Iraq, Mexico, and Colin Powell (search): Those are the subjects this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
T-Points is hot. I predicted the Peterson verdict, the Powell resignation, and that the Mexican border would become a terrorist transit point. So we do know what we're talking about here.
Reading the left-wing newspapers this morning, I thought we were losing the battle for Fallujah (search). The usual hue and cry about strategy, this Iraqi cleric is mad, the U.N. is mad, blah, blah.
The truth is the Bush administration must change military tactics inside Iraq and put protecting coalition troops ahead of politics. That means no safe harbor for terrorists, no allowing mosques to be active killing zones. And no listening to Kofi Annan who couldn't care less how many Americans die in the sand.
If you are following Iraq, you know many Iraqi police officers are deserting and that it's still an open question whether that country will fight for its freedom. Until we find out for sure, the American military must protect itself and hunt down the so-called insurgents, no matter where they are.
Now about Mexico. Apparently, a captured Al Qaeda big shot has put forth that the terrorists want to smuggle a nuke across the southern border. Both "60 Minutes" and "Time" magazine have run with the story, but that's old news to us.
For years, we've been saying that terrorists have an open invitation to attack America from the south. Maybe now something will be done down there, but don't bet on it.
Once again, the National Guard should be backing up the boarder patrol, period. Finally, Colin Powell: He's quitting, to make millions on the lecture circuit. And like him or not, he was right to warn President Bush about the unintended consequences of invading Iraq.
You remember Powell's big line, "if you break it, you own it." The U.S.A. now owns Iraq for better or for worse. Powell never really fit in with the hard-liners of the Defense Department but diversity in government is a good thing. And Powell is an honest man.
And now I'm going to be controversial. Now, I know the word is Condoleezza Rice (search) will get the job. And she is absolutely brilliant and very loyal to President Bush, but I would replace Secretary Powell with Bill Clinton.Yikes! The former president probably wouldn't take the job, but if he did, countries like France, Germany, and Spain would like the move, perhaps cooperate more with America. Add Canada and Indonesia to that group as well.
Mr. Clinton is a smart guy, knows the players and the issues, and has clout, especially in the Palestinian-Israeli arena. So there you go, bold move, little downside, maybe big benefits. But I'm sure President Bush isn't going to do it.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The Pew Research Center is out with which media was most trusted during the presidential campaign? On the TV side, FOX News wins big. Twenty-one percent of Americans say they relied on us for their information during the election.
CNN was second, 15 percent; NBC, third; ABC, fourth; and dead last was MSNBC with just 6 percent of Americans trusting them. Obviously, they have major problems over there.
Now we want to thank you, of course. It's amazing because we've been on the air just eight years. Some might say it's ridiculous that we're beating news operations in existence for decades.
Also -- and this isn't ridiculous -- more than a million people have gone so far to the Wounded Warrior Project for information. You remember last week I told you and then Tony Snow told you on Friday that this is the most worthy of causes, helping soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan readjust to civilian life here in America.
We have two projects this holiday season: helping the Wounded Warriors and getting "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" to as many children as we can because it will help them immediately. Parents and grandparents, please take note. So you can get information about both the Wounded Warrior Project and "The Kids" book on billoreilly.com.
All right. We're really happy about the Wounded Warriors. We knew you guys would respond, and they've raised hundreds of thousands of dollars so far. But we're going to have that campaign this holiday season.