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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Through the looking glass
Today's march for illegal immigrants in downtown LA is slightly less populated than last year's estimated 650,000. This year there's only around 100. Not 100,000: 100.

But that's not what moved me to write this post. The LA times blog is at the scene of the paltry march, interviewing illegal immigrants who, despite their lives led in fear, seem to have no qualms about giving their full names. Here's a snippet of an interview:

"This is not right," said Andres Meza, 41, an electrician from Placentia in Orange County who immigrated illegally from Mexico nearly 20 years ago.

Meza said the lack of comprehensive immigration reform has left him a life full of uncertainty, and prevented him from doing things like taking his 15 year-old daughter Arleth, a student of Japanese, to Japan, or even reporting simple crimes.

Here's what struck me: Meza says that "the lack of comprehensive immigration reform has left him a life full of uncertainty..." I guess that's one way of looking at it. But isn't there another way of looking at it, namely, that he lives a life of uncertainty because he immigrated illegally?

I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately - how I feel like I live in an opposite world from others I listen to or read about. Some people live in a world where the Bush administration has ruined diplomatic relations even with many of our friends abroad (overheard at Shabbat lunch). I live in a world where, say, France attacks America and criticizes the liberation of Iraq because of its own economic interests. Some people live in a world where Bush lied about weapons to lead us to war (read in the letters section of a newspaper - I know the letter writer). I live in a world where the U.S. Senate authorization of the use of force included around 20 other reasons, not mention where every other nation's intelligence believed Iraq to have the weapons. Some people live in a world where a U.S. withdrawal would make the world safer for America. I live in a world where a U.S. withdrawal would make the world safer for Al Qaeda.

We can't both be right, can we?
I think there are very few people out there who are truly objective, who can look at "facts" and analyze them and come to an appropriate conclusion, based on historical context, as to their meaning.

The majority of people make up their minds about what the news means even before they hear it, and need to evaluate it based on their own personal biases. People put their own "spin" on things.

Since the war on terror has always been an opinion war (let's face it, terrorists can't do very much from a military or strategic point of view), these friends of yours who continue to see things from the terrorist's point of view are basically fighting on their side, ensuring their victory. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy for them. I'm surprised so few of them have the insight to really understand the role they play.
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