Reading too much into coincidences

I’m in a very strange state right now.

My job is confirmed for about another year, but I’ve been furiously searching for another. Pantaliamon and I had big plans regarding having a child in the near future, and we’ve been forced to shelve them while I wait to see what my financial state will be. Although I’m not being pressured to find something more secure, I feel the pressure to do it nonetheless. I didn’t attend college so I could live through same kind of financial instability my parents did when I was growing up.

So, I’ve been sending out resumes to little effect, but yesterday I got a sign that someone has actually read it.

My work has a conference on international affairs and journalism planned for May, and my email box is where all the online registrations end up. One of yesterday’s registrations just happened to be the VP of Communications for a nonprofit I applied to two weeks ago -- the very person who is hiring for the position. Since I know we haven’t mailed anything to her regarding the conference -- she’s not even on our mailing list -- the only way should could have found out about it is when she saw my resume. Our URL is listed under my accomplishments.

The Deputy Director was delighted when she saw that the VP had registered. “I wonder how she found out about this?” she asked.

“I dunno,” I replied, innocently. “Maybe she just visits our website regularly?”

Of course, it could have just been a coincidence. It’s not like I’ve actually been called in for an interview, yet. Nonetheless, my heart stopped for an instant when I saw that registration in my inbox.

Pfc. Jessica Lynch has been found. I can’t describe how happy this makes me. She’s the reason I wrote “Expecting other peoples' children to make the sacrifice,” and I’m so glad that she’s alive.

One of the journalists at work -- who is normally very sensible -- told me today how angry she was about the coverage regarding Jessica’s rescue.

“The media is so biased,” she said to me. “They haven’t even reported that Jessica was in a hospital -- the Iraqis were treating her for her wounds.”

Now, I’m a cynic. I question the media and the government on a regular basis. But the fact remains that Jessica was being tortured in that hospital. She had at least two untreated gunshot wounds, as well as other injuries. The war in Iraq may not be just, but that doesn’t make the Iraqis saints. They torture prisoners in hospitals for a reason -- so it appears to the Arab world (and naive American reporters) that they’re treating the people they’re actually inflicting terrible agony on. You’d think that someone who covered the region for over a decade would have a more realistic view of things. But then again, I guess the recent controversy over Peter Arnett’s coverage is proof that experience doesn’t make up for stupidity.

I informed her that no, the media was reporting that she was in a hospital, but also that she had been tortured by the Iraqi “feyadeen” there. Something my reporter friend refused to believe.

What is wrong with people? Why can’t they grasp the concept of a nuanced world? Yes, the war may be wrong, but it doesn’t make Saddam Hussein and his forces angels, either. It’s like people pick a side and say, “These are the good guys” and completely ignore the established facts about the other side.

I know it’s painful for some people to admit, but both sides can be wrong. I know that makes it impossible to pick a side, but that’s why you have to create your own.