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Sunday, September 10, 2006


The big lie about Iran (actually, one of several)

It's just a throwaway line, really:
One visiting leader calls for the annihilation of Israel. A second labels the United States the biggest terrorist nation on Earth. And the host country describes President Bush as a Nazi-style warmonger.
The second and third sentences of this article about the upcoming meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement are perfectly true, in both sentences of the word (true because they have indeed said those things, and true because those assertions are true). But the first sentence is yet another continuation of the big lie. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said, depending on whose translation is more accurate, that "the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time," or that it should be "eliminated from the page of history."

Neither, with their historical sense, carries the slightest implication of "annihilation": "1. To reduce to utter ruin or nonexistence; destroy utterly: The heavy bombing almost annihilated the city. 2. To destroy the collective existence or main body of; wipe out: to annihilate an army." Indeed, it should be pretty clear, based on simple observation of the recent assault on Lebanon or the continuing assault on Gaza and the West Bank, that the only one who has any claim to being guilty of attempted annihilation is the Israeli state itself. By contrast, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has stated clearly that "Iran is loyal to its commitments based on the U.N. charter and it has never used or threatened to use force against any country" (which puts it in obvious contrast not just to Israel but to the good old U.S. of A. as well).

The facts, sadly, aren't enough to put an end to this big lie, no more than they can put an end to the "Iran is embarked on a program to make nuclear weapons" lie, nor the implicit "Iran is doing something wrong or illegal by pursuing nuclear power" lie.

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