The Will to Fight

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

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thank you for watching us tonight.  Happy St. Patrick's Day.  May the wind always be at your back.  The will to fight is an Irish trait and it is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

A new poll says most people in France and Germany believe the U.S.A. has overreacted to the threat of terrorism.  And indeed Spain's actions this week prove that western Europe is certainly not taking a hardline against al Qaeda and other terror killers.

Today in Baghdad, terrorists struck again, a bomb killing more than 20 people and demonstrating the power that random murders continue to wield in that country.

There's no question that like Vietnam, the continuing carnage in Iraq will wear down some Americans and have an impact on the presidential election.

Now the Bush administration desperately wants the Iraqis to take charge, but that won't stop the terrorism over there and  American troops will have to remain to ensure security.  The key  question here is the will to fight.  "Talking Points" believes the majority of western Europeans don't have it. They see Islamic fascism as an American problem not a worldwide issue.

Like the run up to World War II, many Europeans are convinced  that fascism can be contained.  And they are willing to stay on the sidelines and allow al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and all the others to carry on.

The Bush administration knows this, of course.  And I believe John Kerry knows it as well, but Kerry believes he can convince the  Europeans to cooperate more fully.  I doubt it.  Europe, with the exception of Britain, is a soft society today, weaned on socialism and  protected from the Soviets by the USA.  It is generally undisciplined and lacks any sense of urgency.

Give them what they want and they'll go away, many Europeans believe.  Besides, it's America's fault for supporting Israel and being a bully.  America is the real problem.

That's a tough attitude to change.  There's no question that France in particular wants America to kiss its collective butt.  And under President Bush, that's not going to happen. Who knows what the Democrats will do if they get power? And who knows what Americans will do if terrorists continue to tear up Iraq?  The will to fight is not indefinite. People get weary. The terrorists are counting on it.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

In Augusta, Georgia (search), there's a St. Patrick's Day Parade controversy.  Organizers would not allow a youth ministry club to march because the kids wanted to carry crosses.

So let me get this straight.  The parade honors a Christian saint, but you can't march in the Augusta parade if you carry the symbol of Christianity?

Parade organizers say they will not allow anything in the parade that is, quote, "controversial."  And in today's America, the cross is certainly that.

Ridiculous?  Off the chart.  You can almost hear St. Patrick (search) weeping.

--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: