Norwegial blogger vvalberg gives the Americans a lesson in diplomacy in this article (archived: Diplomacy 101 - Lying like a rug):
"an international treaty is like a high-society lady, or if you are in the army it's similar to the Generals wife, you treat it with the utmost respect in public and never disparage it, but that doesn't mean you respect it when it comes to deciding matters of any importance. Of course you do not say so out loud, but you nod your head, pretend to agree and then do what you were doing all along.
Now imagine the society lady coming down, dressed in her latest dress, and she says "Well, what do you think of my latest dress?" And boy, this girl would look like the Goodyear blimp in anything, and her dress looks like something made by a demented French tentmaker.
Everyone around goes "Ah it is magnifique", "A work of art", "Why you are as magnificent and splendid as ever, the envy of the party." The American meanwhile looks in disbelief, and can't believe his ears, what is with these people! So he says "It makes you look like the Goodyear blimp!" Then he is surprised when everyone is furious with him for pointing out what is only painfully obvious." :-)
Anders Jacobsen |