Diplomatic ingenuity: Short, sharp words that cut to the chase!
The Russian ambassador here showed his mastery of the English language, not by dint of bombastic phrasing but in what he plainly said and what he purposely left out -- with a none-so-subtle sting! -- in his short letter to ST, published today (March 18):
Mr Moiseev used only 84 words in his letter but the two points he made were crystal clear:
(1) He made it plain that the writer of the ST editorial referred to had no right to pontificate on the Crimea polls if he or she had not even watched the heavy Western media coverage of the voting process;
(2) His defence of Mr Putin's actions in Crimea was even classier. Mr Moiseev's selection of the loaded labels "humanitarian interventions", "responsibility to protect" and "coalitions of the willing" to bypass the United Nations was an unambiguous assault on Western double standards, ie, "hey, pot, please don't call the kettle black." Hmmm, now which was the country that made the phrase "coalition of the willing" practically a cliche back then? Wasn't it also the one that declared french fries would henceforth be known as freedom fries -- all because a certain ally demurred on joining in the then coalition of the willing?
Diplomatic insipidity: Same words, different folks!
As for high level diplomacy at another level, Tom sent me this compilation by a Danish TV network of what the US President said to different visiting dignitaries. You won't know whether to laugh or to cry!...
How to handle a silly poser like 'Are Singaporeans compassionate?'
Just because one angmoh woman wrote something calculated to "flame" folks here, and just because she happened to be a BBC journalist, doesn't mean the media here need to go to town on it. But ST did...
I felt TODAY got it right (so far) with more restrained reporting. And it published a reader's letter (March 18) that put things nicely in perspective:
Hello, a parking lot is a place where there are parking spaces!
Finally, to ST's copy checkers who mix up parking lot with parking space, here's how the former is correctly used: