Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Wipe Israel Off Map" Statement Gross Distortion of What Iranian Leader Said

Contributed by Sherwood Ross

The inflammatory statement that Israel should be "wiped off the map" attributed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "was never made" by him, a distinguished Canadian economist says in a recently released book entitled: Towards A World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War.

To begin with, says Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa, the words were not those of Ahmadinejad when he uttered them on October 25, 2005.

Rather, he was quoting the late Ayatollah Khomeini, and the point of Khomeini’s thrust was not to wipe Israel, the nation, "off the map", but to change the Israeli regime, which is far different. "The rumor was fabricated by the American media with a view to discrediting Iran’s head of state and providing a justification for waging an all-out war on Iran," Chossudovsky writes.

Examining the actual quote word by word, Ahmadinejad said in Farsi:
"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

Readers will recognize the word "rezhim-e" which translates into English as "regime" and will note that the word "Israel" does not appear in the quotation. What Ahmadinejad did use was the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" which is a reference to "the regime occupying Jerusalem."

(For details, see analysis of Arash Norouzi)

As for wiping Israel "off the map," the word "map" was never used, nor could it be as the Persian word for "map" is "nagsheh," and it was not contained anywhere in Ahmadinejad’s speech. (Norouzi, op cit)

"Nor was the western phrase ‘wipe off’ ever mentioned," Chossudovsky writes. "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 Ahmadinejad quote translated directly into English is "The Imam (Khomeini) said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time," Chossudovsky writes.

The word for word translation is as follows:

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

The thrust of Ahmadinejad's statement was a need for "regime change" in Israel, says Chossudovsky:  "Compare Ahmadinejad’s bland statement on 'regime change' with that of former Deputy Defense Secy. Paul Wolfowitz, who called for ‘ending states that sponsor terrorism.’ What Wolfowitz had in mind was the outright destruction of nation-states."

"The alleged ‘wiped off the map’ statement has served not only to justify a pre-emptive attack against Iran but also to subdue and tame the antiwar movement." It has succeeded in achieving this as in the U.S. "there are very few antiwar events focusing on U.S.-Israeli threats directed against Iran," Chossudovsky writes. He adds:

"Iran is viewed by many within the antiwar movement as a potential aggressor. Its non-existent nuclear weapons are considered a threat to global security."

The news article reporting the Iranian President’s speech was written by Nazila Fathi and appeared on Oct. 27, 2005 in The New York Times.  The lead sentence of that article was as follows:

"TEHRAN -- Iran’s conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesday that Israel must be ‘wiped off the map’ and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported."

Chossudovsky lifts the veil of distortion concerning the Iranian leaders’ comments in his new book, Towards A World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (Global Research).

The author's analysis focuses on how the "Wipe off the Map" statement has been used to portray Iran as a threat to Israel's security, thereby justifying the formulation of a US-Israeli preemptive nuclear attack against the Islamic Republic.

Further Information:; (305) 205-8281; Please see Global Research site for book reviews and book purchase information.

The New York Times is Lying About Iran's Nuclear Program
by Robert Naiman

It's deja vu all over again. AIPAC is trying to trick America into another catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of the Likud Party's colonial ambitions, and the New York Times is lying about allegations that said country is developing "weapons of mass destruction."

In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4 ("Europe Takes Bold Step Toward a Ban on Iranian Oil "), this paragraph appeared: 
The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear program has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign. [my emphasis]
The claim that there is "a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear program has a military objective" is a lie.

As Washington Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on December 9
But the IAEA report does not say Iran has a bomb, nor does it say it is building one, only that its multiyear effort pursuing nuclear technology is sophisticated and broad enough that it could be consistent with building a bomb.
Indeed, if you try now to find the offending paragraph on the New York Times website, you can't. They took it down. But there is no note, like there is supposed to be, acknowledging that they changed the article, and that there was something wrong with it before. Sneaky, huh?

But you can still find the original here.

Indeed, at this writing, if you go to the New York Times website, and search on the phrase, "military objective," the article pops right up. But if you open the article, the text is gone. But again, there is no explanatory note saying that they changed the text.

This is not an isolated example in the Times' reporting. The very same day - January 4 - the New York Times published another article, attributed to Clifford Krauss ("Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz "), that contained the following paragraph. 
Various Iranian officials in recent weeks have said they would blockade the strait, which is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, if the United States and Europe imposed a tight oil embargo on their country in an effort to thwart its development of nuclear weapons [my emphasis].
At this writing, that text is still on the New York Times website.

Of course, referring to Iran's "development of nuclear weapons" without qualification implies that it is a known fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. But it is not a known fact. It is an allegation. Indeed, when U.S. officials are speaking publicly for the record, they say the opposite.

As Washington Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on December 9
This is what the U.S. director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March: "We continue to assess [that] Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

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