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O'Reilly Factor Guests: Iraq's a Mess, the GOP's in Big Trouble and Islam Is a Terrorist Organization

Reported by Marie Therese - August 24, 2005

Last night The O'Reilly Factor was built around a trio of issues that host Bill O'Reilly contended could sink George W. Bush and the Republican Party in the 2006 mid-term elections, these being the chaos in Iraq, chaos on the border and high gas prices. Two of the segments were on the Iraq Folly and a third revolved around conservative talk show host Michael Graham's statement that "Islam is a terrorist organization".

While praising the effort in Iraq so far (lots of new construction and virtually universal immunization of Iraqi children), O'Reilly noted that, unless Bush can get the "terrorists" under control in that country, approval for the war will sink even farther.

In his introduction to an interview with conservative columnist Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News O'Reilly took yet another opportunity to belittle Gold Star Mom Cindy Sheehan, claiming that due to her "radical" views she is having less impact.

O'REILLY: "The Cindy Sheehan episode may be dying down now that everybody knows about her radical politics. Certainly middle America's not gonna embrace someone who believes the USA is a bad country. It's as simple as that. So President Bush caught a break with this one because some in the media are fair and balanced like this program. We highlighted Miss Sheehan's right to protest but defined her accurately. In fact more than 100,000 of you voted in our billoreilly.com poll which asked: Do you respect what Cindy Sheehan is doing? 81% say No - just 19% say Yes - and that's because of her radical statements. You know, it's very interesting. The reason I'm doing this - this is what they call in California 'closure' because I don't think there's any more to the Cindy Sheehan story. I think this is it because we last night ran some more clips of her sayin' America's a horrible country, it's always been a terrible country and it takes her out of the legitimate debate dissent in Iraq and puts her into a category of "Hey, I don't like America, I think it's bad, we need a total overhaul" and most people aren't gonna buy into that and so I think she's done...."

[Aside: Cindy Sheehan's married name is "Mrs. Patrick Sheehan." She is not divorced, at least, not yet. Her proper title is Mrs. Sheehan, which by custom acknowledges that she is a married woman. Bill O'Reilly consistently refers to her as "Miss Sheehan," implying that she is unmarried. And for those out there who think he's saying "Ms.," he isn't. He's clearly using an "S" sound not a "Z" sound. Uninformed Factor viewers might conclude from O'Reilly's use of the designation "Miss" that her son, Casey, was born out of wedlock.]

Notice in the excerpts below that it wasn't until the end of this segment that O'Reilly got around to telling his viewers the real reason for Cindy Sheehan's lower profile these days.

O'REILLY: "They're furious at me. I have never seen such hatred and fur - you know, I've been doing this almost nine years, Rod, and I've never seen hatred directed at me personally because they feel that I took their icon and just puffed her, you know. And to me all I wanted to do was find out what the woman was all about. We invited her on very early on and then we started to get, you know, research on what she had said. All we did was use her own words- you saw them - but, boy oh boy, I have seen vitriol in my life but nothin' like that"

DREHER: "Oh, I know. Look. I've been writing in the Dallas Morning News blog as a conservative who has turned against this war and I said that Cindy Sheehan she does not speak for me at all and I wish she would keep her mouth shut because she's unpatriotic and a disgrace The people wrote to me the most nasty letters, so I know exactly what you've been getting. But, I'll tell you, the President had better watch it because Cindy Sheehan will not be the face of the antiwar movement forever."

O'REILLY: "Well, she's - I think she's done now. I think she's through."

DREHER: "She's done now."

O'REILLY: " Yeah. I think she's tending - she's tending to her mother who's ill in Los Angeles and I - we wish absolutely the best for her mom and for Miss Sheehan. We have no acrimony against Miss Sheehan at all - none. And she's free to be a radical, if she wants to be. ...I didn't turn against the war. I just want to win the war. It's a performance issue. It's like bein' the manager of a baseball team. You've gotta win! It's not enough for President Bush to get out there there and say 'Well, we're in a noble cause.' We are in a noble cause. We're tryin' to free those people over there. And there's no question in my mind we are in a noble cause. But we have to win! And, if he's not able to win, it doesn't do us any good if it's noble."

Rod Dreher went on to agree with O'Reilly, noting that if we don't win then we "spent all that American blood and treasure to make Iraq safe for Islamic theocracy and tht's not why I supported this war to begin with. Having said that, though, I think that the President had better watch out for guys like Paul Hackett, the Democrat who narrowly lost that seat in Ohio that safe GOP district which he narrowly lost. He's an Iraq war veteran and this is the kind of guy who can make the antiwar case that resonates on Main Street ..."

O'REILLY: "Absolutely. If the President ... "

DREHER: " ... among normal, ordinary people."

O'REILLY: "If things don't start improving in Iraq, if they don't start to break the back of that terror movement over there, by the spring the antiwar movement'll be a thousand times more powerful than it is now and the Republicans are gonna get creamed in the 06 elections in November and that's what's at stake. They gotta win, not only for the USA but for their party if they want to keep power. ..."

Later in the show he interviewed Michael Graham, a rabid conservative talk-show host recently fired by WMAL Radio in Washington for refusing to apologize to Muslims for making the statement that "Islam is a terrorist organization." He defended himself to O'Reilly, who bluntly stated that he thought Graham had gone over the top, that 98% of Muslims are decent people who are not terrorists. You can read a transcript or watch a video at FOXNews.coms.

Later in the show Bill interviewed perennial guests Lt. Colonel Bill Cowan and Col. David Hunt, who were anything but flattering in their comments about the situation in Iraq. As part of their prescription for ultimate success in Iraq, they called for the dismissal of some of the top brass.

Among other tactics, Col. David Hunt suggested that a "killer" 4-star general or higher should take over as overall commander of the forces there. He went on to advise putting two divisions of Special Forces in northern Iraq to stop the border infiltration while the State Department should "have a meeting with the surrounding countries - one more citizen of your country kills one of our guys, we're gonna blow up a building in your city and have an F-18 fly over that meeting. No more games."

Old Blood and Guts Hunt continued, stating that we should resurrect the Phoenix program as used in Vietnam and disband all militias in Iraq.

Thememoryhole.org describes the Phoenix Program in Vietnam as follows: "Created by the CIA in Saigon in 1967, Phoenix was a program aimed at 'neutralizing' - through assassination, kidnapping, and systematic torture - the civilian infrastructure that supported the Viet Cong insurgency in South Vietnam. It was a terrifying 'final solution' that violated the Geneva Conventions and traditional American ideas of human morality."

It also DIDN'T WORK, a pertinent fact that Mad Dog Hunt conveniently forgot!!

However, even a rabid warmonger like Hunt can tell the truth every now and then. He noted that in the Bush administration "Nobody pays for mistakes - WMD or 9/11. Our soldiers are dyin' and 14,000 wounded. It's time to change the team."

Lt. Col. Cowan agreed with Hunt that there needs to be "some kind of a clearing of the deck somewhere with respect to people, maybe in the military who have not really been helpful in getting plans, policies, programs out there." Cowan noted that what Advisor Program that now exists in Iraq is woefully inadequate and not really functioning efficiently.

COWAN: "... It's a make it up as you go Advisor Program right now. The Marine Corps has somewhat of a program The Army has none. Some military people arrived in Iraq only to be told they were going to be advisors - totally unprepared, not vetted. Maybe they're gonna be an advisor in the battalion level when they've never served in a battalion level."

Cowan further said that the soldiers need to "dismount," i.e., leave their Humvees and begin establishing one-to-one contact with the Iraqi people. He also suggested that Iraq vets with intelligence expertise should be utilized to "stay on top of the intelligence problem so we can start working out where the bad guys are, who they are ..."

Hunt argued again for two more Green Berets (Special Forces) deployment with power to shoot on sight, no questions asked. He called this the "sensor to trigger" tactic.

HUNT: "We need Special Forces guys running the training Petraeus has been running. It has not been working. At the same time take care of the corruption that's in Iraq - both Iraqis and Americans, French and Brits who are taking money. You're right. 97% of that country's oil capacity is working and money's going out the back door. The Iraqi government cannot support the battalions that it's putting in the field with beans, bullets, trucks. That's one of the reasons the Iraqi soldiers aren't fighting. They don't have the gear. It isn't worked [sic]. Take Petraeus out, put a Special Forces captain in there. ... a Green Beret unit can provide both some security and the intelligence that's needed to kill the bad guys."

Cowan ended the segment by admonishing the Bush administration to make a concerted effort to establish good working relationships with the tribes in existence in Iraq, He suggested bringing in the tribal leaders and giving them the money and responsibility for cleaning up some of their territory.

COMMENT

The GOP ship of state is showing its cracks.

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