Will to believe

Does the amnesty component of President Bush’s “comprehensive immigration reform” have anything in common with the plan by Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to withdraw unilaterally from 95 percent of the West Bank? Both appear to acknowledge — but nevertheless repeat — some unhappy history with weak denials of the repetition. Perhaps some variety of Nietzschean eternal recurrence is at work, or some variety of the Jamesian will to believe.

By revisiting the history of the 1986 immigration reform law (in the New York Times, no less), former Attorney General Meese powerfully makes the case that President Bush seeks to repeat some unhappy history: “An amnesty by any other name…” By revisiting the more recent history of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, Caroline Glick powerfully makes the case that Prime Minister Olmert seeks to repeat some unhappy history: “Saying no to Olmert.”

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