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O'Reilly and Ahmadinejad: We must wipe them off the map

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I just listened to Bill O'Reilly tell actor/activist Matthew Modine that we must kill all the "Islamic fundamentalists" in the world - wipe them off the face of the Earth - in order to protect America.

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Modine asked O'Reilly how he would win the "war on terror".

O'Reilly replied:

"You use every weapon you have to kill as many Islamic fundamentalists as you can, and then bring them to their knees, the same way we won WWII."

An incredulous Modine asked O'Reilly if he was advocating something akin to the nuclear annihilation of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Answering with a question, O'Reilly asked if Modine would have ordered the nuclear attacks had he been in President Harry Truman's shoes, saying:

"He was fighting to protect America. And he wiped out the enemy, just as we have to wipe out the Islamic fundamentalists..."

How, pray tell, does that differ in any way with the words of Iranian President Ahmadinejad about Israel that have been so vehemently denounced by O'Reilly and his far-right compatriots? They have raised non-stop holy hell over a comment made in a speech by Ahmadinejad in which he purportedly called for Israel to be "wiped off the map". This translation of his words has been hotly disputed, and the consensus of linguists and experts is that what Ahmadinejad actually called for was the fall of the Israeli "Zionist" regime, and the rise of a democratic government in which Palestinians participate in free elections.

University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History, Juan Cole, says the statement should be translated as:

"The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem must [vanish from] the page of time."

Professor Cole explains that, "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' because no such idiom exists in Persian". Rather, "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."

Cole then comes to the real point of the matter:

"What is really going on here is an old trick of the warmongers. Which is that you equate hurtful statements of your enemy with an actual military threat, and make a weak and vulnerable enemy look like a strong, menacing foe. Then no one can complain when you pounce on the enemy and reduce his country to flames and rubble."

Other experts agree with Cole.

Ahmadinejad himself states that his words were misinterpreted and wildly exaggerated, saying:

"There is no new policy, they created a lot of hue and cry over that. It is clear what we say: Let the Palestinians participate in free elections and they will say what they want."

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JC Garrett is a freelance writer and Constitutional scholar from the piney-woods of East Texas. Mr. Garrett owns and operates an independent recording studio, plays several instruments, writes, sings, and produces music. His stories have (more...)
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