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The Fall of America's Middle East Empire (1)

26 February 2011
 

The following is the excerpt of an article titled How America Will Handle the Fall of Its Middle East Empire, written by UK Telegraph's political commentator Peter Oborne and published on telegraph.co.uk on February 25, 2011.

Empires can collapse in the course of a generation. At the end of the 16th century, the Spanish looked dominant. Twenty-five years later, they were on their knees, over-extended, bankrupt, and incapable of coping with the emergent maritime powers of Britain and Holland. The British empire reached its fullest extent in 1930. Twenty years later, it was all over.

一个帝国可以在一代人的时间里轰然倒塌。16世纪末,西班牙看起来不可一世,25年后西班牙帝国破产了,面对新崛起的英国和荷兰无能为力。1930年,英帝国发展到顶峰,20年后一切都是浮云。

Today, it is reasonable to ask whether the United States, seemingly invincible a decade ago, will follow the same trajectory. America has suffered two convulsive blows in the last three years. The first was the financial crisis of 2008, whose consequences are yet to be properly felt. Although the immediate cause was the debacle in the mortgage market, the underlying problem was chronic imbalance in the economy.

如今美帝国一超独大,即使在10年前,想象这个帝国的最终没落都是不可思议的。但现在,每个有理性的人都会问:美国还能撑多久?在过去的三年里,美国已经历了两次致命打击:首先是2008年的金融危机,其余波至今还在荡漾;然后是次贷危机,其影响深远而巨大。

For a number of years, America has been incapable of funding its domestic programmes and overseas commitments without resorting to massive help from China, its global rival. China has a pressing motive to assist: it needs to sustain US demand in order to provide a market for its exports and thus avert an economic crisis of its own.

多年来,美国全靠了中国的鼎力相助才得以继续其国内国际的正常运作。中国是美国的主要竞争对手,它肯帮美国度过难关当然也是出于它自身的需要:它的巨大的出口工业需要一个稳定的美国市场,不然它自己也会吃不了兜着走。

It is certain that America will, in due course, be forced into a massive adjustment both to its living standards at home and its commitments abroad. This matters because, following the second convulsive blow, America’s global interests are under threat on a scale never before seen. Since 1956, when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles pulled the plug on Britain and France over Suez, the Arab world has been a US domain. At first, there were promises that it would tolerate independence and self-determination. But this did not last long; America chose to govern through brutal and corrupt dictators, supplied with arms, military training and advice from Washington.

对美国来说,生活水准的降低和减少国际参与是早晚的事。事实是,经过第二波的经济打击,美国在全球的利益已受到了前所未有的挑战。自从1956年国务卿约翰·杜尔给英法在苏伊士运河使了个绊子,阿拉伯世界就成了美国的囊中之物。但好景不长,因为美国一贯扶植残暴腐败的独裁者作为它在中东的儿皇帝,向他们提供武器、军事训练并出谋划策。

The momentous importance of the last few weeks is that this profitable, though morally bankrupt, arrangement appears to be coming to an end. One of the choicest ironies of the bloody and macabre death throes of the regime in Libya is that Colonel Gaddafi would have been wiser to have stayed out of the US sphere of influence. When he joined forces with George Bush and Tony Blair five years ago, the ageing dictator was leaping on to a bandwagon that was about to grind to a halt.

最近一系列发生在中东的事件表明,美国这种缺德的间接统治已走到了尽头。其中最有讽刺意味的是,如果利比亚领导人卡扎非不在近几年和美国勾勾搭搭,他的下场不会这么惨。正由于他在五年前跳上了小布什、布莱尔的破车,现在车翻了,他能不倒吗?

In Washington, President Obama has not been stressing this aspect of affairs. Instead, after hesitation, he has presented the recent uprisings as democratic and even pro-American, indeed a triumph for the latest methods of Western communication such as Twitter and Facebook. Many sympathetic commentators have therefore claimed that the Arab revolutions bear comparison with the 1989 uprising of the peoples of Eastern Europe against Soviet tyranny. I would guess that the analogy is apt. Just as 1989 saw the collapse of the Russian empire in Eastern Europe, so it now looks as if 2011 will mark the removal of many of America’s client regimes in the Arab world.

但在华盛顿,奥巴马总统居然可以做到完全无视这一事实,而将中东民众对美国傀儡政权的反抗称作美国的胜利。或许这也算是美国微博和脸谱的胜利吧。还有一班护主的媒体人更将2011年的中东大起义和1989年的东欧剧变相提并论,这简直就是瞎了眼。1989倒的是美国的对手,2011倒的是美国的客户。

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金鸿95 (tianya.cn):

中国的军用运输机又飞到利B亚去了,中国的军舰刚刚去过那里。说是去撤侨的 … 回想一下八年前,中国的海军还老老实实的趴在12海里的领海以内,陈水扁天天叫着要台独...

两个简单的不能简单的小例子,足以对比出中国这八年取得的成绩。成绩的取得,首先要感谢胡哥,是他的英明领导。这八年,中国真的太不容易了,国内的情况大家都知道,国际局势更是极其险恶,还闹了一场罕见的金融危机,至今都没有结束。就是在这样的情况下,中国既保证了国家稳定,又保持了经济持续增长,还做到了全球地位的快速提升,不能不让我们更加佩服胡哥的高水平


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