《经济学人》:巴拉克.奥巴马的中东政策
日期:2011-04-22 10:34

(单词翻译:单击)

Barack Obama's Middle East policy巴拉克.奥巴马的中东政策

From Oslo to Benghazi从奥斯陆到班加西

A Nobel prizewinner’s voyage of discovery 一个诺贝尔和平奖获得者的发现之旅

WHEN he collected his Nobel peace prize from Oslo in December 2009, Barack Obama acknowledged the oddity of receiving such an honour while commanding the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also made it plain that the use of force might be justified on humanitarian grounds—as, in his view, it had been in the Balkans in the 1990s. To that extent, at least, he had prepared the ground for Libya. It has nonetheless come as a shock to many Americans to find themselves plunged so abruptly into a new war in an Arab country. How did that peaceable Mr Obama get them into this?

2009年12月,贝拉克??奥巴马在奥斯陆领取诺贝尔和平奖时承认,他在指挥着美国领导的在伊拉克和阿富汗的战争之时,获得这样一项荣誉比较奇怪。他还坦言,在人道主义立场下使用武力可能是正义的,比如,在他看来,20世纪90年代在巴尔干半岛使用武力就是如此。至少在那种程度下,他已经对在利比亚的立场埋下了伏笔。但是,许多美国人对迅速投入到对一个阿拉伯国家的战争中感到吃惊。温和的奥巴马怎么会把他们卷到这种状况?

From the very beginning of his presidency Mr Obama had little choice but to run an active policy in the Middle East. He needed to extricate American forces from Iraq (the better to prosecute the war in Afghanistan); he faced the continuing challenge of Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons programme; he had to carry on the fight against al-Qaeda; and, like many presidents, he inherited an explosive stalemate in Palestine. But to these pressing practical demands he added a broader aspiration: repairing the damage done by George Bush’s reaction to the attacks of September 11th 2001 on America’s relations with the Muslim world, especially with the Arabs.

从奥巴马担任总统的那一刻起,他就没有什么选择,只能在中东推行积极的政策。他需要从伊拉克撤出美军(比继续进行在阿富汗的战争要好);他面临着怀疑伊朗在实施核武器项目的持续挑战;他不得不展开对基地组织的打击;跟许多总统一样,他也接手了在巴勒斯坦的火药味十足的僵局。但是,在这些迫切的实际要求之外,他添加了一个更广泛的愿望:修补美国与穆斯林世界尤其是阿拉伯国家的关系,这些外交关系由于乔治??布什对2001年“9??11”袭击的强烈反应而遭到破坏。

In June 2009 Mr Obama gave voice to the aspiration in a speech in Cairo, where he was the guest of the then dictator, Hosni Mubarak. He told his eager audience that he was seeking “a new beginning” based on “mutual interest and mutual respect”. He also spoke at length about democracy, and the controversy generated by America’s push for it in the wake of the Iraq war. Mr Obama’s argument was that “no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other”. America did not presume to know what was best for everyone. But that did not lessen his commitment “to governments that reflect the will of the people”.

2009年6月,奥巴马在开罗的一篇演讲中表达了上述愿望。在那里,他是当时的独裁者胡斯尼??穆巴拉克的贵宾,他对热切的听众说,他在谋求一种建立在“共同利益和相互尊重”之上的“新的开端”。他还用较大篇幅谈论民主,以及在伊拉克战争后美国推动民主所引发的争议。奥巴马的观点是,“没有那种治国体制可以由一个国家强加给另外一个国家”。美国没有认为自己知道什么体制对每个人来说都是最好的,但是这也没有弱化他对“体现人民意志的政府”的承诺。

Since those two speeches, a strange thing has happened. The practical problems Mr Obama inherited in the Middle East have proved obstinately hard to resolve. In the meantime, however, the abstract issues he raised in Oslo and Cairo have thrust themselves to centre-stage. The Arab awakening has demanded rapid decisions about whether to support or abandon friendly autocrats such as Mr Mubarak. And in Libya Mr Obama has had to rush in double-quick time through a real-life version of his Oslo argument: that America sometimes has to use force on humanitarian grounds.

从那两次演讲之后,一件奇怪的事发生了。奥巴马接手的在中东的实际问题证明是非常顽固的,很难解决。但是,同时,他在奥斯陆和开罗提出的抽象问题把他们自己推向了舞台中央。阿拉伯的觉醒需要迅速做出决断:是支持还是抛弃像穆巴拉克这样友好的独裁者。在利比亚这个发生在现实情境下的问题上,奥巴马需要果断证明他在奥斯陆提出的观点:在人道主义立场上,美国有时需要使用武力。

Lovely in the spring明媚春光
The early part of the Arab awakening was simplest for Mr Obama. Some Americans construed the people-power revolution that toppled Mr Mubarak in February as a blow to the United States; but if Mr Obama shared these qualms, he hid them well. “Egypt will never be the same,” he said, implying that it would be better.

对奥巴马来说,阿拉伯觉醒的早期是最容易的。一些美国人把2月份推翻穆巴拉克的人民-权利革命看做是对美国的打击;但是如果奥巴马也有这些不安,他把这些不安很好地掩盖了起来。他说,“埃及绝不会再这样了”,暗示着埃及局面将会更好。

From the outset, according to a senior administration official, Mr Obama not only concluded that Egypt’s president of 30 years was beyond saving. He also welcomed this example of peaceful democratic change driven from within and not, as in Iraq, by Western power. This development, Mr Obama concluded, had “a very good upside” for the United States. The emergence of a democratic Egypt would at last help America to align its interests with its values and sharply counter the message of violent change preached by al-Qaeda.

根据一位高级政府官员的说法,从一开说,奥巴马不仅断言,统治埃及达30年之久的总统无药可救了,他还表示欢迎这种国内促成的和平民主进程(而不是像伊拉克那样的在西方国家推动下的民主改革)。奥巴马总结说,这种发展对美国来说是“坏事的很好一面”。一个民主埃及的出现最终将会帮助美国实现利益与价值观的统一,有力反击基地组织炮制的“暴力变革”的说法。

Mr Obama’s optimistic reading of events was all every well when Tunisia and Egypt were the templates for change. But it was too much to expect all the long-entrenched autocrats of the Arab world to go so gently into their good nights. In Yemen and Bahrain, pro-American regimes are clinging bloodily to power in spite of America’s pleas for reform. Since both have been highly useful to the United States (Yemen helps to hold al-Qaeda at bay and Bahrain hosts the Fifth Fleet), this makes it much harder for Mr Obama to align his country’s interests with its values.

以突尼斯和埃及为样板,奥巴马的这种对事态的乐观解读的确很好。但是,不能指望阿拉伯世界长期执掌政权的独裁者会这样温和地接受改变。在也门和巴林,虽然美国督促变革,亲美政权仍然拼死把持权力不松手。由于这两个国家对美国来说都非常有用(也门帮忙把基地组织限制在海湾地区,巴林则是第五舰队的驻地),这使得奥巴马更难把美国的利益和价值观统一起来。

Libya, the Americans insist, is a completely different kettle of piranhas. Even after giving up an illicit nuclear-weapons programme and compensating victims of the Pan Am bombing of 1988, Colonel Qaddafi was never America’s ally. And the depredations he has unleashed on the opposition eclipse anything witnessed so far in the course of the Arab awakening. That is why, on March 3rd, Mr Obama said the colonel had lost all legitimacy and had to “step down from power and leave”. To nudge him on his way Mr Obama closed Libya’s embassy in Washington, froze many of his assets and promoted international sanctions.

美国坚称,利比亚的情况则完全不同。就连在放弃违禁核武器项目、对1988年泛美航空公司爆炸案的受害人进行赔偿以后,卡扎菲上校也从不是美国的盟友。他突然抢掠反对派,侵蚀了迄今为止阿拉伯觉醒过程的一切。因此,3月3日,奥巴马说卡扎菲政府完全失去了合法性,需要“交出权力,赶快下台”。为了促使卡扎菲尽快下台,奥巴马关闭了利比亚在华盛顿的大使馆,冻结了他的财产,推动对利比亚实行国际制裁。

At the beginning of March, in other words, Mr Obama’s policy seemed to be regime change by exhortation and sanctions. The exact sequence of events that resulted in American forces being ordered into action just over a fortnight later is now hotly disputed. But what finally changed Mr Obama’s mind is no mystery: it was the imminent fall of Benghazi, the biggest city still in rebel hands, and the prospect of a calamity befalling its 700,000 or so inhabitants. “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy,” Mr Obama said on March 19th. Though removing Colonel Qaddafi remains American policy, Mr Obama insists that this is not the aim of the military action authorised by the Security Council.

换句话说,在3月初,奥巴马的政策似乎是通过告诫和制裁促成利比亚政权的更迭。仅在两周后,美军受命攻击利比亚,造成这种改变的一些事件的真正顺序现在是个激烈争论的问题。但是,最终导致奥巴马改变注意的却并不神秘:依然在反叛者手中的最大城市班加西将会失手,这一事态迫在眉睫,对70万左右居民来说是场灾难。3月19日,奥巴马说,“当一个暴君告诉人民没有慈悲可言时,我们不能袖手旁观。”虽然推翻卡扎菲上校依然是美国的政策,奥巴马坚称这不是联合国授权的军事行动的目标。

Most Arab leaders have little love for Colonel Qaddafi, so have muted their criticism of this latest war. But the “very good upside” Mr Obama discerned when he abandoned Mr Mubarak in February is no longer such a sure thing. It is much harder for him to maintain that counter-narrative of peaceful democratic change, which was supposed to disconcert Iran and al-Qaeda, while American missiles rain on Libya.

大多数阿拉伯领导人并不喜欢卡扎菲,所以他们对这场最近的战争不予批判。但是,2月份奥巴马抛弃穆巴拉克时所称的“坏事的很好一面”不再是这种确定之事。保持和平民主变革的反叙手法对奥巴马来说更加困难,而他本想一面对利比亚发动导弹袭击一面用和平民主变革达到警告伊朗和基地组织的目的。

Meanwhile, the big regional problems that confronted America before the Arab awakening have not gone away. After his Cairo speech, Mr Obama tried to make good his promise to push for peace in Palestine. Last year he attempted to kick-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and picked a fight with Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, over Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. But the initiative failed, and in February Mr Obama ordered a veto of a Security Council resolution that would have condemned the settlements.

同时,在阿拉伯觉醒之前已经摆在美国面前的重大地区问题还没得到解决。在开罗演讲之后,奥巴马试图兑现推动巴勒斯坦和平的诺言。去年,他尝试启动以色列和巴勒斯坦之间的谈判,并跟以色列总理本雅明·内塔尼亚胡就在以色列占领地建立居民区的问题进行了论战。但是,奥巴马的积极做法没有凑效,2月份他下令否决掉一项原本会谴责定居点的安理会决议。

Mr Obama has had only slightly more success with Iran. After intricate diplomacy last year, he won Russian and Chinese support for a Security Council resolution that applies tough new economic sanctions. Yet the tighter squeeze has not made the Iranians stop enriching uranium.

在伊朗问题上,奥巴马取得了稍多一点的成绩。去年经过一番错综复杂的外交行动,他赢得了俄罗斯和中国的支持,两国赞成了对伊朗实施新的严厉经济制裁的安理会决议。不过更严厉的制裁并没使伊朗停止浓缩铀的试验。

The administration hopes that the Arab awakening may revive Iran’s pro-democracy“green revolution” of 2009. At that time, Mr Obama limited his support for the opposition out of fear that an American embrace might taint it. Now he is less cautious: in a message for the Persian new year he told Iran’s young that they were not “bound by the chains of the past”. For the time being, however, the regime is holding firm.

奥巴马政府希望,阿拉伯觉醒可能重新振作2009年伊朗倾向民主的“绿色革命”。当时,奥巴马担心美国的支持会给“绿色革命”带来污点,所以对反对派的支持比较有限。现在他没有那么小心了:在波斯新年时的讲话中,他对伊朗青年说他们不会“为过去所羁绊”。但是,目前当政者还是大权在握。

Iran also has the satisfaction of watching Mr Obama’s response to the Arab awakening weaken some of America’s oldest alliances in the Middle East. The Gulf rulers in general, and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in particular, began to lose faith in America’s reliability as a protector the moment Mr Obama decided to abandon the faithful Mr Mubarak. The Saudis are reported not to have consulted America before deciding that they would send troops across the causeway to help the embattled royal family in next-door Bahrain.

在阿拉伯觉醒上奥巴马的应对导致奥巴马在中东的一些老盟友遭到削弱,伊朗看到这种局面也很满意。总体而言,从奥巴马决定抛弃忠实的穆巴拉克那一刻起,海湾地区的统治者尤其是沙特阿拉伯国王阿卜杜拉就对美国提供保护的可靠度失去了信心。据报道,沙特没有咨询美国就决定派出军队穿过堤道,以帮助邻国巴林卷入战争的皇室。

To opponents at home, all this is evidence that Mr Obama is out of his depth. Sarah Palin, on a visit to Jerusalem, said that if she were president she would have shown “more decisiveness”. Maybe. But Mr Obama can at least say that his improvised responses to the fast-moving Arab awakening have conformed broadly to the principles he laid out in his thoughtful speeches in Cairo and Oslo. If only intellectual consistency were a guarantee of success in war and diplomacy.

对国内的反对者而言,所有这些都是奥巴马能力有限的证据。Sarah Palin在访问耶路撒冷时说,如果她是总统,她会表现得“更加果断”。也许如此。但是,奥巴马至少可以说,在快速发展的阿拉伯觉醒运动中,他的随机应对与他在开罗和奥斯陆提出的很有思想的原则符合度很高。要是知识阶层的一致性能够保证战争和外交获胜就好了。

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重点单词
  • evidencen. 根据,证据 v. 证实,证明
  • emergencen. 出现,浮现,露出
  • violentadj. 暴力的,猛烈的,极端的
  • imminentadj. 逼近的,即将发生的
  • sequencen. 顺序,连续,次序,序列,一系列 vt. 按顺序排好
  • calamityn. 灾难,不幸事件
  • legitimacyn. 合法,适法,正当
  • guaranteen. 保证,保证书,担保,担保人,抵押品 vt. 保证,
  • cautiousadj. 十分小心的,谨慎的
  • democraticadj. 民主的,大众的,平等的