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经济学人:莱克星顿 你好沙特小独裁

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Lexington

莱克星顿
Hugging the Saudi floggers
你好,沙特小独裁
America should reconsider its cosy relationship with Saudi Arabia
美国应该重新审议它同沙特阿拉伯之间的舒适关系
ON THE way back from carving up the world at the Yalta conference in 1945, Franklin Roosevelt made an unexpected stop. On board the USS Quincy, moored in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake, the president held a long meeting with Ibn Saud, the first Saudi monarch and father of the 45 sons (nobody seems to have bothered to count the daughters) who make the kingdom's succession so operatic. Ibn Saud slaughtered a goat on the deck of the warship, sealing a pact that makes his kingdom America's oldest continuous ally in the region. It is also the most troubling one.
早在1945年瓜分世界的雅尔塔会议上,富兰克林·罗斯福出乎意料地决定中途停歇一站。在停靠在埃及大苦水湖的美军舰昆西号甲板上,总统同伊本沙特国王进行了一次长时间的会面,他是第一任沙特君主并养育有45个儿子(看来没有人会费心去数女儿的数量),正是他们让王国的传承如此歌剧化。伊本沙特在军舰甲班上宰了一只山羊,签订了协议使他的王国成为美国在这一地区最长久的盟友。他也是最麻烦的一位。

On January 9th Raif Badawi, a blogger, received the first of his 1,000 lashes for taking Thomas Paine's view of the “adulterous connection between church and state”. Mr Badawi has also been sentenced to a decade in prison. Three days later a woman accused of murder was dragged through the streets of Mecca and beheaded with a sword. Though America disapproves of this sort of thing, it does not let it upset relations. Government delegations to the kingdom are usually lots of men in military uniform and one official from the State Department, whose job is to say that it would be nice if women could drive.Scott Fitzgerald wrote that the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time is the sign of a first-rate intelligence. Something similar applies in foreign policy. Ford Fraker, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, describes the alliance as “a long-term marriage founded on fundamental interests and principles”. Those interests have shifted a little over time. Now they could be summarised as oil, counter-terrorism and stability. Like diamond earrings on an anniversary, weapons and money have been exchanged throughout as tokens of esteem. Less than a year after telling an audience in Cairo that America “must never alter or forget our principles”, Barack Obama performed a full Fitzgerald, signing off on one of the largest arms deals with the kingdom yet, an order now being fulfilled by American manufacturers.

一月九号,博主莱夫巴达维收到了超过1000个关于批评他引用托马斯佩恩的观点“国家和宗教之间存在奸情”。巴达维也被判刑十年。三天后,一位被指控谋杀的女人被拖着穿过麦加的街道并被一刀斩首。尽管美国不同意此类事情,但她并不会让这些影响双边关系。王国的政府代表团通常大部分来自军方,一位官员来自行政部门,他的工作也就是提出如果女性能开车,这将是极好的。斯科特费兹杰拉德写道,在脑海中同时持一对对立的观点就是最负智慧的标志。前任驻沙特的大使福特弗雷克形容这种联盟就像“建立在基本利益和原则上的长期婚姻”。那些利益已经随时间变化略微改变。现在它们可以被概括为石油,反恐和维稳。像周年庆上的钻石耳环那样,武器和钱的互换被作为是尊重的象征。在开罗会议上广告听众后不到一年,美国“一定不会改变或者忘却我们的原则”,奥巴马命令费兹杰拉德,签署了和王国建交以来最大的武器供应合同之一,现在则由美国制造商们完成的任务。
Senator John McCain, just back from a trip to the kingdom, says that the country feels let down by America's reluctance to punish Bashar Assad. “They had planes on the runway ready to go,” he says. “They learned it was not going to happen from watching CNN.” The Saudis, he says, are worried about expanding Iranian influence in the region—more so than they are about Islamic State (IS). This disagreement, and the recent hospitalisation of the 90-year-old king, makes it a good time to consider how America should treat the kingdom in future.
刚从王国回国的参议员麦凯恩说,整个国家对美国不情愿处罚巴沙尔的做法感到失望。“他们飞机在跑道上随时准备起飞,”他说道。“他们知道这不会从CNN新闻中看到。”他说,沙特人都担心伊朗在该地区扩大影响——超过了伊斯兰国的影响。这项分歧以及最近九十岁高龄的国王住院,让现在成为了绝佳时间来重新考虑在未来美国如何对待王国。
The high point of the relationship came during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, says Bilal Saab of the Atlantic Council, a think-tank. Memories of two Arab oil embargoes at a time of flat domestic oil production, as well as shared hostility to the Soviet Union, drew the countries close. There followed a blip after 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers turned out to be Saudis. Al-Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2005 brought the countries closer together again. Though they may dent America's idea of itself as a champion of liberty, government policy is that good relations are worth it. That may have been true in the Gipper's day, but the argument is getting harder to make.
一位来自亚特兰大议会的智囊比拉萨博说,双边关系最紧密的时期是里根总统任期内。在国内室友生产不景气的时期两次阿拉伯石油禁运的记忆以及共同敌对苏维埃联邦让两国关系密切起来。在9·11之后关系出现了裂痕,当时19名劫机者中15名被证实为沙特人。基地组织在03年至05年之间对沙特阿拉伯的攻击让两国关系又一次更加紧密。尽管他们可能削弱美国关于自诩为自由之邦的观点,政府决策则认为两国间友好关系更有价值。这可能在G日变为现实,但是争论让决定更难尘埃落定。
Oil is one reason. America may be the world's biggest producer, but because consumption still exceeds what it pumps it must still shop on the world market. This does not make it dependent on Saudi Arabia, though. Oil is fungible: lousy relations with Russia, the second-biggest producer, do not threaten America's economy. As the owner of the biggest reserves, which are also very cheap to extract, Saudi Arabia is the crucial swing producer. But America's shale technology has put a ceiling on the oil price, and its economy is less oil-intensive than three decades ago.
石油是一方面原因。美国可能是世界上最大的生产商,但是因为消费仍超过了产出,所以它还得在世界市场上采购。即使是这样,它也不会完全依赖沙特阿拉伯。石油是可替代的:和世界上第二大石油生产商俄罗斯之间恶劣的关系,并没有威胁到美国经济。最为世界上最大的油气储备国,提炼成本也是非常廉价,沙特阿拉伯是最具决定性的生产调节者。但是美国的页岩技术已经让油价有了上限,而且它的经济不再像30年前那般以石油为中心。
Nor is the argument for keeping close for intelligence-sharing purposes as straightforward as it seems. Salafi Muslim terrorists, who draw much of their inspiration from Saudi imams, are a big threat to America. The pact between the House of Saud and the country's clerics has long involved bankrolling Salafi imams to preach loyalty to the king; the money that sloshes through Salafi mosques undermines more moderate strains of Islam all around the world. The black-robed fighters of IS rely on Saudi jurisprudence and books to impose their preferred version of Islamic law. Their fondness for public beheadings is one result of this. Intelligence co-operation may be valuable, but its main task is tracking threats that have been subsidised by the Saudis themselves.
也不是为了共享情报目的而保持友好这一论断看起来那样简洁明了。萨拉菲派恐怖分子从沙特的伊玛目们(清真寺内率领穆斯林做礼拜的人)那儿获取灵感,成为了美国最大的威胁。沙特议院和国家牧师之间的纽带就是长期资助萨拉菲派伊玛目宣讲对国王的忠诚;流通到萨拉菲清真寺的钱暗中破坏了世界上伊斯兰教徒中温和的民族。伊斯兰国的黑袍士兵们依赖沙特的法律体系和书籍来推行他们青睐的伊斯兰法律版本。他们对公共场合斩首的喜好就是这样的结果。情报合作可能价值千金,但是它的主要任务是追踪已经被沙特人他们自己资助的那些威胁。
That leaves the argument that the House of Saud must be supported because it is stable. The alternative could be much worse: the thought of something like IS controlling the world's largest oil reserves is terrifying. Also, if America were to pull back from the Gulf, it is a fair bet that China would sooner or later replace it.
争议就产生了,因为沙特议院的稳定性,它就必须被支持。替代选项可能更糟:有想法是让类似伊斯兰国这样的力量控制世界上最大的石油储备地区,这让人恐惧。同样,如果美国从海湾地区撤走,很合理的猜想就是中国迟早将取代美国的位置。
Some say that there is no alternative to the House of Saud. “This is a society that has the government they want,” says Ambassador Fraker. “They are comfortable with what they have.” If the regime is as secure as it seems, however, why should America abandon its basic values in the name of keeping it in place?
一些人说对于沙特议院来说没有选择了。弗雷克大使说“这是一个人民认为有政府的社会,他们对他们拥有的很舒适。”然而如果政权和它看起来那样稳定,为什么美国要在保持它地位的名义下舍弃它的基本价值观呢?
Free to scream
随意尖叫
Strip these things away and what's left is the arms sales. These at least have the virtue of being nakedly self-interested. Selling weapons is a big part of American diplomacy in the kingdom. A recent ambassador worked for Raytheon, the world's biggest producer of guided missiles, before he was appointed. It is also popular in Congress: the defence business is adept at scattering production around as many districts as possible.
扒走这些事情看在武器销售里面还剩什么。这些至少还具有赤裸裸的个人利益在里面。在美国对王国的外交策略中贩卖军火占有很大一部分比例。最近的一位大使在任命之前曾为世界上最大的精确制导生产商雷声公司工作过。它在国会也很受欢迎:防御型商业将产业散布在尽可能多的地区。
Yet this has a cost. Being a superpower means having relations with lots of unsavoury regimes, yet America need not be so eager to put principle aside when dealing with its old ally. “Failure to speak to the broader aspirations of ordinary people will only feed the suspicion that has festered for years that the United States pursues our interests at their expense,” as Mr Obama once put it. Between lashes, Mr Badawi no doubt agrees.
然而这也有代价。成为超级大国意味着和很多让人讨厌的政权建立联系,美国在和老牌盟友交往时不需要如此渴望地将自身的原则抛掷一旁。奥巴马曾说“无法为普通民众说出更广阔的心声只会滋生已经存在多年的脓疮般的质疑声,说美国实在别人的头上追逐自身的利益。”在这些批评中,巴达维无疑是同意这种说法的。译者:彭威

译文属译生译世

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preach [pri:tʃ]

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vi. 传道,宣扬
vt. 讲道,说教

 
stability [stə'biliti]

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n. 稳定性,居于修道院

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champion ['tʃæmpjən]

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n. 冠军,优胜者,拥护者,勇士
vt. 保卫

 
alternative [ɔ:l'tə:nətiv]

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adj. 两者择一的; 供选择的; 非主流的

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straightforward [streit'fɔ:wəd]

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adj. 笔直的,率直的

 
suspicion [səs'piʃən]

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n. 猜疑,怀疑

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threaten ['θretn]

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v. 威胁,恐吓

 
regime [rei'ʒi:m]

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n. 政体,制度
n. 养生法(=regime

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dent [dent]

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n. 凹痕,心理阴影,挫伤 vt. 弄凹 vi. 形成凹

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fondness ['fɔndnis]

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n. 爱好,溺爱,喜爱 n. 蠢事

 

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