LIMASSOL, Cyprus -- Europeans have a way of knowing what's best for other peoples' conflicts but facing their own crises with ineptitude, and there is no better demonstration of this than their attitude to the war in Chechnya.

There is something galling about Gauls lecturing the world on what The New Republic's Martin Peretz has derisively called "the salvific power of diplomacy." After all, the Europeans were feckless accomplices to genocidal slaughters within their own continent in the past decade.

Consider the Dutch peacekeepers' willingness to hand over 7,500 Bosnian young men from a U.N. safe haven, to be executed by Serbian forces. Or Germany's recitation throughout the 1990s that "force doesn't solve anything," particularly in the Balkans. Only when the United States showed leadership was the slaughter of Muslims halted.