Is there finally a strategy for confronting ISIS?

Charles Krauthammer on how the President should approach the growing terror threat


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 9, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

In "Back of the Book" segment tonight. President Obama's speech tomorrow night will be closely watched all over the world.

And I want to know -- I want to know what Charles Krauthammer would say if he were writing his speech. Charles, the author of the big bestseller, "Things that Matter," joins us from Washington.

So, here a fun fact that most people don't know. You used to write speeches for Walter Mondale, one of the most exciting men who has ever lived. Is that correct.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, he was also rather liberal, too.

O'REILLY: I know. You were back then.

KRAUTHAMMER: But then again -- no, I was young then. That's my excuse.

O'REILLY: Uh-huh.

KRAUTHAMMER: But I've grown up since. A lot of others haven't. Look, if I'm given that, I know how to write speeches for Democrats.

But what he ought to do is to start by saying, "Boy, did I screw up in 2011 when I didn't leave any troops behind.


But, of course, you're not going to get that from Obama. What you have to get from him is one thing.

He doesn't have to explain how bad these people are. Everybody knows it. It was the beheadings that changed public opinion.


And he now has public opinion, despite himself, behind him, on going to war, to bombing Iraq, to bombing Syria. Not because of anything Obama ever said or Obama ever did.

But it was the videos that had this traumatic psychological effect. So, with the wind at his back, he's got the opportunity to explain one thing.

And he should stop talking about what he's not going to do. There's no need to talk about that. Just don't do it.

And I also think his mission tomorrow night is not to lay out a plan, because the enemy is watching. It's to lay out the mission -- what is it he wants to accomplish.

No timelines, not like Afghanistan where he said, "I'm going but I'm coming back." Not like any of the other operations where he does one step this way and one step that way.

He's got to say, "Here's the mission. Here's how we know it will succeed. And I'm going to give the military the authority to go ahead and pursue it."

Don't give us details. Don't tell us we're going to start to bomb in the ISIS headquarters of Raqqa. They would presume that, I guess, but you don't have to announce it.

O'REILLY: Right.

KRAUTHAMMER: And you shouldn't.

O'REILLY: OK. Putin, I guess he's not even going to deal with Putin who, I think, is almost as dangerous as ISIS.


KRAUTHAMMER: Putin is capable, if he miscalculates, of starting the unthinkable, which is a European war. Until a year or two ago, nobody could imagine in our lifetime that there might be.

Now, there likely won't be because he's not that reckless. The reason he's not reckless, he's ambitious, aggressive and unsubtle. But he's not reckless because he knows he's getting no resistance --


-- from the U.S. and from the Europeans. But he could get a little too greedy. He's already stirring up trouble in Estonia --

O'REILLY: Right.

KRAUTHAMMER: -- and the Baltic states. And if he pushes on that button, it's not clear whether NATO will lie down and do nothing.

Obama would be inclined to but he might have to. So, I think what he'll do is digest Ukraine where he has won the war, everything is frozen in place.

Ukraine is now a broken state of which he will exert the majority of influence, which is what he wants. And then he'll start to nibble at the Baltics and see how far he can fish.

O'REILLY: So, Kazakhstan in Asia, which is, you know, a backwater that he can do a lot of intrusion and never get into the public eye. But I don't think that Obama is going to even mention Putin tomorrow night.

I think it's going to be a tough guy, "I'm finally going to get ISIS. And they better be -- they better watch out, here I come."

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, everyone knows that with Putin, he gave away the store. He told the former president, "Tell Vladimir after the election, he'll be flexible."

O'REILLY: Yes, right, right.

KRAUTHAMMER: The man is a gymnast, he's so flexible. And he's given no resistance. So, on Putin, he's got nothing to say. It's a losing proposition.

You know, there's one thing that this speech can do I think people have overlooked. It can actually help him electorally.

His numbers are extremely low. But the country is ready to be rallied and they always rally to the commander-in-chief no matter what, in a crisis, if he can speak clearly and articulate a goal.

And, also, speak of American rage, over the slitting of the throat --


KRAUTHAMMER: -- so openly and with contempt.

O'REILLY: I'm not so sure that the American public is going to rally to President Obama's cause because of the tremendous mistakes that he's made in the past year. So, I'm not so sure that's going to happen.


O'REILLY: But we will see. And, also, I want to mention that Charles Krauthammer's book, "Things that Matter," have --


-- crossed the million sales level, Charles. That's a pretty amazing thing. One million copies sold.


Congratulations to you.

KRAUTHAMMER: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.