As Americans work themselves into another tizzy over Iran’s president setting foot on U.S. soil–especially the right-wingers, who’ve been spitting venom about Ahmadinejad and decrying him as a maniac–some myths should be exposed about this man, myths propagated by a media that is anything but liberal.
Myth #1 of the not-so-liberal media: Ahmadinejad wants to “wipe Israel off the map.”
REVELATION: Ahmadinejad once said: “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the pages of time…” The Iranian president is talking about a regime change at a political conference. A regime change is hardly radical for to the American mind, particularly among conservatives, who’ve made it their mission to dissolve any “regime” they deem unfit for American economic interests. And so, in our arrogance and despite the evidence out there of what he actually said, we continue to believe the lie that “Isael should be wiped off the map.” Is this in the interest of a liberal media? No. It is in the interest of right-wing conservatives who want to continue driving the war machine.
Here is a play-by-play rundown if you really want to further scrutinize the quote.
Myth #1, Part 2 of the not-so-liberal media: Ahmadinejad wants to at least attack Israel.
REVELATION: Ahmadinejad once said, “I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government and I have talked about the solution. The solution is democracy. We have said allow Palestinian people to participate in a free and fair referendum to express their views. What we are saying only serves the cause of durable peace. We want durable peace in that part of the world. A durable peace will only come about with once the views of the people are met.”
Republicans have said, ‘oh, well how can he talk about democracy when Iran is really a theocracy?!’ This is also used to justify the assertion that Iranians must be freed from their government. But in fact, Iran elected Ahmadenijad in a general election. And then Republicans will counter that by saying, ‘oh, but what about their Supreme Leader! he’s the one running the country!’ But in fact the citizens of Iran WANTED this type of leadership. In 1979 they demonstrated in the streets of Tehran by the millions and overthrew an opressive Iranian monarchy that had been set up by the U.S. government*.
Myth #2 of the not-so-liberal media: Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier.
Skepticism about the Holocaust narrative has started to take hold in the Middle East not because people hate Jews but because that narrative is deployed to argue that Israel has a right to “defend itself” by attacking every country in its vicinity. Middle East publics are so used to western canards legitimizing colonial or imperial takeovers that some wonder if the six-million-dead argument is just another myth or exaggerated tale. It is dismal that Mr. Ahmadinejad seems to belong to this ill-educated sector, but he has never been known for his higher education.
Still, Mr. Ahmadinejad did not say what the US Subcommittee on Intelligence Policy reported that he said: “They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets.” He actually said, “In the name of the Holocaust they have created a myth and regard it to be worthier than God, religion and the prophets.” This language targets the myth of the Holocaust, not the Holocaust itself – i.e., “myth” as “mystique”, or what has been done with the Holocaust. Other writers, including important Jewish theologians, have criticized the “cult” or “ghost” of the Holocaust without denying that it happened. In any case, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s main message has been that, if the Holocaust happened as Europe says it did, then Europe, and not the Muslim world, is responsible for it. (taken from this article on the World News Daily website.
This little bit of counter-journalism exposes the some of these myths along with a perfect illustration of how the so-called “liberal media” is in fact working fully to the benefit of conservatives wanting to sink their teeth into Iranian soil, er, oil.
*Next week: America’s involvement in the 1953 overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian president in favor of a monarch…