September 4th, 2009

whataboutism или А у вас негров линчуют!

From Economist.com

SOVIET propagandists during the cold war were trained in a tactic that their western interlocutors nicknamed “whataboutism”. Any criticism of the Soviet Union (Afghanistan, martial law in Poland, imprisonment of dissidents, censorship) was met with a “What about...” (apartheid South Africa, jailed trade-unionists, the Contras in Nicaragua, and so forth).
It is not a bad tactic. Every criticism needs to be put in a historical and geographical context. A country that has solved most of its horrible problems deserves praise, not to be lambasted for those that remain. Similarly, behaviour that may be imperfect by international standards can be quite good for a particular neighbourhood.

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It is not a bad tactic.