2,000 dead in Iraq...

2,000 dead in Iraq. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

The Iraq War (search) doesn't have two sides. It has 18 sides. The action is so complicated, it's almost impossible to get a handle on it. So let's walk through Iraq carefully.

Without a doubt, the sacrifice Americans are making in Iraq is noble. The USA is truly trying to give the Iraqi people a chance at freedom after decades of oppression, courtesy of Hitler lite, Saddam Hussein (search).

We are now finding out that many who opposed the removal of Saddam were allegedly being bribed by him. Yesterday, British anti-American guy George Galloway (search) was accused by the U.S. Senate of accepting a huge amount of money from Saddam. Four high-ranking Frenchmen have been implicated in the oil-for-food scandal. And the evidence indicates Saddam bribed members of the Putin government in Russia.

Remember, if the United Nations would have moved against Saddam, the U.S. and Britain would have been spared this ordeal.

Unfortunately, the weapons of mass destruction fiasco and poor planning after Saddam's demise has shrouded the Iraq situation. Patriots like Brent Scowcroft (search) adamantly opposed the invasion. Understanding that the battlefield would be exceedingly difficult, something the Bush administration apparently did not understand.

So fair-minded Americans are confronted with a very difficult decision. The intent in Iraq is noble, but the actual war is far more difficult than the Bush people led us to believe.

It is also very hard to gauge success in Iraq. The American press is largely anti-war, so it’s reporting emphasizes the negative. The terrorists play right into that. A bombing every day makes headlines, while successes go largely unreported. Thus, many Americans and the world in general see the conflict as a loser, because that's the way the media is spinning it.

The solution to the Iraq situation lies with the Iraqis themselves. They must take over the fight from the coalition and defeat the Islama-fascists. President Bush would be foolish to give a public timetable, but privately he's got to make it clear to the Iraqi government that our sacrifice is not open ended. The Iraqi people must step up and soon.

The disgrace of Iraq is not that we are there. Again, our goal of trying to establish democracy and anti-terrorism in the Muslim world is noble.

No, the disgrace is that some Americans are actually rooting for the USA and Britain to lose the conflict. To lose it. That is treasonous and unacceptable.

"Talking Points" salutes the families of all the service people who have died or been wounded in Iraq. Tyranny will be defeated. It's just not an easy thing to do. And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

As you know I've been making a pretty big deal out of people who are unfairly, I should say, attacking "The Factor," especially those who do so dishonestly. I am simply not going to allow that to go unchallenged.

But we do have millions of allies on this program. And sometimes I'm guilty of not mentioning them enough. The American Family Association (search), for example, sent me a CD containing more than 100,000 names of folks who appreciate our reporting on theACLU (search). And we appreciate this show of support. It's really amazing.

The only way to defeat progressive secularism is for Americans who oppose it to stand up and be counted. Ridiculous? Only if you think democracy is ridiculous. Thanks again to the AFA.

—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com