"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Monday, May 08, 2006

Propaganda 101

Charles Krauthammer in today's Irish Times:
Iran nuclear ambitions aim to finish Hitler's work

"When something happens for the first time in 1,871 years, it is worth noting. In AD 70, and again in 135, the Roman Empire brutally put down Jewish revolts in Judea, destroying Jerusalem, killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and sending hundreds of thousands more into slavery and exile."

Dear Madam,

Charles Krauthammer's continued misrepresentation of the Iranian President's remarks on Israel and it's leaders now borders on ridiculous, "The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed."

Washington based research institute MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), gives this as the correct translation: ""'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."

Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan stated in an off the record email exchange: "I object to the characterization of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as having "threatened to wipe Israel off the map." I object to this translation of what he said on two grounds. First, it gives the impression that he wants to play Hitler to Israel's Poland, mobilizing an armored corps to move in and kill people. But the actual quote, which comes from an old speech of [Ayatollah] Khomeini, does not imply military action, or killing anyone at all.

The second reason is that it is just an inexact translation. The phrase is almost metaphysical. He quoted Khomeini that "the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time." It is in fact probably a reference to some phrase in a medieval Persian poem. It is not about tanks."

While Mr. Krauthammer may fundamentally disagree with everything the Iranian President has to say. He must at least be obliged to find issue with what he actually said, not what it is useful for him to have said. There is literally no excuse for this sort of blatant propaganda.

Yours etc...

See David Sketchley's email to Helen Boaden of the BBC at:

Media Lens Message board

and the Full Article: The Irish Times