Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to say something without saying it

Fouad Ajami's WSJ piece today contrasts Bush's "diplomacy of freedom" with Obama's "caution and reticence" when it comes to the Middle East. Ajami can't say that he thinks Bush's "diplomacy of freedom" has been a success, because that would be ludicrous. So he proceeds by indirection, praising Woodrow Wilson, noting that Bush, like Wilson, did not have much knowledge of the Arab world, suggesting that Obama is naive about Iran, and generally casting aspersions in such a way as to give himself "plausible deniability." This column is a case study in insinuation.

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