Gingrich: Avenge the Brutal Deaths of Two U.S. Soldiers

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 21, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The top story tonight, another view on press coverage of the brutal murders of two U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Joining us from Washington, Fox News analyst Newt Gingrich.

Before we get to the war strategy, my key points. Senator Rick Santorum held a press conference today, late this afternoon, said documents recently released now show sarin mustard gas was in the possession of Saddam. And Santorum said, you know, all the people who said "no weapons of mass destruction" lied.

Now, is this a big story to you? I didn't play it up big. I always knew that he had some sarin mustard gas resin. Is it big to you?

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, it's only big in the sense that 500 chemical warheads, gas that is as decisive as sarin, which is a very, very dangerous weapon, means: A. -- that Saddam was lying to everybody and B. -- that those people who claimed that there were no weapons of mass murder, in this case, are just plain wrong.

I mean, it would be nice if the New York Times conceded that 500 weapons that were still there is in fact a serious proof that Saddam was actively violating the entire agreement with the U.N., and it would be a sign to me that it's possible that we're going to find more things over time.

O'REILLY: Oh I believe that's true. You know, I believe he did have the sarin gas, the mustard gas, and that he got rid of a lot of it, and played the games and all of this. But overall, right now, I think the important thing is, how are we going to win this thing in Iraq?

GINGRICH: I agree with that. But I just think, for all the people who were so confident that George W. Bush lied and so confident that there was no weapon of mass destruction. Five hundred chemical warfare shells should at least make them slow down a little bit and rethink their judgment.

O'REILLY: Now, well, they don't care.

GINGRICH: Well, I think it's an important part of how we win in the long run.

O'REILLY: It's really an important part of who's telling the truth and who isn't.

GINGRICH: That's exactly right. Now let's come to your talking points tonight, which I could not agree with more. I am really saddened that Americans don't react with intense fury at the idea of two of our young men in uniform being viciously tortured and then beheaded by evil people. I'm saddened that on the left, you don't have Democrats saying, you know, we need to go out and beat these people.

Now, I agree with you, the government frankly needs to have a better strategy, a more aggressive strategy. The president and his team have to show us far more determination to win, not just to endure, not just to tough it out, but to win.

And if that means, as you point out marshal law, let's get on with it, if that means an identity card for every Iraqi, let's get on with it, if that means a much bigger intelligence operation, let's get it done.

This is a winnable war, but what frustrates the American people is watching these kind of endless violence and endless brutality without seeing, I think, the appropriate level of anger and rage on the American side, saying we're fed up with this.

O'REILLY: We need a General Patton here. We need a leader, and President Bush has not been the leader — he was after 9/11. He hasn't been in Iraq. I think you'd agree with that. After 9/11 he showed the appropriate anger and the appropriate disdain for the enemy and he did take care of them in Afghanistan.

But in Iraq it's a different story, and I believe it's because he's been intimidated by the huge media cabal, and it is unrelenting, unrelenting in its hatred of the Bush administration and for the war in Iraq. And I believe that the Bush administration has been intimidated by these people.

GINGRICH: Look, when you go back and you look at somebody like Abraham Lincoln fighting the Civil War, he had lots of press opposition, he had lots of savage comments, he had lots of mean-spirited cartoons. But he understood that he had to educate the American people into getting the job done and he had to endure casualties on a scale we can't imagine today.

I think President Bush has the same obligation. This is a war that has to be won. When you look at the 18 Canadians that have been arrested for terrorism, when you look at the British home secretary saying there are 20 terrorist groups and maybe as many as 1,200 terrorists in Great Britain, how can any American believe that if we cut and run and are defeated in Iraq, that the world isn't going get dramatically more dangerous and the threats are not going to come much closer?

O'REILLY: But when you pose that question, then you have to then go in with the Democrats today debating in the Senate what to do in Iraq. And there's a division. There's a division in the people who want a timetable, "get out of there, we don't care what really happens there, just get out," and the ones that say, no — like Lieberman — you've got to win the war and are saying what you said. So there are Americans, loyal Americans, who don't see it your way.

GINGRICH: Well, look, but that's one distinction. And I agree with Senator Joe Lieberman on this and the Post. The Americans are saying let's get out. The question is to be asked, what kind of world do you think we'll be in the morning America shows weakness and we get out? Why would any other country trust us, if we didn't have the courage to follow through in Iraq?

If you're willing have two young people tortured and beheaded and you're not going to avenge them, why should anybody respect you on the planet?

O'REILLY: My question is why doesn't John Murtha understand that? I agree with you 100 percent. Why doesn't John Murtha understand that?

GINGRICH: I can't imagine why John Murtha isn't in favor of getting revenge for those two young men.

O'REILLY: Well, he probably is that, but he feels that it's the wrong battlefield. But I agree with you, it doesn't matter anymore how we got there, it matters how we're going to get out and what the country's going to look like.

All right.

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