Plan of Attack

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching tonight.

The plan of attack, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking  Points Memo." And it's also the title of Bob Woodward's new book that was featured on "60 Minutes" (search) last night.

I didn't learn much from the interview done by Mike Wallace. Cheney was the driving force behind the war and knew it, reported it. Powell dissented -- Knew it, reported it. Bush tilted toward removing Saddam early on, knew it, reported it.

CIA Chief George Tenet (search) told the president finding Iraqi WMDs (search) was "a slam-dunk." Didn't know that but "Talking Points" has called for Tenet's resignation for years.

Woodward also revealed that the Bush administration used money for Iraq that was intended for Afghanistan, didn't know that. -- I don't really care but Congress might and you might.

Woodward also lays some heavy God stuff on Bush which seems to agitate Mr. Wallace. All in all, Woodward was respectful of  the president.  And I have gained more respect for Secretary Powell. He was right. Regulating Iraq has become a nightmare.

But that doesn't mean we should walk away.  It just means that  Powell was smarter than Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice on the issue. "Talking Points" wants to make two points this evening.  First, that the press will now move to the left on Iraq and begin to hammer the president.  You can see it happening with the God stuff. The president's spirituality will be used to diminish and marginalize him. Nasty and it could backfire as Americans in general don't like those kinds of very personal attacks.

Secondly, while there's no question the Bush administration underestimated the Iraqi aftermath, the U.S.A. must win the fight. It is crucial for the nation to at least come out of this with some kind of victory. If we lose in Iraq, the terrorists will become even more aggressive all over the  world.

The unintended consequence of the press taking a more anti-Bush posture will be to help the terrorists. This puts us in a difficult position. We have to be honest in our reporting and analysis, but undermining the war on terror inside Iraq encourages the terror killers.

So I'm going to give the Bush administration some room in which to win the fight and put the petty stuff on the shelf. It's easy to second guess. And we will try not to do it here unless the issue is crucial and the strategy clearly flawed.

We'll also point out those media outlets whom we believe are irresponsible in their coverage of Iraq. This is certainly a life-death situation for our military and perhaps down the road for all of us. Caution and some restraint must employed by the media.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

A Canadian cable company, citing a growing demand for the FOX News Channel, had petitioned an application with their government to carry us. Now columnists on the far left "Toronto Globe & Mail" wrote: "Bring it on, we're all in a good need of a laugh. We'll find out if this Bill O'Reilly fellow is as stupendously pompous and preening as he appears to be in the rare clips we see of FOX News."

So they see rare clips, but think we're laughable. "The Globe & Mail" (search) sounds like a real responsible enterprise, doesn't it?  Hey, you pinheads up there, I may be pompous but at least I'm honest.

And before we get to the mail, the results of our non-scientific poll question:  Based upon what you've seen, do you believe the Iraqis will fight for their freedom? About 30,000 of you voted, 62 percent say no, 38 percent believe they will fight, not good news for the Bush administration.