the power of the diplomatically unsaid

In diplomatic speak it is common to hear pronouncements from one country which references another without actually naming said country. The purported reason for this practice is to do both with diplomatic propriety as well as plausible deniability.

Yet, I suspect there is an additional reason for this purposeful omission. The fact is that in the realm of subconscious rhetoric, leaving the intended consumer of the statement to reach his own conclusion about the possible identity of the entity unnamed–even when obvious– makes the point immeasurably more powerful.

A. Darius Kamali

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