Columnist Thomas Sowell somehow concludes that diplomacy is incompatible with patriotism ("Intellectuals subverting patriotism...," page A13, July 3).

Failure to talk well with others has been seen as one of the important factors leading to World War I. The League of Nations was established, with a great deal of input from Woodrow Wilson, as a way of trying to prevent such a thing from happening again. When Congress refused to ratify that treaty, it was one of the major steps leading to World War II.

The United Nations was created on the premise that talking to everyone, including especially the nations we disagree with or oppose, is a way of working to prevent wars. There are those who believe the nuclear situation in North Korea got worse because President Bush refused to talk to or negotiate with it. Carl von Clausewitz wrote (and the U.S. War College teaches) that war is diplomacy by another means. Would it be better to save lives by exhausting other possibilities first?

I also find it interesting that Sowell pushes his own agenda by claiming that intellectuals are against America. Why? Because he is an intellectual who teaches at Stanford University.

Greg Wilcox