On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an embarrassing AIPAC-designed resolution calling on the U.N. Security Council to take up genocide charges against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map." -- The resolution is an absurd one and the House should be ashamed of its 411-2 vote, since in fact the Iranian president never said any such thing. -- Kucinich raised the question of the mistranslation of Ahmadinejad's remarks and tried to correct the record by having alternative translations read into the record, but the House preferred to remain in its AIPAC-induced state of error. -- "Kucinich attempted to insert into the Congressional Record two independent translations of the speech from the New York Times and Middle East Media Research Institute, which contain significant differences in the translations of the speech compared to the resolution before the House. However, Members objected formally and the attempt was blocked." -- Indeed, the record shows that one third of the debate on the floor of the House consisted of Dennis Kucinich's unsuccessful attempt to have more accurate translations of Ahmadinejad's remarks — from the New York Times no less! — inserted into the record. -- Since these remarks were supposedly the reason for the resolution, nothing could have been more germane, but unanimous consent was denied, on the grounds that the speech contained the very ideas that Kucinich questioned whether it contained — a very nice petitio principii, or begging of the question. -- The only other representative voting against the resolution was Ron Paul (R-TX 14th), who called it "an exercise in propaganda that serves one purpose: to move us closer to initiating a war against Iran." ...
[From the web site of Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH 10th)]
NO QUESTIONS ASKED?
** Congress Votes to Send the President of Iran Before a United Nation’s Court While Refusing a New York Times Translation of the President’s Remarks **
June 20, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today the House of Representatives passed H. Con.Res.21, a resolution that pressures the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his alleged calls for the destruction of Israel.
“There is reasonable doubt with regard to the accuracy of the translations of President Ahmadinejad’s words in this resolution. President Ahmadinejad’s speeches can also be translated as a call for regime change, much in the same manner the Bush Administration has called for regime change in Iraq and Iran, making this resolution very ironic,” Kucinich said.
Kucinich attempted to insert into the Congressional Record two independent translations of the speech from the New York Times and Middle East Media Research Institute, which contain significant differences in the translations of the speech compared to the resolution before the House. However, Members objected formally and the attempt was blocked.
“When I learned of these translations, I felt obligated to bring it to the attention of the House. It seems that much has been lost in translation. Members have a right to know of the translations and the refusal to permit them to become a part of the Congressional Record does a disservice to Members.”
A similar House resolution, H. Res. 523, passed the House two days after the October 26, 2005, speech and before these translations were available. Kucinich supported that resolution in the 109th Congress.
“I am unequivocal in my support for the security and survival of Israel, and I do have serious concerns with the remarks made by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. But, I object to resolutions that lay the groundwork for an offensive, unprovoked war.
“The resolution passed by the House today sets a dangerous precedent in foreign affairs. A mistranslation could become a cause of war. The United States House may unwittingly be setting the stage for a war with Iran.
“We must make every effort to ascertain the truth because peace in the world may hang in the balance. The only way to definitively know what President Ahmadinejad meant is for the United States to engage in meaningful, diplomatic relations with the country of Iran.”
STATEMENT ON H CON RES 21
By Ron Paul (R-TX 14th)
June 20, 2007
Madam Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hc110-21) This resolution is an exercise in propaganda that serves one purpose: to move us closer to initiating a war against Iran. Citing various controversial statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this legislation demands that the United Nations Security Council charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Having already initiated a disastrous war against Iraq citing U.N. resolutions as justification, this resolution is like déja vu. Have we forgotten 2003 already? Do we really want to go to war again for U.N. resolutions? That is where this resolution, and the many others we have passed over the last several years on Iran, is leading us. I hope my colleagues understand that a vote for this bill is a vote to move us closer to war with Iran.
Clearly, language threatening to wipe a nation or a group of people off the map is to be condemned by all civilized people. And I do condemn any such language. But why does threatening Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as many here have done, not also deserve the same kind of condemnation? Does anyone believe that dropping nuclear weapons on Iran will not wipe a people off the map? When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide? And we wonder why the rest of the world accuses us of behaving hypocritically, of telling the rest of the world “do as we say, not as we do.”
I strongly urge my colleagues to consider a different approach to Iran, and to foreign policy in general. General William Odom, President Reagan’s director of the National Security Agency, outlined a much more sensible approach in a recent article titled “Exit From Iraq Should Be Through Iran.” General Odom wrote: “Increasingly bogged down in the sands of Iraq, the U.S. thrashes about looking for an honorable exit. Restoring cooperation between Washington and Tehran is the single most important step that could be taken to rescue the U.S. from its predicament in Iraq.” General Odom makes good sense. We need to engage the rest of the world, including Iran and Syria, through diplomacy, trade, and travel rather than pass threatening legislation like this that paves the way to war. We have seen the limitations of force as a tool of U.S. foreign policy. It is time to try a more traditional and conservative approach. I urge a “no” vote on this resolution.