coopt Catholic rituals. On Easter, a renegadernpriest served “Mass” in a mockrnCatholic cereinon’ in St. Peter’s, completernwith republican symbols, histead ofrnthe Pope, Maz/ini appeared on the balc()rnn- beside the priest. Mazzini’s governmentrnfined the canons of the cathedralrnwho refused to take part in the blasphemy.rnin later years. Pope Pius IX—still anrnhumane reformer—watched as the PiedniontesernKingdom of Italy swallowed uprnthe Papal States. In response to this spoliadonrnand vandalism—which put VictorrnEmmanuel’s ministers in the same categorrnwith Thomas Cromwell and Robespierrern—most good Italian Catholics acc|rnuieseed, but they refused to parhcipaternin politics until Mussolini signed a concordatrnw ith the Church (an arrangementrnnow under attack by Italian leftists), givingrnindependence to die Vatican.rnAlthough Pius IX has been severelyrncriticized botii for his political mistakesrnand for his rcaetionan.’ principles, his intransigencernma’ have saved the CatholicrnChurch. On his election, many Europeanrnliberals were coufidentiy predictingrnthat he woidd be the last Pope, becausernthe Church was on the point of extinction.rnWhile it might be an exaggerationrnto sa that Pius IX singlehandedlv rescuedrnthe Church, it is on]’ fair to acknowledgernthat he was die instrument. Itrnis to be hoped that this and otiier works ofrnRoberto de Mattei will soon be put intornprint b an American publisher.rn’I’homas Fleming is the editor of Chroniclesrnand the president of The Rockford Institute.rnFighting the Big Warrnhy Joseph E. FallonrnMv Life as a Jarhead: USMC 1941-45rnhr Ralph Walker Willisrn’lucson: Patrice Press;rn120 pp.. S9.95rnWhat did -ou do in tire big war?”rnhis grandchildren asked. RiilphrnWalker Willis has answered them in MyrnLife as a jarhead: L/SMC J94J-45, a valuablernbook for anyone interested in thernsubjects of histor’ and heroism. His isrnnot the memoir of a politician or militaryrnofficer, nor a polished work of self-promotionrnpenned by a ghostwriter. This isrnthe raw and gripping story of an Americanrnboy who enlisted in the U.S. MarinernCorps ten days after Japan attacked PearlrnHarbor and chronicled his experiencesrnduring four years of war in the Pacific —rnincluding the Battle of Ivvo Jima and thernU.S. occupation of Japan.rnMy Life as a jarhead is the antidote tornTom Brokavv’s highly publicized ThernGreatest Generation, which includesrnWorld War II recollections of ordinaryrnand famous Americans as a marketingrndevice. Ignoring standards of scholarlyrnresearch and even of journalistic integrity,rnThe Greatest Generation portraysrnAmericans who grew up in the Depressionrnand then won World War 11 —asrnwell as their society and governnient-asrnshamefully racist, particularly in regardrnto Japanese-Americans. Today, morernthan ever before, tire dominant news mediarndo not report the news; they manufacturernit, recreating the past—as Brokawrnattempted to do — so that history, too,rnmay conform to their prejudices.rnMr. Willis is an excellent observer whornuses w ords as a painter uses paint to creaternpowerful images of his experiences.rnHe writes honestiy about World War II,rnthe Japanese, and U.S. militar}’ bureaucracies.rnHe began his hitch in the MarinernCorps on December 17, 1941, inrnSan Diego; there, four years and twornweeks later, it officially ended. In betweenrncame the adventures and niisad-rnN’entures that are the subject of his book.rnIn boot camp, Willis survived his firstrnMarine haircut, an exercise duringrnwhich a young Marine threw,- a grenadernthe wrong w.’av, and an attempt by Navyrndoctors to inrprove liis health by removingrnhis tonsils in an operation that nearlyrnkilled him. His observations, as a memberrnof the 5th Marine Division, of the reactionrnof Hawaiians before and after thernhvo Jima campaign to the arrival of U.S.rnMarines in Hilo, Hawaii, raise questionsrnconcerning the depth of their loyalty tornthe United States. The Battle for’lwo Jiura,rnhowever, is the heart and soul of thisrnbook. A volcanic island (the namernmeans Sulfur Island), Iwo Jima is fivernmiles long by two-and-a-half wide. Situatedrnhalfway between T’okyo and thernU.S. air base on the Pacific island ofrnSaipan, it was crucial to the effort tornlaiuich more frequent and deadlier airrnraids against Japan. Iwo Jima, however,rnwas heavily fortified and defended byrn20,000 Japanese troops. The ensuingrnbattle, which lasted from Februar- tornMarch 1944, was one of the bloodiest inrnthe Pacific theater, costing the UnitedrnStates over 6,800 dead Marines and morernthan 17,000 wounded.rnWillis was there from beginning tornend. He writes of being in the fourthrnwave of the invasion force and watchingrnas most of the first three waves—men andrnmachines —were blown to smithereens.rnAmerican military intelligence had misjudgedrnthe location and size of the Japanesernguns, as well as the effectiveness ofrnArmy Air Force bombing and Navyrnshelling in weakening the enemy.rnThe sea and beach quickly ran redrnwith blood. Hulks of destroyed landingrncraft and bodies of dead Marines cloggedrnthe waters and choked the beach. Thernwounded had to endure their pain untilrnthe second da}’, since wreckage and debrisrnprevented evacuation. That firstrnnight, the surviving Marines remainedrnpinned down on the beach, shivering inrnthe rain. Onl- the shooting by the Navyrnof illuminating starburst shells preventedrnthe Japanese troops from launching arnbanzai charge to exterminate the vulnerablernMarines. Willis vividly describes thernscene the second day as demolition crewsrnworked feverishly to blast openingsrnthrough the wreckage to enable bulldozerrntanks to come ashore and clear thernbeach so the wounded could be removedrnand reinforcements landed.rnHe was there on February 23, 1944,rnwhen Marines raised tiie American flagrnon Mount Suribachi, although morernthan two weeks of heavy fighting layrnahead of them. Willis recounts his experiencesrnduring that month of hell andrnhow he was nearly killed more than once.rnThe Japanese used dum-dum (known todayrnas “black talon”) bullets against thernMarines to rip out as much flesh as possiblernwith each shot. He was present whenrnU.S. military leaders decided to declarernvictory in March, ordering ammo collected,rnrifles unloaded, and hinr to takernseveral squads back to a troop ship lyingrnoff the coast of the island. This “victory”rntinned out to be a fatal illusion for thosernMarines left unarnred on Iwo Jima:rnMany were butchered in their sleep byseveralrnhundred Japanese troops who hadrnbeen hiding out in eaves. Wiren victoryrntruly was achieved, Willis’s battalion hadrnbeen reduced to the size of a company.rnAfter Iwo Jima, the battalion wasrnshipped back to Hawaii. But it soonrnboarded another troop ship, sailing eastrnagain and stopping at Midway, Guam,rnKwajalein, and Saipan, where it wasrnMAY 2001/27rnrnrn