I was watching a television show Sunday night called "Welcome Home America." It was a tribute to the USO and our boys and girls who fought in Desert Storm. There were 4,500 troops in the audience as well as three presidents - Bush, Ford and Reagan. Nothing could have been more heartwarming or patriotic.

But as the program went on I noticed something very strange, and I turned to my loyal Republican friend Cloister and said, "There are no Democrats in the tribute.""Why would you want to feature Democrats?"

"Didn't the Democrats have anything to do with Desert Storm?"

"No," he chuckled. "This was a Republican war from start to finish. It was produced by a Republican president, directed by a Republican secretary of defense, orchestrated by a Republican secretary of state, and every officer worth anything was on the GOP side."

I was aghast but not surprised. "What about the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines? Not every single one of them could have been a Republican."

Cloister said, "Almost all of them were. If there was a Democrat in the ranks, the word never got back to Washington."

"I didn't know any of this."

"Why do you think the Republicans are staging all the `welcome home' celebrations? It was our military and we paid for it."

"Cloister, is it just possible that the Republicans are trying to cash in on Desert Storm for political reasons?"

"What makes you say that?"

"It's so obvious in this show. It's not entertainment. It looks more like a GOP rally in a presidential election year."

"You are insulting our fighting men and women. Do you think that they would be here if they thought they were being used?"

"What else is there for them to do on a Sunday night? Don't get me wrong. The people who took part in Desert Storm deserve everything they can get except a third-rate TV show decorated by three Republican presidents."

I know that I got through to Cloister because he was choking on his beer. "Why don't the Democrats have their own program instead of crying foul when we put one on?"

"Because Desert Storm was not a Republican war or a Democratic war. "

"What kind of war was it?"

"It was a great war if you don't ask the Kurds," I told him.

He looked at me. "You hate America, don't you?"

"No. Why do you think so?"

"Anyone who criticizes a show starring Debbie Allen, Tony Danza, the Pointer Sisters, Kenny Rogers and Tom Selleck plus three Republican presidents has no right to stand up for America."