The war on terror heating up fast

Ahmed Abu Khatallah to be charged as one of the leaders in the Benghazi attack


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 17, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.

The "Talking Points Memo" on how the left is treating the border crisis will be in our third segment this evening. But first, the lead story: the war on terror heating up fast.

43-year-old Ahmed Abu Khatallah has been snatched out of Libya by U.S. Special Forces and the FBI. He will be charged as one of the leaders in the Benghazi attack that killed American ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. citizens. That abduction happened on Sunday but was announced today so all the Americans involved could get out of Libya.

Meantime in Iraq the atrocities mount. The al Qaeda army ISIS which has attacked Northern Iraq is posting gruesome videos of the mass executions they are committing.

Last night we called upon President Obama to begin bombing the al Qaeda army. Today we see pictures of captured American armaments heading towards Syria -- the al Qaeda army taking them to that battlefield. Those arms were abandoned by the Iraqi army which is in disarray. Why on earth are those caravans not being bombed by U.S. planes? It's flat desert out there.

The al Qaeda army should have been punished from the air a long time ago. These savages are totally out of control. Yet, all President Obama has done thus far is order about 275 military people to protect American assets in Baghdad.

Now, no credible person wants to send mass U.S. troops into Iraq again. That would be foolish because Americans are not going to solve the sectarian violence that plagues that country. In fact, I don't think anyone will ever solve that century's old problem. But certainly, certainly using air power to diminish the terror army is feasible and necessary.

Joining us now from Washington to comment on the situation, fox news political analyst Charles Krauthammer. And you say?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I say that's right. I mean what we essentially have to do is Obama has to produce overnight a mini version of what he declined to do in 2011 which is to leave behind a small residual force that could A, gather intelligence; B, help to direct planning on tactics; and C, carry out air support. Those are the three things we need to do. Those are the three things we would have been in a position to do for the last three years.

We weren't and we can see the consequences. The liquidation of all the gains that we made very high cost in the surge. So what we have to do is now is quickly -- the most important thing here is Bill is that they need intelligence. Yes, they're an open country but they've got to know where, they've got to know what speed they're going, they've got to know when they left -- they have to know what is on those transports.

General Jack Keane who was one of the architects of the surge reminds that we used to have tremendous intel in Baghdad. We got all the regional and local intelligence which he would hand over to the Iraqis. When we left in 2011 that screen went blank. We have to reactivate the screen, have spotters on the ground and then use air power.

O'REILLY: All right. But we also have access to the Kurds as you know up in the northwestern part of the country. We have access there. We have assets there. But look Charles, we have drones, we have everything -- what this ISIS army, this al Qaeda army has done that Americans I don't think understand is that they have swallowed up a huge amount of territory. They control, all right? Some of it is inside Syria, some of it is now inside Iraq. But it's all flat desert.

And they know, the U.S. knows where they are going. You don't transport big armaments like that without people knowing about it yet President Obama -- and this may be an unfair word. I want to know if it's unfair -- is dithering. Is that unfair?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, he has dithered since the day he got in office. It took him a year to decide on the surge in Afghanistan -- went yes and no and maybe. In between that he announces a surge in the same sentence he announces a withdrawal. He is unsure. He has been uncertain from the beginning. But he is he arrogant enough not to listen to advice.

And here he is. He goes off and plays golf or who knows what he was doing at a time when Iraq is in maximum peril. Let me just say a couple of things. The Kurds are of no use to us. They have captured Kirkuk, they have their own state. They have been longing for that for 100 years since the Versailles Conference and they have it in reach. They are not going to want to get involved in this war. And I can I understand that entirely.

The second thing is drones are useless. A drone is terrific if you want to take out a single terrorist in a coffee shop somewhere in northern Pakistan. But here you need heavy air power to knock out these convoys and to hit these staging areas which we can do.

One other thing, which General Keane recommends, we cannot honor the border between Iraq and Syria. It no longer exists in the real world.

O'REILLY: That's right. Absolutely.

KRAUTHAMMER: We have to go into Syria to attack ISIS or all of this is useless. They are going to have their safe havens.

O'REILLY: Ok. Now, if Krauthammer understands this, because this is one of the few times where you and I agree, I should say, agree 100 percent down the line. Krauthammer and O'Reilly agree after studying the terrain and the -- understanding the urgency of the situation.

KRAUTHAMMER: I know, you were up all night looking at the maps.

O'REILLY: Well, look, I know that part of the country. I have been there. But this is --

KRAUTHAMMER: I was just kidding.

O'REILLY: This wasn't even hard because you have to send a message to these people who are now beheading people, setting them on fire and putting it on the Internet -- ho, ho, ho. We are going to do whatever we want to do. We don't care about America. We think America is impotent and I believe they do, Charles. I believe these people feel that we are a paper tiger. I believe they saw what happened in Crimea. The Internet floats this stuff around the world at lightning speed. They are saying, you know what -- we can do whatever we want. These people aren't going to hurt us. And we, both you and I predicted once this started, once the perception of weakness started, that the United States is not going to right wrongs any longer, that the bad guys would run wild and that's exactly what's happening.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, it's not hard to predict when a great power like ours creates a vacuum by telling the world as Obama did we are getting out. The tide of war is retreating. The tide of war is not retreating. America is receding. That's what's happened. So of course the bad guys, meaning Iran and ISIS had come in here. This was utterly predictable that they can see, as you say, we did nothing in Ukraine.

The Pacific Rim allies are scared to death. China is claiming all kinds of territory. We are doing nothing. Dithering is exactly the right word of a president who doesn't know what to do and who wants, whose instincts are -- he thinks if we stay out the world will leave us alone. That's the fundamental error.

World stability hinges on American deterrence and power and he never understood that and now we are suffering the consequences.

O'REILLY: All right. Charles Krauthammer.

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