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    Penalty for Early Withdrawal

    bush_teller.jpgQuote:  “When we begin to draw down troops from Iraq, it will be from a position of strength and success, not from a position of fear and failure.” President Bush, quoted in the New York Times.

    Figure of Speech:  syncrisis (SIN-crih-sis), the not- that- but- this figure. From the Greek, meaning “to compare.”

    You might call the syncrisis the figure of black and white, which is why this bichromatic president uses it more than any other.  Include a pair of balanced phrases and throw in a dash of alliteration — “strength and success” versus “fear and failure” — and you got yourself a first-class issue definer.

    Snappy Answer:  “This isn’t a plan for strength and success. It’s a plan for death and taxes.”

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    Reader Comments (4)

    This is closely related to the false dilemma, in the deployment of which this president is a virtuoso. Examples abound: "You're either with us or with the terrorists." "We can stay the course or cut and run." "We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here." "Continue the war or abandon Iraq to chaos" (a paraphrase).
    September 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob
    Very true! It falls under Figaro's Fifth Deadly Sin of logic, the False Choice (see page 147 of his book).

    The false dilemma is one of politics' most insidious, because it precludes other, existing choices, guaranteeing us a bad decision.

    But today's quote doesn't QUITE fall under that fallacy. It simply redefines the opposition (fearful failures) and defines his own policy (strong success!).

    September 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Is there a name for a word that is empty and meaningless in context? That traitorous Bushie constantly talks about "success". But very few people question the concept. As far as I can see, there is no success possible. That fool general who is going to blabber Bush-speak this month says we have "success" because one small town is in his control. The Senator from Deleware had a good statement about this when he said that saying we are in control is like a fist in water. Put it in and it's there; take it out and the water it displaced floods back.

    Also, it there a figure of speech that takes into account the nonsense we keep hearing about our men and women who are killing and dying for "their country" when they are merely slaughtering and being slaughtered for Bush's Lie.
    September 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMel
    While Figaro is a big fan of hyperbole, he stops at the usage of "traitor" to describe anyone who doesn't knowingly assist an enemy during wartime. Let's try to use rapier wit instead of rhetorical bludgeons.

    September 4, 2007 | Registered CommenterFigaro

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