Miles Z. Archer (webmaster@BRIGHT-IDEA.COM)
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 00:43:52 -0400

I thought that I had sent my last post on this thread. It seemed to
me that I had already written everything, on this subject, which was
inside of me. All that seemed left was to respond to the in-coming
slights and barbs, and I had decided to let them all pass -- most
notably Kevin Cole's recent post.

However, I found Randy Fertel's post particularly offensive for
his insulting and erroneous conclusions and his misquoting my
earlier posts.

Randy: < Well, after a long conciliatory post,...)

The post of which Randy speaks was not in the least bit
"conciliatory." There was no reason for me to write anything
"conciliatory." Rather, everything in that post was was
completely consistant with what I'd been saying all
along. Different words. Same line. I take umbrage to Randy's
manipulation, by virtue of his implication that, because of
something which I had previously said or done, I had a need to
be "conciliatory." By insinuating my attempt at "repentance"
(failed no less), there is of course the implication that I've
copped to some "sin."

Randy: <... Miles here seems to put his foot in it again.>

As they say, "People who live in glass houses..." Not only
didn't I put my foot in "it" even the first time,, it seems that
Randy does a pretty good job of putting his foot in
"it". Witness:

Randy: < My point is that Miles' statement is true only from the political
point of view.>

If Randy had been following this thread he would have known that
I, and others with a similar point of view, have repeatedly
stated that this was/is a "political" discussion. And in that
context, Randy, seems to be admiting that he agrees with the
same orignal statement, that he simultaneously critiquing.

Randy: <If the goal of our life, say, is to achieve some personal
transformation that takes us to some level higher than we were yesterday...
I'm just saying politics isn't everything.>

This was never a "how many angels on the head of a pin"
discussion. No one, on either side of this discussion, ever
said, nor implied, that politics was "everything" - it just
happens to be the something that is relevant to this side of the

<Miles finally is right that it's all tragic. With that I don't
disagree. To achieve a personal transformation at such cost is

Now, is that read: "Finally Miles is right", or "Finally, Miles is right"?
Either way Randy seems to be once again agree with those with whom he has
taken excpetion.

...and finally, <"Simple" also doesn't work when you apply
Miles' dictum, "warriors are wrong,"...>

The phrase to which I was quoted, "warriors are wrong", never
appeared in any post which I have written. It is not a position
which I have expressed, nor is it anything I have implied, or
even thought. This is a quote contrived by Randy. Randy, if you
are going to misquote me, in the future, please have me say
something profound. I'd appreciate it.

OK, Kevin here goes: I decided to let your post pass because it
seemed to be getting dangerously close to the beginnings of a
personal "dissing" session -- which I have tried very hard to
avoid having this discussion degenerate into. Secondly, so
little of your post made any sense that it didn't really seem to
warrant a reply. However...

1.Miles wrote: <Secondly,, I've read my post over and over and I
can't find anything that "disses" anyone. This was a political
statement and although some of the thoughts expressed seem to be
unpopular, it is beyond me how any of it was seen as personal.>

2. Kevin wrote: <<This is wordplay, Miles. Consider:
<<<Certainly, nothing can be said in defense of those GI's who
enlisted. For the most part they were real, born-again believers
in Amerika and they went off willingly to kill the "slope-head
commie-gooks". <<<<How can this be construed as other than

3. My reply: What you are talking about Kevin? There is nothing
"personal" in the example which you provide! Wordplay? I don't
play with words, I use them -- which you should do more
effectively because there is nothing in your example of my
supposed "wordplay" which supports your accusation. The
pejorative terms which you quote were GI terms, which I was
quoting. By the way, I never heard an anti-war person use any
of theses offensive terms. Ever!

1.Miles wrote: <I believe that my thesis was not "simplistic" it
was "simple."
Anyone who survived the 60's and still around today to try and
remember it knows that very little in life, political or not, is
uncomplicated. >

2. Kevin wrote: <<A thesis that means something in this case
would either mirror the complexity of the situation or it would
in the depths of its profundity clarify the issues beyond
debate. Your thesis -- that the GIs were commie-gook-killers,
is neither.>>

3. My reply: Kevin, don't you mean to say, "A thesis that means
something, in "my" point of view..."? Whether my thesis means
"something" (sic), or not, is relative to your and anyone else's
point of view. There is nothing inherent in the meaning of
"thesis" that remotely implies anything resembling what you have
erroneously, and pompously (I might add), stated. Finally, that
"the GI's were commie-gook-killers" was not, and is not (read
the "nots" with all caps), my thesis! As you well know! If you
have been honestly following this thread you know that this
"thesis" was never presented by me. So, tell me Kevin, when did
you stop beating your wife? Isn't it kind of the same thing?

1.Miles wrote: < As far as I know, there is no killer in me.>

2.Kevin wrote that this was... <<The proclamation of a
sophomore. None of us is off the hook on this one, Miles.
Smacks of Ethan Brande. Even the Buddha cultivated

3.My reply: Isn't this the height of arrogance. You don't know
me, Kevin. Nor do you have any idea of what I am about or who I
am. And you propose to call me "sophomoric" (moderator: please
take note. If there is any question about the Tone of this
posting...), because you know that there lurks a killer inside
of me -- and everyone else for that matter. Are you as sure
about this as you are about what constitutes a thesis? Tell me
Kevin, did the late Mother Teresa have a killer lurking inside
of her too?

1.Miles wrote: <Wasn't there a difference between the killing
that the NVA and VC engaged in, while defending their country
from US invaders, and the killing that was done by the

2.Kevin wrote:<<This is a straw man. It wasn't that simple and
it never is. You too would fight to protect your buddies and
put everything else out of mind, given the right circumstances,
and all these nice clean historical abstractions wouldn't mean

3. My reply: Please refer to Ted Morgan's response directed to
you. Once again, Ted has said it better than I could.

1. Miles wrote: <Yes, indeed some people warrant compassion and
others don't. Some just warrant pity and some deserve only
disdain. Do you have compassion for vets who engaged in
activities like Lt. William Calley?>

2.Kevin wrote:<<You're damned right I do. Compassion doesn't
defend, however.>>

3. My reply: Now this is where I originally decided that a reply
to your post, Kevin, was not "appropriate." Tell me Kevin, does
this mean that you also have "compassion" for Jeffrey Dahmer?
After all, the only difference between the two was that Calley
apparently didn't have a taste for Vietnamese food (and Dahmer
didn't kill women and small children).

At this juncture I find that responding the other points in
Kevin's post is perfunctory.

Once again, I'd like to restate my thanks to all who have made this thread
interesting, enlightening and an intelligent discussion.