Quote: “This is Santa Claus negotiating.” George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in the Washington Post.
Figure of Speech: periphrasis (pa-RIH-phra-sis), the figure that swaps a description with a proper noun, or vice versa.
The U.S. and India just concluded a deal that lets the world’s largest democracy ignore the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and build fast-breeder reactors. Two of them will be free to make nuclear weapons without UN inspection. The Carnegie Endowment’s veep for studies registers his dismay with a periphrasis (“to declare around”).
We invaded Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, because Iraq was bad; we’re helping India make nukes because India is good. The logic is nothing new. We used it during the Cold War when we supported Osama bin Laden.
Snappy Answer: “Indians don’t believe in Santa, so they’re going to Hell anyway.”