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So-called "Liberal" mainstream media misinformation supports neo-con agenda

Reported by Chrish - February 11, 2007 -

An Associated Press story being carried at FOXNews.com reasserts the falsehood that Iranian President "Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be wiped off the map". This translation has been proven to be inaccurate but is still widely parroted nonetheless. Whether a product of journalistic laziness or agenda-driven, it has the same effect of instilling outrage and fear.

Here's the original quote, dissected by Arash Norouzi at Truthseeker:

So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:

"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).

So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel".


The full quote translated directly to English:

"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".

Word by word translation:

Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

Paul Joseph Watson at PrisonPlanet puts it in perspective, and in layman's terms:
"To claim Ahmadinejad has issued a rallying cry to ethnically cleanse Israel is akin to saying that Churchill wanted to murder all Germans when he stated his desire to crush the Nazis. This is about the demise of a corrupt occupying power, not the deaths of millions of innocent people."

"The closest translation to what the Iranian President actually said is, "The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time," or a narrow relative thereof. In no version is the word "map" used or a context of mass genocide or hostile military action even hinted at."

Jonathan Steele, writing at The Guardian, concluded

"The fact that he compared his desired option - the elimination of "the regime occupying Jerusalem" - with the fall of the Shah's regime in Iran makes it crystal clear that he is talking about regime change, not the end of Israel. As a schoolboy opponent of the Shah in the 1970's he surely did not favor Iran's removal from the page of time. He just wanted the Shah out."

So what is going on, and why is the heart of the mainstream American media still using the inflammatory phrase? it's the repitition and drilling tactic we've grown so accustomed to, more evidence that the mainstream media is not liberal at all. Robert Scher wrote, at Huffington Post,

"Now, if we can attract more attention to the substantive dispute of the Cole-Hitchens fight, we will also call attention to the fact that translations are tricky business. And those with political agendas can selectively choose translations to obscure the big picture and manipulate the media.

If the media can be conditioned to understand that they should be extra careful with translations pushed by the neocons, we will have taken a big step to thwarting the White House agenda to dishonestly paint the Iranian government as irrational and fast-track us to war."

Professor Juan Cole
suggests that every time we see this buzz-phrase, we contact the editor and
"Say that this idiom does not exist in Persian, and that what Ahmadinejad actually said was, "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time." And you can cite me."

Your local paper is probably carrying this article or some derivative. Please contact the editor and ask for a correction and more care in future articles. You can also contact the Associated Press at info@ap.org and ask them to drop the discredited phrase from their reporting.

As we know, the mainstream media was instrumental in spreading the fear and misinformation that caused a plurality of Americans to support the invasion of Iraq. We shouldn't and can't allow that to happen again. Whatever the problems with Iran, and the ultimate solutions, we must not be lied into another war of choice to further an agenda that is not in our best interests.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."