July 7, 2005 by AK

So Putin basically said, “When Chechens kill us in Moscow, you guys don’t give a shit: ‘They had it coming’ — perhaps this will at last teach you a lesson.”

Pretty rude but not completely unfair, only exaggerated. Bad — I’d say idiotic — timing ruined Putin’s message — but let’s face it, the number of people who died as a result of Chechen terrorism in Moscow alone well exceeds the London body count. There were blasts in the underground, and a major hostage crisis. Looking back at that time, I’d say Muscovites showed exemplar stoicism and no signs of panic. One would expect the same from Londoners, inoculated by the IRA.

Britain doesn’t suspect how lucky it is not to have a copy of Chechnya anywhere near its shores. Yet it is working hard to cancel out this unearned advantage by importing unassimilable immigrants professing a belligerent religion.

The Russian problem with Britain is that the generation of Britons who could understand what was really going on in Chechnya — and how it feels for the common soldier — has long been dead. The only people in Europe who still get the meaning of an anti-guerilla war — any such war without exception and regardless of anybody’s angelic intentions — are the French (native and loyalist Algerian) veterans of the Algerian war. The trouble is, Russia can’t just leave like France. Chechnya must be completely insulated from Russia: it is deadly contagious. It’d be awfully nice if the human rights industry volunteered to pay.

The endearing spectacle of Vanessa Redgrave walking hand in hand with Chechen terrorist-intellectual Akhmed Zakayev… Vanessa will never forgive Russia for failing the Communist ideal she grew up on. Will she? — and where’s Lord Judd these days, I wonder?

Within a week of the Moscow “Nord Ost” hostage tragedy, the NYT ran three pieces by three more or less Russian authors: Anna Politkovskaya, Masha Gessen, and Yevgenia Albats. Politkovskaya is a rabid Chechenophile, a sort of journalistic John Lindh. Literally rabid — her articles are often devoid of common sense and logic. Gessen, deputy editor of Bolshoy Gorod, is remarkable for her visceral contempt for the common man, American or Russian — for the white trash, the redneck, the Bush (Putin) voter, for the red staters and the Muscovites who earn less than $1,500 a month. She’s reminiscent of the American female authors who earned the offensive nickname “feminazis”. Albats is generally more reasonable but also


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