Friday, February 8, 2013

misleading metaphor

Vice President Biden told this year's security conference in Munich that "Europe remains the cornerstone" of U.S. engagement with the rest of the world.

Fine. I like Europe and NATO. I think we can do a lot working together to make the world a better and safer place. But what does"cornerstone" really mean? The metaphor gets used often in foreign policy because it sounds good and makes people feel good.

I have a friend who has often reminded me that a cornerstone has no structural significance. The keystone of an arch, yes, but not the cornerstone.

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