Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not those of St. George News.
OPINION – The tension is building over what many political leaders along with the American press refer to as “the growing Iranian nuclear threat.” Every day, our modern version of the Ministry of Truth feeds us breathless warnings about Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We are told that this is the man who allegedly wants Israel wiped off the map. Such rhetoric, coupled with endlessly repeated allegations that Iran seeks to build a nuke to attack Israel and the U.S., serves as a useful tool to provoke easily frightened Americans into another hysterical war frenzy.
Perhaps now’s a good time to recall that Will Rogers once said, “It’s not what we know, but what we know that isn’t so” that hurts us. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at those ominous talking points and see if there’s more to the story.
The “wipe Israel off the map” quote is repeated ad nauseam as proof of Ahmadinejad’s irrational hatred of the Jews. Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made. Arash Norouzi is no apologist for Ahmadinejad, but has taken the time to show that the Iranian president was actually quoting the late Ayatollah Khomeini. The actual words in Farsi were: “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.”
That means nothing to most of us until translated directly to English: “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”
Taken in the correct context of his speech, Ahmadinejad is speaking of his belief that the Zionist regime, that he believes has a powerful negative influence over the Middle East, will vanish from the pages of time much like three other regimes that collapsed, crumbled or vanished over the past 3 decades. Specifically he refers to the U.S. imposed dictatorship of the Shah, the former Soviet Union and Iran’s former archenemy Saddam Hussein. It’s quite a different sentiment from the media’s constant refrain of Iran seeking to “wipe Israel off the map.” So why is this distinction important?
The Iranian president’s beef is with Israel’s government and not the Jews themselves. The thousands of Iranian Jews, who live, unmolested, in the Iranian capital city, further reinforce this fact.
Ahmadinejad isn’t about to be mistaken for one of the saints-who-walk-among-us, but the misinformation and hyping of his alleged threat against Israel is insidious in its own right. Considering that he doesn’t even control Iran’s parliament or its military, any comparisons to Hitler are overblown to say the least.
Both U.S. and Israeli intelligence admit that there is no evidence that Iran’s government has given the go-ahead to create a nuclear bomb. Even the International Atomic Energy Association is basing its suspicions about Iran’s intentions upon a lack of evidence for nuclear weapons. But only those who are unwilling to regurgitate the talking points pablum they’ve been spoon-fed by the media are likely to recognize that there’s more to the story.
Iran and Ahmadinejad could someday prove to be a grave threat to either the U.S. or Israel. But let’s not forget that these two nations are nuclear-armed and both extremely willing and highly capable of defending themselves. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that the proverbial line in the sand for Iran is “nuclear capability.” With unquestioning U.S. backing of Israel, this means that the justification for war against Iran would not be based upon the construction of an actual nuclear weapon much less the threat to use one. So why are we being encouraged to make the rush to another preemptive and unjust war against a nation that lacks the capability of harming us?
With the exception of Iran, no one’s back is truly against the wall at this point. Are we to believe that Iran will be easier to deal with after our leaders have initiated hostilities against them? Considering how well the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have worked out for us, perhaps it’s time we got a second opinion.
The war mongering, alarmist rhetoric that is currently influencing many American’s thinking on Iran is unreliable at best and outright false at worst.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.