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Handbook of International Diplomacy―The Authoritarian Edition: Conflate to Aggravate

Exploit superficial similarities of unrelated events to suggest that they are different manifestations of the same thing and thereby prove that contradictory reactions and/or attitudes towards them constitute hypocrisy.


For example, you may think that the race related riots in Ferguson, USA, have nothing to do with last year's protests in the Ukrainian capital Kiev that demanded the resignation of a corrupted government. Well, according to the Russian Foreign Minister,Sergei Lavrov, they certainly do. For him, street fighting and property destruction in both cases makes his case self-evident. Motives? Background? Context? Why these are footnotes the point being (according to the Russia's logic) that any destabilizing attempt against the legitimate authorities is unwelcomed. And thusly Lavrov can accuse the US government of hypocritically defending reactionary actions in a distant, foreign land while suppressing similar domestic manifestations.


Of course, be aware that this kind of self-serving logic is quite easy to dismantle. Just ask the Kremlin what does it think about the "grassroots" rebellion in eastern Ukraine. So be prepared to rebut by talking about the relative importance of context.

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