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SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY (Somethings never change)
The American Enterprise ^ | May/June 1997 | James Webb

Posted on 04/07/2003 7:43:16 AM PDT by Valin

Anti-war protesters boast that there will be "no business as usual" until the war in Iraq ends. In Washington, San Francisco, and New York, peace activists have taken to the streets to block traffic, burn the President in effigy, and vomit on the steps of federal buildings. These activists represent a variety of causes but most share the belief that America, an evil nation, deserves to be defeated. In the May/June 1997 issue of The American Enterprise, James Webb took a closer look at what the Vietnam era protesters--many of whom are at anti-war protests today--really wanted:

It is difficult to explain to my children that in my teens and early twenties the most frequently heard voices of my peers were trying to destroy the foundations of American society, so that it might be rebuilt according to their own narcissistic notions. In retrospect it's hard even for some of us who went through those times to understand how highly educated people--most of them spawned from the comforts of the upper-middle class--could have seriously advanced the destructive ideas that were in the air during the late '60s and early '70s. Even Congress was influenced by the virus.

After President Nixon resigned in August of 1974, that fall's congressional elections brought 76 new Democrats to the House, and eight to the Senate. A preponderance of these freshmen had run on McGovernesque platforms. Many had been viewed as weak candidates before Nixon's resignation, and some were glaringly unqualified, such as then-26-year-old Tom Downey of New York, who had never really held a job in his life and was still living at home with his mother.

This so-called Watergate Congress rode into town with an overriding mission that had become the rallying point of the American Left: to end all American assistance in any form to the besieged government of South Vietnam. Make no mistake--this was not the cry of a few years earlier to stop young Americans from dying. It had been two years since the last American soldiers left Vietnam, and fully four years since the last serious American casualty calls there.

For reasons that escape historical justification, even after America's military withdrawal the Left continued to try to bring down the incipient South Vietnamese democracy. Future White House aide Harold Ickes and others at "Project Pursestrings"--assisted at one point by an ambitious young Bill Clinton--worked to cut off all congressional funding intended to help the South Vietnamese defend themselves. The Indochina Peace Coalition, run by David Dellinger and headlined by Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, coordinated closely with Hanoi throughout 1973 and 1974, and barnstormed across America's campuses, rallying students to the supposed evils of the South Vietnamese government. Congressional allies repeatedly added amendments to spending bills to end U.S. support of Vietnamese anti-Communists, precluding even air strikes to help South Vietnamese soldiers under attack by North Vietnamese units that were assisted by Soviet-bloc forces.

Then in early 1975 the Watergate Congress dealt non-Communist Indochina the final blow. The new Congress icily resisted President Gerald Ford's January request for additional military aid to South Vietnam and Cambodia. This appropriation would have provided the beleaguered Cambodian and South Vietnamese militaries with ammunition, spare parts, and tactical weapons needed to continue their own defense. Despite the fact that the 1973 Paris Peace Accords called specifically for "unlimited military replacement aid" for South Vietnam, by March the House Democratic Caucus voted overwhelmingly, 189-49, against any additional military assistance to Vietnam or Cambodia.

The rhetoric of the antiwar Left during these debates was filled with condemnation of America's war-torn allies, and promises of a better life for them under the Communism that was sure to follow. Then-Congressman Christopher Dodd typified the hopeless naiveté of his peers when he intoned that "calling the Lon Nol regime an ally is to debase the word.... The greatest gift our country can give to the Cambodian people is peace, not guns. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now." Tom Downey, having become a foreign policy expert in the two months since being freed from his mother's apron strings, pooh-poohed the coming Cambodian holocaust that would kill more than one-third of the country's population, saying, "The administration has warned that if we leave there will be a bloodbath. But to warn of a new bloodbath is no justification for extending the current bloodbath."

On the battlefields of Vietnam the elimination of all U.S. logistical support was stunning and unanticipated news. South Vietnamese commanders had been assured of material support as the American military withdrew--the same sort of aid the U.S. routinely provided allies from South Korea to West Germany--and of renewed U.S. air strikes if the North attacked the South in violation of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords. Now they were staring at a terrifyingly uncertain future, even as the Soviets continued to assist the Communist North.

As the shocked and demoralized South Vietnamese military sought to readjust its forces to cope with serious shortages, the newly refurbished North Vietnamese immediately launched a major offensive. Catching many units out of position, the North rolled down the countryside over a 55-day period. In the ensuing years I have interviewed South Vietnamese survivors of these battles, many of whom spent ten years and more in Communist concentration camps after the war. The litany is continuous: "I had no ammunition." "I was down to three artillery rounds per tube per day." "I had nothing to give my soldiers." "I had to turn off my radio because I could no longer bear to hear their calls for help."

The reaction in the United States to this debacle defines two distinct camps that continue to be identifiable in many of the issues we face today. For most of those who fought in Vietnam, and for their families, friends, and political compatriots, this was a dark and deeply depressing month. The faces we saw running in terror from the North Vietnamese assault were real and familiar, not simply video images. The bodies that fell like spinning snowflakes toward cruel deaths after having clung hopelessly to the outer parts of departing helicopters and aircraft may have been people we knew or tried to help. Even for those who had lost their faith in America's ability to defeat the Communists, this was not the way it was supposed to end.

For those who had evaded the war and come of age believing our country was somehow evil, even as they romanticized the intentions of the Communists, these few weeks brought denials of their own responsibility in the debacle, armchair criticisms of the South Vietnamese military, or open celebrations. At the Georgetown University Law Center where I was a student, the North's blatant discarding of the promises of peace and elections contained in the 1973 Paris Accords, followed by the rumbling of North Vietnamese tanks through the streets of Saigon, was treated by many as a cause for actual rejoicing.

Denial is rampant in 1997, but the truth is this end result was the very goal of the antiwar movement's continuing efforts in the years after American withdrawal. George McGovern, more forthcoming than most, bluntly stated as much to this writer during a break in taping a 1995 edition of cnn's "Crossfire." After I had argued that the war was clearly winnable even toward the end if we had changed our strategy, the 1972 presidential candidate who had offered to go to Hanoi on his knees commented, "What you don't understand is that I didn't want us to win that war." Mr. McGovern was not alone. He was part of a small but extremely influential minority who eventually had their way.

There is perhaps no greater testimony to the celebratory atmosphere that surrounded the Communist victory in Vietnam than the 1975 Academy Awards, which took place on April 8, just three weeks before the South's final surrender. The award for Best Feature Documentary went to the film Hearts and Minds, a vicious piece of propaganda that assailed American cultural values as well as our effort to assist South Vietnam's struggle for democracy. The producers, Peter Davis and Bert Schneider [who plays a role in David Horowitz's story--see page 31], jointly accepted the Oscar. Schneider was frank in his support of the Communists. As he stepped to the mike he commented that "It is ironic that we are here at a time just before Vietnam is about to be liberated." Then came one of the most stunning--if intentionally forgotten--moments in Hollywood history. As a struggling country many Americans had paid blood and tears to try to preserve was disappearing beneath a tank onslaught, Schneider pulled out a telegram from our enemy, the Vietnamese Communist delegation in Paris, and read aloud its congratulations to his film. Without hesitating, Hollywood's most powerful people rewarded Schneider's reading of the telegram with a standing ovation.

Those of us who either fought in Vietnam or supported our efforts there look at this 1975 "movie moment" with unforgetting and unmitigated amazement. Who were these people who so energetically poisoned the rest of the world's view of us? How had they turned so virulently against their own countrymen? How could they stand and applaud the victory of a Communist enemy who had taken 58,000 American lives and crushed a struggling, pro-democratic ally? Could they and the rest of us be said to be living in the same country anymore?

Not a peep was heard then, or since, from Hollywood regarding the people who disappeared behind Vietnam's bamboo curtain. No one has ever mentioned the concentration camps into which a million South Vietnamese soldiers were sent; 56,000 to die, 250,000 to stay for more than six years, and some for as long as 18. No one criticized the forced relocations, the corruption, or the continuing police state. More to the point, with the exception of the well-intentioned but artistically weak Hamburger Hill, one searches in vain for a single major film since that time that has portrayed American soldiers in Vietnam with dignity and in a true context.

Why? Because the film community, as with other elites, never liked, respected, or even understood those who answered the call and served. And at a time when a quiet but relentless battle is taking place over how history will remember our country's involvement in Vietnam, those who ridiculed government policy, avoided military service, and actively supported an enemy who turned out to be vicious and corrupt do not want to be remembered as having been so naive and so wrong.

Among everyday Americans, attitudes during this troubled time were much healthier. Behind the media filtering and distortion on Vietnam, the fact is that our citizenry agreed far more consistently with those of us who fought than with those who undermined our fight. This was especially true, interestingly, among the young Americans now portrayed as having rebelled against the war.

As reported in Public Opinion, Gallup surveys from 1966 to the end of U.S. involvement show that younger Americans actually supported the Vietnam war longer than any other age group. Even by January of 1973, when 68 percent of Americans over the age of 50 believed it had been a mistake to send troops to Vietnam, only 49 percent of those between 25 and 29 agreed. These findings that the youth cohort as a whole was distinctly unradical were buttressed by 1972 election results--where 18- to 29-year-olds preferred Richard Nixon to George McGovern by 52 to 46 percent.

Similarly, despite persistent allegations to the contrary by former protesters who now dominate media and academia, the 1970 invasion of Cambodia--which caused widespread campus demonstrations, including a riot that led to four deaths at Kent State University--was strongly supported by the public. According to Harris surveys, nearly 6 in 10 Americans believed the Cambodian invasion was justified. A majority in that same May 1970 survey supported an immediate resumption of bombings in North Vietnam, a complete repudiation of the antiwar movement.

Vietnam veterans, though persistently maligned in film, news reports, and classrooms as unwilling, unsuccessful soldiers, have been well thought of by average Americans. In the most comprehensive study ever done on Vietnam vets (Harris Survey, 1980, commissioned by the Veterans Administration), 73 percent of the general public and 89 percent of Vietnam veterans agreed with the statement that "The trouble in Vietnam was that our troops were asked to fight in a war which our political leaders in Washington would not let them win." Seventy percent of those who fought in Vietnam disagreed with the statement "It is shameful what my country did to the Vietnamese people." Fully 91 percent of those who served in Vietnam combat stated that they were glad they had served their country, and 74 percent said they had enjoyed their time in the military. Moreover, 71 percent of those who expressed an opinion indicated that they would go to Vietnam again, even knowing the end result and the ridicule that would be heaped on them when they returned.

This same survey contained what was called a "feelings thermometer," measuring the public's attitudes toward various groups on a scale of 1 to 10. Veterans who served in Vietnam rated a 9.8 on this scale. Doctors scored a 7.9, TV reporters a 6.1, politicians a 5.2, antiwar demonstrators a 5.0, and draft evaders who went to Canada came in at 3.3.

Contrary to persistent mythology, two-thirds of those who served during Vietnam were volunteers rather than draftees, and 77 percent of those who died were volunteers. Of those who died, 86 percent were Caucasian, 12.5 percent were African-American, and 1.2 percent were from other races. The common claim that it was minorities and the poor who were left to do the dirty work of military service in Vietnam is false. The main imbalance in the war was simply that the privileged avoided their obligations, and have persisted since that time in demeaning the experience in order to protect themselves from the judgment of history.

And what of these elites who misread not only a war but also their own countrymen? Where are they now, other than in the White House? On this vital historical issue that defined our generation, they now keep a low profile, and well they should.

What an eerie feeling it must have been for those who staked the journey of their youth on the idea that their own country was an evil force, to have watched their naiveté unravel in the years following 1975. How sobering it must have been for those who allowed themselves to move beyond their natural denial, to observe the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese fleeing the "pure flame of the revolution" on rickety boats that gave them a 50 percent chance of death at sea, or to see television pictures of thousands of Cambodian skulls lying in open fields, part of the millions killed by Communist "liberators." How hollow the memories of drug-drenched and sex-enshrined antiwar rallies must be; how false the music that beatified their supposedly noble dissent.

Indeed, let's be frank. How secretly humiliating to stare into the face of a disabled veteran, or to watch the valedictory speech of the latest Vietnamese-American kid whose late father fought alongside the Americans in a cause they openly mocked, derided, and despised. And what a shame that the system of government that allowed that student to be so quickly successful here is not in place in the country of her origin.

—James Webb, a Marine rifle platoon and company commander in Vietnam, has served as Secretary of the Navy and is the author of several novels.

The American Enterprise Online

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs
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1 posted on 04/07/2003 7:43:16 AM PDT by Valin
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To: Valin
"Sleeping with the enemy" -- I thought this was about American troops having fun in Baghdad! :)
2 posted on 04/07/2003 7:52:00 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (President of the Ruth Samuelson Fan Club)
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To: JohnnyZ

What are they complaining about? We're trying to end the war too! (We're killing them as fast as we can)!!!


Stay Strong

3 posted on 04/07/2003 7:58:35 AM PDT by fuzzy122
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To: Valin
Webb at his best.
4 posted on 04/07/2003 7:59:36 AM PDT by x1stcav (HooAhh!)
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To: Valin
What I always found confusing was the American left lined up calling Vietnam combat vets
"baby killers" and then went out and killed nearly 5 million American babies since Rowe v Wade
& They not only never blinked an eye but show up to protest- demanding the right to kill 5 Millon more......
Human sacrafice ... In the name of freedom....and human rights for women.....
5 posted on 04/07/2003 8:00:25 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: Valin; Vetnet; submarinerswife; conservogirl; abigail2; generalissimoduane
...In a new -Time of War-.. a new Century...

...with an Enemy that is now...

...just around the corner and...

...up your street:

.."IS it SAFE?" = HILLARY on Armed Services Committee..

6 posted on 04/07/2003 8:00:44 AM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 ..,)
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To: Valin
Thanks, Valin. This is a good article and a good reminder of what we actually face as enemies here at home. I remember those years quite clearly and the dispiriting political realities for conservatives.

Thankfully, things have changed and our day seems to be dawning -- but for those who have not seen those times, it is way too easy to be overconfident and dismissive of our enemies.

Despite our victories overseas, there are still real threats in the world and we ain't out of the woods just yet. Despite our majorities in Washington, we still have vicious, determined enemies here at home.

Thanks again for the reminders...
7 posted on 04/07/2003 8:01:07 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: Valin
There is a word for supporters of North Vietnam:


There is a word for those who supported Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh:

Enablers of genocide.

There is a penalty awaiting those who will not repent their active evil:

8 posted on 04/07/2003 8:03:29 AM PDT by homeagain balkansvet
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To: joesnuffy
Not mysterious. Go look up the word "projection."
9 posted on 04/07/2003 8:04:51 AM PDT by homeagain balkansvet
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To: Valin
I tremble for the fate of these godless socialists when I consider that God is just.

Well, okay, the "trembling" is joyous glee. But I DO tremble.
10 posted on 04/07/2003 8:06:46 AM PDT by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: joesnuffy
I think it's high time we start killing them. The less of these maggots there are around the better off the world will be in my opinion.

Semper Fi
11 posted on 04/07/2003 8:07:17 AM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (Can't stand rude behavior in a man.... Won't tolerate it.)
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To: Leatherneck_MT
I think it's high time we start killing them.>>>

No. That way we BECOME like them.

I seem to recall something about wheat, tares and harvest. Let's leave the harvesting and threshing to the Landlord.
12 posted on 04/07/2003 8:14:32 AM PDT by homeagain balkansvet
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To: homeagain balkansvet
As I said, it's my opinion. I'll stand by it
13 posted on 04/07/2003 8:21:11 AM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (Can't stand rude behavior in a man.... Won't tolerate it.)
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To: Valin
14 posted on 04/07/2003 8:31:56 AM PDT by MoralSense
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To: homeagain balkansvet
No. That way we BECOME like them.

Not if it's done under the law. AFAIK, there is no statute of limitations on treason. If evidence comes forth that a particular individual worked directly with the enemies of the United States, and two witnesses to that act can be found, then hang 'em. Or better yet, try 'em and sentence them to die in federal prison of old age. Considering how old some of them now are, and how many abused their bodies with drugs and too many sexual partners, that might be so very long. Ban them from interviews, writing their autobiographies and so forth. Obscurity is the best punishment for them, after they are made examples of, of course.

15 posted on 04/07/2003 8:33:56 AM PDT by El Gato
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I look at these people as a reverse-barometer. In my short sweet life I've found them to be consistent...consistently wrong. At least on the big questions. I've started calling them moral migets, it's like their moral development stopped at the 2nd grade level.
16 posted on 04/07/2003 8:34:01 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: El Gato
Not if it's done under the law.

Everyone sent to a "reeducation camp" in Vietnam was done so 'under the law.' If I may remind you, we don't do reeducation camps or concentration camps. We're the good guys, remember?

If we can prove a direct agent-in-place with enough certainty to get a conviction, that's one thing. But we're talking about comsymps, not spies. To be a comsymp is NOT a crime, never has been, never should be.

I'm not overreacting either. I was in Bosnia, where the Srebrenica genocide began with a bunch of guys sitting around a table in a coffee bar saying "kill the Mooslims."

Not on my watch.

17 posted on 04/07/2003 8:50:07 AM PDT by homeagain balkansvet
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To: Valin
Speaking of "draft evaders who went to Canada:"

Let me remind folks in other states of the widely repeated story in Tennessee of young algore's flight to the Great White North, only to be dragged back home by his mother who warned him "You'll never have a chance in politics if you're a 'draft dodger.'"
18 posted on 04/07/2003 9:11:00 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: homeagain balkansvet
I would hasten their trip to "damnation"...

The best way to deal with these so-called "peace" activists is via the business end of a rifle... I think the time is high past "creative discourse" with traitors. Let us see how well their rank and file do under sustained merciless firepower.

Let us make the so-called "tragedy" of Kent State into a stroll through the park. They tell of Kent State as though it were an evil thing in our history--I could not disagree more. I see Kent State as the proper way to dispatch these maggot-infested, dope-using, treasonous scumbags. Five dead? Hell no! That inane carnage does not even approach an acceptable body count. Better to slaughter the children of the "Sixties Generation" by the tens-of-thousands.

America is in desperate need of a second Civil War, where we may finally sweep clean the streets of these vermin... permanently. We would do the nation a great service to attack these so-called "anti-war" protesters at their "pro-chaos" demonstrations. Doing so would a send the unmistakeable signal to our enemy that a defining turning-point has now been reached. A national example must be made of these treasonous bastards. To instill terror in the heart of a traitor, to kill those who are set upon our destruction, is not criminal--but rather such action is a well-deserved reward in justice.

Snipe these traitors from every rooftop, from every revine and from every hillside. Kill them where they stand. Make these "peace" commies come to know that a blood price will be extracted for their treasonous acts. If we fail to send these wretched vermin down the road to hell, then we shall be there with them. This must be a take-no-prisoners campaign--it is either us or them... The aggressor sets the rules.

There is a common bond between Islamic fascists and the adherents, adepts and masters within the global "peace movement"--both groups hate America and all that America stands for. These "peace" activists represent the "active" Fifth Column here at home, where the members now operate with impunity. These thugs have become well-entrenched within our society. Whether their rank and file be the supporters of "social justice"--read: political Marxists, or adepts of radical environmentalism--read: religious Marxists, their leaders incessently and insidiously work for the Communist Revolution to conquer American society. The bottom line is that the "ists" collective are bringing about social anarchy in order to make fertile the American soil for its October Revolution. The useful idiots of the Left desire nothing less than a thorough corruption of Christian values, the utter destruction of our American culture, and the total collapse of Western civilization. In its place would be erected a pantheistic matrix inhabited by femminized Satanic hedonists.

Whatever banner the Left march under--they are now, and have always been, accomplices to those who would kill every one of us, including our mothers, wives and children. Not only must good Americans refrain from remaining the silent majority, much more importantly they must become their enemies' worst nightmare: merciless warriors who actively close with, engage and destroy the enemy.

To those who are squeamish--gird your loins; To the consciencous objector--locate your backbone and reinstall; To the politically passive who still trust in "the system"--get over it, "the system" is terminally broken. Far better is our lot to flood the streets of America with the blood of our home-grown subversive marxists and anarchists, than to ferment beneath their rot. And we must not discrimminate in bringing about their demise--no matter to age, race, sex or creed.

Americans will never take this country back without shedding much blood. The American "democratic" process has deteriorated into a pointless exercise: the Constitution has been castrated by the supremely arrogant of the Court; the Rights of life, liberty and property have been rode roughshod by a cabal of renagade legislators; and, the virtues that marked American culture have been marginalized out of existance by marauding clans of the liberal media machine. We can never rid ourselves peacefully of this liberal pox, because the enemy has advanced too far behind our lines.

For each year that passes, where traditional Americans refuse to take "The Stand," the gains realized by our enemy are multiplied exponentially. The damage they have wrought upon the culture, the security, and the civility of this nation is fast approaching critical mass. Peaceful methods of resistance are no longer viable; but rather, in fact, such exercises are now inherently harmful. Our tolerance of the "flower children"--who are in reality the embodiment of weeds, has allowed the rapid advancement of the marxist agenda.

These children of "peace" are truly the offspring of demons, for they use our institutions against us. They use our sense of humanity and fair play as a weapon by which to ensure our defeat. The very fact that we allow their existance is enabling them to make certain the destruction of our own existence. Fire and water do not live together in mutual harmony... one must dominate. The vermin renagades who have taken over our streets, neighborhoods, towns and cities are the products of a anti-American, anti-freedom treasonous cult. They must be destroyed without pitty--without mercy, and without quarter.
19 posted on 04/07/2003 10:12:07 AM PDT by jt8d (War is better than terrorism)
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To: jt8d
'The best way to deal with these so-called "peace" activists is via the business end of a rifle...'....? "America is in desperate need of a second Civil War"....? "The vermin renagades who have taken over our streets, neighborhoods, towns and cities are the products of a anti-American, anti-freedom treasonous cult. They must be destroyed without pitty--without mercy, and without quarter. "....?

Duuuuuuude. Take a chill pill. After it's taken effect, go to and look up the definition of the word "rant."

I'd go for the throat, but it's pretty clear you're in full flame mode and beyond reason at this point. I don't think you really want to kill people.

And if you do, then kill me first. There's a moral difference between being a political moron (which they are) and being a Nazi who advocates, ahem, political genocide (which you are sounding like above, but for the sake of argument I will suppose is not what you really believe in your saner moments).
20 posted on 04/07/2003 10:24:20 AM PDT by homeagain balkansvet
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