On the April 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, while discussing the British soldiers recently captured by the Iranian government, Nancy Soderberg, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, stated that "the Arab Sunnis are uniting against Iran" and said: "[I]t's going to be the Arab world against the Persian world. And that's a fight we don't want to have played out in Iraq." Host Bill O'Reilly responded: "Well, I'd like to see that fight with us out of it. That's what I'd like to see." O'Reilly continued: "I want -- let them kill each other."
O'Reilly has previously expressed his indifference to the prospect of further violence and death in the Middle East. As Media Matters for America documented, on the December 5, 2006, edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, O'Reilly commented on the sectarian violence in Iraq: "Do I care if the Sunnis and Shiites kill each other in Iraq? No. I don't care. Let's get our people out of there. Let them kill each other." Further, on the January 24 edition of his radio program, O'Reilly maintained that "the Sunni and Shia want to kill each other" and added: "They want to blow each other up. They want to torture each other. They have fun. This is -- they like this."
From the April 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Yeah, I mean, I don't see any EU presence at all. But look, this is a big win for Iran. And it hurts me to say that. Because Iran is basically humiliating Great Britain and the United States by saying, "Look, we're going to grab those guys any time we want to grab them. We're going to do whatever we want to do. Look at them. They don't have any power left. We're the power in the [Persian] Gulf." That's what they're saying, Ms. Ambassador. "We're the power in the Gulf. Iran"
SODERBERG: That's not -- they're not-- what's going on right now is we flipped the power balance in favor of Iran and Iraq. And they are trying to increase their power around the regions, not through taking these hostages. That's a dumb move, but through the whole Iranian nuclear crisis. That's not going to work either.
And the Arab Sunnis are uniting against Iran. So it's going to be the Arab world against the Persian world. And that's a fight we don't want to have played out in Iraq.
O'REILLY: Well, I'd like to see that fight with us out of it. That's what I'd like to see.
O'REILLY: I want -- let them kill each other, you know?
SODERBERG: Unfortunately right now we're in the middle of it.
O'REILLY: I know.
SODERBERG: Right now we're in the middle of it.
O'REILLY: I know.
SODERBERG: And that's one of the big problems.
O'REILLY: Unintended consequences galore.