(By Chris Moore, LibertarianToday.com) -- 10/17/07 -- True to his pattern of using false claims to justify wars of agenda (recall Bush’s pernicious inferences that Saddam Hussein had ties to the 9/11 terrorist attacks used to deceive Americans into Iraq) the president is again playing deceptive word games in order to lower the threshold necessary to trigger his latest dark ambition: war with Iran.
"We have got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel," President Bush recently claimed of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "So I have told people that, if you are interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
What a clever mix of rhetorical propaganda, verbal gymnastics and outright lies -- all masked by a thin veneer of feigned idealism -- Bush and his neocon speechwriters are capable of employing in order to push America ever further down the road toward a Middle East conflagration.
Let’s start with Bush’s outright lie: "We have got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel."
What Bush is referring to is a 2005 speech in which Ahmadinejad is alleged to have said "Israel must be wiped off the map."
The problem is, even though the so-called quote was widely reported in the propaganda organs of Western media and to this day is parroted on television, in magazines and newspapers by neocon ideologues with a pro-war agenda, Ahmadinejad never actually said any such thing.
In an article entitled 'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century, Farsi speaker Arash Norouzi painstakingly corrected the mistranslation of Ahmadinejad’s statement:
‘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).’
How can President Bush, with elaborate worldwide intelligence institutions like the CIA and billions of dollars worth intelligence resources at his disposal, possibly be unaware of the correct translation of Ahmadinejad’s speech? Of course, he isn’t unaware. The president is fully aware of what Ahmadinejad really said, but the correct translation is inconsistent with his war agenda, and so, like his neocon brethren, he has deliberately chosen to put false word’s into Ahmadinejad’s mouth and broadcast the so-called quote to the world as authentic.
But isn’t the distinction between whether the Iranian president said he wants Israel “wiped off the map” or said the “regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the pages of time” mere semantics? Aren’t Ahmadinejad’s malicious intentions clear either way? Don’t both translations cry out for war?
To find out, let’s look back to another set of “menacing” quotes from a powerful leader who once was alleged to have threatened an entire rival civilization with destruction during a period of heightened mutual animosity.
In the 1980’s, President Ronald Reagan was quoted as saying the Soviet Union was an “evil empire,” and joking through an open microphone that “we begin bombing in five minutes.” Using the same clever rhetorical tricks as Bush and the neocons have used in the Ahmadinejad case, Soviet commissars and Communist sympathizers of the time argued that Reagan was threatening to wipe the Soviet Union off the map, even though he never made any such threat.
What Reagan was saying with his “evil empire” crack was that the Soviet regime (not the Russian people) was evil and thus unworthy of its position of authority over those suffering under its yoke. Ahmadinejad is saying something similar of Zionists.
Reagan was pilloried by Soviet agitprops as an aggressor for his statements, just as Ahmadinejad is being pilloried by neocon agitprops as an aggressor today. It seems the formerly Trotskyite neocons brought their nasty Bolshevik rhetorical tricks with them on their journey from Left to Right, and are now employing them to facilitate war with Iran.
But even the Soviets didn’t take the absurd next step of threatening the country that had elected their outspoken critic with “preemptive” destruction as a consequence of a deliberate mistranslation of his words, as Bush and the neocons have with Iran.
Now, let’s move on to the second part of Bush’s quote, where after (falsely) citing Ahmadinejad’s alleged threat to Israel, he says “if you are interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [the Iranians] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
By inference, Bush thus seems to be insinuating the possibility of the following chain of events: Iran has threatened Israel with destruction, Iran is in possession of “knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," Israel or the US feel threatened by this conjunction, Israel or the US preemptively attack Iran, and the whole sequence of events ends up sparking World War 3.
Yet Iran already has the know-how to make a nuclear bomb, it just doesn’t have the technology and materials in place to utilize it, and according to both Ahmadinejad and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the man monitoring Iran’s nuclear power development program as part of their respective countries’ nuclear power partnership agreement, it doesn’t have the will to make a bomb, either.
"The Iranians are cooperating with Russian nuclear agencies and the main objectives are peaceful objectives," Putin recently said.
Irregardless of the facts, through his rhetorical conjecture, Bush has managed to lower the threshold of justification for an attack on Iran from active, aggressive pursuit of a nuclear bomb to the mere conjunction of its attainment of “the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon" with the Iranian president’s threats to wipe Israel off the map -- threats he never made in the first place.
Thus, by Bush logic, if the US or Israel were to immediately attack Iran for possessing nuclear bomb making know-how and for Ahmadinejad’s non-threat, and consequently start World War 3 -- it would all be Iran’s fault.
And the neocons want Americans to believe that it’s the mullahs who are crazy?
Perhaps the “knowledge” that the Bush-Neocon Inquisition really fears, and from which it is hoping to distract its American subjects with an Armageddon-like bloodbath in the Middle East, is the knowledge that the Christian Zionist, Jewish nationalist Zionist and Big Government Conservative war profiteering coalition that makes up the Bush regime is no more representative of God-fearing Christians, Jews and Americans than the Soviet regime was representative of the people over which it ruthlessly ruled in Russia and the Eastern Bloc for so long.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is no Ronald Reagan, but he does get one thing right: unjust regimes do indeed end up in the ash heap of history.
And the demise of the unjust regimes now ruling Tel Aviv and Washington will be no more lamented by the world than was the downfall of the Soviet regime by average Russian, Polish, Ukrainian and East German citizens who wanted nothing whatsoever to do with the Communist ruling elite’s murderous ways.
Average Americans want nothing to do with the crazed Neocons’ murderous ways either.
Chris Moore is publisher of LibertarianToday.com