Discussing Iraq during the January 24 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly claimed that "the Sunni and Shia want to kill each other. ... They have fun. This is -- they like this. This is what Allah tells them to do, and that's what they do." O'Reilly then asserted that the "essential mistake of the war" was failing to anticipate that "these people would act like savages, and they are." Later, O'Reilly said that he had not predicted that the Iraqis "were going to act like savages in the aftermath of Saddam [Hussein]," and added: "[N]ow, Iran, we know they're savages." As Media Matters for America has documented (here, here, and here), O'Reilly has repeatedly stated his indifference to the deaths of Iraqis and the fate of their country. Recently, O'Reilly claimed that Iraq is not in "civil war," but rather that Muslims are just "doing what they do. They're killing each other. And they're killing Americans."
From the January 24 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: That's what they want to do in Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, unlike Kuwait. All right. There are Muslims there, too. Unlike the Kurds in the north -- they're Muslims too -- the Sunni and Shia want to kill each other. They want to blow each other up. They want to torture each other. They have fun. This is -- they like this. This is what Allah tells them to do, and that's what they do.
All right. So, now we're standing there, going, "Where did this -- how did this happen?" That's the essential mistake of the war. That we didn't think these people would act like savages, and they are.
O'REILLY: Yeah. I mean, look, I think [Rep. Anthony] Weiner [D-NY] had a good point. Those of us who really understand the world -- and believe me, I made a mistake with Iraq, too. I did not think the Iraqi people were going to act like savages in the aftermath of Saddam. I had -- you know, I said, "Look, the Afghanis are cooperating. The Kuwaitis cooperated with us." And I didn't think they would.
But, now, Iran, we know they're savages. But it's interesting to see how the left is positioning. If you read the LA Times this week, "Oh, they're not so bad over there." Oh, no, they deny the Holocaust. "Ah, it's not -- " They want to kill Israel? "Ah, you know." They want to get a nuke. "Ah, you know." That's how the left is positioned. "Not so bad." You know, "We're overhyping the danger."
And I'm saying to myself, "Even if we are overhyping the danger, these people look to me to be Nazis." You know, that's exactly what they said about Hitler in the 1930s. "Ah, he's not that bad. He's just bluster. He's just a bluster guy." Oh, man. Said that about Mao, said it about Stalin. "We can work with Stalin. Yeah, he's not so bad."