Since we are all in Foreign Policy Hell this week, some of us may be struggling to reacquire the language and B.S-detector skills so commonly honed to a fine edge during the height of the Iraq War. Fortunately, Micah Zenko of Foreign Policy has provided a “translation guide” that may prove immediately useful. Here’s a sample:
“We’re evaluating the situation”: We still haven’t done anything….
“All options are on the table”: Bombs.
“We welcome this debate”: After harnessing the federal government’s resources to hide the issue, we’re going to dilute it with adjectives, already-public information, and selective leaking.
“I’m not in a position to comment here”: An anonymous “official” can fill you in via a well-placed leak momentarily.
“I will look into that”: I probably won’t look into that, but feel free to ask again at tomorrow’s press briefing.
Zenko doesn’t get into the special Foreign Policy-Speak meaning of regular old English words like “robust” and “developing,” but perhaps there will be additional installments of this service.
Feed the Political AnimalDonate
Washington Monthly depends on donations from readers like you.