A Turning Point in the Iraq War...

I was going to make a pronouncement on the Duke rape case, but we'll put that off because of the president's surprise trip to Iraq. And that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

This is a turning point in the Iraq war. With Zarqawi dead, the new government in place, if security doesn't begin to improve over there soon, then it will be a losing effort: a noble effort, but a losing one. President Bush realizes where he is in history. So that's why he traveled 11 hours overnight to Baghdad to reaffirm his commitment to see that Iraq becomes a free country.

There is no question Mr. Bush is staking his entire presidency on Iraq and the War on Terror in general. There will be no cutting and running from that theater as long as Bush is president -- period.

So Mr. Bush's visit today was a dramatic statement that some will applaud and others will disdain. But we should all want the USA to win in Iraq. And if you do not want victory, you are dishonoring the brave men and women fighting for freedom there, period. No excuses. If you want your country to lose, you are severely misguided.

That's because a loss in Iraq is a win for the terrorists. If Islamic fundamentalism emerges victorious, Al Qaeda and other terror groups will have free reign. Iran will then dominate the Gulf region and partner up with Al Qaeda, thus terror will become dramatically more powerful and the moderate regimes in the gulf will be forced to accommodate the killers or become targets themselves.

Geopolitics is complicated and I submit to you that Congressman John Murtha, Howard Dean, and the other the cut-and-runners, are clueless about the unintended consequences of a terrorist victory in Iraq.

It is a fact that some Americans put ideology and a hatred for President Bush above what is good for the nation. Some of these Americans are politicians and some hold responsible positions in the media. As a reaction to the death of Zarqawi proves, some Americans believe we are the bad guys in the War on Terror. But we're not.

However, war is a performance business. The Bush administration has made major mistakes in Iraq, but now things finally could be turning our way. Let us pray.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The energy people are still mad at me because I hammered ExxonMobil.

Writing in the Energy Bulletin, Ronald Cook says, "We like to watch the 'O'Reilly Factor' on FOX. The other night he expounded on the price of gasoline. He wants to boycott ExxonMobil because he believes the company is charging too much for its gas. Nonsense, Bill. You have spun into orbit."

Mr. Cook, my man, appreciate you watching "The Factor", but you may want to pay closer attention. I never called for a boycott of ExxonMobil. I said I wouldn't buy gas there, because I believe the company is price gouging in the middle of the War on Terror.

It's not about money, it's about patriotism. Corporate fat cats should be helping their country. To do otherwise is ridiculous.