Nazis conquered Western Europe.”rnWhen I read that Mahl’s book “penetratesrnthe propagandistic pieties promulgatedrnbv the court historians and exposesrnthe . . . utter immoraht)’ of ruHng cHtes,”rnI thought, “This guy was trained in therndisinformation office of the old SovietrnKGB.” In my opinion it is not court historiansrn(whatever they are) but Raimondorn(and Mahl, too?) who deserves indictmentrnfor “propagandistic pieties.”rn-C.W. Borklundrnlx>cust Grove, VArnMr. Raimondo Replies:rnIf onlv I had been “trained in the disinformaHonrnoffice of the old Soviet KGB,”rnas Mr. Borklund would have it: Perhapsrnthen I would be a respected writer for thernNew York Times—or maybe even a neoconscrvative.rnAlas, my alma mater isrnmuch less prestigious, and so I am stuckrnanswering crank mail.rnMr. Borkkmd claims to have been educatedrnand inspired by Chronicles, butrnhis polemic leaves me with the impressionrnthat he is shocked that anyonernwould question the conventional explanationrnof the origins of World War II. Irnam bv no means the onl’ writer to offerrnan alternative view wlio has appeared inrnthe pages of this magazine. Perhaps Mr.rnBorklund has mistaken Chronicles forrnNational Review.rnMr. Borklund does not believe in thernexistence of a British fifth cokuiin in thisrncountr}’, despite the memoirs and memosrnof its own overseers and agents, citedrnin the review. I’he point oi DesperaternDeception is that the truth is far worsernthan the memoirists suggest. The et’-rnmological historv of the phrase “fifth column”rnis very interesting, and yes, thernBritish and their American supportersrnwere our enemies in 1939. In a coordinatedrncovert propaganda campaign, thernBrits bought off politicians, smearedrntheir opponents, and interfered cxtcnsivcK’rnin the American political process.rnThe Brits were our enemies becausernthe}- had mobilized their wealthy and influentialrnAmerican supporters on behalfrnof a cause that was not in American interestsrn—and, as Mahl shows, they wouldrnstop at nothing to achieve their goals.rnAs for Mr. Borklund’s journalistic concerns,rnthe answer to his questions aboutrnmurder are to be found by looking underrn”M” in die index oiDesperate Deception.rnThe Registration Act properly requiresrnthat agents of a foreign power register asrnsuch, but somehow the dozens of BSCrnfronts ensconced in Rockefeller Centerrnfailed to do so. Regarding the names ofrnthose sailors who were shanghaied—accordingrnto the testimony of BSC agentrnErnest Cuneo —I must admit he’s gotrnme there. While Cuneo’s memo doesrnnot name names, perhaps Mr. Borklundrnwould like to contribute to Chronicles’srninvestigative journalism fund so we canrnpursue the matter.rnAs for the tiuncoat Vandenberg: Irnthink another kind of pearl turned thernsenator away from his previous stance.rnEven before the attack on Pearl Harbor,rnhe was instrumental in imposing an economicrnembargo on Japan: While historianrnWayne S. Cole, in Roosevelt and thernIsolationists, contends that Vandenbcrg’srnkey role “unintentionally” aided the warrnparty, Mahl’s book places die randy Vandenbergrnin a new light.rnSince it was the interventionists whornworked tirelessly to get us into a war thatrnneedlessly slaughtered millions, Mr.rnBorklund’s contention that using “antiinterventioufst”rninstead of “isolationist” isrnequivalent to the pro-abortion crowd cooptingrndie word “choice” is grotesque.rnThe “isolationist” label was originallyrnmeant as a smear, and vet some opponentsrnof globalism came to wear it as arnbadge of honor. I prefer to call myself anrn”insulationisf — one who advocates insulatingrnwhat remains of our old republicrnagainst the fatal tcmptafions of empire.rnMr. Borklund will be glad to knowthatrnPresident Clinton has raised the “defense”rnbudget —ciurently bigger thanrnthe military budgets of the rest of thernw-orld combined. However, this will norndoubt fail to satisfy Mr. Borklund, diernconservative establishment, and congressionalrnRepublicans, who object to allrnforms of socialism except the militaristrnvariet’.rnOn DictationsrnNo sooner were my spirits raised by readingrnyour quotation from the Oxford EnglishrnDictionary on the meaning of tornparse than they were dashed by this sentencernin the New York Times: “‘It’s notrnjust, “Can you parse this sentence in thernsubjunctive?'” said Mrs. Cipolone, whornhad 36 Lahn students when she beganrnteaching 28 years ago and now has 140″rn(“In America’s Schools, Latin Enjoys arnRenaissance,” New York Times, Novemberrn27, 1998). We dare not endanger thernnewborn enthusiasm for Latin, but whatrncan it mean “to parse this sentence in thernsubjunctive,” as the eighth-grade Latinrnteacher puts it? But then, the article infonnsrnus, her students are recreatingrnVirgil’s Underworld, but a step awayrnfrom Dante’s Hell—and lefs not forgetrnthat Dante chose Virgil as his guide. Ifrnthese are the saviors of Latin, maybe wernshould remain damned.rnYou asked whether anyone was interestedrnin seeing the rubric Dictations continued.rnYes, the corruption of the languagernis probably the most insidiousrninstrument of repression: the lie par excellence.rnAnyone —and diere are few—rnwho has the sensitivity (psychologicalrnand cultural) to recognize it shoidd bernencouraged. Even if it is HumptyrnDumpt)’.rn— Olga RagusarnNew York, N^rnOn Viagra and the MilitaryrnI was bemused (but not amused!) by yourrnitem “Strong Defense” {Epicycles, Januar)-).rnAs a veteran of World War II, I cannotrnhelp wondering how we managed to winrnthat epic struggle without the help of thisrn”sex pill.” Can’t you just see our guysrnparachuting into the black night over thernCotenton Peninsula or, the next day,rnjumping off the landing craft into the livingrnhell of Omaha Beach, each witii arnpacket of Viagra pills in his knapsack inrncase he shoidd meet some comelyrnFrench babe? Maybe that is why wcrnwon: Our men saved their energies forrnfighting instead of well, ‘ou know.rnAs for the present-day Armv (or AirrnForce, or Navy —maybe not the Marines),rnone wonders how it would standrnup in mano a mano combat with anotherrnforce of fighting men who have not beenrnemasculated. Perhaps tiiat is why ourrnfeminized, homosexualized miHtaryrnmust depend so heavily on high-techrnw capons. The “gender” or “sexual orientation”rnof button ]3ushers does not matter.rnWhat happens, though, when theyrnrun out of Tomahawk missiles and havernto go in with cold steel?rn-Joseph P. WallrnPhiladelphia, PArnAPRIL 1999/5rnrnrn