According to the Congressional Research Service, the War on Terror has cost America $1.4 trillion. That includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and money for veterans, also a bunch of other military expenditures. It does not include... it does not include security within the USA.

Under President Obama, the War on Terror has cost about $569 billion. Approximately 10 percent of the debt the President has run up in his three and a half years on the job. So when people like Alan Colmes who will join us in a moment say that America's debt is largely war-driven, the stats do not back that up.

Mr. Obama has added about $5.4 trillion to the debt during his time in office and again the War on Terror expenditures comprise about 10 percent of that. But the important question is has the War on Terror been worth the price in blood and treasure?

So let's run it down. In the combined wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 6,600 Americans have been killed. Almost 50,000 wounded. While all life is sacred, those casualty figures are nothing like the Vietnam War.

However, I believe most historians will look back on the Iraq war as being a mistake. We could have brought Saddam to his knees by blockading his country. We didn't have to invade it. One caveat the weapons of mass destruction deal through all calibrations out.

But in hindsight we did not need Iraq in order to win the War on Terror. Afghanistan is another matter. We had to remove the Taliban and we did. The problem is that Afghan society is largely corrupt and the USA has not been able to effectively neutralize that corruption.

So we're caught in a country that simply will not cooperate in helping itself become a free state. Money and tribal conflicts rule in Afghanistan. And that has hurt America badly. But again, we had to fight the war.

President Obama has done a good job in neutralizing al-Qaeda, his killer drone strategy has decimated that homicidal group. President Bush did a good job in hammering al-Qaeda after 9/11 attack. His strong policy of isolating and interrogating captured terrorists gave the USA vital information the country needed in order to protect itself.

Ironically, the Obama administration recently dropped all abuse cases against the CIA and its interrogation program, believe me when I tell you Attorney General Eric Holder did not want to do that. But the evidence shows that while America did use harsh interrogation, it did not abuse prisoners on the scale the far-left alleges.

So summing up, the War on Terror had to be fought. We made a mistake in Iraq but overall, we have won the fight against terrorism. However, the conflict goes on and you know those savages want to hit us again.

And that's "The Memo."