“Wiped off the map” and “Ahmadinejad” returns 262,000 results.
Thanks to Bomber for mentioning this. Information Clearing House has published an article debunking the popular myth that President Ahmadinejad of Iran said that he wanted to “wipe Israel off the map”. What he said was that Khomeini had said that “the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”
More interesting is the monumental fuck-up that gave birth to the anti-Iranian propaganda:
One may wonder: where did this false interpretation originate? Who is responsible for the translation that has sparked such worldwide controversy? The answer is surprising.
The inflammatory “wiped off the map” quote was first disseminated not by Iran’s enemies, but by Iran itself. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran’s official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference. International media including the BBC, Al Jazeera, Time magazine and countless others picked up the IRNA quote and made headlines out of it without verifying its accuracy, and rarely referring to the source. Iran’s Foreign Minister soon attempted to clarify the statement, but the quote had a life of its own. Though the IRNA wording was inaccurate and misleading, the media assumed it was true, and besides, it made great copy.
Amid heated wrangling over Iran’s nuclear program, and months of continuous, unfounded accusations against Iran in an attempt to rally support for preemptive strikes against the country, the imperialists had just been handed the perfect raison d’Ãªtre to invade. To the war hawks, it was a gift from the skies.
On a slightly related note – ie., American racism – thanks to Russell Brown for pointing out this hilarious interview between Stephen Colbert and Dinesh D’Souza.