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Scenes from the front line of life in Portland, Oregon, USA.

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Jason Holliston
 
Friday, July 30, 2004  
What's the Difference?

I don't know about you, but I live in a city with lots of crazy people. Every Friday night, for the last year and several months, the hard core anti-war protesters have been coming out to march and bang their drums while winding the streets of downtown Portland. It seems like I'm always leaving work just at the wrong time, and I run into them. So, if you're wondering why I continue to harp about this, it's because I see it on a weekly basis.

So, it got me thinking about what motivates these people. I do realize that a vast majority of them don't actual want to live under the Taliban. The true Islamic Fascists don't go marching downtown banging on drums -- they're too busy either trying to get the nerve up to kill innocents or raising money for those that are. No, these people are a different breed altogether, and for most Americans, a pretty difficult species to understand.

I'm not going to go into an analysis of why they do the things they do, but I'd like to draw a comparison for you. If you think I'm engaging in hyperbole, go right ahead and call me on it. If you think I'm drawing specious comparisons, say so. I really don't think I am.

What is the difference between people marching in the streets in Portland, Oregon, almost 16 months after the occupation in Iraq began, demanding for the immediate withdrawal of American forces and the restoration of the "legal" government, and people doing the exact same thing in 1946, demanding the restoration of the Nazi government in Germany? I don't see any. I don't think that the reasons behind the marching really matter. I'm pretty sure that the protesters would take issue with that, but let's take a look at the facts:

Hitler was murdering millions of innocent Jews.
Hussein was murdering hundreds of thousands of Shiites, Marsh Arabs, and Kurds.

Hitler did not pose an imminent threat to America, but was almost certainly a threat in the future
Hussein did not pose an imminent threat to America, but was almost certainly a threat in the future

Hitler attacked our allies, such as Great Britain and France
Hussein attacked our allies, such as Kuwait and Israel

Hitler was attempting to procure weapons of mass destruction, which he would have used without question
Hussein was attempting to procure weapons of mass destruction, which he would have used without question

Hitler was a crazy, Fascist bastard
Hussein was a crazy, Fascist bastard

Can you imagine the reaction of the American people if, in 1946, people were taking to the streets demanding that we leave Germany at once, and install the Nazis in their "rightful" place as the countries' leaders? Why do so many people put up with this? Where are the voices -- from both parties -- calling these people out for who they are? No matter how you try to come at it, they are supporting Fascists. A new, 21st century version, to be sure, but Fascists all the same.

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