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Monsieur Queenan Should Visit Italy

Letter to the Editor, Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2011

Though Joe Queenan may have shed some of his famously xenophobic sentiments, he continues to spew biased bon mots with unrestrained glee ("French Twist: Meet Monsieur Nice Guy," Review, April 2).

Indeed, having extolled France's newfound friendliness toward Americans, Mr. Queenan cannot resist reveling in his selective brand of ethnic derision: "Luckily, when last I checked, the Germans were still arrogant, the Italians were still incompetent, and the Canadians were still reliably unexciting."

Truth be told, Mr. Queenan should be grateful for the incompetence of the Italians. Thanks to the singularly inept scions of Italy, humanity was introduced to modern science, capitalism, the Renaissance, the rule of law, accounting, atomic energy, the emancipation of women and the Pax Romana. America's nascent republicówith its tripartite governmentówas based on that of those thoroughly inadequate ancient Italians, the Romans. Today's maladroit Italians are global peacekeepers, stalwart NATO allies and the founders of one of the world's leading industrial democracies.

Mr. Queenan should stop channeling Archie Bunker and consult John Milton, an Englishman who knew a thing or two about the Seed of Aeneas: "Italy is the seat of civilization and the hospitable domicile of every species of erudition."

Rosario A. Iaconis
Chairman,
The Italic Institute of America,
Floral Park, N.Y.

 

 
 

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