Monday, 7 April 2008

(Cough, Cough, Mumble)

Rhetorical Ploy

Koff-Koff Mumm-bal

The intermediate stage in the typical tripartite Decent foreign policy initiative, book-ended by the initial confrontation of fascism and the final democratisation of tyrannies endgame, leading to yet another giant forward step in the march of liberty. (See also, magical ponies.)

Worryingly flimsy rhetorical plywood bridging the yawning chasm that separates the moral imperative from the positive policy outcome.

"Friends, it is vital to the future of peace in the region that we support the Iraqi Trade Unions, while glossing over their continued opposition to the American occupation. We must continue to show solidarity with their cause until... (Cough, Cough, Mumble) ... at which point the Iraqi people will finally defeat Islamist obscurantism and tyranny."

(Cheers, cries of "Hooray for democracy!")

"Indeed, I say to you that now is also the time to stand up to the tyrants of the Chinese Communist Party!"

(Wild applause, Hoo-ah!s)

"And not only that, but all nations must boycott the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games, thus forcing the Chinese authorities to... (Cough, Mumble, Cough) ... a free Tibet and a democratic China! Hallelujah, brothers and sisters!"

(Hysteria, palpatations, speaking in tongues)

Alternatively, the Jurassic Park Fallacy, after the laughable 1990 Michael Crichton novel and subsequent film, in which idealistic scientists somehow manage to create viable dinosaurs from some DNA and some damn fresh air.

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