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The face of evil

Newsweek’s cover this week sports a stern and scary looking photo of
Slobodan Milosevic headlined: “The face of evil.”

It’s easy for the U.S. establishment press to spot bogeymen in
distant lands. What’s not so easy is for the media to see it — and name
it for what it is — right here in our own back yard.

The demonization of Milosevic is complete. Personally, I don’t
dispute that he’s evil. He’s been a hard-line Stalinist for a long time.
Not a pleasant chap at all. But is he any more the personification of
evil than, say, Jiang Zemin?

It would be hard to argue that there are not leaders and nations in
the world more dangerous to the United States and their neighbors than
Milosevic. The U.S. media have made no such effort. Milosevic is daily
compared to Hitler (ironically, never to his hero Stalin). Those
perpetrating evil deeds much more analogous to Hitler and Stalin,
meanwhile, get a free pass.

Interestingly, no one in the U.S. press has bothered to analyze
whether our own president is committing evil. Let me be the first. It’s
time to call a spade a spade. While it may be impossible for men to
judge the hearts of others, we are commanded to judge their actions. And
the actions of Bill Clinton — not just in the Balkans, but in a
thousand other policies — are the very definition of evil.

If we’re going to cast stones at a foreign leader, isn’t it only
responsible for us to first judge the honesty, integrity and morality of
our own political leadership? Let’s compare and contrast the evil works
of these evil men:

I could go on and on. But you get the point. If we’re going to start
calling evil for what it is — and I think it’s high time we do — then
we ought to begin by turning the mirror on ourselves before we look
across the ocean to tinpot tyrants irrelevant to our way of life.

It’s time to recognize the evil in our midst — the evil that is
twisting our national judgment, poisoning our national soul, breaking
down our national standards.

There’s a price to pay for a nation that follows evil. We’ve seen it
over and over again through history. We look back and wonder how nations
could have blinded themselves to the evil of their leaders. We ask
ourselves why nations have all but committed collective suicide behind
bad leadership. Then we overlook, rationalize and excuse the truly evil
deeds of our own leaders.

Take a look at the Balkans. Who is perpetuating the greater evil? Is
it Milosevic — who winks at the continuation of tribal warfare that has
consumed the region for more than 600 years? Or is it Clinton — who
wreaks havoc on the civilian infrastructure of a destitute nation,
killing innocent men, women and children with impersonal imprecision
from the air and from the sea?

Six of one, half a dozen of the other. But this is hardly the
morality tale being spun by the semi-official U.S. press.