Death Trap

The Chechnya war is a bloody mess -- politically and militarily -- with no good exit in sight

The pictures of bomb-gutted buildings and bloody-faced civilians could have come from Sarajevo. Footage of burned corpses protruding from tank hatches might have been taken along the Highway of Death leading out of Kuwait. But there was something unnervingly different about the war in Chechnya, as a government turned its military might upon its own people and attempted, at terrible cost to its own soldiers, to level their capital city. For all the destruction and death, there was no victory to be had. David was defying Goliath, a Goliath that had held the world in fear for a half-century. It bred...