S8 / CHRONICLESnHouse” demands upon the currentnchairmen of both the NEA and thenNEH to reverse more peer panel decisionsnthan they do, and I’m glad thatnhe finds such vetoing to be, in principle,nas objectionable as I do. Replyingnfrom West Berlin, where you get anvisceral sense of the profound differencesnbetween East and West, I tooncommend both chairmen for resistingnsuch efforts — from both politiciansnand cultural bureaucrats with czaringntemptations. One discovery I madenhere in Berlin was that a second cousinnwhom I had never met, the writernA.L. Dymshitz (1910-75), was the Sovietncultural commissar in East Germanynright after the war. In the coursenOne Hand ClappingnAs the Gongress of the UnitednStates goes about curtailing thenPresident’s options in the PersiannGulf, Nicaragua, and elsewhere,nnothing less than the historical rolenof the Gommander in Ghief seemsnat stake. At the center of any suchndiscussion is the figure of America’snfirst soldier-statesman, GeorgenWashington, whose legacy has beennexamined recently in Don Higginbotham’snGeorge Washington andnthe American Military Traditionn(Athens, Georgia: The University ofnGeorgia Press).nHigginbotham contends that thenU.S. has been served best by andeferential military. Contrastingn”diplomatic” generals like Eisenhower,nGeorge Marshall, andnGeorge Washington (the “Ikes”) tonsoldiers like MacArthur, Pershing,nand Sherman (the “Macs”), Higginbothamnsees a close cooperationnbetween the military and the Gongressnas prerequisite for success, eithernin war or peace.nAll that is reasonable enough, yetn”Macs” have made a considerablencontribution to the nation, and thatnalone should set us wonderingnwhether Higginbotham’s (and notnonly his) premise may not be toonsimplistic. “A theatre commander,”nMacArthur said after his dismissalnin 1951, “is not merely limited tonof hearing about his disagreeable activities,nI’ve come to the conclusion that,nif we are to have state support ofnculture, I know in my gut, as I havenwritten in these pages before (Januaryn1985), that we don’t want to do what isndone in the East. We don’t want authoritarianncultural commissars; wendon’t want politicians influencingncultural policy; we don’t want to letn”acceptable” bureaucratic connectionsn(or even credentials) become morenpersuasive than personal achievementnin rewarding scholars and artists,netc., etc.nNeusner’s concluding paragraphnraises the question of whether wenshould now monitor the NEA’s re­nREVISIONSnhandling his troops; he commandsnthe whole area politically, economicallynand militarily. . . . Whennmen become locked in battle therenshould be no artifice under thenname of politics which should handicapnour men.”nWhen MacArthur applied hisncredo with success in the 1943-n1948 Pacific, nobody in the U.S.nCongress complained. It was onlynwhen MacArthur wanted to wagenwar in Korea, instead of “politics bynother means,” that he ran into trouble.nIn Vietnam, however, then”Korea Approach” was carried to itsnlogical conclusion. General Westmorelandnrecorded his own verdictnon the fiasco: “Overall control ofnthe military is one thing; shacklingnprofessional military men with restrictionsnin professional mattersnimposed by civilians who lack militarynunderstanding is another.”nUpholding the example of heroicnGeorge Washington, who battlednthe British while accommodatingnhis own troops and the Congress (atnloggerheads even at that early date),nHigginbotham suggests that, fornAmerica, there is no other way. “Ifna soldier would command annarmy,” George Marshall observed,n”he must be prepared to withstandnthose who would criticize the mannernin which he leads that army.”nIn the Revolutionary War, then”system” worked because of thennnsponses to criticism by seeing whethernFrancis S.M. Hodsoll will veto grantsnthat departmental panels award to me,nknown as “Dr. Grants” not only becausenI give true advice but also becausenas Neusner notes, I have gotnseveral personal fellowships from thenNEA. Indeed, I’m counting on you,ncomrade, to be my watchdog on thenNEA premises, because you’ve alreadynshown that, as a Western intellectual,nyou need not get your chairman’s approvalnbefore putting the truth aboutnhim and his situation into print.n—Richard KostelanetznWest Berlinngenius of a single man, GeorgenWashington, who combined thenqualities of a good soldier withnthose of a consummate politician.nIn Eisenhower’s case (and Marshall’s)nit worked because thenenemy had bitten oflF more thannthey could chew. The war mightnhave been finished earlier (and withnbetter results) with MacArthur’s (ornPatton’s) approach. (The Soviets,nwho won both the war and peace,nlet their armies contend only withnthe enemy.)nIs “civilian control” of the militarynin time of war truly a preconditionnfor democracy, or merely annAmerican tradition? It would beninteresting to speculate what approachnGeorge Washington wouldnhave taken, were he faced with antruly numerous, well-supplied, andnimplacable enemy, unwilling tonleave the Americans at peace innwinter or with the luxury of havingnlarge segments of their populationneither neutral or noncombatant.nHigginbotham’s call for a small,nhighly professional standing armynand a well-trained, mass NationalnGuard is in the best tradition ofnAmerica’s volunteer spirit and distrustnof standing armies. But it doesnnot address the real problem: Can ansystem of checks and balances worknin a life and death struggle fornsurvival, as the war already on isnmore than likely to turn out? (MS)n