demand as a speaker, if his popularity asrna talk radio subject is any indication.rnIt remains to be seen just what legalrneffect his case will have. Until Mc-rnConnell’s letter, New had relatively littlernsupport in the Senate. Sen. Larry Craigrnof Idaho has cosponsored a resolution tornmake wearing the U.N. uniform illegal,rnbut even if this resolution is attached torna Defense Appropriations bill that becomesrnlaw, it cannot help New retroactivelv.rnAnd it does not address the questionrnof foreign command of Americanrntroops.rnSenator Robert Dole has spokenrnagainst U.N. command of American soldiersrnand Americans in U.N. uniforms,rnand consequently would seem to be arnlikely source of support. But as of Aprilrnhe had not yet interested himself inrnNew’s case specifically.rnAnd so New’s case works its wayrnthrough Congress and two courts, whilernAmericans continue to serve underrnforeign command—and not just at thernbrigadier general level, either. ThernWashington Times reported on Marchrn5 that 18 U.S. soldiers were serving underrna Russian colonel named AlexanderrnLentsov in Bjeljina, Bosnia-Herzegovina.rnLentsov, wrote the Times, “helped leadrnthe bloody attack on the Chechen capital,rnGrozny, more than a year ago.”rn”Frankly, we don’t have the bodies to defensernourselves, so we have to rely on thernRussians for defense,” said Maj. TomrnWilhelm to the Times. “We are puttingrnour lives in their hands—literally.”rnWhile neither the Army nor the Departmentrnof Defense spokesmen couldrnsay how many American soldiers are currentlyrnwearing the U.N. uniform, a JointrnChiefs of Staff report prepared by Lt.rnCol. Pat Larkin showed that as of February,rnthe total number of troops wearingrnthe U.N.’s blue beret was 2,656. Theserntroops were stationed in Haiti, Macedonia,rnthe Western Sahara, the MiddlernEast, and Georgia.rnAnother 86,000 troops in Americanrnuniform were supporting U.N. peace andrnhumanitarian operations, or enforcingrnUnited Nations Security Council resolutions.rnOf that total, 29,000 troops werernin Bosnia-Herzgovina and the rest inrnKorea and Iraq. As these numbers show,rnmany more troops than New’s battalionrnare now or could potentially be orderedrnto serve under foreign command.rn”I am not trying to avoid a difficult orrndangerous assignment or to get out ofrnthe .Army,” New wrote in his Septemberrn19, 1995, statement. “I served in Kuwaitrnlast year and have offered to serve anywherernin the world, in my American uniform,rnin the capacity as a U.S. Armyrnmedic under American command andrnU.S. Constitutional protections.” But,rnhe continued, “I simply cannot understandrnthe legal basis of the Army order tornchange my uniform and, thus, shift or alterrnmy status and allegiance against myrnoath of enlistment, my conscience andrnagainst my will.”rnEvery volunteer in the U.S. ArmedrnServices, by taking a service oath whichrnincludes a promise to obey orders, givesrnup certain rights he had as a civilian.rnMichael New’s fate will show if the rightrnto refuse to serve in a foreign army is nowrnone of them.rnKatherme Dalton is a freelance writerrnand editor in Louisville, Kentucky.rnLITERATURErnConrad Aikenrnby Ralph de ToledanornIwas to meet Cap Pearce at his office atrn12:30, for discussion of a book contractrnand for one of our lunches at arnsmall Italian restaurant in the East Thirtiesrnwhere the veal scallopini was wellrnpounded and the wine muscular. ButrnCap called and said, “Come eady. ConradrnAiken will be here to pick up copiesrnof his new book, and I’d like to see yournbeing tongue-tied in the presence ofrngreatness.” The world has forgottenrnCharles A. Pearce, although his letters tornwriters he edited turned up in this or thatrncollection. He was the kind of editorrnwho could work with a T.S. Eliot and arnJohn O’Hara, as he did when he was withrnHarcourt, Brace; mollify and extract thernbest from young and ovcrasscrtive writersrnon their first books; and get a best-sellingrnauthor (as I was then) to acknowledgernthat Cap had the finest and most perceptiverncopy pencil in the business—andrndon’t Maxwell Perkins me!rnI always listened to Cap because hernwas the only real editor I have everrnknown, and because of the mutual affectionrnand respect which bound us together.rnAt the time, I knew that his publishingrnhouse, Duell, Sloan & Pearce, wasrnbeing destroyed by a liberal whisperingrncampaign which marked him “fascist”rnand bevond the pale because he hadrnrejected on grounds of simple incompetencernone of Howard Fast’s “historical”rnnovels. For this he should have recei’edrnthe plaudits of the literate in the bookrntrade—for even Grub Street had givenrnFast, whose potboiled work gave off arnmackerel aura, a bad name.rnAnd Conrad Aiken? In prep school Irnhad read and reread his poems, gonernthrough all the critical writing by andrnabout him on the school’s library shelves,rnand had somehow begged or borrowedrnthe money to buy his Selected Poems. Irnhad typed and made carbon copies ofrntwo of Aiken’s lyrics. When I’rout SwimrnDown Great Ormond Street and Music IrnHeard With You, which I distributed torngood friends and to my English teachers.rnAnd 1 had learned more about the poet’srncraft from studying Aiken’s work than arnyear with George Saintsbury’s greatrnstudy of prosody. Few poets knew so wellrnthe exquisite use of language and thernmeters and pauses, the rhythms of verse.rnAs I rushed to Cap’s office, I felt slightlyrnembarrassed that I possessed at the timernonly two of Aiken’s novels—Blue Voyagernand Conversation—which I had read andrnreread with absorption and envy.rnIn those years—as reporter, editor,rnand writer—I had met more than myrnshare of the great and near-great inrnpolitics and letters—even to makingrncharitable (and unrepaid) “loans” to anrnunwashed James Baldwin. I had readrnsubstantially in the works of living andrndead poets, trying hard to seek thernessence of their ars poetica while escapingrnentrapping mannerisms to confusernmy own verse—tremendously difficultrnin the case of T.S. Eliot who penetratedrnlike a dog beneath the skin. But Aikenrnhad, for some reason, posed no suchrnproblem, and the ineffable seriousnessrnand delight of reading him had not encumberedrnme—this though to everythingrnhe touched he gave significancernand a special patina. Ilis use of the denotativernand connotative in language, hisrncontrol of emotion while giving it freedom,rnand above all his sense of form andrnsense of the line, were not to be foundrnanywhere in the verse of his time andrnmine.rnAlain, in the essays he published in thernNouvelle Revue Francaise, had once writ-rnJULY 1996/43rnrnrn