O'Reilly backtracked on Iraq statement: "I haven't given up on Iraq"

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

In an apparent break with his February 20 pronouncement that "the only solution" to violence in Iraq "is to hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible" because "we just can't control these crazy people," Bill O'Reilly said on the February 23 broadcast of his radio show: "I haven't given up on Iraq."

In an apparent break with his February 20 pronouncement that "the only solution" to violence in Iraq "is to hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible" because "we just can't control these crazy people," Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said on the February 23 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show: "I haven't given up on Iraq."

O'Reilly made his February 23 comment in response to a caller who complained that O'Reilly has "given up on Iraq." O'Reilly responded: "I haven't given up on Iraq. I'm staying ahead of the story. You know, one of the things we do very well here at The Radio Factor is we are ahead." He then stated: "I'm staying ahead on Iraq. ... I'm not a defeatist. I haven't given up."

O'Reilly also warned that "the United States cannot control a civil war in that country" and that "we would have to then step aside and let them kill each other." He said, "Now, I'm sure the Pentagon knows exactly what I'm telling you," adding that "we assume that they have some kind of plan in motion to prevent the civil war from happening."

From the February 23 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

CALLER: My question is: I really feel like you've given up on Iraq. I've been rooting this on for the whole time; I agree with most everything you say; and you've given up, considering this mosque. So, before we give up, when do we actually send an atomic bomb over there to stop the madness --

O'REILLY: Well, that would just -- if we did that -- Janet, if we did that, the whole world would turn against us. And we would be a defeated people. So, we can't possibly do anything like that.

I haven't given up on Iraq. I'm staying ahead of the story. You know, one of the things we do very well here at The Radio Factor is we are ahead. We are ahead on this port story. We are ahead on the Cheney story. We're ahead. And I'm staying ahead on Iraq. I didn't -- I'm not a defeatist. I haven't given up. But I know, for sure -- and we will talk about this with Oliver North tonight on the television side -- the United States cannot control a civil war in that country. So, there isn't enough -- we don't -- we just cannot do it -- impossible.

So, we would have to then step aside and let them kill each other. Now, you do the math. So, I'm setting up what could happen. Now, I'm sure the Pentagon knows exactly what I'm telling you. It's not a shock to them -- they know. And we assume that they have some kind of plan in motion to prevent the civil war from happening.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Westwood One
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The Radio Factor
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