الهرّ الكبير بالمنطقة

jack_1313

Senior Member
English - Australian
Hi guys. I have another question related to this article about America, Iran, and the bombing of the al-Askari mosque in Samarra, Iraq, in 2006.

The question related to the following passage. Please note that the words written in green are my own corrections to what I believe are mistakes in the original text.

اعتقد ان امريكا كانت تعلم علم القين اليقين بما سوف يحصل وتصريح كيسي هو ذر الرماح الرماد في العيون تصريح مفهوم المغزى والدوافع منذ اللحظات الاولى ودائما ما تحاول الولاية المتحدة الامريكية ان تبرأ نفسها من الدم العراقي وان ايران وبعض الدول المتدخلة بالعراق كانت تعمل في الخفاء وامريكا الهرّ الكبير بالمنطقة لا يعلم خاصة في احداث سامراء تحول ذلك الهرّ الى هرّة صغيرة مغمضة كما يقول الإخوة المصريون
Preliminary translation:
I believe that America knew for sure about what was going to happen. Casey’s statement is a red hearing, a statement the impetuses and intention were understood from the beginning. The USA always tries to absolve itself of Iraqi blood. If Iran and some of the countries intervening in Iraq were operating in secret and America, the big cat in the region, didn’t specifically know about the events [that were going to happen] Samarra, then America is really a small sleeping kitten, as our Egyptian brothers say.

My question is, how would you translate the sentence in red? Have I captured the author's idea?

Thanks!
 
  • jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Hi إسكندراتي, thanks for taking a look.
    So does أن إيران follow on from أعتقد at the start of the sentence? In that case, I'm pretty confused about the meaning of the whole section in red. Who is the (masculine) subject of لا يعلم?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Yes, it's like وأعتقد أن إيران...etc.
    The masculine form, it refers to الهر الكبير (i.e. the US).

    As for the Egyptian expression قطة مغمضة (oTTa'mghammaDa) it refers to someone who is innocent, naïf or doesn't have much experience of the world.
     

    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Hi guys, thanks for your help. Sorry it has taken a while to get back - things have been very hectic around here.

    I'm afraid that the meaning of this part still escapes me:
    وامريكا الهرّ الكبير بالمنطقة لا يعلم خاصة في احداث سامراء تحول ذلك الهرّ الى هرّة صغيرة مغمضة
    To me, there should be a sentence break between سمراء and تحول, with the meaning being that America didn't know about the events of Samarra (لا يعلم خاصة في احداث سامراء). This seems to totally contradict the first line: امريكا كانت تعلم علم القين اليقين بما سوف يحصل وتصريح كيسي. (The ما سوف يحصل refers to the bombing in Samarra.)

    So I seem to be quite confused. تحول is a فعل ماض starting a new sentence, right, not the object of لا يعلم?

    Thanks!

     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi guys, thanks for your help. Sorry it has taken a while to get back - things have been very hectic around here.
    You're welcome. And no problem, I hope things have gotten better with you.
    To me, there should be a sentence break [...]
    You're right. The usual absence of punctuation is causing the confusion. Let me try with the sentence as a whole:
    اعتقد ان امريكا كانت تعلم علم القين اليقين بما سوف يحصل، وتصريح كيسي هو ذر الرماح الرماد في العيون؛ تصريح مفهوم المغزى والدوافع منذ اللحظات الاولى. ودائما ما تحاول الولاية المتحدة الامريكية ان تبرأ نفسها من الدم العراقي، وان ايران وبعض الدول المتدخلة بالعراق كانت تعمل في الخفاء، وامريكا -الهرّ الكبير بالمنطقة- لا يعلم، خاصة في احداث سامراء، [حيث] تحول ذلك الهرّ الى هرّة صغيرة مغمضة كما يقول الإخوة المصريون
    Preliminary translation:
    I believe that America knew for sure about what was going to happen. Casey’s statement is a red hearing, a statement the impetuses and intention were understood from the beginning. The USA always tries to absolve itself of Iraqi blood. If Iran and some of the countries intervening in Iraq were operating in secret and America, the big cat in the region, didn’t specifically know about the events [that were going to happen] Samarra, then America is really a small sleeping kitten, as our Egyptian brothers say.
    Reading it again, I think it should've added a few words (like that "7aythu" that I added) and something to clarify his intented meaning in the part about Iran's intervention.

    So, here's my understanding of the sentence (I'll use parts of your translation):
    I believe that America knew for sure what was going to happen, and that Caasey's statement was just a red hearing; everyone understood the intentions and hidden meaning of that statement from the beginning/since it was first issued. [because?] The US always tries to absolve itself from Iraqi blood [and pretend that] Iran and some of the countries intervening in Iraq worked behind its back, specifically in the events of Samarra.

    If you want to keep the cat metaphor, you'll need to rephrase the last part somehow to say that America, the big cat in the region, was not aware -or pretends it was not aware- of what Iran and the other countries did in Samarra, which make of this big cat a little unaware/innocent kitten.
    Or something like that.

    In other words (and sorry if I'm being incoherent :eek:) the writer is saying that America, that we all know how powerful it is in the region, is pretending to be naïve and not having played any part of the events that took place, and is (i.e. America) blaming Iran and other intervening countries of the incidents.
     

    jack_1313

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Hi Cherine. Thanks very much, that's incredibly helpful.

    I think the core issue that was preventing me from understanding is that the verb pretend (eg. تظاهر) is not actually written anywhere in the sentence. It looks to me like the sentence should read تحاول الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية أن تبرئ نفسها من الدم العراقي وأن تتظاهر كأن إران وبعض الدول المتدخلة بالعراق كات تعمل في الخفاء. So, at the very least, we can say that تتظاهر is implicit. I'm just wondering: to a native reader, is the presence of an implicit "pretend" quite clear and natural in this context? Or did you also have the feeling that key words have been left out of the sentence?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    You're most welcome, Jack. Regarding the missing verb تتظاهر/تدَّعي , I think a native can "sense" it from the context, maybe with the help of the repeated أنّ (in the part وأن إيران) that makes it a bit clear that the author is continuing the idea in the previous part تحاول الولايات المتحدة أن تبرئ نفسها. But I could also be wrong and it's just the result of me reading the paragraph ten times. :)
     
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