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Monday, July 15, 2024
HomePolicyGet Real Bill O’Reilly – You’re Not ‘Looking Out For The Folks’ On Syria!

Get Real Bill O’Reilly – You’re Not ‘Looking Out For The Folks’ On Syria!

Mr. Bill O’Reilly has certainly made a good living claiming that he is “looking out for you” – “the folks.” Increasingly, however, I find myself in staunch conflict with the positions he has taken on a number of issues, which is supposed to be consistent with his little slogan.  Syria, which we shall get to shortly, is but one issue on a list that includes immigration reform, Obamacare and gun control. O’Reilly has made statements about immigration reform and how to handle Obamacare politically, which can be correctly compared to Speaker Boehner. Immigration reform, too, is supported in its current “Gang of Eight” form by both men, as well. Speaker Boehner is in deep trouble for these position in his own district, which you can read about by clicking here.

I think we can agree that supporting immigration reform, which was written for and by big business, will not help “the folks” in middle America. Even though the CBO, itself, agreed with her, Laura Ingraham could not seem to get that through to Bill O’Reilly in an interview that aired immediately after the release of the CBO report. I once thought that Bill O’Reilly was simply buying into the false post-election analysis like other establishment Republicans who feel politically pressured to support immigration reform. I debunked that view in a June article, which you can read here.

However, after learning that the Catholic Church will now tell their parishioners that God would want them to support immigration reform, I am a bit more cynical. For 40 years, approximately, the church has done little more than sit around while 1 million babies are killed annually out of convenience. But now, because of unjust immigration laws, they will ignore tax law because it is the humane thing to do? Oh, please. Perhaps, the new Latin Pope feels his presence can draw in more Latino donations. Tithe, baby tithe.

On gun control, you are just not a practical person in Mr. O’Reilly’s eyes if you didn’t support the national database setup in the Toomey-Manchin Compromise, and forget about the NSA and IRS scandals. What the matter? You don’t trust your government? That’s just not “fair-minded,” America.

The same is true on Obamacare, which is consistently referred to by Mr. O’Reilly in terms of political expedience. What about the fact that the American people happen to agree with Sens. Cruz and Lee (Sign the Petition to Defund Obamacare by clicking here)? Well, I guess we are all just too stupid to understand the political consequences of opposing the funding of a bill that no one in America likes (see Karl Rove for further clarification), which brings me to Syria.

“Who’s going to vote against that besides the loons?” he said to guest, Karl Rove in the video below. “What politician wants to be labeled, ‘Well, go ahead and use poison gas, kill the children, and we’re not going to do anything about it’?”

“There are a lot of people who said ‘We don’t care about Saddam Hussein,’ and voted no,” Rove opined, speaking specifically about “isolationists” in Congress during the debate over Iraq in Bush’s first term. We will discuss inappropriate historical analogies more in a moment, but let’s stick with the “loons” label, both in Congress and the “loons” they represent. Below is the latest average of polls conducted over the last week to gauge public opinion on Syria. Seeing as how Mr. Bill O’Reilly has expressed his blind support for the United States getting involved in Syria, it is only fair to see if “you” – “the folks” – are considered “loons” by his standard, because he is “looking out for you” remember.

Poll Date Sample Support Oppose Spread
Average of Polls 8/31 – 9/9 30.3 58.7 Oppose +28.4
McClatchy/Marist 9/7 – 9/8 963 A 32 58 Oppose +26
FOX News 9/6 – 9/8 900 RV 36 61 Oppose +25
Associated Press/GfK 9/6 – 9/8 1007 A 26 61 Oppose +35
CBS News/NY Times 9/6 – 9/8 1011 A 30 61 Oppose +31
CNN/Opinion Research 9/6 – 9/8 1022 A 39 59 Oppose +20
Reuters/Ipsos 9/5 – 9/9 1450 A 26 52 Oppose +26
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 9/5 – 9/8 1000 A 33 58 Oppose +25
Rasmussen Reports 9/6 – 9/7 1000 LV 27 59 Oppose +32
USA Today/Pew Research 9/4 – 9/8 1506 A 28 63 Oppose +35
ABC News/Wash Post 9/4 – 9/8 1020 A 30 64 Oppose +34
Gallup* 9/3 – 9/4 1021 A 36 51 Oppose +15
The Economist/YouGov 8/31 – 9/2 1000 A 20 57 Oppose +37

Wow! Apparently, there are a lot of “loons” in mainstream America. But is it just mainstream America? In fact, due to the Syria blunder, the average of latest polls has President Obama’s approval on foreign policy at 36.5% approve, while 53.5% disapprove, which is a spread that is underwater by -17%. Let’s take a look at a few more clips and decide for ourselves whether or not the most powerful man in primetime news is truly “looking out for you” – “the loons” – oh sorry, the folks. It would seem that Fox News’ own military analysts fall into O’Reilly’s “loon” category, as well. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and Col. David Hunt both told O’Reilly there are still too many uncertainties, like whether the chemical weapons were really used by the Assad regime or if, in fact, they were used by the FSA rebels.

It is becoming one of Bill O’Reilly’s nasty habits to open his mouth before he does his homework, which is a fairly recent development in all seriousness. Chemical weapons can be delivered by extremely primitive systems, even if the fighting force was in fact primitive, which the FSA is not. They are CIA-trained and terrorist-trained operatives who easily could have obtained both the weapons and the delivery systems over a year ago. Peters told O’Reilly the U.S. cannot be “helping al-Qaeda” in the name of responding to a brutal “murderer” in charge, saying there are two sides to pick from: a “despicable… monster” with an army behind him, or “the team that brought you 9/11.” In other words, “our enemies are killing each other.” He claimed that President Obama only wants to send in missiles to redeem his “personal image,” but O’Reilly insisted this is a humanitarian issue and letting Assad get away with using chemical weapons would be a dangerous precedent, likening the two men to those who argued against U.S. involvement in World War II.

This is one of those inaccurate historical analogies, and Peters lets O’Reilly know when he says he is “absolutely wrong,” likening the Syrian dictator, al-Assad to Adolf Hitler and fighting the fascist Japanese. Bill O’Reilly is blindly trusting the word of the most incompetent leadership in foreign policy in decades – both in the White House and Congress – and it is always a tell-tale sign that someone doesn’t have a comprehensive grip on foreign policy when they resort to such analogies. Bosnia was another such comparison, which is completely lacking in basis.

First starters, NATO’s intervention in Bosnia deemed “Operation Deliberate Force” did not end the conflict, as Slobodan Milošević returned in the late 1990s presenting a greater atrocity. Arguing for the primacy of land power in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, security scholar John Mearsheimer, demolished the false idea that the NATO air campaign was vital to Slobodan Milošević surrendering in 1999. NATO was preparing for a massive land invasion, and in late May of 1999, the Clinton administration sent a clear message via the Russians that NATO would soon send that invasion into Kosovo.

Russia, which was Slobodan Milošević’s key ally, pulled their support in June responding to what they viewed to be a credible threat of a NATO ground attack. Only then did Slobodan Milošević surrender and, if Bill O’Reilly studied international relations or had any proficiency in the subject, then he would stop making the false analogy. Had it not been for the threat of ground invasion, Slobodan Milošević would have kept flipping off of the F-15 fighters flying overhead. I didn’t go to Ha-ha-ha-Harvard as Mr. O’Reilly did, but I did complete an international relations scholarship designed by the State Department as an undergraduate, and there has never been any credible study to refute Mearsheimer’s interpretation.

In fact, the primacy of land power has never been challenged. “It’s got to be done quickly. Bang, boom. And then let the chips fall where they may. But no more dead kids breathing poison gas,” he claims. Now an actual appropriate analogy for a strategy to “let the chips fall where they may” would be the end of World War I, when we did and Adolf Hitler came to power. Another appropriate analogy is the other so-called successful air-only campaign proponents of a Syria intervention have cited – Libya. Next topic.

The next clip shows the interview O’Reilly conducted with Democrat Kirsten Powers and Republican Kate Obenshain. Let’s watch this clip and respond to a few of O’Reilly’s statements, which in my opinion, the ladies did a great job defending against.


The notion that somehow Sen. John McCain speaks and his words should be taken as Gospel is terrifying to me. He was wrong in Egypt, Libya, and he is now wrong in Syria. O’Reilly chastised Obenshain, suggesting that her concept of who makes up the rebel force must have been something she read “off of some Internet site,” because Sen. McCain just said otherwise. Even the New York Times scrutinized the optimistic numbers of radical forces making up the FSA, which Kerry and McCain frequently spout.

In a recent New York Times article, the exchange between Representative Michael McCaul R-TX, and Sec. Kerry seemed to be disturbing. “Mr. Kerry said that there were 70,000 to 100,000 “oppositionists.” Of these, he said, some 15 percent to 20 percent were “bad guys” or extremists,” but Mr. McCaul “had been told in briefings that half of the opposition fighters were extremists.” The article went on in response to the new video depicting the execution of 7 unarmed prisoners by the so-called Free Syrian Army.

McCain is either lying or ignorant to Islamist infiltration into the FSA, with some estimates reaching as high as half of the Syrian rebel force. Powers asked, “Has John McCain never been wrong about anything Bill?” In fact, O’Reilly mocks the idea that the powerful, such as John Kerry and McCain, perhaps do not know what they are talking about or are flat-out lying.

Obenshain seemed taken back by O’Reilly’s ignorance or naivety, and, she should have been. Obviously, O’Reilly has not been paying attention to U.S. foreign policy since the Marshall Plan? It is an incoherent disaster, filled with liberal internationalist rhetoric that is based in false assumptions about the international anarchist system in which states actors make decisions. O’Reilly, and other liberal internationalist elites, seem to fail to understand that the Geneva convention and “international norms” are violated everyday. They never changed the international system and, they never will. Selective outrage, or when we pick and choose who to respond to and how to respond is not a cohesive foreign policy. It’s arbitrary action that tells the world that the U.S. has no clear security objective.

From the close of World War II to now, and the establishment of the United Nations, the United States has ceded security interests for a false and unattainable goal, all of which elitists like Bill O’Reilly are dead wrong to believe in. Since I brought up the very-blunt John Mearsheimer, I will again use him to educate the very-blunt Mr. Bill O’Reilly:

The rhetoric about the growing strength of international institutions [who make the stupid norms that O’Reilly cares so much about] notwithstanding, there is little evidence that they can get great powers to act contrary to the dictates of realism. I know of no study that provides evidence to support that claim. (quoted from The Tragedy of Great Power Politics pg. 364)

If I haven’t given it away yet, I am a realist. The reason is simple and real – and yes, pun intended. In academia, which is typical filled with Ivory Tower theories that government implements, the scholarship actually doesn’t comport with the policy. Liberal internationalists have been scholastically demolished by realists and, at this point, the fight is within realism. Do states act offensively or defensively? Is there status quo power or is it never enough? All are realist questions and none have to do with false international norms or challenges to realpolitik, or balance of power politics.

As Charles Krauthammer said, “The whole notion of the international community is a ridiculous fiction that liberals have invented. ”There is no international community. There is the United States and their allies.” Why do you think Krauthammer, as well as other prominent neoconservatives, are for staying out of Syria? Neocons are out of their mind, but they aren’t in denial about the international system. You can watch that video below:


What is a real – not an imagined concern such as the integrity of fake international norms – is Krauthammer’s concern about the possibility of a major regional war. Consequently, neocon and former Ambassador John Bolton is also opposed to action, because with the unknowns surrounding the rebel force it is the cold calculating interest of the United States to simply let them kill each other. If we are worried about the balance of power in the Middle East, then we should focus on Iran instead of a Syrian proxy war that will bring to power another Islamist regime (i.e., Egypt and Libya) with tremendous potential for disaster. The reality of power politics is that there is no such thing as “limited” strikes to increase relative power, there is only wars using primacy of power, which reserves all options including ground forces.

Subsequently, because I already know what some of you are thinking, the Iraq War was also not an appropriate analogy for the following reasons:

  1. Assad has not demonstrated aggression in the international system toward the U.S., as Saddam Hussein had done.
  2. Assad did not pay an Islamist hit-man to assassinate President Obama, as Saddam Hussein had done to George H.W. Bush.
  3. Intervention in Syria may lead to a multi-nation conflagration, as Iraq couldn’t have and did not.
  4. Opposition to Assad does not have the will or capacity to set up a functional Middle East democracy, as Iraq did.
  5. Assad only has chemical weapons because liberal opposition gave Saddam Hussein the time to move them to Syria, which we are dealing with now. Thanks, Obama. By the way, we did find WMDs in Iraq, just not stockpiles, because Assad has them now.
  6. A limited attack on Syria would not so terrify other dictators in the Middle East that they would promptly surrender their WMDs, as say, Libya and others did after the attack on Iraq.

That being said, I still was not a vehement supporter of the Iraq War, and neither was our friend John Mearsheimer, because there was no immediate threat to the balance of power. Although a final vote has yet to occur, perhaps this time around the policy will follow the intellectual decision-making process, because a majority of lawmakers are also “loons” as defined by O’Reilly.

He seems to be confident in his belief that despite there not being a strong majority of Americans supporting military intervention in Syria, President Obama will have no trouble getting congressional approval to strike, nevertheless. But according to RealClearDefense, which has assembled a “whip count” analyzing how House members are likely to vote on the authorization for use of military force in Syria, the count is currently not even close. As of today, 184 Republicans are “No” or “Leaning No” against the intervention, while only 10 support the plan with leaners. A total of 63 Democrats are “No” or “Lean No” against the action proposed by their party’s president.

ABCthe Washington Post, and The Hill all have their own whip counts as well, but it is clear that the resolution will fail in the House, at least, if it were voted on today. In the Senate, the resolution has a better chance at passing, but with only 38 “Yes” or “Lean Yes” votes altogether, and 27 “No” or “Lean No” votes. With so much opposition mounting in the House of Representatives, some of the undecided Senators may find it prudent to vote “No” to cover their own political tails, as public opinion seen above is solidly against the action.

Greg Sargent, of the Washington Post, recently outlined why some Democrats in the House still believe that a resolution can pass, and it is certainly noteworthy enough to read. Let’s hope the aides he was speaking to also are not speaking to Mr. Bill O’Reilly, but is certainly seems that he is just as disconnected from “the folks” as those he purports to protect them from. I have given him accolade, for which he is deserving on issues of racial division, but on Syria, Bill O’Reilly is not “looking on for you” folks.

Look at the list of those who stand to benefit from U.S. intervention in Syria. For starters, the Saudis and Gulf Arabs, with the $110-a-barrel oil they sell U.S. consumers, have committed to pay for the Tomahawk missiles we will launch. “Has it come to this — U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen as the mercenaries of sheiks, sultans and emirs, Hessians of the New World Order, hired out to do the big-time killing for Saudi and Sunni royals?” asked Pat Buchanan the other day. The New World Order, which is in complete disorder, that’s who Bill O’Reilly is “looking out for” on Syria, America.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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