I am limited, to put it mildly, in my admiration for neocons and the blessings they have brought to America and the world.

But to give credit where it is due: just now on BBC's HARDtalk program, Robert Kagan -- he of the "Mars vs. Venus" description of virile America versus weakling Europe -- did an admirable job of handling the interviewer Stephen Sackur. Sackur's specialty has become the haughty-sounding "Surely it's preposterous to suggest.." school of bullying interrogation. Often this involves hopping around from theme to theme, the continuity provided mainly by the superior tone.

Kagan, who is now a McCain advisor, dealt with this act as well as I've seen done, calling Sackur out on each of the logical jumps. Bonus point to him for admitting (in roughly these words) that the war in Iraq had "hurt America's image, largely deservedly." The BBC's internet video of the show, here, gave me an error message saying it's not available in China. (I saw it on actual TV.) If it works where you are and you'd like to see someone stand his ground, check it out.

UPDATE: Word from the US is that this clip is available only in the UK. Sorry! But surely it's preposterous to suggest that the BBC can indefinitely bottle up its shows. Will pass on any word I get about other sources.

BETTER UPDATE: Gavin Sheridan points out that while the BBC's own iPlayer is UK-only, a number of shows, including the one I'm talking about, are available on its normal web site. So here it is, Mars, Venus, HARDtalk, and all.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.