Why Are We Playing by Other People's Rules?

Video: To watch "the memo" click here.

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

Why are we playing by other people's rules? That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

If you saw The Factor last night, you witnessed a debate between me and a college professor, during which I said that the rules of engagement in the war on terrorism must be changed, and changed fast. Today here in New York City, there was an emotional ceremony marking the end of the recovery effort at ground zero.

From here on, lower Manhattan will be rebuilt. Seventeen hundred and thirty bodies were never recovered from the horrific terrorist attack on 9/11.

Beyond the grieving for our fellow countrymen lies an enormous lesson that many in America still fail to comprehend. That lesson is this. The USA can no longer play defense in the terror war. We can no longer wait for those who want to kill us to strike. We must take the terror to the terrorists.

Now, this is offensive to human rights groups and some constitutionalists because it means that the rules of the Geneva Convention no longer apply, and they don't, because we are not at war with a nation, and we are not policing crimes, we are quite simply trying to survive.

If these lunatics get access to nuclear or biological weapons, they'll use them, without a doubt. That means no one in the world is safe. Once you are faced with that kind of threat, and there's no hope of diplomacy or reason, then assassination is the only answer. We can invade Iraq, we can hurt other countries that play with the terrorists, but unless we eliminate the terrorist leadership -- eliminate them -- these killers will continue to function.

As a student of history, I've analyzed the threats posed by Hitler, the Soviet Union, and the Chinese. It's my opinion that the Islamic fanatics are more dangerous. They are bent on killing the infidels -- us -- in the name of their god, and there is nothing worse than an enemy who does not care if he or she lives or dies. They have nothing to lose but their lives.

So we must take those lives from them in a methodical and quiet way. We must begin to hunt down the money men, the bomb makers, and the hateful clerics who are driving this terrorism. Of course, the critics of Guantanamo Bay and the Iraq apologists will object, because they don't understand the nature of this evil.

But many of us do understand, and we know what has to be done. Let's hope President Bush knows as well.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

Another example of why America's public school system is rapidly decaying, despite the massive amount of tax dollars that flow into it.

In Palm Beach, Florida, high school students can now pass a history exam by getting 23 of 100 questions right. For those of you who flunked math, that's a grade of 23.

In my time you needed a 65 to pass.

And get this. To get an A in history in Palm Beach, a student has to get just 50 percent of the answers correct.

Ridiculous? You betcha.

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