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Mistakes were made, but extreme left's claims of Iraq 'lies' ring hollow

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed his nation about his resignation. Blair, whose poll numbers are very low due primarily to Iraq, looked the camera straight in the eye and said that every decision he made while in office came from a sincere effort to do what was best for his country.

Blair touched his heart when he said that. Watching him across the ocean, I believed Tony Blair.

That same evening, I stumbled across Jane Fonda on CNN, her second home. Fonda looked glassy-eyed as she rambled on about being in love - this time it was real - you know the drill.

I was about to switch off when Larry King abruptly changed the subject and asked Fonda about Iraq. The actress pursed her lips and launched into the "Bush lied" routine. Her thesis was that macho men got us into the war to bolster their manhood. She ended her diatribe by saying that all the leaders who supported Iraq were afraid of "premature evacuation."

Of course, Blair is one of those leaders.

There is no question in my mind that President Bush had no plan "B" when the Iraqi people decided not to fight for their freedom after Saddam fell.

That is the crux of the mess in Iraq. If the Iraqis had cooperated with America and Britain the way the Kuwaitis did when we liberated them after the first Gulf War, Bush and Blair would have been riding high. But the Iraqis did not.

Instead, many Iraqis embraced ancient hatreds and corruption, and some even cooperated with al-Qaida. The ensuing chaos and death is heartbreaking to those of us who believe Iraq could be a free nation if only the people had the will.

So the struggle in Iraq was a tactical failure on the part of the Bush administration, and Blair got caught up in it. But to Jane Fonda and the "blame America" first cadre, it's all about "lies."

The striking thing about comparing Fonda, Sean Penn, Rosie O'Donnell, et al to Tony Blair is the demeanor factor. I mean, put your politics aside for a moment, who do you want to have dinner with, Blair or Fonda?

Growing up in Levittown, N.Y., there was always vigorous debate in the neighborhood over everything. In the sixth grade, I remember my class divided over John F. Kennedy or Richard Nixon. But nobody hated anybody. We all kicked it around and remained friends. Which, of course, is the American way.

But gimlet-eyed Jane and her crew despise people with whom they disagree and routinely assign them sinister motives. And instead of being called on it, these far-left fanatics actually are accepted in many quarters and glorified in much of the media.

Well, I'm tired of it. Fonda, O'Donnell and the other irresponsible America haters should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, is there a rational person who believes Bush, Blair and Secretary of State Colin Powell purposely lied to the world in order to remove Saddam Hussein? If you believe that, you need to see somebody.

The bottom line on this is that there are Americans who despise their country and, increasingly, they are becoming accepted. This makes me queasy. And that comes from the heart.

Let me ask you this simple question. If you could have dinner with Fonda or Blair, who would you pick? If each told you something, which one would you tend to believe?

Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His "Radio Factor" can be heard weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at letters@gwinnettdailypost.com. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.