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Mark Steyn: We tried appeasement once before...
The Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 03/23/04 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 03/22/2004 4:06:01 PM PST by Pokey78

A neighbour of mine refuses to let her boy play with "militaristic" toys. So when a friend gave the l'il tyke a plastic sword and shield, mom mulled it over and then took away the former and allowed him to keep the latter. And for a while, on my drive down to town, I'd pass Junior in the yard playing with his shield, mastering the art of cowering more effectively against unseen blows.

That's how the "peace" crowd thinks the West should fight terrorism: eschew the sword, but keep the shield if you absolutely have to. Yesterday, The Telegraph reported that two Greenpeace activists had climbed up to Big Ben to protest at the Iraq war. Don't ask me why Greenpeace is opposed to the liberation of Iraq. It's been marvellous for the eco-system: the marshlands of southern Iraq are now being restored after decades of Saddamite devastation.

Nevertheless, the Greenpeace guys shinned up St Stephen's Tower, just as a couple of months before that a Mirror reporter blagged his way into a servants' gig at Buckingham Palace just in time for the Bush visit, and a couple of months before that an Osama lookalike gatecrashed Prince William's party.

History repeats itself: farce, farce, farce, but sooner or later tragedy is bound to kick in. The inability of the state to secure even the three highest-profile targets in the realm - the Queen, her heir, her Parliament - should remind us that a defensive war against terrorism will ensure terrorism. Tony Blair understands that. Few other European leaders do.

For more than a week now, American friends have asked me why 3/11 wasn't 9/11. I think it comes down to those two words you find on Holocaust memorials all over Europe: "Never again." Fine-sounding, but claptrap. The never-again scenario comes round again every year. This very minute in North Korea there are entire families interned in concentration camps. Concentration camps with gas chambers. Think Kim Jong-Il's worried that the civilised world might mean something by those two words? Ha-ha.

How did a pledge to the memory of the dead decay into hollow moral preening? When an American Jew stands at the gates of a former concentration camp and sees the inscription "Never again", he assumes it's a commitment never again to tolerate genocide. Alain Finkielkraut, a French thinker, says that those two words to a European mean this: never again the führers and duces who enabled such genocide. "Never again power politics. Never again nationalism. Never again Auschwitz" - a slightly different set of priorities. And over the years a revulsion against any kind of "power politics" has come to trump whatever revulsion post-Auschwitz Europe might feel about mass murder.

That's why the EU let hundreds of thousands of Bosnians and Croats die on its borders until the Americans were permitted to step in. That's why the fact that thousands of Iraqis are no longer being murdered by their government is trivial when weighed against the use of Anglo-American military force required to effect their freedom. "Never again" has evolved to mean precisely the kind of passivity that enabled the Holocaust first time round. "Neville again" would be a better slogan.

Among all the foolish apologists for the murderers of Madrid, it was the Reverend Mark Beach who happened to catch my eye. Preaching at St Andrew's Church, Rugby, nine days ago, Mr Beach said: "The people of Madrid are reaping the fruits of our intolerance towards those of different races and religions. The war in Iraq was never going to solve the problems of that region but instead inflamed Arab people all over the world to new heights of anger towards the West."

God Almighty. The sooner the Potemkin Church of England is sold for scrap the better. Almost every word of Mr Beach's is false; there are mosques in the English Midlands, but no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia. Its official tourism commission lists among prohibited categories of visitor "Jewish persons".

It is precisely because the West is so open to different races that Islamist bombers can blend in on Madrid commuter trains, and the Tube and the Paris Metro, in a way that, say, a team of blond, blue-eyed Aryan bombers certainly couldn't in Damascus. The war in Iraq has actually solved quite a few problems in that region, and Arab people all over the world aren't inflamed - the allegedly seething Arab street is as somnolent as ever.

In 2002 and 2003, I took a couple of two-legged, mini fact-finding trips - first to western Europe, then on to the Middle East. And both times I was struck by the way the Muslims of Araby were far less inflamed than those in the alienated immigrant ghettoes around Paris and Amsterdam. Life in the West, exposure to the self-loathing platitudes of Anglican clerics, these are the sort of things that seem to inflame Muslims. Many of the wackiest Islamists from Richard Reid to Zacarias Moussaoui to Metin Kaplan are products of the enervated Europe symbolised by the Rev Mark Beach.

A century ago, in The Riddle Of The Sands, the first great English spy novel, Erskine Childers has his yachtsman, Davies, try to persuade the Foreign Office wallah Carruthers to take seriously the possibility of German naval marauders in the Fresian Islands: "Follow the parallel of a war on land. People your mountains with a daring and resourceful race, who possess an intimate knowledge of every track and bridlepath, who operate in small bands, travel light, and move rapidly. See what an immense advantage such guerrillas possess over an enemy which clings to beaten tracks, moves in large bodies, slowly, and does not 'know the country'."

Davies wants Carruthers to apply the old principles to new forms of warfare. The Islamists are doing that. Their most effective guerrillas aren't in the Hindu Kush, where it is the work of moments to drop a daisycutter on the mighty Pashtun warrior. They're travelling light on the bridle-paths of Europe - the small cells that operate in the nooks and crannies of a free society, while politicians cling to the beaten tracks - old ideas, multicultural pieties and a general hope that things will turn out for the best.

That's the drawback of sticking with the "Neville again" routine: appeasement is even less effective when the faraway country of which you know little is your own.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: appeasement; marksteyn; marksteynlist; steyn
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1 posted on 03/22/2004 4:06:02 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

2 posted on 03/22/2004 4:06:49 PM PST by Pokey78 (Steyn: Leftists demonize Wolfowitz because his name begins with a big scary animal and ends Jewishly)
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To: Pokey78
Their most effective guerrillas aren't in the Hindu Kush, where it is the work of moments to drop a daisycutter on the mighty Pashtun warrior. They're travelling light on the bridle-paths of Europe - the small cells that operate in the nooks and crannies of a free society, while politicians cling to the beaten tracks - old ideas, multicultural pieties and a general hope that things will turn out for the best.

This is an excellent point. I wonder how many cells are in the US?

3 posted on 03/22/2004 4:10:48 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Pokey78
the "Neville again" routine

Snort, guffaw...

4 posted on 03/22/2004 4:11:56 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: Pokey78

5 posted on 03/22/2004 4:13:05 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Space Available for Rent or Lease by the Day, Week, or Month. Reasonable Rates. Inquire within.)
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To: Pokey78
'Eurabia' will rise on the ashes of what was once Europe..
unless
these idiots are exposed and somehow removed from influence.

Actually, that would be fine with me EXCEPT I know we'll get sucked into it...AGAIN!!

6 posted on 03/22/2004 4:15:50 PM PST by evad (Such an enemy cannot be deterred, detained, appeased, or negotiated with. It can only be destroyed)
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To: Pokey78
And for a while, on my drive down to town, I'd pass Junior in the yard playing with his shield, mastering the art of cowering more effectively against unseen blows.

Steyn is the master of metaphor. I am not worthy to read such wit!

7 posted on 03/22/2004 4:15:59 PM PST by thoughtomator (Voting Bush because there is no reasonable alternative)
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To: Pokey78
.... appeasement is even less effective when the faraway country of which you know little is your own.

Steyn Rocks!

8 posted on 03/22/2004 4:17:05 PM PST by zarf (..where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment?)
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To: Pokey78
"The people of Madrid are reaping the fruits of our intolerance towards those of different races and religions. The war in Iraq was never going to solve the problems of that region but instead inflamed Arab people all over the world to new heights of anger towards the West."
9 posted on 03/22/2004 4:20:53 PM PST by Guillermo (Your own personal Konservative Klick-Guerilla)
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To: Pokey78
Bump
10 posted on 03/22/2004 4:24:06 PM PST by scoopscandal
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To: Pokey78
farce, farce, farce, but sooner or later tragedy is bound to kick in.

Yes, farce, but so very costly.

11 posted on 03/22/2004 4:25:20 PM PST by Molly Pitcher (Carter's idiocy is surpassed only by his uselessness.)
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To: Pokey78; autoresponder; onyx; PhilDragoo; devolve
God Almighty. The sooner the Potemkin Church of England is sold for scrap the better. Almost every word of Mr Beach's is false; there are mosques in the English Midlands, but no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia. Its official tourism commission lists among prohibited categories of visitor "Jewish persons".

It is precisely because the West is so open to different races that Islamist bombers can blend in on Madrid commuter trains, and the Tube and the Paris Metro, in a way that, say, a team of blond, blue-eyed Aryan bombers certainly couldn't in Damascus. The war in Iraq has actually solved quite a few problems in that region, and Arab people all over the world aren't inflamed - the allegedly seething Arab street is as somnolent as ever.


12 posted on 03/22/2004 4:33:57 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (The Democrats say they believe in CHOICE. I have chosen to vote STRAIGHT TICKET GOP for years !!)
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To: Pokey78
Bump
13 posted on 03/22/2004 4:37:56 PM PST by JWinNC
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To: Pokey78
EXCELLENT! (of course)


14 posted on 03/22/2004 4:39:08 PM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: Pokey78
"Don't ask me why Greenpeace is opposed to the liberation of Iraq. It's been marvellous for the eco-system: the marshlands of southern Iraq are now being restored after decades of Saddamite devastation."

Excellent point. And Steyn doesn't even mention the oil well fires and the oil spill that Saddam deliberately created to punish Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1991, at least ten (and some estimates say twenty) times the size of the Exxon Valdez spill. He also spilled millions of tons of oil into the -desert-, believe it or not... creating massive on-land oil spills for little more than Carthagenian spite as he retreated from U.S. forces in Kuwait.

By -all- accounts, Saddam Hussein was the biggest bio-terrorist in world history. No single individual has done more to destroy the land and environment than him - NONE. No, not even the worst oil-guzzling SUV drivers in the U.S. could ever dream of collectively doing as much damage to Mother Gaea as Saddam Hussein did.

And yet, the Greens were okay with keeping him in power. Why?

Well, I am one who believes this really needs a treatise-length analysis (and Steyn's just the guy to do it actually). But here's my short answer: Because this is validation of what many, including myself, have been saying all along. Greens are absolutely NOTHING except a front for Communist ideology. They are watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside. Saddam, as a Baathist, was more Communist than anything else, and as such he was tolerable to them.

What -this- proves it that if ever any conflict occurs between their real and mask ideologies, where the purported greens need to choose between green and red, they'll pick red, and they'll pick red -every- time, because if Saddam couldn't motivate them to actually stick to their green principles over red, nothing ever will.

This point needs to be expanded upon a LOT more in the media, but of course that will never happen outside of conservative media.

Qwinn
15 posted on 03/22/2004 4:43:05 PM PST by Qwinn
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To: Pokey78
He speaks with so much clarity, you have to wonder if the europeans understand a word of it.
16 posted on 03/22/2004 4:54:41 PM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: Pokey78
appeasement is even less effective when the faraway country of which you know little is your own.

Ooooh, *that's* gonna leave a mark...

17 posted on 03/22/2004 4:59:46 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Pokey78
I was struck by the way the Muslims of Araby were far less inflamed than those in the alienated immigrant ghettoes around Paris and Amsterdam.

And this is what the dems would have for our future. Great multitudes of oppressed people on the doles.

In their own odd way Arabs have a keen awareness of honor, something there is no place for in the world of eurocrats and socialists.

Steyn has a keen eye

18 posted on 03/22/2004 5:00:07 PM PST by mylife
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To: Pokey78
"Never again" has evolved to mean precisely the kind of passivity that enabled the Holocaust first time round. "Neville again" would be a better slogan.

This man can turn a phrase.

19 posted on 03/22/2004 5:07:42 PM PST by Aeronaut (John Kerry's mother always told him that if you can't say anything nice, run for president. ....)
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To: Pokey78
The inability of the state to secure even the three highest-profile targets in the realm - the Queen, her heir, her Parliament - should remind us that a defensive war against terrorism will ensure terrorism.

Unless you're Israel, in which case it's "Juden raus!" and into the gas chambers without a murmer.

20 posted on 03/22/2004 5:11:26 PM PST by Agnes Heep
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To: Pokey78
"The people of Madrid are reaping the fruits of our intolerance towards those of different races and religions. The war in Iraq was never going to solve the problems of that region but instead inflamed Arab people all over the world to new heights of anger towards the West."

All those who spout this claptrap can never explain why the Taliban destroyed the thousand-year-old statues of Buddha.

Somehow, I doubt it is because they don't like America.

21 posted on 03/22/2004 5:16:35 PM PST by DuncanWaring (...and Freedom tastes of Reality)
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To: Pokey78
>>"Neville again" would be a better slogan.

Devestatingly accurate. Steyn weilds words like a rapier.
22 posted on 03/22/2004 5:18:51 PM PST by FreedomPoster (This space intentionally blank)
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To: Pokey78
That's why the fact that thousands of Iraqis are no longer being murdered by their government is trivial when weighed against the use of Anglo-American military force required to effect their freedom.

That's also why every one of them prefers to talk principle rather than result. That is, in fact, moral cowardice.

Steyn has hit a sore spot here - a sharp point, and it isn't, IMHO, particularly humorous. It is simply this: under the principles of national sovereignty, intervening at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen to save the Jews was wrong, despite the clear common-sense humanitarian moral imperative to do so. When this sort of dissonance is experienced, it's time to re-examine these principles. But the left refuses do so - and that is the moral cowardice of which I speak.

23 posted on 03/22/2004 5:23:02 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Pokey78
BTTT
24 posted on 03/22/2004 5:27:49 PM PST by Gritty ("The sooner the Potemkin Church of England is sold for scrap the better"-Mark Steyn)
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To: evad
"Actually, that would be fine with me EXCEPT I know we'll get sucked into it...AGAIN!!"

Well, forget about that part of it for a minute. The Islamofascists will not stop at Eurabia, they want Amerabia and Aisan-abia as well.

We've got to end all immigration, if only to keep the Muslim population from growing here.


25 posted on 03/22/2004 5:33:52 PM PST by jocon307 (The dems don't get it, the American people do.)
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To: Pokey78
Which EURABIAN country will be the first to adopt Sharia law?
26 posted on 03/22/2004 5:49:54 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Pokey78
I gave my niece's son a Vietnam GI Joe a couple of years ago . They took away his M-16 and knife. They left his claymore, though.
27 posted on 03/22/2004 5:54:36 PM PST by jordan8
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To: Pokey78
Thank God for Winston Churchill!

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." - Winston Churchill

28 posted on 03/22/2004 6:02:03 PM PST by Susannah (visit http://www.masada2000.org/historical.html for a map history of shrinking Israel)
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To: Pokey78
Bumpity-bump-bump!
29 posted on 03/22/2004 6:17:06 PM PST by Rummyfan
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To: Billthedrill
I agree with you that this column did not engender the kind of amusement so frequent in Steyn's work. Sure, the clever turn of phrase evoked a few grins, but predominant in my reaction was sadness and anger.

But I disagree with the notion of "humanitarian moral imperative," even if moderated by "common-sense," as a guide for national involvement in international affairs. I guess I'm a little more "realpolitic," a little less "neocon." Human injustice cries out from around the globe. We should intervene only where our national interest dictates. True enough, the war on terror has certainly expanded the neighborhood, when rag heads in Kabul plan the destruction of the lower end of Manhattan. This we have to crush. And we have to try to leave behind a middle east that will be, at best, a place unlikely to generate the psychopaths of al Qaeda because of a decent social order in their countries, or, at worst, a place that understands that the costs of messing with us are socially unbearable. I believe we should police our nearby region--beginning with the abomination that is Cuba. But the Balkans should be a Europeon responsibility. And Africa must develop regional powers which can play a guardian role. (In theory, Egypt and South Africa could be such, unlikely as that seems now.) I believe it is in our national character to avoid "foreign entanglements" and we should adhere as much as is reasonable to this. Besides, we do the most good, in the moral, as well as physical, sense when we encourage trade and capitalism--our greatest genius.

30 posted on 03/22/2004 6:18:08 PM PST by Faraday
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To: Pokey78
Brilliant, as usual.
31 posted on 03/22/2004 6:38:22 PM PST by spodefly (A tagline is a terrible thing to waste.)
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To: Pokey78
A neighbour of mine refuses to let her boy play with "militaristic" toys

There are more and more of these imbeciles around. Worse: they keep getting jobs as teachers.

32 posted on 03/22/2004 6:38:22 PM PST by irv
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To: Pokey78
Brilliant, as usual.
33 posted on 03/22/2004 6:38:39 PM PST by spodefly (A tagline is a terrible thing to waste.)
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To: Pokey78
Steyn bump! Greatest journalist since Ambrose Bierce, and much more cheerful, even when he's really mad, like this time.
34 posted on 03/22/2004 6:58:16 PM PST by Tax-chick (Please put your hearts at ease. We have activated the national security mechanism.)
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To: Pokey78
Excellent as usual!
35 posted on 03/22/2004 7:04:45 PM PST by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: Pokey78
Talk about short and too the point...

"Never again" has evolved to mean precisely the kind of passivity that enabled the Holocaust first time round. "Neville again" would be a better slogan.

36 posted on 03/22/2004 7:18:21 PM PST by GOPJ (NFL Owners: Grown men don't watch hollywood peep shows with wives and children.)
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To: Faraday
Sorry for the late reply - I don't disagree with the notion that we should intervene when our national interests are at stake, but I suggest to you that there comes a point at which one of those national interests is to make the statement that there are abuses that will not be ignored however cleverly the abuser hides behind the constraints of sovereignty. In short, a little unpredictability is a healthy tonic, and to keep a tyrant guessing when the hammer might fall is more of a restraint on his abuses then a clear, ineluctable set of rules within which he finds it safe to maneuver. There's been all too much of the latter, IMHO, and if a Kim Jong Il can guess how far he can push a Clinton he is perfectly free to exploit the knowledge, and so he did. He does not have that luxury with Bush.

The notion that because we intervene in a certain set of circumstances we MUST intervene wherever and whenever a similar set of circumstances arises is a fallacious one. We may, in fact, feel justified in doing so, but we are not compelled to do so. Our intervention in Iraq, for example, does not make an intervention in North Korea compulsory, but it does make it justifiable, and just that much more possible, and Kim knows it perfectly well. So did Gadafi, and Assad, and a host of others who look at the rhetoric of the left and the reality of the 3d ID on the ground and know that the old games aren't going to work anymore.

37 posted on 03/22/2004 7:50:01 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: mylife
"...Great multitudes of oppressed people on the doles."

M. Steyn makes an interesting point (in the following link) by suggesting that governments are subsidizing terrorists by having them on their payroll (welfare).

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1083964/posts
38 posted on 03/22/2004 7:53:29 PM PST by brewer1516
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To: Faraday
Your analysis is spot-on. I would only disagree that conservative, or neo-con, or any sort of label applies to this kind of foreign policy-- in my view, it's just clear-headed good sense. I expect that the Bush administration would agree completely, except that fixing Cuba just isn't politically possible now, and likely won't be anytime soon.
39 posted on 03/22/2004 8:01:30 PM PST by walden
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To: Pokey78
Steyn is never without his trademark wit, but it's clear form this article that he really is worried about what's going on.

Just like anyone else watching where this is going should be.
40 posted on 03/22/2004 8:02:37 PM PST by Imal (Apparently, the handicapped exemption for terrorist leaders has been revoked.)
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To: Pokey78
Nobody says it better than Steyn......BUMP
41 posted on 03/22/2004 8:04:47 PM PST by JulieRNR21 (One good term deserves another! Take W-04....Across America!)
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To: Pokey78; MeekOneGOP; Grampa Dave; Travis McGee
NEVILLE AGAIN!

And here is the paper which bears
Herr Laden's signature as well as my own.

42 posted on 03/22/2004 10:00:34 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the ping, Pokey :-)
43 posted on 03/22/2004 10:06:56 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: Pokey78; xm177e2; mercy; Wait4Truth; hole_n_one; GretchenEE; Clinton's a rapist; buffyt; ...

Mark Steyn MEGA PING!!


44 posted on 03/22/2004 10:11:00 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: Qwinn
And yet, the Greens were okay with keeping him in power. Why? ...Because this is validation of what many, including myself, have been saying all along. Greens are absolutely NOTHING except a front for Communist ideology.

I nominate you for post of the month! Great catch!!!

45 posted on 03/22/2004 10:12:01 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: JohnHuang2
Thanks for the ping!
46 posted on 03/22/2004 10:13:31 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
Welcome :-)
47 posted on 03/22/2004 10:16:07 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: zarf
.... appeasement is even less effective when the faraway country of which you know little is your own.

That is how Chamberlain described Czechoslovakia, after forcing her to give the Sudentenland to Hitler: 'a far-away country' inhabited by ‘people of whom we know little’ (radio broadcast 27 Sep 1938).
48 posted on 03/22/2004 10:18:41 PM PST by Mike Fieschko
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To: JohnHuang2
and once is more than enough
49 posted on 03/22/2004 10:19:41 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: JohnHuang2
Did you see this thread?? Harpseal died =o(
50 posted on 03/22/2004 10:20:44 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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