Quote: “If this is an opportunity, what’s Iraq? A once-in-a-lifetime chance?” Richard Haass, former official with the Bush State Department, in the Washington Post.
Figure of Speech: diasyrmus (di-a-SYR-mus), the ridiculous comparison.
In his weekly radio address, Bush called the war in Lebanon “a moment of opportunity.” That got a laugh out of Richard Haass, who was the State Department’s policy director during Bush’s first term. Haass ridicules Bush’s knee-jerk optimism with a diasyrmus (“tearing apart”), a comparison that reduces the opponent’s point to absurdity.
The diasyrmus is a powerful figure because it’s tough to answer without digging yourself even deeper into absurdity. Which, come to think of it, does not seem to bother this president.
Snappy Answer: “Halliburton sure thought so.”