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Turning Iranians into cockroaches!

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


The opinion writers of 'The Columbus Dispatch' have clearly demonstrated that the eighteen year old Lauren Upton, Miss South Carolina, was not off the mark when she said: "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps.." in response to why Americans could not find the U.S. on a world map.   This brave teenager dazzled millions with her beauty and we took her statement lightly because we choose to ignore it ourselves.  Regrettably, or fortunately, The Columbus Dispatch reminded us that we should all vote for Upton for they demonstrated to us that their paper can't even point to the countries they are reporting on.


On September 4, 2007, The Columbus Dispatch of Ohio had a glaring map of Iran in its 'opinion' section which leads this reader to realize that the paper's contributors and editors should be the first to receive world maps.  True, the country portrayed as Iran seems to have the right neighbors, but imagine having the United Stated dotted with jungles and giraffes - and the letter USA sprawled all over it.   Hardly demonstrative of accuracy.   Iran's inhabitants are not cockroaches- or was the paper insinuating something else?



Could the paper be suggesting and endorsing the extermination of the people of Iran portrayed as insects - cockroaches, are they in fact, inciting genocide?  I would suggest that they be aware of Lemkin's law.   For as Raphael Lemkin said, "Only man has law ... You must build the law" - and so it was that the law was built.


The United Nations drew up a treaty defining and criminalizing genocide called 'The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide'. It was adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1948, and came into effect on January 12, 1951. United States is signatory to the 1948 Genocide Convention (ratified by the Senate in 1988).  The Treaty defines genocide as the destruction of "a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.".  The 1951 U.N. Treaty encompasses war and peace.


The Columbus's paper call for the implied extermination of the Iranian people (also signatory to the Convention) is in violation of the 'The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide'.   Is this what the readership in Ohio expects from their paper?  Would they support the paper's leadership when they are hauled in front of the International Court of Justice for inciting genocide, or would the paper simply plead ignorance and ask for a second chance, much like Miss South Carolina?


Perhaps the magnanimous people of Iran will oblige with an apology from the paper.  We are, after all, as described by a far more reputable paper, 'The Guardian' able to teach a thing or two.   In an article dated September 7, 2005, Simon Tisdall, under the heading of  "US forces should take a lesson from the Persian kings", said the following:


"When Persian forces overran Babylonia in 539BC, the inhabitants surrendered peacefully. According to contemporary accounts, Cyrus was greeted as a liberator because of his just policies - and tough attitude to terrorists. "When I entered Babylon I did not allow anyone to terrorize the land," a text known as the Cyrus Cylinder quotes him as saying. "I strove for peace in Babylon and all other sacred cities. I put an end to the inhabitants' misfortune."


"John Curtis, the curator of the exhibition, Forgotten Empire: the World of Ancient Persia, said: "Cyrus was no despot, more an enlightened autocrat. He was surprisingly tolerant. He made no attempt to establish a state religion. He is said to have freed the Jews from captivity, allowing them to return to Jerusalem." There are other historical echoes for modern-day empires to ponder.  Even the poorest subject had the right to a royal audience, Mr Curtis said."


"It was very advanced, very sophisticated, progressive and tolerant, although not democratic," The organizers say the exhibition "challenges the myths that have portrayed the Persians as despotic and ruthless people" and aims to promote greater understanding of the Middle East, where modern Iran is seen, at least in the west, as a potential threat."


So we, the advanced, sophisticated, progressive, and tolerant Persians will accept an apology from The Columbus Dispatch in writing when they retract the map.  Being people of peace, we hope that we do not see them place 'cockroaches' on any map in the future.


Related Articles:


NIAC Protests Dispatch Cartoon Depicting Iranians as Cockroaches

Iranians as Cockroaches and Editor Justifies His Paper's Racism -  Another Irani Online

Cartoon Depicts Iranians As Cockroaches -


Contact Info:

The Columbus Dispatch Editor, Glenn Sheller:


... Payvand News - 9/7/07 ... --

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