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It is absolutely appalling that we have come so casually to observe the carnage, so passively to view the starvation over breakfast papers or dinnertime newscasts, so helplessly to watch these totally bereft human beings trudging barefoot over treacherous terrain toward the middle of nowhere.

There are other questions as well, of course, not as easily answered. Where are all their voices now, those demonstrators who so vociferously opposed war, ostensibly out of an overweening reverence for life? Is the latter-day holocaust being systematically perpetrated in northern Iraq any less horrifying than a direct hit on a camouflaged bomb shelter in Baghdad? If Saddam Hussein were herding civilians into concentration camps and burning them in crematoria, would we be so deferential to U.N. imperatives or future foreign-policy implications? Is there a distinction to be drawn between death by gassing and death by helicopter gunship?