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Is Bush planning an attack on Iran in March?


Douglas Caddy
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I couldn't believe that the US and UK Governments would be stupid enough to invade Iraq - sadly I was proved wrong.

I don't believe that the US is stupid enough to invade Iran - I hope I'm not proved wrong again. If they do go ahead (and heaven help us all if that's the case), then I'm assuming it will be on their own - I don't think the UK has the militray resources or political will to go to war in Iran.

Kuwait media: U.S. military strike on Iran seen by April

www.chinaview.cn 2007-01-14 15:19:28

Special report: Iran Nuclear Crisis

KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. might launch a military strike on Iran before April 2007, Kuwait-based daily Arab Times released on Sunday said in a report.

The report, written by Arab Times' Editor-in-chief Ahmed al-Jarallah citing a reliable source, said that the attack would be launched from the sea, while Patriot missiles would guard all Arab countries in the Gulf.

Recent statements emanating from the United States indicated the Bush administration's new strategy for Iraq doesn't include any proposal to make a compromise or negotiate with Syria or Iran, added the report.

The source told al-Jarallah that U.S. President George W. Bush recently had held a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other assistants in the White House, where they discussed the plan to attack Iran in minute detail.

Vice President Dick Cheney highlighted the threat posed by Iranto not only Saudi Arabia but also the whole Gulf region, according to the source.

"Tehran is not playing politics. Iranian leaders are using their country's religious influence to support the aggressive regime's ambition to expand," Dick Cheney was quoted by the source as saying.

Indicating participants of the meeting agreed to impose restrictions on the ambitions of Iranian regime before April 2007 without exposing other countries in the region to any danger, the source said "they have chosen April as British Prime Minister Tony

Blair has said it will be the last month in office for him. The United States has to take action against Iran and Syria before April 2007."

Claiming the attack will be launched from the sea and not from any country in the region, he said "the U.S. and its allies will target the oil installations and nuclear facilities of Iran ensuring there is no environmental catastrophe or after effects."

The source added that the U.S. has started sending its warships to the Gulf and the build-up would continue until Washington has the required number by the end of this month.

"U.S. forces in Iraq and other countries in the region will be protected against any Iranian missile attack by an advanced Patriot missile system," the source noted.

The Bush administration believes that attacking Iran will create a new power balance in the region, calming down the situation in Iraq and paving the way for their democratic project, which have to be suspended due to the interference of Tehran and Damascus in Iraq, according to the source.

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Why is calling for attacking a WMD production facility that would only result in property damage and perhaps a few casualties not equivalent to calling for the killing or expulsion of the entire population of a country (totaling millions of people)? Perhaps if you think real hard you can figure it out!

For the nth time, Len, no-one in the Iranian Government has called for "the killing or expulsion of the entire population of a country" (Israel, or any other country).

At least, you and your chums have been unable to present evidence to that effect. "

Our exchanges increasing are becoming a waste of my time.

How else are we to interpret the phrase “wipe Israel away”, a translation which came from the president’s website? Can we presume the translators there speak Farsi as well as Prof. Cole? Remember that elsewhere in the speech he referred to this as an obtainable goal and that we have press accounts of banners with the same phrase and “Death to Israel” hung from missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads which most people (even Mark Stapleton) believe Iran is developing.

Can you find any other experts who say they don’t think that phrase was a call to destroy Israel? And no, non-Farsi speaking English columnists don’t count.

You further say, referring to the Zionist plans to attack Iran in an illegal first strike, "attacking a WMD production facility... would only result in property damage and perhaps a few casualties " "
I never defended such plans; I just made the obvious observation that calling for such an attack is NOT analogous for calling for the destruction of an entire nation.
Care to share with us the analysis, or better, the evidence on which you base such marvellous optimism? "

According to the Beeb 11 people were killed in the Osirak raid http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5020778.stm . If I’m not mistaken the Iranian facilities are in fairly remote locations. If they were attacked BEFORE they were fueled I don’t see why we would expect anyone who didn’t work at one of them to be killed or injured.

One final thing. In an earlier reply, you attacked James Petras as follows.
As for the Petras essay, political and economic analysis from a sociologist who doesn’t cite any sources [Yawn]how compelling! It's basiclly just an update of his usual "Jews run America diatribe"

Now it's true that Petras doesn't use footnotes in that article, Len.

But here's a hint. Check what's inside the brackets. They look like this ( )

You'll find reference after reference - mostly to the Financial Times :rolleyes:

Obviously I was refereeing to the passage that you posted. Even in the rest of the essay many of his claims are undocumented (though yes many others are).

Your sarcasm is unwarranted since you were unable to find an exact quote on a linked page.

It's obvious Colby isn't really trying to contribute to this thread.

He's just doing what he's best at---troublemaking.

Let’s look at the facts, something you so often avoid.

I was not the person who brought up Ahmadinejad’s speech on this forum that was Peter, I was not the person who started debating what he really meant that was your buddy Sid. I merely a) transferred the debate to this thread because John complained rightly that it was off topic the Saddam thread and B) countered Sid’s arguments with mine. The dispute centers largely around an excerpt from Sid’s initial post on the subject which I believe undermine his position. Hopefully people who have the gall to hold views which differ from yours and those of your "ilk" can post here with out being accused of “troublemaking”.

There's no chance Iran would use a nuclear weapon to 'wipe Israel of the map'. Colby and his ilk are fully aware of this but want to use the spectre of this 'threat' to justify blatant acts of war against Iran and its allies.
Quote where I have called for war against Iran.
Question for Len Colby (please don't ignore): Why would Iran use a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel when such an act would poison the whole region with fallout and almost certainly WIPE THE PALESTINIANS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?

1) I never argued that they would use such weapons only that they seem to have threatened to do so.

2) Ahmadinejad didn’t specify what methods should be used to achieve the “obtainable goal” of “(wiping) Israel away”.

3) I’m not sure if such talk is more than rhetoric but if it isn’t Iran wouldn’t be in much of a position to complain if it was taken seriously.

But OK I have crack at it. I won’t pretend that what I say below is anything much more than unbridled speculation. I’m not saying this is what the Iranians are thinking only answering Mark’s question.

How much of the region would be contaminated would depend on what types of weapons were used. IIRC the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed areas that would easily fit even Israel’s pre-1967 boarders. This would reduce though not eliminate Arab casualties.

One of their main objections seems to be a non-Muslim state “in the heart of Islam” which they see as a threat to there religion, Palestinian casualties could be considered an acceptable sacrifice much like the US POW’s killed in Dresden and Hiroshima and Arabs killed in Hamas /Islamic Jihad etc shelling of Israel and terrorist attacks in that country. IF the Rafsanjani quote is accurate this might be what he meant by “damages”. I wonder how concerned the Iranian regime is with the lot of the Palestinians presumably with their billions in oil wealth they could do a lot more than they do to help them. I don’t know about Iran but Palestinians have not exactly gotten VIP treatment in several Arab countries.

.

I'm going away for a few days so won’t be able to spend much if any time here for a while.

Edited by Len Colby
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Len Colby wrote:

Our exchanges increasing are becoming a waste of my time.

My first inclinationwas to say "you got that right, Len!"

However, I believe nailing lies - on the public record - is important, especially when those lies are part of an attempt to start yet another war with unforeseeable consequences that may be more terrible than any speculation so far on this forum.

Len Colby wrote:

How else are we to interpret the phrase “wipe Israel away”,

I've already explained that, Len.

Don't just repeat the phrase.

Look at the sentence that contained it.

Look at the context.

Re-read the parable of the playground...

Len Colby also wrote:

I'm going away for a few days so won’t be able to spend much if any time here for a while.

We shall all miss your erudition :rolleyes:

Edited by Sid Walker
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Here's an interesting article about the infamous 'Wipe off the Map' controversy.

It's by Arash Norouzi - see "WIPED OFF THE MAP" - The Rumor of the Century

Norouzi has no especial fondness for the current Iranian Government - but can't bear to see his native language so crudely distorted by war-monguering liars.

Here's a pithy extract (emphasis added):

THE ACTUAL QUOTE:

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".

Edited by Sid Walker
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Question for Len Colby (please don't ignore): Why would Iran use a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel when such an act would poison the whole region with fallout and almost certainly WIPE THE PALESTINIANS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?

Perhaps Len, with his amazing ability to limit the human toll of aerial agression, could design a strike on Israel that would destroy only its WMDs (Dimona, Nes Ziona and the rest) "and perhaps a few casualties".

The mullahs might be interested in that, Len.

But I doubt they'd believe you, either.

Superstorms, Aliens and the Bomb

19-Jan-2007

By Whitley Strieber

http://www.unknowncountry.com/journal/

As I write this, there is a phenomenal story on Unknowncountry.com that discusses the terrible weather presently sweeping the whole western world, literally from California to Poland. This is the closest we have ever come to a superstorm, and it comes a few weeks after a disturbing event involving the Gulf Stream. Quite plainly, the world's system of currents is changing, possibly collapsing, and it is possible that there is an as yet undocumented connection between the unusually harsh weather and current changes.

At the same time, the world is closer to nuclear war than it has been since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Israel must prevent Iran from producing U-235, and they could go online with this in a matter of months. If they do produce it, they will be able to export fissionable material to terrorist groups like Hamas, in order to enable them to create dirty bombs.

The fact that the detonation of such bombs in Israel will also destroy the Palestinian people is considered an acceptable loss. Their lives are not as important as the ruin of Israel, so the fact that they must die in order to kill the Jewish state is not thought by Iran, Syria, Hamas or other concerned entities to be too great a price.

In effect, all the Palestinians are to be considered suicide bombers, if the result is that Israel is eradicated.

Because US intelligence has failed in Iran, there is no adequate intelligence about a single, crucial element that might have saved us from the use of nuclear weapons in the effort to prevent Iran from manufacturing U-235. Specifically, western intelligence does not possess information about the location of air intakes and vents that would enable highly accurate American 'bunker busters' to penetrate into buried Iranian nuclear facilities and destroy them.

This means that there is only one way to insure that the centrifuges that are essential to the production of U-235, and are buried deeper than US bunker busters can penetrate without going down airshafts, can be destroyed: neutron bombs will have to be used.

It is likely that the bombs will come from Israel, and also possible that nobody, not Iran, not the US, not Israel, will say that they have been used. A neutron bomb does not leave a radiation signature. It would be observed as a very large explosion. The sheet of devastatingly destructive neutrons that it emitted would kill every living thing for miles around, and would overload every electrical and electronic circuit it reached. But it would not persist. There would be no fallout. There would be no irradiated areas on the ground.

It is possible that such a bomb has already been detonated in the Iranian desert. There was a large explosion in the area a few days ago, reported on Unknowncountry.com but entirely ignored by western media. It was briefly reported in the Iranian press, then it disappeared.

However, the greater possibility is that no attack has taken place yet, and that the explosion is somehow connected with what is now a literally fantastic amount of UFO activity unfolding over Iran.

Iran has always been a UFO hotspot. The September, 1976 UFO chase over Tehran remains one of the best documented UFO cases of all time, and the October 22, 2005 interview I did with General Parviz Jafari on Dreamland, who actually flew the chase plane, was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life.

Over the past few months, the number of UFO events in Iran has reached a completely unprecedented level. There have been a few UFO flaps as intense: the Scandinavian "Ghost Rocket" incidents in 1946, the great American UFO wave from the July 1947 Roswell Incident to the July, 1952 Washington overflights, the Belgian events of 1989-1990 are other equally intense flaps.

UFOs began to appear in numbers after the end of World War II, when atomic weapons came into use. It is possible that the danger of nulear war in Iran has attracted them to that area, as well.

I am long past questioning whether or not the visitors exist. They do exist, and the United States Government has been lying about them from the beginning, and still does--as the FAA did just this past November, when it claimed that a sighting at O'Hare Airport in Chicago by United pilots and other personnel was an unusual cloud.

But the United States Government is a failed institution. It has drowned its credibility beneath a torrent of lies on virtually every important issue that the world faces, over the past fifty catastrophic years. The American people support the Constitution and the institutions it created, not the parasites who have come to infect those institutions since secrecy became the center of state power with the passage of the catastrophic National Security Act of 1947.

This ruined the American republic, and it is going to take a generation of wise, firm and compassionate leadership to restore it. Hopefully, that will come from one day, but right now, I don't see it.

It is time to face the fact that the US government as it is now constituted is worthless junk, and to abandon its obsessive, cancerous secrecy and its endless lies.

Although I am quite certain that the visitors are real, the many years I have spent in contact with them, thinking about them, talking to others in contact, reading their stories and examining my own life and feelings about them, I must state clearly and frankly that I do not know what they are.

However, I have been observing them for a long time, and I feel that they are concerned with our environment, it is my belief that they are making a record of human DNA against the possibility that the species may go extinct, and that they have attempted to hybridize human beings in some way, but my observation of this in my own life has not suggested that there has been success.

In fact, I think that they have had a lot of failure here that they do not fully understand, and that they think that people who enter into leadership in human society are motivated by a profound death wish, and that, for the most part, they work to impede the chances of the species to survive, and that our populations support them.

They do not understand what about us that we so hate, that we would be marching like this toward extinction.

When I was younger and in somewhat more direct communication with them at times, they indicated to me that they would make themselves known in the context of environmental collapse. As that is happening now, they could emerge now.

However, what happens may be very different. Let me tell you why.

I got the impression that they take a long view of history. They are interested in the state of mankind not only this year or in a hundred years, but in a million years and a billion years. The evolution of intelligence is important to them, and they are here to help it through a difficult time on earth, so that it can, in time, reach a state where it offers some sort of value to others.

I am pretty sure that intelligent life is extremely rare, and that there is a sort of choir of consciousness, and that there is a desire that our voices be joined to it, in the interest of the new.

I am trying to get used to thinking about the larger issues that face the thin web of conscious species that are spread across the cosmos, and I think people need to think about such things, too. When they do, the actions of the visitors will become more understandable.

The reason I say this is that they may be taking sides in the present conflict between the west and Islam, and it is not obvious to me, if they do, that they will take the side of the west. The reason is simple. They want the species to survive, and encouraging the west might be the least effective way to accomplish that objective.

The United States is by far the world's largest polluter, followed by Europe, then China and India, who are catching up fast. The problem is that the United States has willfully ignored the problem, despite the overwhelming evidence that it needs to be addressed. At present, even such outrageous violators as the Exxon Corporation are beginning to realize the peril and respond, but it may well be too late, and the visitors may consider that we've waited too long.

If Islam should win the current world-historical conflict, the entire planet will be plunged into a period of economic stagnation and scientific decline that could last a very long time. The result of this would be that mankind will survive longer, and therefore have a greater chance to make the breakthroughs that it needs to join the choir of consciousness that so needs new voices.

I do not think that the combination of ominous environmental strains, the possibility of nuclear war, and the sudden appearance of the visitors all over the world, and especially at the nexus of the possible nuclear conflict is an accident.

They are part of our lives and part of our world, and my sense of it is that governments who pretend otherwise, at this point, do so at their peril.

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...the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations along with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs hosted an international symposium entitled: Bring Ahmadinejad to Justice For Incitement to Genocide.

Among the International Legal and Diplomatic Experts at the symposium were: Ambassador John Bolton, Ambassador Dore Gold, Ambassador Meir Roseanne, Hon. Irwin Cotler, Professor Alan Dershowitz, Hon. Dan Naveh, Martin Peretz and Dr. Ruth Wedgwood.

See THIS link

So there we have it.

A conference is held, involving leading Zionist 'opinion formers', calling for Ahmadinejad to be brought to justice for "inciting genocide".

The fact he actually never said the remarks he's accused of making is not, presumably, a relevant factor.

But why should a little matter like the truth be allowed to stand in the way of a war these nutjobs have been trying to start for years?

Meanwhile, Douglas Caddy posts an article suggesting that UFOs may be about to step in on Iran's side.

Perhaps they come from a culture with more respect for the truth than Israel - or the USA under Israeli domination? ;)

Edited by Sid Walker
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Here's an article about the power of the Israel Lobby in the US Congress.

It's from uruknet.info - so you probably won't find it via Google News, which has removed the uruknet sites from its 'News' listings.

Abourezk hasn't been in the Senate since the 1970s. The Israel Lobby's standover tactics in Congress are probably more extreme now than in his day...

_______________________

Letter from James Abourezk, former US Senator from South Dakota to Jeff Blankfort on the Israel Lobby

Jeff Blankfort

December 4, 2006

The following letter was sent to me today by James Abourezk, former US Senator from South Dakota, and he readily complied when I asked that I be allowed to forward it to my list because what he had to say is of the utmost importance, given last month's election and all the new faces in Congress, and the immediate previous posting to you and James Petras's article earlier in the day..

Dear Jeff:

I just finished reading your critique of Noam Chomsky's positions in an e mail sent to me by Tony Saidy.

I had never paid much attention to Chomsky's writings, as I had all along assumed that he was correct and proper in his position on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

But now, upon learning that his first assumption is that Israel is simply doing what the imperial leaders in the U.S. wants them to do, I concur with you that this assumption is completely wrong.

I can tell you from personal experience that, at least in the Congress, the support Israel has in that body is based completely on political fear--fear of defeat by anyone who does not do what Israel wants done. I can also tell you that very few members of Congress--at least when I served there--have any affection for Israel or for its Lobby. What they have is contempt, but it is silenced by fear of being found out exactly how they feel. I've heard too many cloakroom conversations in which members of the Senate will voice their bitter feelings about how they're pushed around by the Lobby to think otherwise. In private one hears the dislike of Israel and the tactics of the Lobby, but not one of them is willing to risk the Lobby's animosity by making their feelings public.

Thus, I see no desire on the part of Members of Congress to further any U.S. imperial dreams by using Israel as their pit bull. The only exceptions to that rule are the feelings of Jewish members, whom, I believe, are sincere in their efforts to keep U.S. money flowing to Israel. But that minority does not a U.S. imperial policy make.

Secondly, the Lobby is quite clear in its efforts to suppress any congressional dissent from the policy of complete support for Israel which might hurt annual appropriations. Even one voice is attacked, as I was, on grounds that if Congress is completely silent on the issue, the press will have no one to quote, which effectively silences the press as well. Any journalists or editors who step out of line are quickly brought under control by well organized economic pressure against the newspaper caught sinning.

I once made a trip through the Middle East, taking with me a reporter friend who wrote for Knight-Ridder newspapers. He was writing honestly about what he saw with respect to the Palestinians and other countries bordering on Israel. The St. Paul Pioneer press executives received threats from several of their large advertisers that their advertising would be terminated if they continued publishing the journalist's articles. It's a lesson quickly learned by those who controlled the paper.

With respect to the positions of several administrations on the question of Israel, there are two things that bring them into line: One is pressure from members of Congress who bring that pressure resulting in the demands of AIPAC, and the other is the desire on the part of the President and his advisers to keep their respective political parties from crumbling under that pressure. I do not recall a single instance where any administration saw the need for Israel's military power to advance U.S. Imperial interests. In fact, as we saw in the Gulf War, Israel's involvement was detrimental to what Bush, Sr. wanted to accomplish in that war. They had, as you might remember, to suppress any Israeli assistance so that the coalition would not be destroyed by their involvement.

So far as the argument that we need to use Israel as a base for U.S. operations, I'm not aware of any U.S. bases there of any kind. The U.S. has enough military bases, and fleets, in the area to be able to handle any kind of military needs without using Israel. In fact I can't think of an instance where the U.S. would want to involve Israel militarily for fear of upsetting the current allies the U.S. has, i.e., Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. The public in those countries would not allow the monarchies to continue their alliance with the U.S. should Israel become involved.

I suppose one could argue that Bush's encouragement of Israel in the Lebanon war this summer was the result of some imperial urge, but it was merely an extension of the U.S. policy of helping Israel because of the Lobby's continual pressure. In fact, I heard not one voice of opposition to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon this summer (except Chuck Hagel). Lebanon always has been a "throw away" country so far as the congress is concerned, that is, what happens there has no effect on U.S. interests. There is no Lebanon Lobby. The same was true in 1982, when the Congress fell completely silent over the invasion that year.

I think in the heart of hearts of both members of congress and of the administrations they would prefer not to have Israel fouling things up for U.S. foreign policy, which is to keep oil flowing to the Western world to prevent an economic depression. But what our policy makers do is to juggle the Lobby's pressure on them to support Israel with keeping the oil countries from cutting off oil to the western nations. So far they've been able to do that. With the exception of King Feisal and his oil embargo, there hasn't been a Saudi leader able to stand up to U.S. policy.

So I believe that divestment, and especially cutting off U.S. aid to Israel would immediately result in Israel's giving up the West Bank and leaving the Gaza to the Palestinians. Such pressure would work, I think, because the Israeli public would be able to determine what is causing their misery and would demand that an immediate peace agreement be made with the Palestinians. It would work because of the democracy there, unlike sanctions against a dictatorship where the public could do little about changing their leaders' minds. One need only look at the objectives of the Israeli Lobby to determine how to best change their minds. The Lobby's principal objectives are to keep money flowing from the U.S. treasury to Israel, requiring a docile congress and a compliant administration. As Willie Sutton once said, "That's where the money is."

Jim Abourezk

Edited by Sid Walker
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Norouzi’s article was interesting but doesn’t really prove anything that Cole’s didn’t. No one is disputing that Ahmadinejad didn’t literally say Islam could and should "wipe Israel off the map" but said rather if we were to translate from Farsi word for word said “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" or something to that effect. Was the former an accurate translation of what he said? I have yet to see convincing evidence it wasn’t. A good translator (and I am a highly paid one by Brazilian standards) translates for meaning. If I would translate the Portugese “puxe saco” to English as “brown noser” (or perhaps a more colorful phrase depending on my target audience) rather than as the literal ‘bag puller’ or even ‘scrotum puller’ as it means in this case because neither makes sense in English and the author’s meaning would be lost on the reader. In a similar vein it wouldn’t be easy for the average English speaker to understand what Ahmadinejad meant by “vanish from the page of time". The relevant questions are, 1) what did he mean by that phrase was he calling for relatively peaceful regime change or far bloodier ethnic cleansing and 2) was “wipe off the map” a fair translation.

There is good reason to think the answer to the second question is yes. According to Norouzi that translation didn’t start with (as Sid would lead us to believe) the “Zionist controlled press”. Sid didn’t see fit to include this part of the article “The inflammatory "wiped off the map" quote was first disseminated not by Iran's enemies, but by Iran itself. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference. … It should be noted that in other references to the conference, the IRNA's translation changed. For instance, "map" was replaced with "earth". In some articles it was "The Qods occupier regime should be eliminated from the surface of earth", or the similar "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth". True he criticized foreign media (including Al-Jazeera) for not “verifying its accuracy” and alleged that “the inconsistency of the IRNA's translation should be evidence enough of the unreliability of the source, particularly when transcribing their news from Farsi into the English language” but I doubt he ever worked as a translator because “eliminated from the surface of the earth” and “wiped off the map essentially mean the same thing. According to the findings Jonathan Steele the Guardian columnist cited by Sid, the NY Times/IRNA translation might not have been as far off the mark in a literal sense as Sid, Cole, Norouzi or even Steele believe

The New York Times's Ethan Bronner and Nazila Fathi, one of the paper's Tehran staff, make a more serious case. They consulted several sources in Tehran. "Sohrab Mahdavi, one of Iran's most prominent translators, and Siamak Namazi, managing director of a Tehran consulting firm, who is bilingual, both say 'wipe off' or 'wipe away' is more accurate than 'vanish' because the Persian verb is active and transitive," Bronner writes.”

The New York Times goes on: "The second translation issue concerns the word 'map'. Khomeini's words were abstract: 'Sahneh roozgar.' Sahneh means scene or stage, and roozgar means time. The phrase was widely interpreted as 'map', and for years, no one objected. In October, when Mr Ahmadinejad quoted Khomeini, he actually misquoted him, saying not 'Sahneh roozgar' but 'Safheh roozgar', meaning pages of time or history. No one noticed the change, and news agencies used the word 'map' again."

So what did Ahmadinejad mean? Sid said comments have to be understood in context, I agree in the relevant part of his speech he said:
"Imam [Khomeini] said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise.

"'Is it possible that an [islamic] front allows another front [i.e. country] to arise in its [own] heart? This means defeat, and he who accepts the existence of this regime [i.e. Israel] in fact signs the defeat of the Islamic world.

"'In his battle against the World of Arrogance, our dear Imam [Khomeini] set the regime occupying Qods [Jerusalem] as the target of his fight.

"'I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will be purged from the center of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.

http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page...amp;ID=SP101305

Even if one doesn’t substitute 'This regime that is occupying Jerusalem must be eliminated from the pages of history.' with “wipe Israel off the map”, “wipe Israel away”, "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth" or other translations of the phrase from occicial Iranian sources the meaning seems clear.

Ahmadinejad’s defenders point that he cited the examples of Saddam, the Shan and the Soviet Union as powerful regimes that came to an end, but this doesn’t support their contention he simply meant relatively peaceful regime change. Those regimes were dictatorships which in the latter two cases were overwhelmingly rejected by the populace they collapsed because force was no longer a viable option to suppress the will of the people. Like it or not the existence of the state of Israel is supported by the overwhelming majority of the people living within its boarders, the situations are not analogous. In Saddam’s case regime change was of course not a peaceful process and came about due to invasion by a more powerful army according to Lancer there have been about 600,000 more civilian death than there would have if he had remained in power and IIRC about 2 million Iraqis have fled the country many others have been displaced internally or had their home destroyed etc all this because the balance of power shifted from Sunni to xxxxe Arabs and this was in a country where the ousted regime was probably only supported by a small minority of the population . Presumably if regime change occurred under similar circumstances in Israel the results would be even bloodier as power would be transferred for members of one ethnic group and religion to another. The violence meted out by the two main Palestian factions against each other doesn’t bode well for how well they would treat Jewish Israelis if they came to power especially if Hamas came to dominate i.e. there would be little difference between regime change and ethnic cleansing.

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Norouzi’s article was interesting but doesn’t really prove anything that Cole’s didn’t. No one is disputing that Ahmadinejad didn’t literally say Islam could and should "wipe Israel off the map" but said rather if we were to translate from Farsi word for word said “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" or something to that effect. Was the former an accurate translation of what he said? I have yet to see convincing evidence it wasn’t. A good translator (and I am a highly paid one by Brazilian standards) translates for meaning. If I would translate the Portugese “puxe saco” to English as “brown noser” (or perhaps a more colorful phrase depending on my target audience) rather than as the literal ‘bag puller’ or even ‘scrotum puller’ as it means in this case because neither makes sense in English and the author’s meaning would be lost on the reader. In a similar vein it wouldn’t be easy for the average English speaker to understand what Ahmadinejad meant by “vanish from the page of time". The relevant questions are, 1) what did he mean by that phrase was he calling for relatively peaceful regime change or far bloodier ethnic cleansing and 2) was “wipe off the map” a fair translation.

There is good reason to think the answer to the second question is yes. According to Norouzi that translation didn’t start with (as Sid would lead us to believe) the “Zionist controlled press”. Sid didn’t see fit to include this part of the article “The inflammatory "wiped off the map" quote was first disseminated not by Iran's enemies, but by Iran itself. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference. … It should be noted that in other references to the conference, the IRNA's translation changed. For instance, "map" was replaced with "earth". In some articles it was "The Qods occupier regime should be eliminated from the surface of earth", or the similar "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth". True he criticized foreign media (including Al-Jazeera) for not “verifying its accuracy” and alleged that “the inconsistency of the IRNA's translation should be evidence enough of the unreliability of the source, particularly when transcribing their news from Farsi into the English language” but I doubt he ever worked as a translator because “eliminated from the surface of the earth” and “wiped off the map essentially mean the same thing. According to the findings Jonathan Steele the Guardian columnist cited by Sid, the NY Times/IRNA translation might not have been as far off the mark in a literal sense as Sid, Cole, Norouzi or even Steele believe

The New York Times's Ethan Bronner and Nazila Fathi, one of the paper's Tehran staff, make a more serious case. They consulted several sources in Tehran. "Sohrab Mahdavi, one of Iran's most prominent translators, and Siamak Namazi, managing director of a Tehran consulting firm, who is bilingual, both say 'wipe off' or 'wipe away' is more accurate than 'vanish' because the Persian verb is active and transitive," Bronner writes.”

The New York Times goes on: "The second translation issue concerns the word 'map'. Khomeini's words were abstract: 'Sahneh roozgar.' Sahneh means scene or stage, and roozgar means time. The phrase was widely interpreted as 'map', and for years, no one objected. In October, when Mr Ahmadinejad quoted Khomeini, he actually misquoted him, saying not 'Sahneh roozgar' but 'Safheh roozgar', meaning pages of time or history. No one noticed the change, and news agencies used the word 'map' again."

So what did Ahmadinejad mean? Sid said comments have to be understood in context, I agree in the relevant part of his speech he said:
"Imam [Khomeini]said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise.

"'Is it possible that an [islamic] front allows another front [i.e. country] to arise in its [own] heart? This means defeat, and he who accepts the existence of this regime [i.e. Israel] in fact signs the defeat of the Islamic world.

"'In his battle against the World of Arrogance, our dear Imam [Khomeini] set the regime occupying Qods [Jerusalem] as the target of his fight.

"'I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will be purged from the center of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.

http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page...amp;ID=SP101305

Even if one doesn’t substitute 'This regime that is occupying Jerusalem must be eliminated from the pages of history.' with “wipe Israel off the map”, “wipe Israel away”, "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth" or other translations of the phrase from occicial Iranian sources the meaning seems clear.

Ahmadinejad’s defenders point that he cited the examples of Saddam, the Shan and the Soviet Union as powerful regimes that came to an end, but this doesn’t support their contention he simply meant relatively peaceful regime change. Those regimes were dictatorships which in the latter two cases were overwhelmingly rejected by the populace they collapsed because force was no longer a viable option to suppress the will of the people. Like it or not the existence of the state of Israel is supported by the overwhelming majority of the people living within its boarders, the situations are not analogous. In Saddam’s case regime change was of course not a peaceful process and came about due to invasion by a more powerful army according to Lancer there have been about 600,000 more civilian death than there would have if he had remained in power and IIRC about 2 million Iraqis have fled the country many others have been displaced internally or had their home destroyed etc all this because the balance of power shifted from Sunni to xxxxe Arabs and this was in a country where the ousted regime was probably only supported by a small minority of the population . Presumably if regime change occurred under similar circumstances in Israel the results would be even bloodier as power would be transferred for members of one ethnic group and religion to another. The violence meted out by the two main Palestian factions against each other doesn’t bode well for how well they would treat Jewish Israelis if they came to power especially if Hamas came to dominate i.e. there would be little difference between regime change and ethnic cleansing.

Welcome back Len.

I'll not get into a detailed critique and rebuttal of your latest post in this thread.

You now set out a much more detailed case that accepts much of the previous criticisms made of the simplistic "he said wipe Israel off the map" claim.

In so doing, you make new points some of which may have merit. It appears you now accept that the correct translation of Ahmadinejad's words into English is - at the very least - debatable.

That really is my fundamental point.

In any FAIR appraisal of the President's comments, it is NOT possible to render his words in the simplistic way the western media is doing - not possible that is, without such gross over-simplification that, in this heated context, it amounts to deliberate war mongering.

That's been my point all along.

To claim Iran's President called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" - without a lengthy justification of such an interpretation - amounts to gross intellectual dishonesty. IMO, you were gulity of that before. Now your position is more detailed and accepting of nuance, doubt and ambiguity.

Unfortunately, but predictably, the western media remains stuck in simplistic attack mode. No "lengthy justification" dilutes its alarmist discourse. Joe Public is still being taken for a ride, manipulated into imagining that Iran is calling for war, when the reverse is true.

A similar trick was used against Saddam Hussein prior to the invasion of Iraq.

In that case, the western public was repeatedly told that Saddam had treated the weapons inspectors with contempt and was being evasive.

We now all know that Saddam Hussein was being quite honest about Iraq's lack of WMDs - but that he was faced with the IMPOSSIBLE task of proving a negative to adveraries who had a pre-determined agenda to invade and were using WMDs as a pretext, irrespective of the facts.

Back to the present. Is the Iranian Government calling for war? Is it really trying to raise the temperature?

Writing in Global Research, Arash Norouzi comments:

Iran's U.N. Press Officer, M.A. Mohammadi, complained to The Washington Post in a June 2006 letter:

"It is not amazing at all, the pick-and-choose approach of highlighting the misinterpreted remarks of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in October and ignoring this month's remarks by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that "We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state."

Not perhaps, the most flawless English - but clear enough in the context.

Iran is not threatening the world.

Others are threatening Iran.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Norouzi’s article was interesting but doesn’t really prove anything that Cole’s didn’t. No one is disputing that Ahmadinejad didn’t literally say Islam could and should "wipe Israel off the map" but said rather if we were to translate from Farsi word for word said “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" or something to that effect. Was the former an accurate translation of what he said? I have yet to see convincing evidence it wasn’t. A good translator (and I am a highly paid one by Brazilian standards) translates for meaning. If I would translate the Portugese “puxe saco” to English as “brown noser” (or perhaps a more colorful phrase depending on my target audience) rather than as the literal ‘bag puller’ or even ‘scrotum puller’ as it means in this case because neither makes sense in English and the author’s meaning would be lost on the reader. In a similar vein it wouldn’t be easy for the average English speaker to understand what Ahmadinejad meant by “vanish from the page of time". The relevant questions are, 1) what did he mean by that phrase was he calling for relatively peaceful regime change or far bloodier ethnic cleansing and 2) was “wipe off the map” a fair translation.

There is good reason to think the answer to the second question is yes. According to Norouzi that translation didn’t start with (as Sid would lead us to believe) the “Zionist controlled press”. Sid didn’t see fit to include this part of the article “The inflammatory "wiped off the map" quote was first disseminated not by Iran's enemies, but by Iran itself. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference. … It should be noted that in other references to the conference, the IRNA's translation changed. For instance, "map" was replaced with "earth". In some articles it was "The Qods occupier regime should be eliminated from the surface of earth", or the similar "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth". True he criticized foreign media (including Al-Jazeera) for not “verifying its accuracy” and alleged that “the inconsistency of the IRNA's translation should be evidence enough of the unreliability of the source, particularly when transcribing their news from Farsi into the English language” but I doubt he ever worked as a translator because “eliminated from the surface of the earth” and “wiped off the map essentially mean the same thing. According to the findings Jonathan Steele the Guardian columnist cited by Sid, the NY Times/IRNA translation might not have been as far off the mark in a literal sense as Sid, Cole, Norouzi or even Steele believe

The New York Times's Ethan Bronner and Nazila Fathi, one of the paper's Tehran staff, make a more serious case. They consulted several sources in Tehran. "Sohrab Mahdavi, one of Iran's most prominent translators, and Siamak Namazi, managing director of a Tehran consulting firm, who is bilingual, both say 'wipe off' or 'wipe away' is more accurate than 'vanish' because the Persian verb is active and transitive," Bronner writes.”

The New York Times goes on: "The second translation issue concerns the word 'map'. Khomeini's words were abstract: 'Sahneh roozgar.' Sahneh means scene or stage, and roozgar means time. The phrase was widely interpreted as 'map', and for years, no one objected. In October, when Mr Ahmadinejad quoted Khomeini, he actually misquoted him, saying not 'Sahneh roozgar' but 'Safheh roozgar', meaning pages of time or history. No one noticed the change, and news agencies used the word 'map' again."

So what did Ahmadinejad mean? Sid said comments have to be understood in context, I agree in the relevant part of his speech he said:
"Imam [Khomeini]said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise.

"'Is it possible that an [islamic] front allows another front [i.e. country] to arise in its [own] heart? This means defeat, and he who accepts the existence of this regime [i.e. Israel] in fact signs the defeat of the Islamic world.

"'In his battle against the World of Arrogance, our dear Imam [Khomeini] set the regime occupying Qods [Jerusalem] as the target of his fight.

"'I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will be purged from the center of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.

http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page...amp;ID=SP101305

Even if one doesn’t substitute 'This regime that is occupying Jerusalem must be eliminated from the pages of history.' with “wipe Israel off the map”, “wipe Israel away”, "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth" or other translations of the phrase from occicial Iranian sources the meaning seems clear.

Ahmadinejad’s defenders point that he cited the examples of Saddam, the Shan and the Soviet Union as powerful regimes that came to an end, but this doesn’t support their contention he simply meant relatively peaceful regime change. Those regimes were dictatorships which in the latter two cases were overwhelmingly rejected by the populace they collapsed because force was no longer a viable option to suppress the will of the people. Like it or not the existence of the state of Israel is supported by the overwhelming majority of the people living within its boarders, the situations are not analogous. In Saddam’s case regime change was of course not a peaceful process and came about due to invasion by a more powerful army according to Lancer there have been about 600,000 more civilian death than there would have if he had remained in power and IIRC about 2 million Iraqis have fled the country many others have been displaced internally or had their home destroyed etc all this because the balance of power shifted from Sunni to xxxxe Arabs and this was in a country where the ousted regime was probably only supported by a small minority of the population . Presumably if regime change occurred under similar circumstances in Israel the results would be even bloodier as power would be transferred for members of one ethnic group and religion to another. The violence meted out by the two main Palestian factions against each other doesn’t bode well for how well they would treat Jewish Israelis if they came to power especially if Hamas came to dominate i.e. there would be little difference between regime change and ethnic cleansing.

Welcome back Len.

I'll not get into a detailed critique and rebuttal of your latest post in this thread.

You now set out a much more detailed case that accepts much of the previous criticisms made of the simplistic "he said wipe Israel off the map" claim.

In so doing, you make new points some of which may have merit. It appears you now accept that the correct translation of Ahmadinejad's words into English is - at the very least - debatable.

That really is my fundamental point.

In any FAIR appraisal of the President's comments, it is NOT possible to render his words in the simplistic way the western media is doing - not possible that is, without such gross over-simplification that, in this heated context, it amounts to deliberate war mongering.

That's been my point all along.

To claim Iran's President called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" - without a lengthy justification of such an interpretation - amounts to gross intellectual dishonesty. IMO, you were gulity of that before. Now your position is more detailed and accepting of nuance, doubt and ambiguity.

Unfortunately, but predictably, the western media remains stuck in simplistic attack mode. No "lengthy justification" dilutes its alarmist discourse. Joe Public is still being taken for a ride, manipulated into imagining that Iran is calling for war, when the reverse is true.

A similar trick was used against Saddam Hussein prior to the invasion of Iraq.

In that case, the western public was repeatedly told that Saddam had treated the weapons inspectors with contempt and was being evasive.

We now all know that Saddam Hussein was being quite honest about Iraq's lack of WMDs - but that he was faced with the IMPOSSIBLE task of proving a negative to adveraries who had a pre-determined agenda to invade and were using WMDs as a pretext, irrespective of the facts.

Back to the present. Is the Iranian Government calling for war? Is it really trying to raise the temperature?

Writing in Global Research, Arash Norouzi comments:

Iran's U.N. Press Officer, M.A. Mohammadi, complained to The Washington Post in a June 2006 letter:

"It is not amazing at all, the pick-and-choose approach of highlighting the misinterpreted remarks of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in October and ignoring this month's remarks by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that "We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state."

Not perhaps, the most flawless English - but clear enough in the context.

Iran is not threatening the world.

Others are threatening Iran.

The actual leadership in Iran, despite the rhetoric of its President, however you interpret his phraseology, is currently attempting to lower the tenor of Iran's diplomatic dialogue. This has been pointed out to be a curbing of President Ahmadinejad's belligerent rhetoric with respect to statements questioning Iran's intentions for its nuclear program.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/19/world/mi...amp;oref=slogin

As probably the most powerful individual in theocratic Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in rebuking Ahmadinejad, seems to be attempting to send a message to the West, that he (and other clerical leadership) would like to curtail the fiery rhetoric of their president, also that his performance as president has been less than satisfactory.

This may be an ideal time for European and American Statesmen to open (or graduate) dialogue with Iran, if averting escalation of tensions, reduction of (any) Iranian support for Iraqi insurgents, and/or establishing a framework for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, may be realized.

This puts into perspective the scale of the president of Iran's political power. Also it may indicate the tone of Iran's clerical leadership.

Ex-president Bani Sadr displeased the clerical leadership in Iran and ended up fleeing the country.

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Welcome back Len.

I'll not get into a detailed critique and rebuttal of your latest post in this thread.

You now set out a much more detailed case that accepts much of the previous criticisms made of the simplistic "he said wipe Israel off the map" claim.

In so doing, you make new points some of which may have merit. It appears you now accept that the correct translation of Ahmadinejad's words into English is - at the very least - debatable.

That really is my fundamental point.

Sid if you go back over my posts on this topic you'll see that I never disputed that a literal word for word translation of what he said would not be "wipe Isreal off the map" see for example my first (#28 on this thread http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...ost&p=88524 ). The question for me has always been a fair translation of what he meant.

In any FAIR appraisal of the President's comments, it is NOT possible to render his words in the simplistic way the western media is doing - not possible that is, without such gross over-simplification that, in this heated context, it amounts to deliberate war mongering.

That's been my point all along.

Much of what you say is true, but the same could be said of most translations. It is not realistic to expect an in depth analysis on the nuances of each sentence, phrase or word. Since the translation originated with IRNA and was also used by Al Jazeera it is not accurate to blame "the Western media". I don’t see it as being “deliberate war mongering” by the media, not to say that those who a rooting for war aren’t exploiting it.
To claim Iran's President called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" - without a lengthy justification of such an interpretation - amounts to gross intellectual dishonesty. IMO, you were gulity of that before. Now your position is more detailed and accepting of nuance, doubt and ambiguity.

Then IRNA and the president's website are guilty of this as well? Not me though my position hasn't really changed.

Unfortunately, but predictably, the western media remains stuck in simplistic attack mode. No "lengthy justification" dilutes its alarmist discourse. Joe Public is still being taken for a ride, manipulated into imagining that Iran is calling for war, when the reverse is true.

I disagree that "Joe Public is...being taken for a ride" in this case, as I believe his words were fairly translated. He said it but I'm not sure he meant it (as I've stated before) it could just have be saber rattling rhetoric or more likely ‘preaching to the choir’. Iran could help alleviate tensions by give up on its drive for the bomb and ceasing to decorate missiles with “death to Israel” and “wipe Israel off the map” (or however you want to translate that phrase)

A similar trick was used against Saddam Hussein prior to the invasion of Iraq.
Come on you’re not suggesting that Bush and Co. weren’t simply mistaken are you? (Just kidding)
In that case, the western public was repeatedly told that Saddam had treated the weapons inspectors with contempt and was being evasive.

We now all know that Saddam Hussein was being quite honest about Iraq's lack of WMDs - but that he was faced with the IMPOSSIBLE task of proving a negative to adveraries who had a pre-determined agenda to invade and were using WMDs as a pretext, irrespective of the facts.

Actually even Hans Blix said he wasn’t cooperating, why exactly he didn’t is a mystery it gave Bush and Blair the excuse they were looking for.

Back to the present. Is the Iranian Government calling for war? Is it really trying to raise the temperature?

Writing in Global Research, Arash Norouzi comments:

Iran's U.N. Press Officer, M.A. Mohammadi, complained to The Washington Post in a June 2006 letter:

You’ve heard of double talk haven’t you? In any case that statement wasn't from the president.

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You’ve heard of double talk haven’t you? In any case that statement wasn't from the president.

No. The statement was by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a man frequently described as Iran's supreme leader:

"We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state."

As for the rest of it, Len, I think we have to agree to disagree.

We are (I assume) both non-Farsi speakers. We are increasingly discussing the nuances of the Farsi language and risk appearing like two eskimoes debating the subtleties of tropical storms.

I joined this particular debate, Len, because I thought the underlying issues at stake are extremely important. There can be little debate about that. The future well-being of the entire world may be at stake, as (nuclear) war is being proposed by some of those who insist the words of the Iranian President meant he was calling for the destruction of another country.

I think those crucial issues have been ventilated and that's enough for me.

There is no evidence - based on the statements of its leaders - that the Iranian Government wants war.

There's a lot of evidence - based on the statements of its leaders - that the Israeli Government does want war.

Yet again!

Edited by Sid Walker
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Perle: Bush Will Attack Iran If Necessary

One of America's most influential neocons says President Bush is prepared to use military force against Iran if he believes it will acquire nuclear weapons.

This past Sunday, Richard Perle, speaking in Israel at the Herzliya Conference, said he had no doubt of President Bush's intentions.

"President George Bush will order an attack on Iran if it becomes clear to him that Iran is set to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities while he is still in office," Haaretz reported of Perle's remarks.

Perle, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, served as chairman of the Bush administration's Defense Policy Board. Perle had been a strong advocate for the liberation of Iraq in the early days of the Bush administration.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/1/...omo_code=2C77-1

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Jimmy Carter gave an interview to Australian Broadcasting Corporation morning radio, today. Apparenmtly it’s the only interview he intends to give an Australian journalist in the present round of controversy following publication of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

What a pleasure it was to listen to the voice of a sophisticated, honourable American with the skills to be President! What a shame he’s been out of office for 27 years!

The interviewer’s questions were largely hostile – fed by the manic response the book has received from the Israel Lobby. But Carter was unflappable and breezed through. Paul Barry, the Australian interviewer, is not after all a specialist in the art of rubbishing the likes of Carter, Mandela and Bishop Tutu when it comes to the Palestine/Israel issue.

Such specialists do exist, of course.

However, not all of them produce consistently high quality output.

One case in point is Deborah Lipstadt.

In this op-ed, published in the Washinton Post and other worthy places, Lipstadt invents a new thought crime – and finds Carter guilty.

The crime is Holocaust Minimization.

Here's Lipstadt's op-ed (emphases added):

Hero takes deplorable turn - Book on Israel callous toward Jewish history

By DEBORAH LIPSTADT Published on: 01/23/07

It is hard to criticize an icon. Jimmy Carter's humanitarian work has saved countless lives. Yet his life has also been shaped by the Bible, where the Hebrew prophets taught us to speak truth to power. So I write.

Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," while exceptionally sensitive to Palestinian suffering, ignores a legacy of mistreatment, expulsion and murder committed against Jews. It trivializes the murder of Israelis. Now, facing a storm of criticism, he has relied on anti-Semitic stereotypes in defense.

One cannot ignore the Holocaust's impact on Jewish identity and the history of the Middle East conflict. When an Ahmadinejad or Hamas threatens to destroy Israel, Jews have historical precedent to believe them. Jimmy Carter either does not understand this or considers it irrelevant.

His book, which dwells on the Palestinian refugee experience, makes two fleeting references to the Holocaust. The book contains a detailed chronology of major developments necessary for the reader to understand the current situation in the Middle East. Remarkably, there is nothing listed between 1939 and 1947. Nitpickers might say that the Holocaust did not happen in the region. However, this event sealed in the minds of almost all the world's people then the need for the Jewish people to have a Jewish state in their ancestral homeland. Carter never discusses the Jewish refugees who were prevented from entering Palestine before and after the war. One of Israel's first acts upon declaring statehood was to send ships to take those people "home."

A guiding principle of Israel is that never again will persecuted Jews be left with no place to go. Israel's ideal of Jewish refuge is enshrined in laws that grant immediate citizenship to any Jew who requests it. A Jew, for purposes of this law, is anyone who, had that person lived in Nazi Germany, would have been stripped of citizenship by the Nuremberg Laws.

Compare Carter's approach with that of Rashid Khalidi, head of Columbia University's Middle East Institute and a professor of Arab studies there. His recent book "The Iron Cage" contains more than a dozen references to the seminal place the Holocaust and anti-Semitism hold in the Israeli worldview. This from a Palestinian who does not cast himself as an evenhanded negotiator.

In contrast, by almost ignoring the Holocaust, Carter gives inadvertent comfort to those who deny its importance or even its historical reality, in part because it helps them deny Israel's right to exist. This from the president who signed the legislation creating the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Carter's minimization of the Holocaust is compounded by his recent behavior. On MSNBC in December, he described conditions for Palestinians as "one of the worst examples of human rights deprivation" in the world. When the interviewer asked "Worse than Rwanda?" Carter said that he did not want to discuss the "ancient history" of Rwanda.

To give Carter the benefit of the doubt, let's say that he meant an ongoing crisis. Is the Palestinians' situation equivalent to Darfur, which our own government has branded genocide?

Carter has repeatedly fallen back — possibly unconsciously — on traditional anti-Semitic canards. In the Los Angeles Times last month, he declared it "politically suicidal" for a politician to advocate a "balanced position" on the crisis. On Al-Jazeera TV, he dismissed the critique of his book by declaring that "most of the condemnations of my book came from Jewish-American organizations." Jeffrey Goldberg, who lambasted the book in The Washington Post last month, writes for the New Yorker. Ethan Bronner, who in the New York Times called the book "a distortion," is the Times' deputy foreign editor. Slate's Michael Kinsley declared it "moronic." Dennis Ross, who was chief negotiator on the conflict in the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, described the book as a rewriting and misrepresentation of history. Alan Dershowitz teaches at Harvard and Ken Stein at Emory. Both have criticized the book. Because of the book's inaccuracies and imbalance and Carter's subsequent behavior, 14 members of the Carter Center's Board of Councilors have resigned — many in anguish because they so respect Carter's other work. All are Jews. Does that invalidate their criticism — and mine — or render us representatives of Jewish organizations?

On CNN, Carter bemoaned the "tremendous intimidation in our country that has silenced" the media. Carter has appeared on C-SPAN, "Larry King Live" and "Meet the Press," among many shows. When a caller to C-SPAN accused Carter of anti-Semitism, the host cut him off. Who's being silenced?

Perhaps unused to being criticized, Carter reflexively fell back on this kind of innuendo about Jewish control of the media and government. Even if unconscious, such stereotyping from a man of his stature is noteworthy. When David Duke spouts it, I yawn. When Jimmy Carter does, I shudder.

Others can enumerate the many factual errors in this book. A man who has done much good and who wants to bring peace has not only failed to move the process forward but has given refuge to scoundrels.

I rather like Norman Finklestein’s comment:

During her libel trial in England (David Irving had sued her for defamation), Lipstadt was ordered by her attorneys not to say a word inside or outside the courtroom. The motive behind this defense strategy was transparent: if Lipstadt uttered even a single syllable the whole world would know she suffered from the scarecrow syndrome. Here she rattles off the names of Carter's critics to date, notes that "all are Jewish," and then is bewildered that Carter believes Jewish organizations are behind criticism of his book. It is reported that Lipstadt is currently at work on a new book on how to chew grass and write op-eds at the same time.
Why is this relevant to Iran?

As the Xymphora blog points out in The debt we owe to Deborah Lipstadt

Deborah Lipstadt has written a very important commentary on Jimmy Carter and his book on the Palestinians. Lipstadt… expressly makes the connection between Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and what was done to the Jewish people in the 1930’s and 1940’s. This argument usually hides in the weeds. It is the real basis behind all defenses of Israeli actions against the Palestinians, as well as many of the peculiarities of Israeli exceptionalism, such as Israel’s unique ability to shelter international gangsters on the basis that they are Jews, or Israel’s unique right to make peremptory attacks against other countries on the basis that there might be a possible threat against the state of the Jewish people. This doctrine has now been extended, in the case of Iran, to allow for peremptory attacks even when there is no threat against the Jewish people.

Think Xymphora exaggerates?

Check out Benny Morris’ article This Holocaust will be different in the Jerusalem Post. Bemoaning the weakness of the Israeli Government, he says:

IN SHORT order, therefore, the incompetent leadership in Jerusalem would soon confront a doomsday scenario, either after launching their marginally effective conventional offensive or in its stead, of launching a preemptive nuclear strike against the Iranian nuclear program, some of whose components are in or near major cities. Would they have the stomach for this? Would their determination to save Israel extend to preemptively killing millions of Iranians and, in effect, destroying Iran?

Morris is alarmed it may not...

In other words, a respected Israeli academic and media pundit believes that pre-emptive attacks on another country using nuclear weapons are justified (as long as Israel or its proxies does the attacking). He is, however, anxious the Israeli Government may not have the bottle to carry out this eminently reasonable measure.

I guess that ‘Holocaust Minimization’ Israeli-style – and it’s de rigeur (as opposed to the quite disgraceful variety exhibited by Jimmy Carter).

Edited by Sid Walker
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