The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Today's online Mercury News contained a strange article headline: Russia sad that U.S. will begin deployment of anti-missile defense system. (The Merc is probably not to blame as the article is credited to the Associated Press.)

We do tend to anthromorphize nations, and there are emotions that can you can use to describe a country that sound natural. "Sad" is not one of them. Russia "expressed regret", which does not mean that 150 million people are walking around with tears in their eyes. "Expressed regret" is diplo-speak for "you're doing something we don't want to do, but we're not going to do jack about it."

Anyway, why are the Russians so sad? Were they planning to send us a hydrogen bomb for Christmas?



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