Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
As we told you yesterday, the chaos in Iraq is having a huge influence on President Bush. And today, a poll by the Pugh Research Center (search) tells the tale. The president's approval rating has dropped to 43 percent, the lowest of his tenure and down a whopping 13 percent since January. The problem, of course, is the continuing chaos in Iraq.
The Defense Department (search) has severely underestimated the resistance by both Sunnis and Shi'ite fanatics. And now the U.S.A. has to fight a second war in Iraq to clean things up.
As you may know, the Marines are sieging the Sunni town of Fallujah (search), which has been a trouble spot for the past year. Fighting there is intense. At the same time, a terrorist Shi'ite cleric named al-Sadr has been allowed to arm a militia of 10,000 men. That in itself is insane. And now the U.S. military has to break that militia. Heavy casualties today in that campaign as well.
America cannot back down from this fight. That would lead to increased terrorism everywhere. But President Bush has to level with us. His administration has made costly mistakes in the Iraqi occupation. And now it is time to correct those mistakes.
This is not Monday morning quarterbacking, ladies and gentlemen. This is analyzing a situation that's costing American lives and dividing the country. As "Talking Points" said yesterday, there can be no more dependence on hearts and minds. Some people can never be reasoned with. We either break the back of the Iraqi resistance now or we lose. Period.
President Bush does have time to turn this situation around and is aided by the fact that his competition has few solutions. Senator Kennedy is good at criticizing, but how many of you want Kennedy leading the war on terror?
And if Senator Kerry has a better idea, I would like to hear it. History may show that the Iraq campaign was a mistake. But it also may show the opposite. These terror killers, some of them supported by Iran, we'll deal with that in a minute, will have to be confronted sooner or later by us. France isn't going do it. Spain isn't going to do it. So now is the time the Shi'ite militia must be crushed and Fallujah subjugated.
Not only does Mr. Bush have almost everything riding on this, so does the entire country.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Resentment still running high against France throughout the U.S.A. BillOreilly.com poll question asks, "Should 'The Factor' lift the boycott against France?"
Look at that. About 30,000 of you voted. Ninety-two percent say no, keep the boycott. Eight percent say yes.
So no escargot for me, which might be ridiculous but not if you're a snail. They are very thankful for the boycott.
And we are thankful for the mail, droves of it. On my debate with the secularist author, a segment highly rated by BillOReilly.com premium members -- We appreciate you guys.