According to a poll by The Times of London, 49 percent of the Iraqi people believe they are better off today than they were under Saddam; twenty-six percent say they are worse off.
Another poll by USA Today and others puts the number at 43 percent, with 36 percent believing life was better under Saddam.
So the polls indicate that the Iraqi people themselves, even after all they've been through, are glad the USA and Britain toppled Saddam.
Now back here, most Americans have turned against the war because of the high cost of the conflict in both blood and treasure. My analysis spotlights three groups of Americans on the war.
The first group believes, as President Bush does, that the war is absolutely necessary and must be fought to the bitter end.
The second group is the one I'm in. We believe the war was a noble effort to remove a homicidal dictator, who violated the first Gulf War cease-fire 17 times, but that the Iraqi people have not stepped up enough to make democracy possible there. I am deeply disappointed that many Iraqis are corrupt and put revenge over the good of their nation. — America has given Iraq a chance at freedom and prosperity. The Kurds in the north took that opportunity and are prospering, but many Sunni and Shia are mired in murder.
The third group believes the USA is immoral and the war in Iraq evil. These are usually far left fanatics like the socialists, who sponsored Sunday's peace rally in D.C.
Today on "The Radio Factor", I spoke with Reverend Bob Edgar from the National Council of Churches. The reverend and his organization believe America has been immoral in Iraq and in the entire War on Terror. And I called him on it:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: You can't produce one person who's been tortured by the United States. You cannot produce one. And neither can NBC News and neither can...
BOB EDGAR, REV., NATL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST: Oh, yes, they can.
O'REILLY: No — well, where are they?
O'REILLY: Where are they?
EDGAR: There are many examples...
O'REILLY: Then give me one!
EDGAR: I can give you hundreds...
O'REILLY: Give me one.
EDGAR: Human rights community all over the world has.
O'REILLY: Reverend, here you're on coast to coast radio. Give me one person tortured by the United States. Go.
EDGAR: Bill, you're playing games...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
No games here, just facts. The far left opposes every measure instituted to fight terror. But the truth is that Guantanamo is not a torture chamber. The rights of Americans are firmly intact. And while there have been cases of criminal abuse like Abu Ghraib, the USA is waging a war on terror that is honorable. To slander this country is unacceptable to me and I believe to most Americans.
The Iraq conflict has been painful and is still in doubt after four years. If we had to do it all over again, we would not. We'd find another way to get Saddam.
But the nobility of the effort is not in doubt. Our troops have sacrificed a great deal and deserve more than hollow anti-American rhetoric.
And that's "The Memo."
Most Ridiculous Item
Last Friday I was out in St. Louis doing a benefit for the St. Agnes Home, which helps the elderly and the very young who need care. Now the facility is run by the Carmelite Sisters who take the vow of poverty. — Therefore, they need help in keeping the home operating.
The event I hosted raised more than $200,000 for them.
But in the days before the event ultra-liberal St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper called a number of Catholic leaders demanding to know why I was a featured speaker since I had criticized the Vatican in the past.
Now I believe the intent of the questions was to disrupt the charitable event. — There's no other explanation.
We are used to the Post-Dispatch slanting and distorting the news. The paper does this all the time. But trying to damage a fundraiser that helps the elderly and children at risk, beyond the pale.
The villains here are editor Arnie Robbins and metro editor Adam Goodman, who have turned that newspaper into something that is not trustworthy. The good people of St. Louis deserve better.
By the way, we invited Mr. Robbins on “The Factor” this evening, in case we missed something. He declined.
Ridiculous? Off the chart.