Where do we draw the line between victim and victimizer?
Audience Member #1: We're talking about the American Civil Liberties Union? ... This is an organization that is actually trying right now to assist people down in Gitmo. The prisoners we have down in Gitmo. These prisoners we caught on the battlefield. What type of rights are we gonna give them? What type of rights should we give them, and they're trying to kill our troops, behead our troops. I mean, why should we give them any type of rights at all? ...
Audience Member #2: If we don't decide to have some absolutes, where do you draw the line? If everyone's a victim, who's the victimizer? Who gets to decide that? And while it makes some of us seem narrow-minded, we have to have some absolutes philosophically in this country.
Bill: Let me address both of those things. Relativism, moral relativism, is part of the Culture Warrior book. The foreign minister of Italy, Marcello Pera, wrote an essay and said to Americans: "Don't count on Europe in a war on terror. Don't count on us to help you fight these Islamo-fascists because we in Europe, we don't make judgments about behavior. ... So when they're gonna kill 3,000 of you, we'll sympathize, but we're not stepping up." That's relativism. Nothing to fight for. Nothing is worth it.
Now on Guantanamo Bay, it's very interesting. I've been there twice now. We need information to save lives. And according to Brian Ross—I think the best investigative reporter in the country right now—they captured Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, one of the 9/11 plotters, and they water boarded him, which means they tied him up and they dunked him in water. ... Now, they dunk Khalid Sheikh Mohamed in the water until Khalid Sheikh Mohamed said, "Hold it. I'll tell you who my friends are." They nailed 14 of them and they stopped, according to Brian Ross—not Bill O'Reilly—about a dozen terror plots that would have killed tens of thousands of people.
So you have to make a decision, ladies and gentlemen, whether you water board somebody or let 5,000 people die, alright? And that is a tough decision to make. I admit it. But I'm gonna come down...If you take the guy's eye out? No. You cut his fingers off? No. You dunk him in water to save 5,000? I'm dunkin' that guy all day long.
Is the media trustworthy?
In the Oprah show Truth in America, Frank Rich said television news was all about ratings. Does Bill think we get truth from the media?
Bill: No. I hate the media.
Oprah: You are media!
Bill: I am the media and I don't like my[self]—no. I won't talk to the print press because I'll never get quoted accurately and they'll always take cheap shots. And I know I sound like I'm whining, but I'm not. It's just the truth. I stay away from them. I believe you [Oprah] stay away from most of them. They're just untrustworthy.
What's happened in America is we have hyper-partisans now. We've divided, as many of you pointed out, we've divided the country into red states, blue states. The newspapers take a very, very strong position—although the Chicago Tribune is an exception, I like that paper—they're either very liberal or very conservative, mostly very liberal.
And television news, they're a bunch of phonies. They really are. I know all these people. They're in makeup three hours ... and they read what's put in front of them. And they're politically correct. I call it "cocktail party cred." So if you're pro-life, for example, you can't exist in network news if you're pro-life. You'll never get invited to a party. You'll be ostracized. Can you imagine if you worked for Frank Rich's employer The New York Times, and you went into work tomorrow and said, "Hey, you know, that Bill O'Reilly, he's got a hell of a show. I like that guy." Nobody'd talk to you!
Can traditionalists and secular-progressives get along?
Audience Member: You've stated that it doesn't bother you to be the subject of a lot of criticism and so forth, and I guess I would classify myself as a traditionalist, and I just want to know how do I exist in my suburban community and still have friends and state my traditionalist agenda?
Bill: Most people in America are taught never to discuss two things: politics and religion. How many times did you hear that? Politics and religion because people get emotional. ... They get angry. You know? They don't like you. They take it personally.
Now you've got to understand when you go the arena of being a t-warrior—a traditional warrior—that some people aren't gonna like you because of your belief system. Now that's unAmerican. I like this guy over here, even though he disagrees with me. I mean, I don't have anything personal against him. I'll fight him in a debate situation. But you have to take that risk. The way you present yourself really is the key.
Is collateral damage in the war in Iraq justifiable?
Audience Member: I just wanted to say it's wrong to kill women and babies, and admittedly, our forces being in there, through collateral damage, have killed innocent people.
Bill: You know how many Saddam Hussein killed?
Audience Member: We've killed innocent people.
Bill: Do you know how many?
Audience Member: Does that give us the right to kill even one? Just because he killed a bunch...
Bill: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. If you have a man that slaughtered 400,000 people as Saddam Hussein did—that's the estimates—400,000 in his reign of terror, alright? And you try to remove that man in a war-time situation that is absolutely legal because he violated the first Gulf War cease fire. Remember the first Gulf War? When he invaded Kuwait and killed thousands of people and raped thousands of women in that? All right, who went over and removed him from Kuwait? I believe that was the United States of America.
Knowing what he knows now about the war in Iraq, if Bill could go back before the war began, would he support the war?
Audience Member: There are many bad people out there. I don't disagree that [Saddam Hussein is] a bad guy. I don't disagree that somebody should take him out...
Bill: Somebody but not us, right?
Audience Member: I'm not even saying that. I'm saying that if that is the reason we were going into Iraq, then why wasn't that stated at the get-go?
Bill: It was stated as part of the package. Look, if you could go in a time capsule back to before the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] thing, I wouldn't invade Iraq. If there were no WMDs in that country, I would have said, "Don't go. Don't go. He's horrible. Awful. But we can't do this. It's too much of a sacrifice." It's been too much of a strain on the country. ...
I agree with you. But if you put the whole package together, we tried to do a noble thing for the right reasons. It has not worked out. Let's be fair about it.
What is the greatest danger in the world today?
Bill: We live in very, very demoralizing times. And we're a great country, I believe that. I think the spirit of America will prevail. I feel bad for President Bush. I think he caught a terrible break on 9/11. ... I don't think anybody was at fault for terrorism. I don't blame President Clinton for it. I'm not a blame guy. I think we'll prevail, but I think that this country is going to have to really get alert. We're gonna have to wise up and see the danger and really think about it without emotion and ideology.
Oprah: And what are the things that are most dangerous?
Bill: Iran is very, very dangerous. ...
Oprah: North Korea?
Bill: North Korea, I think China can contain North Korea. I do. But Iran worries me very much because Iran will get the weapons of mass destruction. They will give them to the terrorists and Cleveland can go up like that. So I think we have to pay attention to this jihad. We have to pay attention and we have to be a country. I really wish we would be more united—maybe the next president can do that—because once united, nobody's gonna beat America.
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