This uncultured jerk is, of course, only a puppet figure with no real power, but this choice of puppet by the theocracy is unsettling in itself.
The neocons had been successfully making the "wiped" quote accepted by the mainstream media as undisputed fact. Yet there were differing translations from the get-go. The NY Times provided the "wiped" translation. But MEMRI (no fans of Juan Cole) translated the line nearly exactly as Cole had it: "This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history."
And despite Hitchens' argument that if the "wiped" translation was wrong, "Ahmadinejad would have denied it," Iranian officials have on at least two occasions (Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh on CNN and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki during a Feb. news conference) challenged the translation.
Now, if we can attract more attention to the substantive dispute of the Cole-Hitchens fight, we will also call attention to the fact that translations are tricky business. And those with political agendas can selectively choose translations to obscure the big picture and manipulate the media.
CH: Well, good for Andrew. How nice of him. Yes, he was here yesterday at lunch, to have lunch, and I said can you hang us just a second while I finish this piece? Because I...and I added that I think you'll like it, because it finally shows what an idiot Juan Cole is. And well, I mean, I don't know about stone cold sober. I'm sure with Andrew, I must have had a drink to celebrate the piece. So he may be exaggerating that. And I can take a drink if I have to, but for some reason, my opponents think it's incredibly important to represent me as a falling down alcoholic.
HH: I wonder, what has happened to the left, Christopher Hitchens, in their confusing of sort of personal attacks and slanders with argument?
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