Thursday, June 15, 2006

Contortions and translations

Jonathan Steele has a piece in comment is free regarding the remarks Ahmedinejad made regarding Israel. The 'dovish' interpretation, apparently, is not that Israel should be 'wiped from the map' but 'eliminated from the pages of history'. He elaborates:
"I accept that "eliminated" is almost the same, indeed some might argue it is more sinister than "wiped", though it is a bit more of a mouthful if you are trying to find four catchy and easily memorable words with which to incite anger against Iran."
The intellectual dishonesty and mendacity Mr Steele displays here is truly breath-taking - so much so I confess words fail me. Fortunately not everyone suffers from this disability. I'm delighted to see Norm has reproduced one of Soru's comments because they are so often worth repeating. Here it is in full:
"This is the most bad faith piece of work I've read in the Guardian for a long long time

Absolutely. With the best of intentions, Steele decided to lie, and when called on it he resorts to obfuscation.

If the intent of the statement was radically different from the translation, Iran could easily have issued a clarification once it became a big issue. They didn't, because the use of a slightly different idiom is not something that changes the intent of the message in any way.

Lies like his are really dangerous to peace, because it makes it seem as if the only good reason he can think of to not attack Iran is to make up stuff. He should be ashamed."
Yes, yes he should be. Should we expect a 'dovish' take on Ahmedinejad's remarks about the Holocaust next? Then Jonathan Steele's intellectual degradation would be complete.

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