I've been meaning to post on this for a week or so bit got sidetracked by some business travel. There is plenty of buzz out that the Bush Administration is itching to press an attack on Iran before their term ends. This talk has picked up considerably since Admiral Fallon stepped down form his post as head of Centcom earlier this month.
The question needs to be continually asked--- WHY??? What annoys the hell out of me is the constant drumbeat of propaganda constantly spewed over the airwaves (TV and Radio) as well as the print media. Look I'm no fan of the midget Ahmadinejad-- but the American people need to have a fuller explanation of the rhetoric. How many times will Sean Hannity spout, " Ahmadinejad says he wants to wipe Israel off the map" ? As Paul Harvey used to say-here's the rest of the story.
Juan Cole does a great job everyday providing a Western audience insight into daily events in the greater Middle-East. It helps that he speaks the language.
"Israel must be wiped off the map," although some experts disputed the translation
Juan Cole: "Ahmadinejad made an analogy to Khomeini's determination and success in getting rid of the Shah's government, which Khomeini had said "must go" (az bain bayad berad). Then Ahmadinejad defined Zionism not as an Arabi-Israeli national struggle but as a Western plot to divide the world of Islam with Israel as the pivot of this plan.
"The phrase he then used as I read it is "The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad)."
"Ahmadinejad was not making a threat, he was quoting a saying of Khomeini and urging that pro-Palestinian activists in Iran not give up hope-- that the occupation of Jerusalem was no more a continued inevitability than had been the hegemony of the Shah's government.
"Whatever this quotation from a decades-old speech of Khomeini may have meant, Ahmadinejad did not say that 'Israel must be wiped off the map' with the implication that phrase has of Nazi-style extermination of a people. He said that the occupation regime over Jerusalem must be erased from the page of time.
Leading the misinformation campaign, as it did on Iraq, was the New York Times. Jonathan Steele: "The New York Times, which was one of the first papers to misquote Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came out on Sunday with a defensive piece attempting to justify its reporter's original "wiped off the map" translation.
The mis-translation originated with the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), located in Washington. MEMRI was founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon along with Dr. Meyrav Wurmser. Carmon was a colonel in the IDF Intelligence from 1968-88, Acting head and adviser on Arab affairs, Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, 1977-1982 and counterterrorism adviser to prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin 1988-93.