When I was in college, "liberals" basically cared about three groups of people: South Africans (above all), Filipinos, and Chileans. But they didn't really care about them, as I saw it; they just used those people to attack the United States. Once apartheid fell, Marcos left, and Pinochet stepped aside, who cared about those countries' citizens?
You could not get anyone — anyone — interested in the peoples behind the Iron Curtain. If you tried to do so, you were a right-wing fanatic, or "poisoning the atmosphere of détente." That was the big catchphrase of the day; I heard it constantly. Solzhenitsyn — another conservative who doesn't care about people and is not interested in the world — was vilified as a fascist, a reactionary, a warmonger.
And shall we get started on Vietnam? I don't think so. Why is it that, when I was younger, I heard about the boat people, the reeducation camps, and so on only from the lips of "right-wingers"? Has anything changed? And burned into the mind of every conservative is the New York Times's headline, when the Khmer Rouge took over in Cambodia: "Indochina Without Americans: For Most, a Better Life." Nice going, guys.
What about today? I am repeatedly praised — by Cubans and Cuban Americans — for my attention to Cuba, yet I do practically nothing. The reason I am praised is that I do a little more than nothing. The same with the Chinese, who are more than a billion people, aren't they? I once received an award from an exile group — a human-rights group. In my remarks to them, I said I was embarrassed to be receiving the award, because I had done so little — an article or two about Falun Gong, some acknowledgments of Laogai (the Chinese gulag), a few squibs about someone I know, Jian-li Yang, who languishes in some Chinese dungeon.
Back to Cubans for a minute: Not long before he died, I talked to Ambassador Vernon Walters about the Free World's indifference to them. (Actually, the indifference is not the worst part; the excusing of that brutal regime is the worst part.) Said Walters, "[Journalists] would go to the death searching out Franco's or Pinochet's prisoners. But the attitude toward Castro's is, 'They probably deserve to be there anyway.' Anti-Communist prisoners are of no interest to anybody. A prisoner of a left-wing government is highly suspect, probably a fascist."
It's hard to get liberals interested in the Sudanese, massacred as they are — because they are not massacred by the "right" murderers — and you really can't get them interested in Arabs. They care about Palestinians to the extent that they can cast Israel as a monster, and the United States as the monster's Frankenstein (Great Satan/Little Satan). What the PA does to Palestinians is of no interest to virtually any liberal.
For the life of me I cannot understand this liberal compulsion to constantly vilify the motives and actions of this great country. I guess I am just a dumb believer in American exceptionalism.