Quote: “A political decision was taken to ask DP World to try and defuse the situation. We have to help our friends.” Anonymous Dubai “senior political official,” in the New York Times.
Figure of Speech: euphemismus (eu-phe-MIS-mus), or euphemism, the sugar-coated figure.
The euphemismus (“to speak prettily”) has coated many a bitter political pill. Let us translate this example.
Political decision was taken: The passive voice disguises the decision-maker, who apparently was Bush himself. He sent Karl Rove to quash the deal.
To ask DP World: The shipping company is owned by the Arab Emirates, so it was more like an order.
Defuse the situation: The “situation” was a xenophobic tantrum by American politicians during an election year. The official slips with “defuse,” which implies something more explosive.
Help our friends: As the most westernized Arab nation, we’re stuck with the Americans.
Snappy Answer: “With friends like America, who needs allies?”