Here’s good old War Nerd comparing America’s Iraq problems and Russia’s Chechnya quagmire. The US can always follow the example of the French and the British: cut and run. (If Iraq remains a problem thereafter, it can be bombed into whatever prehistoric age American pundits will find the most appealing.) Russia doesn’t have that option. It can still pull out but not overnight. It will need a wall or a fortified border to keep Chechen guerillas out of Russia. Being a continental power is a pain.

Nathan points at David Aaronovich‘s blasting John Laughland et al. at the British Helsinki Human Rights Group. It turns out that Laughland, Mark Almond and Christine Stone share views that can be described as both libertarian (with caveats) and isolationist, shall I say crypto-Buchananite? Sounds good to me — though I’m enamored of trade protectionism — but being on the fringes is bad for one’s sense of proportion, which should the basis for sound judgement. Occasionally, Laughland and his colleagues get so carried away they should expect to hear the most patient readers giggle. Sometimes the Oxford sages are on solid ground, as in Stone and Almond’s defense of Czechoslovakia’s “lustration” (de-Communization) law.

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