Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Poor Peter Pace

Poor Peter Pace. Yesterday, the top military officer in America gave stirring and moving testimony on the subject of immigration. Pace, whose parents were Italian immigrants, stressed the opportunities America gave them that are not available anywhere else. And he noted that the first marine he lost in combat--in the Vietnam war--was an immigrant. Pace was so overcome with emotion that he broke down in tears, unable to talk for about a minute during the hearing.

The natural conclusion is that this is an issue that General Pace feels very passionate about, and clearly one in which he is willing to defend vigorously the dignity of immigrants--many of whom are serving America in combat today. The unnatural conclusion, forwarded by CNN's Lou Dobbs, is that Pace's own testimony is an "insult" to Pace for which he deserves "an apology."

Dobbs, frankly, is going insane. He calls for the GOP and President Bush to rise "above politics", as if they are courting the famously powerful and fickle illegal immigrant voting bloc. Or perhaps they're courting the (non-sarcastically) powerful Latino voting bloc--but if they feel comradery with their undocumented brethren, maybe Mr. Dobbs shouldn't be so quick to dismiss "blur[ring] the line between legal and illegal immigration" as "unforgivable."

But regardless of that, I am gratified to hear General Pace present his views and his story. Even if it can't persuade those, like Dobbs, past the point of reason, perhaps it will have an impact on those who believe that one of America's greatest warriors might have a legitimate opinion on the subject. And there's nothing to apologize about that.

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