Bill O’Reilly’s Pirate Solution

From the O’Reilly Factor last night (4/14/09):

So far, the United Nations has not responded to the pirate threat. Are you surprised? Talking Points believes the U.N. could blockade the Somali ports where the pirates live, thereby crushing the threat. Is that hard? No, all it takes is will.

I suppose what he’s really saying is that the Somali people aren’t suffering enough. Come to think of it, lashing out at civilians seems to be O’Reilly’s knee-jerk solution to a lot of problems.Consider O’Reilly’s advice in September 2001:

Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly the channel’s most popular host, declared on his September 17 broadcast that if the Afghan government did not extradite Osama bin Laden to the U.S., “the U.S. should bomb the Afghan infrastructure to rubble– the airport, the power plants, their water facilities, and the roads.” O’Reilly went on to say:

“This is a very primitive country. And taking out their ability to exist day to day will not be hard. Remember, the people of any country are ultimately responsible for the government they have. The Germans were responsible for Hitler. The Afghans are responsible for the Taliban. We should not target civilians. But if they don’t rise up against this criminal government, they starve, period.”

O’Reilly added that in Iraq, “their infrastructure must be destroyed and the population made to endure yet another round of intense pain…. Maybe then the people there will finally overthrow Saddam.” If Libya’s Moammar Khadafy does not relinquish power and go into exile, “we bomb his oil facilities, all of them. And we mine the harbor in Tripoli. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. We also destroy all the airports in Libya. Let them eat sand.”


His tone remained the same a few nights later (9/19/01), as he recommended bombing Afghanistan “in strategic ways and hope that the people themselves would rise up and throw the Taliban out.” Acknowledging that Afghans “are starving as it is,” O’Reilly recommended that the U.S. intensify civilian suffering by knocking out “what little infrastructure they have” and blowing up “every truck you see” to make sure that “there’s not going to be anything to eat.”

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.