Does America Have the Will to Tough It Out in Iraq?

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

Does America have the will to tough it out in Iraq?  That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

Between now and Christmas expect to see more terror in Iraq as the bad guys sense weakness and will create as much mayhem as possible, hoping to break America's will.

Today at least 26 people were killed, 18 Italians and eight Iraqis, after another suicide bomber destroyed a police headquarters.  Seems like these are being broadcast worldwide, and they give the impression that the situation in Iraq is out of control.  And indeed, a new CIA Report says the violent opposition to the U.S.-led occupation is growing.

In response, the Bush administration is pushing up the timetable for the Iraqis to begin running their country.  And that would be a propaganda victory, but the truth is only the USA can stop the terror in Iraq and that has to be done by the gun.

In every American war, there were dark days.  Washington thought he might not make it through the Valley Forge (search) winter.  Lincoln was looking at defeat as forces massed at Gettysburg.  D-Day was no lock, and the Japanese had the upper hand for years before the Battle of Midway.

Likewise in Iraq.  The conflict is now very tough and the polls show that half the American people are losing faith in the campaign.  Of course, a loss in Iraq would have disastrous consequences for America, and everybody should understand that.

Now Senator McCain (search) is correct when he says the military needs to crush the opposition, and perhaps that began today with the U.S. forces launching Operation Iron Hammer (search), designed to bring the fight to the terrorists.

The problem is that the Bush administration sold the country a quick war, based upon an imminent threat.  Both of those things did not pan out, so disenchantment is natural.  But rooting against your country in Iraq is not natural and not acceptable.

Talking Points knows there are Americans who want to see America defeated so President Bush will lose next year's election.  If you're in that category, shame.

Mr. Bush must be held accountable for the Iraq action, of course, but right now the country's future is the overriding issue.  If the terrorists win in Iraq, they will come here.  You can bank on it.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

Our pal, Jay Leno, is becoming the go-to guy in the political world.  First Arnold.  Now John Kerry.

Seeking to jump-start his presidential campaign, the junior senator from Massachusetts roared on to The Tonight Show set last night decked out in full biker gear.  I guess this locks down the Hell's Angels vote, but, otherwise, the stunt is open to interpretation.

Since we do not speculate here, we have no idea, but it could be ridiculous.

And here's an update on our poll question.  Almost 20,000 of you so far have voted.  Did the Smart family exploit their daughter Elizabeth?  Yes or no.  All right. poll.  We'll give you the results tomorrow.

Finally, one Web site -- final Web site heads-up.  Christmas Eve is just six weeks from today.  Can you believe it? [The] Christmas store is shipping thousands of the "Spin Stops Here" doormats and tens of thousands of signed copies of Who's Looking Out for You?--my new book.  So, if you want them, get that order in because Santa's sleigh is filling up fast.  The mats are amazing.  They fly out of here.