Jewish World Review Feb. 24, 2003 / 22 Adar I, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

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A peace of the action | Because I was a college student from 1967-71, I am a primary source as far as peace demonstrations are concerned. I vividly remember the Vietnam protests and the rhetoric that was used back then: "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" It is eerily similar to what's going on today vis-a-vis Iraq.

Back then, many of the antiwar protestors considered America an evil place, full of warmongering politicians and a military intent on persecuting the people of Southeast Asia. The historical truth, however, turned out to be quite different.

I remember reading a book called "The Killing Fields" documenting the mass murder of up to 2 million Cambodians. Then I saw the movie starring Sam Waterston. What the Khmer Rouge did was exactly what the Nazis did. Yet the peace demonstrators in America said little about it, perhaps because they knew that if the United States had prevailed in Vietnam, the "killing fields" of neighboring Cambodia would not have happened.

In the early 90s, I decided to go to Vietnam myself to have a look around. The communist system there allows little freedom and much poverty. In Saigon, I was besieged by Vietnamese who wanted to send messages to relatives and friends in America. I could not offer any assistance, as my "minder" would not even allow me to take their letters.

The point is that for every action, there is a reaction. The Vietnam War was begun to prevent communism in Southeast Asia. The United States was not successful because our allies were corrupt and we fought on the defensive. But what happened after we left Vietnam was far worse in humanitarian terms than anything that happened during that war. Again, I wonder if the Vietnam peace crowd ever thinks about that.

Now we have a similar but far more threatening situation. Many people simply don't want to remove Saddam Hussein by force. But if force is not used, Saddam stays. That means more Iraqis will be tortured and killed, and whatever weapons Saddam has accumulated stay in play. And despite the rhetoric, it is simply impossible to find vials of hidden anthrax in a country the size of California.

And what if someday some of that anthrax finds its way to your house? An elderly Connecticut woman named Ottilie Lundgren experienced that. She's dead. I don't think many of the protestors remember her very well. Perhaps I'm wrong.

If the unthinkable happens and anthrax does show up in America again, chances are the FBI will not be able to trace it. The bureau could not trace the first batch. The arrival of anthrax means Americans will die, institutions will be shut down, and panic will ensue.

The peace protestors do not want to address that possibility the same way they do not want to address "the killing fields." No, the demonstrators are confident that the U.N. weapons inspectors can "contain" a murderous dictator who acknowledged to the United Nations after the Gulf War that he possessed plenty of anthrax and other stuff even worse. And Saddam remains defiant -- he will not account for those hideous weapons.

So the next time you see an antiwar demonstration or hear appeasers like Jacques Chirac and Gerhardt Schroeder, think about Ottilie Lundgren and millions of faceless Cambodians. They died horribly, and no power was in place that could protect them.

Most of us know in our hearts that honest dissent is a strength of America and that war is a bad thing. But there are worse things, and every American should think about that.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


02/18/03: Cash for what?
02/10/03: Runaway train
02/03/03: Dissenting dishonest dissent
01/27/03: The Clooney Factor
01/21/03: Poverty-inducing entertainment
01/13/03: To protect and serve
12/30/02: Global double Crossing
12/30/02: The villains of 2002
12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness
12/16/02: The Houston lesson
12/09/02: Somewhere Santa is weeping
12/02/02: A taxing situation
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate