Random Shots: Make Them Drink the Water

Against the Current, No. 21, July/August 1989

R.F. Kampfer

LEN DEIGHION’s latest spy series has been running for six years through five thick books. There are two more scheduled, with no guarantee that we will learn which side Fiona Samson is really working for when they are finally published. One needs a touch of masochism to get involved in this conspiracy from the beginning. Let’s hope that Deighton has left us the answers to the mystery in his will, in case something happens to him before he finishes writing.

The only good thing about losing a game, a war, or an election, is that it shows who your real friends are.

Kampfer’s Kitchen

POPCORN CAN BE greatly improved by adding a few drops of Worcestershire sauce to the melted butter.

Really Existing Socialism

THERE ARE FEW more distasteful sights than soldiers of an allegedly socialist country doing the goose-step.

There are very few members of the U.S. trade-union leadership that one could visualize on a picket line. There is nobody in the leadership of the world Communist establishment that one couJd imagine on a barricade.

Capital Follies

The F.A.O. Schwartz toy store has launched the First Children’s Bank in Manhattan. Yuppy puppies will be offered instruction in basic budgeting skills, insurance, investing and starting a business.

One suggestion that has been made to reduce water pollution is to require all factories to locate their water intake pipes downstream from their discharge pipes.

Military Musings

OVER FORTY YEARS since that defense was rejected in the Nuremberg Trials, Ollie North still claims that he was just following orders. Except in his case, they were more like hints.

A much better example of an officer and a gentleman would be General Dietrich von Cholitz. At great personal risk, he disobeyed a dumb order from Hitler to destroy Paris. All of us who have enjoyed that city should raise a glass to him on Bastille Day.

It’s typical of the U.S. Navy that they’d spent millions to refurbish the battleship Iowa, then stock it with ammunition so old it was totally unreliable.

According to Rambo Ill, the headquarters of a Russian spesnatz battalion in Afghanistan is less fortified than a Detroit party store.

In July 1944, a German torpedo-boat commander put into Venice to refuel and found the city held by 5,000 armed partisans. With twenty-six men and a totally imaginary fleet, he bluffed them into surrendering and kept it going for a week until he was relieved by the German army.

July-August 1989, ATC 21

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