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Glenn Beck and Peter Brookes Discuss Iranian Videogames

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In the following clip, CNN’s Glenn Beck reports on “Rescue the Nuke Scientist,” a new Iranian video game, which the game’s developers describe as a response to “Assault on Iran,” developed by US game developer Kuma War. According to their website, “Assault on Iran” is part of a “series of playable recreations of real events in the War on Terror” including “Iran Hostage Rescue Mission.

Beck chastised the game for its content:

Rated T for terror, I’ll tell you about the new Iranian video game that packs a little more punch than Pac-Man…try killing American soldiers.

However, Beck made no mention of the Kuma War games “Assault on Iran” or “Iran Hostage Rescue Mission,” to which “Rescue the Nuke Scientist” is intended as a response.

Peter Brookes of the conservative think thank The Heritage Foundation appeared on the show to comment on the game and connect it to the larger issue of the Iranian nuclear energy program. Brookes repeated and distorted an infamous quote:

Iranian president Ahmadinejad famously said he was going to wipe Israel off the map.

Many scholars and lawmakers, including Juan Cole, professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history and president of the Global Americana Institute, have identified Ahmadinejad’s statement as a mistranslation:

As most of my readers know, Ahmadinejad did not use that phrase in Persian. He quoted an old saying of Ayatollah Khomeini calling for “this occupation regime over Jerusalem” to “vanish from the page of time.”

Jonathan Steele in this article for the Guardian:

The remarks are not out of context. They are wrong, pure and simple. Ahmadinejad never said them. Farsi speakers have pointed out that he was mistranslated. The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran’s first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” just as the Shah’s regime in Iran had vanished.

In this article, Arash Norouzi examines the original Persian text and does a word-by-word translation which demonstrates that the oft-quoted translation is wrong:

So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want “wiped from the map”? The answer is: nothing. That’s because the word “map” was never used. The Persian word for map, “nagsheh” is not contained anywhere in his original Farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase “wipe out” ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran’s president threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” despite never having uttered the words “map.” “wipe out” or even “Israel.”

The full quote translated directly to English:

“The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”

Word by word translation:

Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

Here is the full transcript of the speech in Farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad’s web site.

Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and the NIAC have also noted this mistranslation. It is important to note that Brookes’ translation on Beck’s show is also conspicuously different from the oft-quoted mistranslation which adds another layer of belligerence to Ahmadinejad’s words:

From the Jerusalem Post:

But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told an audience in Teheran that “Israel must be wiped off the map” and threatened Muslim countries that recognized Israel. [emphasis added]

Once again, Peter Brookes on the Glenn Beck Show:

Iranian president Ahmadinejad famously said he was going to wipe Israel off the map. [emphasis added]

Watch a summary of the report—and the promo for “Assault on Iran”—in the short clip below.

(update 7-22-07): In January 14, 2006, Iran temporarily “barred” CNN for mistranslating comments made by Ahmadinejad.

State Media complained to CNN that they had used the translation “nuclear weapons” instead of “nuclear technology”.

The ban by the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry was read in a statement on state-run television saying, “due to mistranslation of the words of Ahmadinejad during his press conference, activities of the American CNN in Tehran are banned until further notice,” the statement said. “CNN quoted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that Iran has the right to build nuclear weapons,” the network said in its report of the ban. “In fact he said that Iran has the right to nuclear energy.” He then adds, “a nation that has civilization does not need nuclear weapons, and our nation does not need them.”

CNN has acknowledged that they had made the mistake.

The network then went on to say, “CNN apologized on all its platforms which included the translation error, including CNN International, CNNUSA and CNN.com, and also expressed its regrets to the Iranian Government and the Iranian ambassador to the UN.”

Irancove @ July 22, 2007

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