《经济学人》:回家的路还长着呢
日期:2011-05-08 09:22

(单词翻译:单击)

Lexington
列克星敦

The long road home
回家的路还长着呢

How Osama bin Laden's death, and life, have changed America
奥巴马如何对待奥萨马本拉登之死,无形之中,已经影响了美国

May 5th 2011 | from the print edition

WHAT America needs, Sarah Palin is fond of saying, is a commander-in-chief, not a professor-in-chief. Like many other Republican critics of Barack Obama, the former governor of Alaska ought to be eating her words. Indeed, after the daring raid that killed Osama bin Laden, America has discovered that its commander-in-chief is one cool cat. The president issued the order for the attack on Friday April 29th and it was executed on the Sunday. In between, on the Saturday night, a relaxed Mr Obama gave a wisecracking speech at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner. Flashing his toothsome smile, he poked fun not only at Donald Trump, the presidential wannabe who had questioned whether the president was a real American, but also at himself for his professorial ways and tanking poll numbers.

莎拉佩林喜欢说,美国,要成为一个统帅而不是首席教授。看来这位前阿拉斯加州州长得和其他民主党反对人士一样,收回前言了。事实上确实如此,自从美国突袭击毙奥萨马本拉登之后,其统帅地位坚不可摧。4月29日星期五,奥巴马总统下达刺杀令,周日执行。周六晚,在每年一度的白宫记者晚宴上,奥巴马的演说诙谐又轻松。带着标志性的奥氏微笑,他冲着唐纳德特朗普打趣,这位地产大亨曾经质疑这位美国总统是否真的是美国人。当然,总统也对他自己的执政之道和坦克民意调查开开玩笑。

The joke now is on the critics of the president’s foreign policy. In one gloriously mistimed editorial, written just ahead and in ignorance of the raid on Abbottabad, Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, mocked Mr Obama for “leading from behind”. All the Republicans had to do, argued Mr Kristol, was to nominate “a real leader: a workhorse not a show horse; a steady hand not a flip-flopper; a profile in courage not in cleverness; a competent man or woman with strength and confidence in defence of liberty at home and abroad.”

这个笑话成了总统外交政策的一大讽刺。有篇社论,事前发布,有点不合时宜。文章认为袭击阿伯塔巴德无知可笑。保守派杂志Weekly Standard主编克里斯托讽刺奥巴马“幕后操作”。所有共和党人皆反驳克里斯托,寓意告诉他什么才是真正的领袖:良马不是拿来秀的,是铁腕就不会轻易受伤,假装坚强不是真正的智慧,一个拥有能力和自信的人,无论对内对外都会捍卫自由。

Mr Obama can now claim to be such a man. It may have been mere luck that the CIA at last found its quarry on his watch. But his cool supervision of what followed, and his brave decision to send men in helicopters rather than bombs from afar, have made a nonsense of the much-repeated Republican refrain that he is soft on terrorism or—a favourite aspersion—“in over his head” on national security. As a result, his ratings have surged. A poll this week by the Pew Research Centre and the Washington Post found that 56% of Americans approved of the way he was handling his job, up from 47% in April. His ratings for dealing with the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism have improved dramatically—by 16 points and 14 points respectively since January. More than seven out of ten Americans say they feel relieved that Mr bin Laden is dead and six out of ten feel proud.

奥巴马可以称得上是这样一个领袖了。中央情报局能掌握本拉登的踪迹或许只是好运,他能沉着预料接下来会发生的事,做出大胆的决定:派遣炸弹,而不是让直升机从远方输送部队。此举让那些喋喋不休的共和党人闭住了嘴巴——他们看来,奥巴马对打击恐怖主义并不热心,保卫国家安全是个老大难问题。如今,总统的评级显著上升。皮优研究中心和华盛顿邮报本周的调查显示,56%的美国人对其工作满意,相比于四月的47%略有上升。一月起,针对阿富汗战争和防止恐怖主义威胁的评级指数分别上升了16和14个点。本拉登的死讯令超过七成的国民感到解脱,60%的美国人更感自豪。

It is a sweet moment for the president. But the moment will pass. Had the raid happened 17 months hence, it might have been an “October surprise”, like Richard Nixon’s Vietnam peace breakthrough on the eve of the presidential election of 1972. As it is, both polling and precedent suggest that the killing of Mr bin Laden will turn out to have little impact on Mr Obama’s prospects for re-election in November 2012. Pew’s data show that 55% of Americans still disapprove of his handling of the economy. Precedent suggests that voters unhappy about the economy will dump successful war leaders. The first George Bush’s triumph in the first Gulf war did not win him a second term. British voters turfed out Winston Churchill two months after his victory against Hitler. And Mr Obama has not “won” the war against al-Qaeda. Killing Mr bin Laden has scotched the snake, not killed it.

对于奥巴马来说这真是个美好的时刻,然而美好的时刻转瞬即逝。袭击17个月后,也就是2012年大选之时,很可能再爆发一次“十月惊奇”。如同1972年总统大选前夕,尼克松利用“越南和平在即”来帮助自己连任。从现实和历史来看,本拉登之死,并不会对奥巴马2012年11月的连任有什么推动力。皮尔调查数据显示,55%的美国人,依旧不赞同其经济处理方案。预计,选民对经济状况的不满将掩盖这位战争领袖的光芒。海湾战争的胜利并没帮助老布什赢得连任,丘吉尔战胜希特勒两个月之后,也被英国人抛弃了。奥巴马没有完全胜利,杀死拉登只是对抗基地组织的一小部分,并没有彻底消灭他们。

For most Americans, the significance of Abbottabad is anyway not about its possible impact on electoral politics. Nor, apart from a handful of raucous gatherings when the news first broke, has there been much jingoism. There is natural pride in the performance of the armed forces, so different from the debacle of Jimmy Carter’s hostage-rescue mission in 1980 and Bill Clinton’s Black Hawk Down moment in Mogadishu in 1993. But the overall mood this week has been quiet satisfaction rather than boastfulness. By tracking down and killing the man who ordered the felling of the twin towers, America feels it has righted a wrong: “Justice has been done,” said Mr Obama. There is catharsis, too. A few of the relatives of the nearly 3,000 Americans killed on September 11th 2001 say they feel at least some sense of “closure”.

对于大多数的美国人来说,阿伯塔巴德的死,对于大选不会有什么作用。但也并不完全,消息公布后,各种聚集庆贺,还有那些持沙文主义的人,都不在少数。对战场的胜利美国人有一种自然的骄傲,这可不同于1980年卡特时期的人质解救行动,以及1993年克林顿时期,摩加迪沙的黑鹰坠落事件。本周总体气氛平静,民众表示的满意取代了政府原本的夜郎自大。追捕并刺杀了这个袭击双子塔的大魔头之后,美国感到解决了个大祸害——奥巴马说:“正义得到了伸张”。对世界也是个净化。911事件中丧生的接近3000美国人的亲属谈到,他们感到这个事,多少总算告了个段落。

The damage he did
本拉登带来的伤痛

Nations, however, do not heal in the same way that people do. It will take much more than this to help America as a whole recover from the harm Mr bin Laden inflicted. That harm extends beyond the lives lost that day, or in the costly and bloody wars that followed in Iraq and Afghanistan. A full audit of the damage must include the deep change he wrought in America itself.

不管怎样,整个民族,不会像普通民众那样恢复过来。美国需要付出更多来使整个国家从本拉登酿造的阴影中走出来。这片阴影绝不只是911当天丧生的民众或者伊拉克战争和阿富汗战争带来的经济和人员损失。全面看待这笔伤害还包括美国自身深层的变化。

At home, a new generation is coming of age with little memory of the more open and trusting America of ten years ago. The new America keeps looking over its shoulder. It is permanently vigilant and relentlessly intrusive. Few people complain about the security-inspired hassles that have infected everyday activities, from boarding an airliner to applying for some required government document. Safety first is, understandably, the order of the day in a world in which killers hide bombs in their shoes and underpants. But the cumulative result of all these precautions is a wretched thing. A culture of suspicion, and its accompanying bureaucracy, take away trust in your fellow man. A less tolerant America, whose prosperity was built on openness to the world, has shut down its borders and locked out many of the skilled and eager immigrants whose help it could dearly use.

在国内,新一代的美国人对十年前更加开放信任的美国印象越来越少了。他们更倾向于相信他们自己看到的美国,并且这些印象会先入为主一直留在他们心里。有人认为对于安全的争论沁入到人们每天的生活:从登机到申请政府文件。可以理解,安全第一,成了当今世界的日常议程,恐怖主义者很有可能把炸弹藏在他们的鞋子或者内衣里。不过好像所有的预防措施都没有太好的效果。怀疑成风,官官勾结已令民众不再信任。曾经开放包容的美国,如今关上了国门,拒绝众多技术和投资移民。

How much of this can be reversed? A lot depends on whether people and their politicians see the value in trying. Early excesses in the war on terrorism, such as waterboarding, warrantless wiretapping and “extraordinary renditions”, have been stopped or rolled back. America’s strong Bill of Rights, respect for the law and tradition of liberty have helped to hold the goons and snoopers at bay. But fear, and the awful deeds that fear inspires, are hard to uproot. Americans are already quarrelling about whether it was waterboarding, now banned, that produced the tip that led the CIA to Abbottabad. With Mr bin Laden in his watery grave, a chapter may close. But the country he attacked faces a long road home to the more innocent place it was ten years ago.

为何本拉登会有这么大的作用?很大程度上在于民众及他们的政治领袖是否看重努力的价值。之前对战争恐怖行为的惩罚,如反恐水刑,窃听装置和“特别引渡”,已被停止或取消。美国强大的权利法案,对法律和自由的保持尊重,有助于那些在海湾的暴徒和窥探者的行动。然而,内心真正的担忧依然无法消除。当下,美国人正在热议,水刑是否真的取消了,中央情报局可能因为阿伯塔巴德而重新使用。随着本拉登的水刑,恐怖主义可告一段落了。然而,曾被本拉登袭击的美国将面对一条更加漫长的道路,这条路,可比十年前无奈多了。

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重点单词
  • electionn. 选举
  • breakthroughn. 突破
  • vigilantadj. 警醒的,警戒著的,警惕的
  • suspicionn. 猜疑,怀疑
  • bureaucracyn. 官僚制度,官僚主义
  • catharsisn. 洗涤,净化,精神发泄
  • claimn. 要求,要求权;主张,断言,声称;要求物 vt. 要
  • permanentlyadv. 永久地
  • intrusiveadj. 打搅的,侵扰的
  • relentlesslyadv. 残酷地,无情地