Italian-American, Marine Readers Give Gen. Peter Pace A Piece Of Their Mind
July 21, 2006, 05:00 AM
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My day job as an English as a Second Language instructor at the Lodi Adult School in California's San Joaquin Valley serves me well in my alternate career as a columnist.

What I've learned as a teacher is that the same concept has to be repeated over and over again—often in different contexts— before a light finally goes on in my students' heads.

Sometimes understanding takes an hour, sometimes six weeks. Sometimes it never happens.

And so it goes with my columns…we at VDARE.COM address the same illegal immigration problems from different perspectives day after day.

Fortunately, our columns have heightened awareness among Americans and helped to stimulate a backlash against the federal government's irresponsible immigration policies.

But, although select members of the House of Representatives know of what VDARE.COM speaks, the U.S. Senate remains with its collective heads securely wedged, save for the 36 Senators who voted "Nay" on S.2611—the Bush, McCain and Kennedy Amnesty/ Immigration Acceleration bill.

This summer, under the direction of Arlen Specter, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pro-illegal immigration Senators like Specter, John McCain, Edward M. Kennedy and Lindsey Graham have spent their days trying to convince America that their chicken feathers bill is really chicken salad.

That's been "no sale" across the country. But it is interesting to note the extent to which the Senate has gone to promote its hogwash.

Although three components represent the heart of the Senate amnesty bill, curiously—or maybe not— its last hearing, "Contributions Immigrants Have Made to the Armed Forces," did not address any of its central points that are:



  • Amnesty for what it claims are 12 million illegal aliens; but really total 20 million

Instead the hearing's subject was the role of immigrants in the military! And the location was Miami, Fl. with its 60 percent foreign-born population.

Into the starring role, the Senate cast General Peter Pace, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. Pace is the son of legal Italian immigrants.

Sobbing, Pace recalled his family's struggles and the efforts of his immigrant Marine colleagues before concluding with the obvious (and off-topic) observation about economic advantages of living in the U.S.:

"There is no other country on the planet that affords that opportunity to those who come.''

Okay…but

  • Pace is not an immigrant but a U.S. citizen born to legal immigrants. Why is he called to testify and ramble on about his legal U.S. immigrant parents? 

  • America is debating illegal immigration and its impact on all aspects of our society. Not under active discussion is whether or not an immigrant might make a good soldier or be valuable to the military.

  • Through his tears, Pace pointed out that 200 non-citizens have been given awards or medals in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.    But 200 represents .001 percent of the 20 million illegal aliens that America, minus Pace, is focused on.

In all honesty, who is a more credible witness about illegal aliens, the Hazleton, Pa. Mayor Lou Barletta whose city pays for them every day, Sheriff Rick Flores of Laredo, TX who watches them smuggle drugs or Pace, one of President Bush's apologists?

Pace now joins the dishonorable Italian-America Sell-Out Club formerly the exclusive domain of New Mexico Senator Pete Dominici.

Pace has infuriated VDARE.COM readers and contributors who are either Italian-Americans or Marines

In response to a blog on Lawrence Auster's View From The Right about the sorry Pace behavior, VDARE.COM contributor Howard Sutherland wrote:

"This former Marine officer is disgusted by the crying and the shilling. Today's generals are worse than eunuchs. Graham's closing comment is equally revolting." [Note: Sutherland refers to Senator Lindsey Graham's remark: "It takes a strong Marine to cry."]

Added VDARE.COM writer and former Marine D.A. King:

"Gen. Pace should be weeping over the refusal of his commander in chief to secure American borders or honor the constitution that he is sworn to protect. In honor of his father, Pace should be concerned about the nation's survival. Instead Pace, by allowing himself to be used by the open borders wing of the U.S. government in a shameless, sniveling and contrived on-camera episode, has made a mockery of his position and the rule of law. Pace will cry over supposed opportunities denied to the rest of the world...but he mentioned nothing about the opportunities denied to Americans who are looking for a better life and who depend on their government to protect them in that pursuit."

Former Marine Mary Leverett wrote us from Texas about how Pace was, in her word, "used":

"I found it abysmally disappointing that the man was stuck in a dog-and-pony show that was supposed to address illegal immigration - but which was only reported in the MSM as his 'emotional testimony' relating the struggles of his own parents & family, who came to this country legally.

Our Italian-American regular letter writers have weighed in:

"I'm very frustrated and disappointed that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is involved in immigration hearings.  The service heads are by tradition supposed to stay out of public political disputes that are not directly related to military operations. I really think his public testimony crosses that line. But since he was asked, however, I would expect Pace to support the rule of law and stand against open borders anarchy."

"Pace filled the role of a 'useful idiot' and the crying was, I'm sure, not rehearsed but unbecoming a Marine. Why didn't Pace extol his father's arrival through legal channels?  But if he said he would do that, he wouldn't have been called before the committee."

What the Senate hearings amount to is time wasted.

And if I can pass along to Specter et al another valuable classroom lesson: "Please stay on task!"

The subject before you is the illegal immigration crisis. You fool no one with your transparent distractions.

Americans are tired of waiting for border security and internal enforcement, two elements that would reduce illegal immigration.

And they are sick of your duplicity.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.