An Investigation of the ...


Is there such a thing as “strategically stupid”?

Is it possible to be “strategically stupid”?

These are big questions for our time right up there with why are grocery stores running out of sweet pickle relish and should the Post Office merge with the Federal Election Commission?

OK, let’s break it down.

The adverb talks of positive achievement.



My wife strategically placed the empty pitcher next to the Keurig coffee machine. The achievement comes from me noticing the pitcher, filling it with water and topping off the coffee machine.

Yet, the adjective communicates an utter lack of intelligence.



Only a stupid person would fail to notice the empty pitcher next to the Keurig coffee machine and take no action.

Marrying the two words results in the conundrum we’re facing today. I raise the issue because the United Arab Emirates and Israel reached an agreement to normalize relations, prompting the Iran government to call the diplomacy “strategically stupid.”

If you think lawyers can be prickly about the words communicated to the outside world, politicians take such precision to the next level. Obviously, I don’t have access to the Iranian communications team and who crafted the government’s statement on the UAE/Israel détente. Still, it seems safe to assume they brainstormed different terms before landing on “strategically stupid.”

Or did they?

Is it possible that in the process of translating the statement from Farsi to English that something got lost in translation? My investigation continued with Marjan Giahi, one of our designers whose native language is Farsi.

Leaving nothing to chance, Marjan translated the entire Farsi passage with the phrase in question:


وزارت امور خارجه جمهوری اسلامی ایران با صدور بیانیه‌ای ضمن محکومیت شدید برقراری روابط دیپلماتیک میان امارات عربی متحده و رژیم صهیونیستی، این اقدام را یک حماقت راهبردی از سوی ابوظبی و تل آویو دانست که بدون تردید حاصل آن تقویت محور مقاومت در منطقه خواهد بود.


To English:


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly condemned the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Zionist regime as a strategic foolishness, and noted it’ll undoubtedly lead to the strengthening of line of resistance (against the Zionist regime) in the region.


Now we’re getting somewhere.

“Strategic foolishness.”

I wonder if they ever considered leaving out “strategic.”

Just saying (not that I’m pining for the copy editor job for the Iranian ministry of defense).


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