We are now watching a third repeat of the policy that got us into the hopeless bloodbath of Korea.

We are now watching a repeat of the policy that got us into the hopeless bloodbath of Vietnam.

We are now watching why the combination of liberals in command and a group of spineless, mindless respectable conservatives on the other side is going to lead us into one hopeless bloodbath after another.

The formula is simple

1) a liberal president sends in troops.

2) Respectable conservatives say, "This may not make any sense, but they've got our troops in there, so we've got to back our soldiers."

3) Naturally, some troops get killed.

4) Respectable conservatives now declare that anything the liberal president does from this point on is a matter of principle, since American men have died for whatever it is the president has decided he is doing.

At the time I am writing this, we have reached step 2) in the Kosovo business.

Our leading respectable conservatives have declared that this policy doesn't make any sense, but now that we're in there, we've got to stay the course and escalate the fighting.

In other words, what they are both demanding is step 3) above. They want more troops in there, and that means some of them will get killed.

Then it will become a matter of National Principle.

That happened in Korea. In Korea, General MacArthur was astonished at the first instance of this liberal Democratic phenomenon -- using American troops as hostages. He had assumed that, when Truman sent troops to Korea under his command, they had the full support of their country for the purpose of fighting and winning a war. But then Truman told him that the troops were there to die, not to fight.

Truman told MacArthur that Communist supplies with which to kill Americans were to be permitted to pour into Korea through Manchuria. There was to be no American bombing north of the Yalu River, the border of Manchuria.

Remember, in 1950 this business of killing off a few thousand American troops so the Administration doesn't have to make any hard decisions was brand new idea. MacArthur was an old-fashioned man.

MacArthur went ballistic and denounced Truman. Truman fired MacArthur, which he had every right to do.

But the fact that Truman had the RIGHT to fire MacArthur has obscured what the original dispute was all about.

The dispute was about the fact that a general was protesting the misuse of his men's lives. It is interesting that the same liberals who made fun of Nazi commanders who said they were "just following orders" under Hitler universally denounced MacArthur for DARING TO QUESTION ORDERS he considered to be evil.

By the time of Vietnam, there was no MacArthur. All the generals "just followed orders" without raising any questions about them.

Certainly respectable conservatives did not bring up any embarrassing questions.

At first, Reagan said we should either fight or get out. But once Kennedy and Johnson dipped the flag in blood and then ran it up the pole, all the conservatives saluted and backed the war.

That is happening now, again.

Respectable conservatives have exactly the same contempt for the Constitution that liberals do. Under the Constitution of the United States, there is no way TENS OF THOUSANDS of Americans could be slaughtered without a DECLARATION OF WAR.

Only in Korea and Vietnam -- after the takeover by liberals and respectable conservatives -- have we had tens of thousands of our soldiers killed without putting the REST OF AMERICA, not just the people in uniform, on a WAR FOOTING.

Today, if you want to look tough, you send hundreds of thousands of soldiers abroad, you get them killed, you get them maimed, but you don't inconvenience anybody else. Americans were dying by the thousands in Vietnam, but that didn't mean the country was committed to anything.

Putting hundreds of thousands of Americans on a foreign battlefield without making a decision to make war is the respectable conservative's idea of "supporting the troops." It is also his idea of constitutional government.

The soldiers who were dumped in Korea and Vietnam were the liberals' HOSTAGES. If conservatives objected, the liberals would say they were not "backing the troops."

This is the key to the whole mentality of respectable conservatism. The one thing that respectable conservative fear above all else is that they might be called NAMES.

Respectable conservatives have one, and only one, real concern in life. That is their respectability. You can kill Americans, you

can bus children, you can do anything you want to do to anybody, if only you will not give respectable conservatives labels that will make them unrespectable.

They don't mind men dying. They don't mind children being bused.

They DO mind being called "racists." They DO mind being called "isolationists."

Kill American troops all you want to, but don't accuse conservatives of "refusing to support the troops." The troops are just hostages. They are hostages to conservative respectability.