Press reports Tuesday say the guy who threw his shoes at President Bush and called him a dog is a big hero in the Arab world.

This loon, a journalist for an anti-American TV station in Baghdad, violated every social custom in the Arab world. He was rude to a guest and showed no humility whatsoever. Somebody get the guy a Koran.

But this horrendous story points out how difficult it is to deal with some Muslims. There's no question that the USA has sacrificed greatly to bring a measure of freedom to Iraq. If this guy had thrown his shoes at Saddam, we all know he would have been executed. But now he has freedom of expression, thanks to us, something apparently he does not value.

Many Americans are simply fed up with these displays in the Arab world: unchecked violence, irrational thinking. The question: Why are we spending billions to free these people if many of them don't even want freedom? Think about that.

People like Dick Cheney will tell you in the long run introducing freedom into the Arab world will make America safer, but that's a theory. We just don't know if our investment in blood and treasure will ever pay off.

For now, the Bush administration and the upcoming Obama administration must protect us from Muslim fanatics, and that means instituting policies that are tough, but smart. There are two schools of thought here. Obama apparently believes in a softer approach, saying he will ban all coercive interrogation and close Guantanamo Bay. Cheney thinks that's a mistake and says America was right in getting tough on people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Al Qaeda thug who masterminded 9/11.


DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was a period of time there three or four years ago when about half of everything we knew about Al Qaeda came from that one source. So it's been a remarkably successful effort. I think the results speak for themselves.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: In hindsight, do you think any of those tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and others went too far?

CHENEY: I don't.

KARL: And on KSM, one of those tactics, of course, widely reported was water-boarding. And that seems to be a tactic we no longer use. Even that you think was appropriate?



Cheney also opposes shutting down Gitmo.


CHENEY: If you're going to close Guantanamo, what are you going to do with those prisoners? One suggestion is well, we bring them to the United States. Well, I don't know very many congressmen, for example, who are eager to have 200 Al Qaeda terrorists deposited in their district.


And it was interesting last week to hear Deepak Chopra on "The Factor" say that Guantanamo detainees should be put in prison in upstate New York.

Now let me break this gently to Mr. Chopra. The captured terrorists would be at great risk in the general population of any U.S. prison, even if they were carrying Deepak's book. Therefore, authorities would have to put them in isolation. Trust me, what they have in Guantanamo Bay is a thousand times better than that.

So all Americans need to think about the danger for the Muslim world and how we should deal with it. Despite the economy, that remains the toughest problem Barack Obama will face in his presidency.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

A pretty unusual sight on the streets of Boston last weekend. Hundreds of people stripped down to their skivvies for a mile-long Santa Speedo Run, raising almost $200,000 for poor children.

Well, it was about 20 degrees in Beantown, frost bite kind of weather, so these Santa's helpers are patriots.

On the pinhead front, our pal Kanye West, who often speaks of his great talent — and the guy does sell a lot of records — put on this display last Saturday.

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots."


KANYE WEST, SINGER: So you never know. Never, never know, never know till it's over, love, till we lose control. System overload, screaming, "No, no, no, no, no."


My sentiments exactly. Once we had Marvin Gaye in this country. Now we have Kanye West. Pinhead? You make the call.

You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com