Bill O’Reilly, defeatist?

posted at 12:44 am on April 27, 2007 by Bryan

It’s rare that we post two clips from one show in one night, but it seems appropriate in this case. Bill O’Reilly talked Iraq withdrawal with Rend al-Rahim, a former Iraqi ambassador to the US, and to many ears O’R comes off as defeatist on the war. I’ve watched it a couple of times and I’m not sure what I think about it. He definitely seems to advocate “retreating and regrouping” at the end, though in the strategic context of Iraq that doesn’t make a lot of sense–when we retreat, it will be the Iranians and Syrians who do the regrouping and the marauding while we descend into recriminations over What Went Wrong. Iraq after a hasty US retreat would become a Somalia writ large. Getting out prematurely won’t unify us, won’t heal anything and will end up leaving Iraq in total chaos. I doubt that that’s what O’Reilly has in mind, though I’m sure he is fed up with the war. That much came through loud and clear. So as I said, I’m just not sure what to think about it. So I thought I’d post it and let you all chew on it.

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At one time I liked the guy….but these last two years he has really put me off. PopeReilly……guess I am an apostate.

Limerick on April 27, 2007 at 12:49 AM

There was no way he could make this a softball interview. But she didn’t budge. She continued to make it an issue of security for the USA.

The net result was we have an Iraqi citizen asking for the US to stick it out. It is a stark contrast to the “Iraqi’s don’t want us there” montra of the moonbats.

csdeven on April 27, 2007 at 12:50 AM

I understand what he is trying to say. However, he needs to remind himself that our sons and daughters will be back in Iraq in the next decade if we leave now.

We must stand up and fight!

msipes on April 27, 2007 at 12:50 AM

If you have time take a look at http://www.foreignaffairs.org/2007/2.html

and the article titled “U.S. Can’t Win Iraq’s Civil War” and “Iran: Detente, Not Regime Change”

The titles are a little deceptive. The article on Iraq is a particularly good analysis on what is involved and is not a let’s cut and run rant. You may only get the preview but can find the magazine at most libraries and book stores.

I’m not sure what O’Reilly expects them to do and doubt he has read background material as thorough as what I have referenced. Sounded like he is trying to play realist based on the 08 election calculus…..

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 12:52 AM

I think he prides himself on being an “Independent” so he sometimes takes the side of both democrat and republican at times so if anyone calls him a right-winger he can tell them how much wants the war to end. You can tell he’s almost completely on the “right” politically, but he takes the opposite view occasionally just to appear more independent.

Ballistic on April 27, 2007 at 12:55 AM

I believe that he was trying to make a point to the ambassador to get a respons that conveyed compromise.

In the past O’Reilly advocated not for leaving Iraq, but for regrouping in the North where the Kurds are, because they would fight elbow to elbow for their freedom, and let the Sunnis and Shiites to massacre each other.

Ropera on April 27, 2007 at 12:56 AM

On a personal note msipes….my son fights in this war, and my grandson just turned 16. My son, and I, both want to finish it now, by arms, so the grandson doesn’t have to.

Limerick on April 27, 2007 at 12:56 AM

I think he’s just tired of it. I don’t know why, its not like he’s making much personal sacrifice for it, not that any of us are outside of the military and their loved ones. Kinda that the militarys at war but the rest of us are at the mall line. So there you go.

Bad Candy on April 27, 2007 at 12:57 AM

It’s definitely discouraging to see that understanding of Islamic beliefs is still not informing this discussion.

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 1:01 AM

I think until we either block off Iran and Syria from meddling or come up with a way to convince them to quit screwing things up(either sanctions, blockades, stirring up trouble internally, or an air campaign), this’ll be a slow grind to stability, if it ever happens. My .02

Bad Candy on April 27, 2007 at 1:01 AM

Bill pretty much spoke what my sentiments are towards the war, and what they have been for the past two years. I think America has been villainized as an evil, dominating, conquering power to the Iraqi people, and that most of them don’t want us in their country. I also feel we gave the Iraqi people too much credit in assuming that they could handle freedom and democracy. It seems like they’re more interested in murdering and fearing each other than having a functioning representative government. They want to live like animals, then let them die like animals, but don’t put American bodies between Sunni IEDs and Shia Kalashnikovs. I think that the lesson we should learn from the wars that President Bush engaged is that we can’t convert these violent savages into suddenly living in a peaceful civilization, and that the only way to protect ourselves from Islamic terrorism is to secure the homeland, and retaliate against attacks swiftly and devastatingly.

Savage on April 27, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Well it’s just there is no end in sight and no progress seems to be being made there so I can see his point. Even if someone said it would take another 10 years but we could see it working that would be something. As it is though, are we making progress? It’s been 5 years now, I was and am a supporter of this war but it’s tough to see what there is to be done if the Iraqis dont stand themselves up like the Kurds have.

Dash on April 27, 2007 at 1:04 AM

What a difference a repeat makes! I heard him say “it was the wrong battlefield”. This is not really a departure from earlier comments I’ve heard him make on the situation in Iraq. I also heard the part on “retreat, re-group, and come back”. This part does seem to be in conflict with his prior comments (on other shows – sorry, I don’t have any links to provide) where he clearly stated it would be a disaster to leave Iraq too soon, or according to any time-tables established by politicians. Overall, I would label the segment “defeatist”. I understand he was trying to provide an alternative point of view (which he frequently does). However, his overriding point was about individual Iraqi engagement being too anemic to overcome the challenges the country faces. To me, this supercedes (or pre-supposes, a failure of…) the effectiveness of our military forces there, and the determination of Iraqi’s who truly want a free, democratic society. The “come back” portion of his argument indicates a thinking that we should not disengage from the conflict entirely. To what extent we would disengage, however, was not articulated in this segment. Still, overall his points were defeatists. My apologies to Phil Byler on April 26, 2007 at 11:30 PM in a previous thread who made a very good point about the opinions Bill offered in this segment.

thedecider on April 27, 2007 at 1:08 AM

I still support the war, but I can see where O’Reilly is coming from and I can’t disagree with anything he says.

The Iraqis and the Muslims in general are a bloodthirsty savage people. They have really spit in America’s face by supporting a terrorist insurgency instead of the US forces.

Still, there are some people in this Administration whose policies were so utterly wrong it’s almost criminal. I’m talking about Donald Rumsfeld and his insane minimum-amount-of-soliders-no-matter-what policy and the moron generals who never asked Bush for more troops. That means you, Tommy Franks, and you, Casey, and you, Abizaid and all the others.

Petraeus is a great addition but the US should really unleash Hell in Iraq. An armed force will never conquer an urban environment and establish peace if its authority is not established firmly and permanently through massive use of violence and firepower.

Ironically, I think the one who got it right on this one is Jon Stewart, when he says: if this is serious, if this is a serious war (which it is, though he thinks it’s not) then let’s World War II this thing and get it over with. He’s correct. 150.000 troops to conquer and occupy Iraq is nowhere near enough, much less with the wrong doctrines and tactics.

Baphomet on April 27, 2007 at 1:09 AM

1941 America First!…….I thought that argument was settled long ago. Guess not. I’m friggin tired and I gar0NdamnTEEyou my son is tired. So what happens when he comes home to guard the keep? Watch Mexicans cross the border? Stand on the battlements and wait for the barbarians to storm the gates? Bullcrap. Tired my ass! There is work to do. This fight is about the future and not about the present.

Limerick on April 27, 2007 at 1:12 AM

Ironically, I think the one who got it right on this one is Jon Stewart, when he says: if this is serious, if this is a serious war (which it is, though he thinks it’s not) then let’s World War II this thing and get it over with. He’s correct. 150.000 troops to conquer and occupy Iraq is nowhere near enough, much less with the wrong doctrines and tactics.

Baphomet on April 27, 2007 at 1:09 AM

.

He’d be among the first squealing in protest when the carpet bombings started.

Bad Candy on April 27, 2007 at 1:14 AM

Absolutely, that’s why it’s ironic, because he doesn’t support any of these efforts. He’s still smart enough to know that Rumsfeld and his generals half-assed the war.

Baphomet on April 27, 2007 at 1:15 AM

On a personal note msipes….my son fights in this war, and my grandson just turned 16. My son, and I, both want to finish it now, by arms, so the grandson doesn’t have to.

Limerick on April 27, 2007 at 12:56 AM

Hate to say it, but Iraq is one small theater in the much larger war against Islam’s expansion. I do hope that the Dhimmicrats don’t force the US to simply walk out of Iraq, but whatever happens we will all be fighting this through many generations regardless. Once Iraq’s done, the “war” will not be over.

I think that’s the major falicy in the arguments on both sides. They both seem to think. to a greater or lesser degree, that once we “win” (whatever that means) or lose (thanks Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, et al) then we can all go back to thinking we are safe and secure. In ether case nothing could be further from the truth.

P. James Moriarty on April 27, 2007 at 1:18 AM

True enough ‘met.

Bad Candy on April 27, 2007 at 1:19 AM

I pretty much agree with Bryan’s analysis… if anyone cares we were discussing it already in the Jon Voight thread. I also think the simple fact that he use the word “retreat” is going to cause him to explain it was a poor choice of words tomorrow.

RightWinged on April 27, 2007 at 1:22 AM

I wonder what O’Reilly thinks would have been the right battlefield?

Not to mention those pesky little UN resolutions which were the reason the Coalition went-in in the first place …

eforhan on April 27, 2007 at 1:24 AM

Bryan,

You’ve stated what every Democrat is willing to allow happen, but unwilling to talk about: the consequences of withdrawal.

While it must be fun to say “we need to pull out now,” they never mention the utter mess and mega-violence that would ensue upon our leaving.

Vincenzo on April 27, 2007 at 1:27 AM

The Great Sacrifice that has half the nation in a panic is 3 soldiers lost each day.

Any other Civilization in the past would laugh at our silliness in overblowing this minor loss in a global war against the worst kind of fascism and terrorism known to history.

The hysterical exaggeration of every injury and death is a sign of our country’s self-division.

If we don’t destroy Islamofascism, now, when we have the overwhelming power to do so, it will only be that much more painful and bloody to do it later, when the jihadists have gained ground against our weak-willed hesitation, soft-headed indecision and historically-vapid diffidence.

The lurid magnifying glass of the emotionally-incontinent media turns what should be a solemn and private tragedy for a military family into a calculatedly-absurd “national calamity”, drumbeat day by drumbeat day.

The war is costing surprisingly little, unless you are so hypersensitive to any cost that no losses in battle will be tolerable.

Which would guarantee far worse losses, ultimately, through the self-crippling inactivity that encourages the rapacity of the enemy.

Crush the Jihad now, with 3 casualties a day, or crush it later with 3,000. Or 30,000.

They only grow stronger for every day we fail to crush and cauterize their expanding murderous madness.

profitsbeard on April 27, 2007 at 1:29 AM

We definitely need to take the war more seriously. I think we’ve badly underestimated what its gonna cost in blood and treasure, which was I think Rumsfeld’s mistake, he was right in thinking that we needed a lighter army in terms of more focus on boots and less heavy tanks and artillery, but he totally blew it on trying to expand the ground forces and putting enough in Iraq. Which I think he thought would be easier, that the people would rally together after living through hell under Saddam. Which ended up being wrong except for the Kurds.

Bad Candy on April 27, 2007 at 1:30 AM

Hey Bill, “Shove it up your arse…” According to your logic, I have not done enough to combat illegal immigration, so we should just “give up” the Southwest of the United States, hey, screw the Southwest, illegal immigration is all over the United States, but the American Media portrays us as “racist”, so just “give up”…. What have you done except “report one little segment every once in a while”, your have never even been to Tijuna lately and faced the Mexican Policia and seen what that is all about, and what is this “retreat, regroup, and then go back” when the United States Military has NEVER lost a battle in Iraq?”………. What say you? How’s the air conditioning in that studio of yours? Nice clean bathroom? Diner at Spavos? Make-Up, Make-Up, where’s my assistant…….?

PinkyBigglesworth on April 27, 2007 at 1:31 AM

I want sooooo badly to believe he was playing devil’s advicate here, otherwise I call for a vote of no confidence as well as nominate Michelle for the post.

I mean by saying ‘how did Sadam stop it’ and things like that, is forcing her to say things that the left needs to hear; from her mouth and not his.

I don’t know, it’s like coming home and finding your girlfriend in bed with John Edwards.

- The Cat

P.S. Wow, he didn’t give her ‘the last word’. I take back the ‘devil’s advicate’ thing.

P.P.S. I like how this naturalized citizen (I only distinguish citizen types for context) say’s ‘We’ when talking about the U.S.

MirCat on April 27, 2007 at 1:39 AM

Let me keep it simple for everyone. Iraq is a precursor to the “real war” we will fight against theocracy.

Despite being a Christian, I have no desire to have theocracy reign on planet Earth as long as fallible humans are involved in the decision process. One only has to look at the inquisitions of yesterday and the jihad of today to confirm this.

If Iraq falls, the middle east (Israel excluded) will fall with it.

To quote profitsbeard:

The war is costing surprisingly little, unless you are so hypersensitive to any cost that no losses in battle will be tolerable.

Which would guarantee far worse losses, ultimately, through the self-crippling inactivity that encourages the rapacity of the enemy.

Crush the Jihad now, with 3 casualties a day, or crush it later with 3,000. Or 30,000.

Democracy and Theocracy by nature expand and spread. Democracy does this via peaceful means or sometimes violent measures. Theocracy only by violent measures (so you understand what must be done to put this down).

Iraq is not five years old as a democracy and America is whining about its problems. Microwave democracies do not exist, and to expect them to go from Hitler style dictatorship to freedom loving democracy is unfair.

After all, was America perfect after it existed its first five years as a democracy?

Darnell Clayton on April 27, 2007 at 1:41 AM

Let’s see…..the US Constitution was ratified by the thirteen states in 1787, and when we were first attacked by an outside power it was Muslim pirates/slavers in 1794 off the Ivory Coast. A little history is here. As a nation the US has been fighting Islam off and on for 213 years. The Shia and Sunni have been killing each other for more than 1300 years, and Islam has been fighting everyone for longer than that. Winning or losing in Iraq will not “end” anything, even in Iraq beause Islam will still remain.

What we need is an overall strategy to defeat Islam, and neither right or left has one.

P. James Moriarty on April 27, 2007 at 2:02 AM

I generally like O’reilly but yes, he’s become a bit of a deafeatist. I tend to DVR him and Glenn beck and watch Glenn beck first NOW for the reality check when I used to watch O’reilly first. I fast forward through his rhetoric that he thinks we are losing. We are there strategically for Iran…..it’s really obvious to me even if he wants to shrug his guest off on Thursday that made sure to tell him that. Iraq getting democracy out of it is a side benefit.

Highrise on April 27, 2007 at 2:04 AM

Savage on April 27, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Yes. Democracy like we have in the West is built on nominally Judeo-Christian presuppositions. You can’t convince people who want to be slaves to Allah that they should participate in a representative democracy.

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 2:04 AM

The Great Sacrifice that has half the nation in a panic is 3 soldiers lost each day.

Any other Civilization in the past would laugh at our silliness in overblowing this minor loss in a global war against the worst kind of fascism and terrorism known to history.

The hysterical exaggeration of every injury and death is a sign of our country’s self-division.

If we don’t destroy Islamofascism, now, when we have the overwhelming power to do so, it will only be that much more painful and bloody to do it later, when the jihadists have gained ground against our weak-willed hesitation, soft-headed indecision and historically-vapid diffidence.

The lurid magnifying glass of the emotionally-incontinent media turns what should be a solemn and private tragedy for a military family into a calculatedly-absurd “national calamity”, drumbeat day by drumbeat day.

The war is costing surprisingly little, unless you are so hypersensitive to any cost that no losses in battle will be tolerable.

Which would guarantee far worse losses, ultimately, through the self-crippling inactivity that encourages the rapacity of the enemy.

Crush the Jihad now, with 3 casualties a day, or crush it later with 3,000. Or 30,000.

They only grow stronger for every day we fail to crush and cauterize their expanding murderous madness.

profitsbeard on April 27, 2007 at 1:29 AM

Ditto; mucho ditto; tutti ditto

and yes, I repeated the entire quote because it needs to be reeated……many times. Read what the ‘jihadis’ write, listen to what they say, and see what they actually do:

“I don’t mean to frighten you, but they mean to kill us all”

Janos Hunyadi on April 27, 2007 at 2:20 AM

Anyone else notice that Bill’s been getting real P.O.ed a lot lately? Yelling at/with Geraldo, yelling at what’s-her-name in the first segment last night, etc.? I know he’s been wound up before, but now he seems to be doing it every day or two. Or is it just me?

P. James Moriarty on April 27, 2007 at 2:25 AM

PJM, O’Reilly has always been pretty emotional on any number of issues, and probably a week hasn’t gone by when he hasn’t unleashed the outrage.

Savage on April 27, 2007 at 3:11 AM

I am reticent to compliment O’Reilly, knowing that as soon as I do, he’ll do something impossibly stupid and vain. So I won’t.

Jaibones on April 24, 2007 at 10:49 PM

It’s not often that I get to be this right, this soon. But, then…it’s O’Reilly; he’s hard to underestimate…

Jaibones on April 27, 2007 at 3:18 AM

I would love to see MM weigh in on where O’R is coming from…she obviously knows him well enough. If I saw these same words printed on the screen (and I wasn’t hearing them coming from his mouth) I would be certain they came from one of the Defeatocrats!

Meanwhile, I am surprised no one invoked two other postings from Thursday – first of all Joementum’s WaPo editorial (referenced on Hot Air here) and the CNN clip with Michael Ware. Both pieces – especially Lieberman’s – make the crystal clear points that 1) the situation on the ground in Iraq IS changing for the better (the Sunnis working more with Coalition forces, as al-Rahim points out here) and 2) the US does NOT have the luxury of having a choice – Iraq is the battleground where AQ has chosen to to fight us, and fight back we must.

If Ware gets it and Lieberman gets it, what is O’Reilly thinking? Michelle, any ideas?

pavruch on April 27, 2007 at 4:21 AM

He’s been doing the pee pee dance accompanied by the “if they want freedom why don’t they do it themselves” chorus for a while. I think he plays it down when he gets too much negative mail like a good cynical populist would but it always bubbles back up.

TBinSTL on April 27, 2007 at 5:27 AM

If we’ve lost O’Reilly, we’ve lost the country.

Free Constitution on April 27, 2007 at 6:34 AM

I think he was playing devil’s advocate with a hard eye on the Iraqis.

Black Adam on April 27, 2007 at 7:26 AM

I can support withdrawal from Iraq for one reason, to bring all our resources to the states and refit, rearm and a little down time, followed 6 months later that the deployment of everything, including the kitchen sink to Israel to begin the final war. And I mean final war, war as it was meant to be waged. The constant steady offensive operations in which all who oppose us are put to the sword or captured. No ME country is immune. Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Yemen, all of them. There will be no place to hide, no more threat of Islamic radicals because quite simply they won’t exist.
It is for that reason that I can never be president and for that reason that the Americans will never do it. We have no stomach, nor the will to wage war. Give us a “Humanitarian” mission and we’ll flood the place with bags of grain.

LakeRuins on April 27, 2007 at 8:10 AM

What O’Reilly said sure sounded defeatist to me, and while I am sensitive to defeatist words because of what Benedict Arnold Harry Reid stated concerning the war being “lost,” the fair understanding of what O’Reilly was saying was defeatist. What else does calling for “retreat” and calling the Iraq War a “mistake” realistically mean in the context of O’Reilly lecturing former Iraqi Ambassador Rend al-Rahim about how the Iraqi people had failed to step up?

Under the Jon Voight interview earlier posted on this site, I posted my comment that really was my reaction to what is shown in the clip above and perhaps contributed to the decision on this site to post the clip above. In my comment, I stated that “I tutned off O’Reilly tonight” and “also cancelled my O’Reilly premium membership with the statement that I will never watch ‘The Factor’ again.” I stated that “[a]s far as I am conccerned, O’Reilly announced that he was a defeatist tonight, and I have had it with that kind of cowardly politics. My older son is a U.S. Army First Lieutenant (with Ranger tab) serving as a platoon leader in Iraq, and while it is a tough mission, it is by no means ‘lost.’ Our military guys are not defeatists. I more than respect them; I am awed by them.” I concluded: “As for the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and now Bill O’Reilly, they are disloyal bums who deserve our derisive contempt.”

I stand on my comment. O’Reilly is making the mistake that Victor Davis Hanson a few years warned against. If you call the Iraq War a mistake and you focus on present difficulties in rationalizing running away from the war, you have to justify the proposition that the world would be a better place today if Saddam were still in power.

Do you really think that the world would be a better place if Saddam Hussein, the “Butcher of Baghdad,” were still in power? If so, I have to ask facetiously: Do you think that letting Saddam have a pass on 17 U.N. arms resolutions was just fine? Do you miss the rape rooms of Saddam’s sons? Or perhaps the repression and murder of the Kurds? Or the real physically mutilating torture that Saddam’s government meted out to anyone suspected of being a dissident? Or the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by Saddam’s government? Or is it that Saddam’s dictatorial, cult of personality mode of government suits you? Perhaps it was Saddam’s corruption of the United Nations in the Food-for-Oil scandal that thrilled you? Or maybe it was Saddam’s payment of suicide bombers? Or perhaps Saddam’s allowance of terrorist training camps in Iraq? Or was it that the terrorist thug Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was allowed to use Iraq as a base of operations?

The Iraqi War has been prolonged, and there has been violence, bloodshed and suffering. But contrast what America has done and what the adversaries have done.

America with its coalition partners have removed a tyrant from power, handed sovereignty back to the Iraqi people, propelled the Iraqi people to adopt a democratic government and assisted the Iraqis in defending their young government. It cannot be ignored that the Iraqis bravely voted three times, raising the “purple finger,” in the process of adopting a written Constitution and electing their own leadership and that the present Iraqi government is the legitimate, sovereign and lawfully constituted government of Iraq. Nor should it be ignored that the Kurds in northern Iraq enjoy peace and that insurgent attacks elsewhere in Iraq on marketplaces, police stations and the like are both terrorist and criminal in nature and are specifically targeted to undermine the Iraqi government’s authority.

Radical Islamists, both Sunni and Shiite, do not want democratic government and society to take root in Iraq, and they have caused much bloodshed, death and injury in their efforts to undermine the elected Iraqi government. Al-Qaeda’s No. 1 Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda’s No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri have declared that Iraq is the major front or “greatest battle” in what they describe as the “Third World War” between Islam (actually their radical Islamism) and the West. Al-Qaeda, in opposition to the Iraq government and in league with other Sunni extremists (e.g., the post-Zarqawi Islamic State of Iraq), has led the insurgency in areas such as Anbar province, has engaged in bombings killing innocent Iraqis and has actively sought, with some success, to incite sectarian violence in Iraq between Sunni Baathists unreconciled to the loss of power in post-Saddam Iraq and Shiites who had been repressed by Saddam. The radical Shiites in Iran have similarly been channeling resources to fueling sectarian violence and providing material assistance in the form of a massive supply of IEDs, EFPs and other weaponry not only to radical Shiite militias but also Sunni insurgents. Radical Shiites in Iraq such as renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have militias that engage in sectarian violence, either oppose or seek to compromise the Iraqi government and at times work with their Iranian radical allies to attack American troops. Do you think for one moment that if we withdrew from Iraq now, that country would be better off? That is not the judgment of New York Times Baghdad bureau chief John Burns, who has stated that such withdrawal could result in “levels of suffering and of casualties amongst Iraqis that potentially could dwarf the ones we’ve seen to this point.”

The fact is that we are the good guys in Iraq. Our military has been supporting the lawfully constituted Iraqi government, seeking to establish security for the Iraqi people from radical Islamist insurgent violence and mayhem and training the Iraqi army and police to take the responsibility for that security. Our military with civilian contractors have been rebuilding the country that had been driven into the ground economically by Saddam’s misrule and exploitation. Young Iraqis are drawn to our soldiers and Marines; my wife and I send candy to the our son so that my son and the guys under his command can hand it out to the kids. Pictures of American soldiers and Marines carrying in their arms Iraqi kids do tell a truth about the conflict. I sometimes use an example from my older son’s division to contrast the Americans and the radical Islamists. My older son’s division has, among other things, built schools for the Iraqis and distributed medical supplies to local hospitals and clinics; in contrast, the girls’ school that was next to my older son’s base was blown up by a suicide bomber with much loss of life because the radical Islamists do not want girls educated.

The present situation is difficult. But one should not think that there is difficulty because we made a mistake. The world at times present difficult problems, and we are now faced with one terrible time and problem in the confrontation with radical Islam.

Do you think that radical Islam will go away if we run away from Iraq and berate ourselves? Think again after remembering some dates. On February 26, 1993, the World Trade Center Towers in Manhattan were bombed for the first time by radical Islamists who were followers of the blind sheik Omar Abdul Rahman and who were led by Ramzi Yousef; six people were killed and 1,042 people were injured. On August 23, 1996, Osama bin Laden, from a cave in Afghanistan, declared jihadist war on America; the statement was entitled “Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places,” which asserted that terrorism was “a legitimate right and a moral obligation” and that the youths carrying out jihad “love death as you love life.” On August 7, 1998, the American Embassy in Kenya was bombed by al-Qaeda operatives, causing the deaths of 213 and injury to thousands, and the American Embassy in Tanzania was bombed by other al-Qaeda operatives, resulting in the deaths of 11 and the wounding of 85. On October 12, 2000, the U.S. Navy ship USS Cole in a Yemen port was attacked by two al-Qaeda operatives on a suicide mission, resulting in the deaths of 17 American sailors and the wounding of 39 others. To all of these actions, America did not do much because America was in fact unprepared for war but rather longed for peace. (See generally L. Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda And The Road To 9/11.)

There is a silver lining in all this. Our “Greatest Generation” has been called that because they dealt with the Great Depression and World War II — terrible times. But they perserved and triumphed. In our days of comnfort and ease, the “Boomer Generation” may be the worst generation because of its narcissism, amorality and perpetual political hype. Difficult times require us as Americans to be better people and say such words as “God Bless America” and mean it.

Phil Byler on April 27, 2007 at 8:14 AM

Bryan,

Unless O’Reilly has a direct news source in Iraq, he seems to be parroting the MSM back home by taking on the mantle of the Democrat’s and MSM’s defeatist mantras.

As for him being fed up with the war, he has a point in that it is not being prosecuted correctly. The U.S., even after the Viet Nam and Somalia experiences, still has no idea how to fight a guerrilla insurgency.

So, there we are with our Humvees, tanks, and our troops walking guard-duty down the streets of Baghdad, while the guerrilla force is hunkered down in caves as they’ve done for hundreds of years in previous wars. Recall, that the great Russian cold war army was defeated by this ‘rag tag’ force.

I agree with a previous comment that we have “half-assed” the war, as we did in Viet Nam. It’s déjà vu all over again, kiddies.

Evidently, the generals thought it would be like shooting fish in a barrel as it was during the first Iraq war, when the ‘mother of all forces’ was decimated on the road to Baghdad.

When we realized that we would, again, be fighting cave dwellers, as in WWII, we should have immediately changed tactics and put in an overwhelming Iwo Jima type force to kick ass and take names.

And, from the pictures we’ve seen of insurgents begging not to be shot as U.S. troops approached them, I doubt that the they would allow themselves to become crispy-critters, as the Japanese did in WWII, if they knew flame-throwers were in our bag of tricks.

Losing in Iraq is not an option.

General pocomoco has spoken.

pocomoco on April 27, 2007 at 8:16 AM

I’m tired of this war is not an option…It is the dumbest reason I’ve ever heard not to do something. We are doing fine training people that have been repressed for over 35 years…It isn’t easy and it makes you tired. This need for a perfect war is quite scary and not possible.

This problem is about 2000 and that is sad.

tomas on April 27, 2007 at 8:39 AM

Our enemies know that if they simply hang in there that Americans including O’Reilly will not stay the course. Just because a majority of Americans don’t like war is not a reason to surrender. It was the same in 1945, and this country managed to pull together and defeat those who would destroy us. To blame the people of Iraq is a Conservative excuse to fail. We are at war with Iran, and as long as we ignore it we will continue to fail and follow the Vietnam playbook which is hold the line and lose Americans every day.

Why should the people of Iraq work with us since they know we’re going to bail on them? After Vietnam and now Iraq, who will trust this country again to protect them? Millions lost their lives in SE Asia when we turned and ran and it will be the same in Iraq.

Hening on April 27, 2007 at 8:50 AM

First fo all, I’ll remind everyone that American forces never have or will be beaten in the field by al-Qaeda or other terror/insurgent Islamic forces. That said, like the former USSR, we can spend the next 10 years kicking their fanatical, sand filled tails all over that god-forsaken desert, and it won’t make any difference so long as the Iraqi’s and Afghan’s and every other person living in the region is willing to keep allowing this to go on. Until they decide to stop letting their neighborhood’s and mosque’s and school’s be infiltrated by these people, and work with the government to eradicate them, this will continue.
I admit that is easy for me to say from here, I know, but it’s also the truth. They have to be willing to take risk’s and make sacrafices for their children, and nation’s, future. Just like our forefathers(sp?) made sacrafices for us, they must stand up and be counted. I think that is what O’Reilly was saying, if I may be so bold as to presume.

Robert Hackman on April 27, 2007 at 9:04 AM

Unfortunately, O’Reilly, like defeatist Democrats and “me too” Republicans now thinks that we can’t win in Iraq. This was a poll driven response to a survey indicating that 55% of Americans think we should cut and run. O’Reilly would rather retain high ratings than political ideology which is, at least, pragmatic.

But a defeat in Iraq would be far worse than a military setback. Iraq has oil reserves rivaling Saudi Arabia which would pass into enemy hands and make us even more reliant on the dubious ethanol substitute. Consider a change to ethanol. The price of corn would skyrocket as farmers, corn dealers and speculators conspire to jack up the prices. Corn, as you know, is the primary source of feed for livestock and for sweeteners in soft drinks and other products. Thus a shrinking supply of oil plus a gargantuan increase in demand for corn—far outdistancing supply–and we have inflation high enough to collapse the stock market.

MaiDee on April 27, 2007 at 9:04 AM

I’m tired of this war is not an option…It is the dumbest reason I’ve ever heard not to do something.

Yeah, I’m pretty tired of hearing about “war fatigue” from anyone not in combat.

I’ve been asked to do jack sh!t for the cause; I wake up in a decent house, take the kids to school, go to work and come home. I don’t ration anything or grow my own veggies in a victory garden. Someone else much braver than I am has taken on all the responsibility, and my great burden is having to hear about it on the news. Boo hoo for me.

saint kansas on April 27, 2007 at 9:08 AM

Hening, you said it so well. My husband has been back about 2 months now and he was assigned to work with the Iraqi police. He said that sometimes when they’d just talk, the Iraqis would ask if they were going to be left in the lurch like the South VietNamese were. He said that they would tell them they prayed that wouldn’t happen. I don’t know, it’s truly sad but the day is probably coming. But think about it-how many of those anti-war protestor libs who are running the networks, colleges, papers and hollyweird actually sit back and think about the carnage they caused with the troop departure in Viet Nam? None of them except I heard Christopher Hitchens once say that he aplogized for his protest days once he finally realized what leavine SE Asia wrought. Those people have blood on their hands but they think only those who served do. It’s a sad statement but they didn’t take responsiblity then, they won’t do it now and all their little lemmings who follow them and are indoctrinated in college won’t either. Boy, a bit off topic because Jon Voight is in another thread but I was just blown away by what he said about people sending their kids off to school and they come back calling our country Imperialist. I had a similar conversation a few weeks back with one of my high school classmates whose son is at Purdue. She said they don’t know him anymore.

Catie96706 on April 27, 2007 at 9:10 AM

I’ve noticed O’Reilly consistently takes this hard-line approach with Iraqi guests and anyone else responsible for the war’s prosecution, then he either backpeddles a bit or tones it down later.

He’s most likely getting “reaction” from war supporters and military families so watch tonight to hear how he handles the blowback. My guess is he’ll open up his Talking Points with this.

CliffHanger on April 27, 2007 at 9:23 AM

The defeatocrats and the moonbats want to go back to the status quo as it existed pre 9/11. 9/11 forced them to pull their heads out of their a$$es and now they are desperately digging and clawing forcing their heads back in. I for one am not going to facilitate that process by applying political KY. If their going to do it, I plan to make sure it as painful as possible and perhaps they will tear off an ear or two in the process. Not that it would be a big loss since they don’t use them anyway.

csdeven on April 27, 2007 at 9:25 AM

Robert Hackman on April 27, 2007 at 9:04 AM

Hackman, you are absolutely right. Unfortunately there was hardly a mention of how Iraqis are increasingly cooperating and taking initiative against AQ in Al Anbar, for example.

There are other examples of Iraqis coming together for the sake of their country but they do not get widespread coverage. If we do a better job of reporting progress maybe Americans will get a more complete picture of what’s happening on the ground.

saint kansas on April 27, 2007 at 9:08 AM

I know. All we’re asked is to go about our daily lives while our armed forces do their job.

We’re such friggin’ crybabies. What’s it going to take before we become the next greatest generation…?

CliffHanger on April 27, 2007 at 9:36 AM

i’m convinced O’Reilly plays the role of a populist politician on some things, another example is the “Oil companies”, there is no way he’s really as dumb and economically ignorant as some of what he’s said about Oil/gas prices. but it agrees with alot of average joe blows out there…

jp on April 27, 2007 at 9:43 AM

I remember my father (retired Air Force officer) during Gulf War I when Bush Senior didn’t go into Baghdad. I was 11 at the time. He was furious! He knew that we would be back in Iraq in 10 to 15 years. And this is going to happen all over again if we leave now.

Sometimes I wish I would have signed that letter of intent to the Academy. But with a wife, you have many other priorities then yourself.

msipes on April 27, 2007 at 9:49 AM

csdeven on April 27, 2007 at 9:25 AM

You know, I used to couch my comments in terms of “Defeatocrats”, “Moonbats”, and “Libs”, but today I feel that the situation is so tenuous and the stakes so damn high for future generations, I’m going to begin to blame us, Americans and ask that we take a different approach.

The hard Left is lost so we must stop simply blaming them for our troubles. However, if we consider them enablers of our defeat, then it stands to reason that we should find ways to marginalize and defeat them. At the same time, we must do a better job of appealing to the common sense of mainstream America. That’s where the future of how we fight this war will be forged.

CliffHanger on April 27, 2007 at 9:52 AM

What’s it going to take before we become the next greatest generation…?

CliffHanger on April 27, 2007 at 9:36 AM

A lot of hard work and determination. Our troops are doing their part and now we need to do ours. A Gathering of eagles was a good start, but we cannot rest on that victory. What I do is educate kids. I get them to engage me in debate and socratically lead them to their own conclusions. They are not always in lock step with mine, but they OWN the opinion instead of parroting anyone else’s talking points. I have a myspace account and have my kids and their friends on my friends list. I use that forum to reach people who consume the regurgitated vile from the libs. I link to Hotair and other middle of the road sites that use common sense instead of emotionalism to develop ideals. It works. Kids now a days are just looking for a direction to apply their considerable talents but lack the life experiences to do so wisely.

csdeven on April 27, 2007 at 9:56 AM

At the same time, we must do a better job of appealing to the common sense of mainstream America.
CliffHanger on April 27, 2007 at 9:52 AM

True, but the message isn’t reaching them. The message that reaches them is shrill and extreme and it has huge value in the battle to get americans to take back their country from the crazy libs.

Americans have common sense but it has been stifled by political correctness. Look at how insanely stupid Reids comments are. Why does he get away with it? PCness and the perception of reality. What person to the right of Rosie O Piggo doesn’t look reasonable, but when that person is viewed against traditional conservative ideals it’s obvious they are “out there” too?

Many americans, and more importantly the MSM, establish their opinions based on the full spectrum of credible political ideas. They want to find the middle so they are acceptable to a majority of people. They are relativity driven and not ideologically driven. Those of us here are ideologically driven. We don’t care how crazy the left gets and do our best to condemn extremism on the right. That is the right way to be in a perfect world where we aren’t in a battle for the survival of traditional political direction in america.

People driven to accept beliefs based on the relative center of ideological positions, are constantly moving to and fro based on their perception of what it means to be a moderate. We as high horse conservatives aid in shifting the political center toward people like Reid, because we don’t really have any credible extremism on the right and when we do, we excoriate them. And even that “extremism” is not really extreme. It is only extreme in relation to the liberal center we have helped to create.

You want proof? Look at Fox news. They ARE moderate by definition, yet the MSM and the crazy dem candidates call them tools of the VRWC. How many people have you met that have a negative opinion of Fox, yet never watch them? We all see it very often. Why? Because these people don’t want to appear to be extreme, so they adopt the position that puts them in the center as they percieve it.

We cannot force americans to be rational, so we need to adopt the libs gameplan by creating an extreme right so the center, as perceived by the sheeple, is shifted toward traditional ideals. Just as they have done on the left.

csdeven on April 27, 2007 at 10:27 AM

We cannot force americans to be rational, so we need to adopt the libs gameplan by creating an extreme right so the center, as perceived by the sheeple, is shifted toward traditional ideals.

I don’t know. Yes, let’s marginalize and defeat those who call for our retreat. However, I don’t think we get there through further politicization because the outcome of this war transcends ideology.

Most Americans don’t see it this way, but the struggle we’re in with Islamic extremism is really about our own survival as a nation and our way of life. Now, I don’t expect the media to communicate this alarmist message, but I do expect the Bush Administration and those in power who believe it to shout it from the highest mountaintops because it’s the TRUTH.

So, let the Left continue to politicize the war. We need to drown them out with our message. Americans need to know that this war will continue for a very long time, that we’re killing bad guys who would do us harm here in America if left alone.

And for heaven’s sake, let’s find a traitor and put him/her on trial! What better way to get a positive and patriotic message out than through a televised trial where all Americans have an opportunity to hear what damage has been caused by those invested in America’s defeat.

Food for thought: If we would’ve bombed government and military centers in Syria and Iran much earlier in this war, perhaps even while we were bombing Baghdad, you know… a real “shock-and-awe”, where would we be today?

CliffHanger on April 27, 2007 at 10:59 AM

I’ve noticed that during his interviews O’R takes the opposite opinion of the person he interviews… sort of like a Devil’s Advocate.

So what he said is probably not what he personally believes, but I think he is beginning to become less optimistic. Just not to the degree that it looks like in this clip.

AlexB on April 27, 2007 at 11:00 AM

What really beats me is that Bill doesn’t listen to the troops. This man needs to shut up for 5 minutes and take in the audio by the US Ranger on http://hotair.com/archives/2007/04/27/audio-ranger-gets-emotional-about-the-war/#comment-384612

Aylios on April 27, 2007 at 11:21 AM

Been to Iraq twice… my view is if this government won’t support us then get us out of there.

The thought of leaving my Iraqi friends makes me sick… but O’Reiley is right, they have not steped up. The ‘nanny state’ created by Saddam and certain aspects of their religion have stripped any sense of personal responsibility from the population. They are waiting for us to fix their country, then blaming us for every little problem.

Having see the way the Iraqis deal with their enemies… I think a little bloodbath might wash away the bad apples faster if we weren’t there holding them back.

If you read the new counterinsurgency doctrine, it will take 3x as many troops as we have now on the ground for YEARS to defeat an insurgency. I know were not willing to do that. Petraeus knows he doen’t have enough soldiers… he is just playing the good soldier. We can mostly leave now, launch SF/CIA ops and conventional strikes from a few bases, regroup and prepare for the ‘real’ war with Iran. While we are tied down, we have little deterrence factor.

I’m more concerned about Iran than anything else. I hate to say it, but I’d support the Dem position on this if they weren’t so publicly campaigning for failure from the initial invasion and I thought it was coming from a rational decision making process. But it’s not… so screw them.

BadBrad on April 27, 2007 at 11:52 AM

He’s been doing the pee pee dance accompanied by the “if they want freedom why don’t they do it themselves” chorus for a while.

TBinSTL on April 27, 2007 at 5:27 AM

Doing the pee pee dance……too f*cking funny. That truly deserves a LOL.

Great stuff!

omnipotent on April 27, 2007 at 12:04 PM

I agree with most of Savage’s comments, except to say that isolationism won’t work as there are other interests the US must protect besides our security, although our security is the number one priority. Another interest besides security includes the free flow of oil to the world economy as oil is a vital resource for all, much like salt was to ancient civilizations that warred with each other over such vital resources many years ago.

Another point Savage alluded to was the obvious fact that much of the Arab world is unable to step out of their “tribal mentality” of centuries past to move into the 19th century let alone the 21st century. Also, it’s obvious the Arab world cannot get along with each other let alone the rest of the world, this in-of-itself should be enough to prompt us to change our strategy to one of containing Iran, Syria, and stemming the flow of foreign fighters entering Iraq as well as securing the flow of oil, and if we’re attacked, as Savage said we hit back swiftly and devastatingly.

Once we have containment and secured the flow of oil let the Iraqi factions kill each other until only one is left standing as it seems they’re most interested in hate, revenge, and killing, not freedom, prosperity, and peacful co-existence, let alone a better future for their people!

You can lead a nation to the path of freedom and democracy, but you can’t make them walk the path…and it’s unfortunate the Iraqi’s are incapable of doing so especially considering how many of our brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice to clear the path to freedom and democracy so they would have a better life and future.

For me this was the main point Bill was trying to make, he was venting his frustration at the Iraqi people being unable or unwilling to rise up to the occassion and walk the path to freedom and democracy our brave soldiers gave their lives to clear for them.

Just my 2-cents…

Liberty or Death on April 27, 2007 at 12:41 PM

O’R is getting soft lately. The fight with Geraldo took all the fight out of him.

He now wants stricter gun laws
He has been softballing interviews
He wants retreat and re-group in Iraq
Whats next?

americaslaststand on April 27, 2007 at 2:45 PM

I used to have my remote set at 6:00 pm for Mr. O. Not any more, for about 2 years. That’s when I discovered he is just another ” Nor’ easter, blow hard.” Is that phrase, pithy enough for you !

oldelpasoan on April 28, 2007 at 11:18 AM

FoxNews and O’Reilly are becoming tabloid and have abandoned hard news that put them at the top of the heap. Expert guests have gone from notable politicians to former under wear models like Kimberly Guilfoyle talking about Anna Nicole, the Alec Baldwin divorce, and Natalee Holloway.

For example, last night, Bill had a segment on Alec Baldwin and his appearance on the view. He then went to Geraldo Rivera as expert guest to counsel FoxNews viewers on Marriage. Geraldo Rivera then began his diatribe on how to handle ex wives.

This from a man that has been divorced 4 times and is on his 5th marriage. Wow, what a culture warrior. At our dinner table we were so offended that we immediately hit the remote.

Bill O’Reilly has always thought the War in Iraq was a mistake. Remember back a few years ago, he opened the talking points with; “I will give GWB 1 year to turn this around” Blah Blah Blah. He is no different than the cut and run MSM but he packages and spins it differently for the FoxNews audience.

Bill is no conservative. He is a blue dog democrat and tries to disguise that fact with taking on causes like Megan’s law. Worthy causes for sure but do not mistake his politics.

After the shooting in Virgina, he led his show with talking points criticizing the left for trying to use Vtech for gun control. Then on Monday, he invited Chucky Schumer on to propose, you guessed it, Gun Control. O’Reilly supported Schumers measure by an emotional plea that it was not a draconian measure to ask that the Senate pass this by Unanimous Consent.

The problem is that the measure Schumer wants passed is HR 297 the Brady Law which includes assault weapon ban expansion, gun registration, a huge expansion of gun control that infringes on the 2nd amendment.So much for the talking points about the left using Vtech for gun control.

Bryan I agree with you that Bill O’Reilly is a defeatist. I think it is despicable that he has now sold our solders out with his latest segment denouncing the war as a total failure, the wrong battlefield, and promoting retreat.How is he any different than his colleagues in the MSM and the anti war left.

ScottyDog on April 28, 2007 at 1:26 PM