Raging Bull

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Stork's efforts were ignored by the U.N. He was informed that Iraq did not welcome human rights inspectors, as if weapons inspectors were embraced by Hussein.

"The member states, and particularly the Security Council, are reluctant to confront genocide," observed Stork.

Stork's list is too short. Who in the world chooses to confront the killing?

Neither party made an issue out of genocide at its convention.

And those critical of Bush refuse to acknowledge that the overthrow of Hussein stopped the genocide.

There is something so insistently out of place with Democrats, moderates, liberals -- bleeding hearts all -- and their refusal to confront Hussein's genocide that I cannot help but wonder if Islamic bloodshed, like Rwandan, is simply too foreign to elicit sympathy.

Hollywood, which pumps out a steady stream of product on the Jewish Holocaust, is oblivious to the genocide in Iraq.

When genocide in Iraq is mentioned in liberal circles, it is an accusation directed at the American government over the notorious Oil for Food embargo. Ramsey Clark and a long list of muddled thinkers were positively apoplectic at the embargo, which, frankly, was a diplomatic effort to confront Hussein, who, at that point, had not only engaged in genocide but had cost nearly a million lives in his ruinous war with Iran and hundreds of thousands more with his invasion of Kuwait. While Oil for Food was permeated with corruption, and Hussein siphoned off billions of dollars to construct palaces, critics reserved their scorn for the very idea of the embargo. With both a diplomatic embargo and force of arms drawing vehement criticism, one was left with the burning of holy candles as the only risk-free way of confronting evil.

Peewees like Dennis Kucinich, who occupied center stage at the Democratic convention, had nothing to say about the extermination of the Iraqi people. In fact, with nearly 3,000 Americans murdered by terrorists, the selection of a pacifist Smurf like Kucinich to address the convention is simply staggering.

Last year, in a little-remarked-upon speech, Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and concentration-camp survivor, defended the invasion of Iraq and specifically the removal of Hussein. He chided European leadership, noting that if it had spent as much time going after Hussein as it did attacking President Bush, the world would have been a safer place.

"Saddam Hussein had to be disarmed, and there was no other means," said Wiesel. "You can accuse me of being naive, but I think, in all conscience, that this was necessary."

Wiesel's final words should be distributed with the popcorn at all screenings of Moore's dishonest Fahrenheit 9/11: "I am not against paradoxes. I take them on, as someone who opposes war, who has seen war and who hates war."

I'll tell you why I am no longer surprised that Democrats, who instinctively cede themselves the high moral ground, do not feel compelled to consider the humanity of Iraq's victims.

Just look at how Democrats talk about Republicans. There is a smugness, a dismissiveness borne of the conviction that Republicans are a lower, less moral human species.

The media and American conversation were filled with this condescension during the Republican convention.

Consider the New Yorker magazine and cult cartoonist Art Spiegelman. Between 1980 and 1991, Spiegelman published the inspired comic strip "Maus" in Raw magazine. He examined the Nazis before, during and after the Holocaust, portraying the Germans as cats, the Jews as mice and the Poles as pigs.

The Holocaust Spiegelman gets; it's the GOP that baffles him. In fact, he can't stand these people. He doesn't know them; hell, he can't even talk to them. But he knows what he hates.

In two full-color pages in the September 20 edition of the New Yorker, he savages them.

The opening panel shows Spiegelman, naturally, and he is speaking: "As a denizen of lower Manhattan's dark blue zone, I don't actually know any Republicans . . . so I figured I oughta meet and greet some when they invaded my city for their convention."

After several panels, the conventioneers develop green skin.

"At first the Republicans actually looked human . . . sorta," notes the cartoonist. "But they quickly morphed into cold-blooded reptiles."

By the end of the cartoon, all of the Republicans are drawn as T-rexes. Befuddled, yet still angry, Spiegelman writes: "I know this is crazy -- I was there as a journalist -- but I couldn't bear talking to most of the delegates."

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Michael Lacey
Contact: Michael Lacey