O'Reilly's "experts" wrong again: He said they "believe the insurgents have been badly hurt"

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly claimed that "most experts believe the insurgents have been badly hurt" in Iraq. O'Reilly offered no support for his claim. Indeed, a May 31 article in The Washington Post reported "evidence of a new intensity in the violence in Iraq and underlining the security problems facing the country's 10-day-old government," and the Brookings Institution released a study showing that there were 55 "multiple-fatality bombings" in May 2006, the highest total of any month during the war. Various news reports also describe a recent increase in violence in Iraq.

On the May 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly claimed that "most experts believe the insurgents have been badly hurt" in Iraq. O'Reilly offered no support for his claim. Indeed, a May 31 article in The Washington Post reported "evidence of a new intensity in the violence in Iraq and underlining the security problems facing the country's 10-day-old government," and the Brookings Institution released a study showing that, as of May 29, there were 55 "multiple-fatality bombings" in May 2006, the highest total of any month during the war. Various news reports also describe a recent increase in violence in Iraq; the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which tracks casualties in Iraq, has counted 67 American deaths so far in May 2006 and 76 deaths in April 2006. April was the deadliest month for American soldiers in Iraq since November 2005.

As Media Matters for America previously noted, O'Reilly has made false claims before based on "what [his] military analysts" tell him.

From the May 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. Chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

Over the weekend, while most of us were celebrating the heroism of those who have died defending America, some Afghanis were rioting and some Iraqis were killing civilians. In Kabul, a traffic accident led to this display, mostly young men who hate America causing trouble in the streets. All of this got major play in the U.S. media. And in Iraq, the CBS News team was bombed by terrorists. The cameraman and sound man were killed. Correspondent Kimberly Dozier badly hurt. She is now in Germany and is expected to recover.

The chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq will never end, because there will always be people who hate Americans, and we are an occupying force in those countries. The very important question is how do we as citizens process what's going on in those theaters of war? In Afghanistan, the Taliban are just waiting until we leave and will always be waiting. Whether the [Afghanistan President Hamid] Karzai government will ever be strong enough to defeat them is an open question. In Iraq, the terrorists will never stop bombing, no matter what government's in place. The situation will parallel Israel. Terrorism will always be on display. That's the truth.

Terrorism is here to stay. Muslim fanatics are not going anywhere. So what should the USA do? Well, the first thing is to be realistic. If we could go back to the fall of 2001, right after 9-11, you'd still have to invade Afghanistan. No way could the USA allow Al Qaeda to remain there. But Iraq should be a lesson learned. We cannot ever again put American boots on the ground in a hostile Arab country.

Iraq was an optional war. There will always be or there were other ways, I should say, of removing Saddam. That being said, the [Rep.] John Murtha [D-PA] solution of cutting and running would lead to greater conflicts down the road, as Iran would dominate the Gulf. Even though the headlines are bloody, the USA could well win in Iraq. Most experts believe the insurgents have been badly hurt.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.