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[9/11.0]9/11 plus nine 911九周年

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EVERY September 11th America mourns the people al-Qaeda murdered in the atrocities of 2001. And every year the anniversary compels an assessment of how the “war on terror” is faring. After a year that saw a successful terrorist attack and two near-misses on American soil, it is hard to be upbeat. In November Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an American, killed 13 comrades in Fort Hood, Texas. On Christmas Day Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, failed to set off his bomb properly on a Detroit-bound passenger jet. And in May Faisal Shahzad, a naturalised American, left a car bomb in Times Square in New York.
每年九月十一日是美国人纪念在基地组织2001年暴行中丧生民众的哀悼日。而且每年的周年纪念必定要对“反恐战争”所面临的情形作出评估。一年以来在美国本土发生了一次成功的恐怖袭击和两次未遂事件,这使得局势难以令人乐观。去年11月美国军队心理医生纳达尔·马里克·哈桑少校在德州胡德堡射杀13位同袍。同年圣诞节一位尼日利亚籍学生奥马尔·法鲁克·阿卜杜姆塔拉布在飞往底特律的客机上企图引爆炸弹未遂。而今年五月已加入美国国籍的费萨尔·沙赫扎在纽约时代广场放置汽车炸弹(但没成功引爆)。

If the emergence of home-grown Muslim terrorism has been bad enough, the failure of Barack Obama to engineer the transformation some expected from him in the wider world has been no less dispiriting. After the toxic impact of George Bush on Muslim opinion, many hoped that the advent of a kinder, gentler president whose middle name was Hussein would help America to draw the poison. Mr Obama himself seemed to think that this might be possible. Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, told the New York Times earlier this year that Mr Obama counted his Cairo speech to the Muslim world of June 2009 as one of the three most important things he had done to combat terrorism.
如果本土穆斯林极端主义的冒起已经足够糟糕,那么奥巴马未能如愿构建国内外部分人期望中的变革更是令人沮丧。鉴于乔治·布什(美国前总统)在穆斯林政策上的消极影响,大多数美国人期望这位名字中有侯赛因字眼而且更为宽容及温和的新总统能有助于美国拔除该顽疾。奥巴马自己也认为这是可能达成的。据白宫幕僚长拉姆·伊曼纽尔今年早些时候对纽约时报所言,奥巴马认为2009年7月针对穆斯林世界的开罗演讲是他为打击恐怖主义所做的三件最为重要的行动之一。

And yet Mr Obama’s programme of Muslim outreach is already faltering. The Pew Research Centre reported in June that the percentage of Muslims expressing confidence in him had declined in a year from 42% to 33% in Egypt and from 13% to 8% in Pakistan. The reason is not hard to fathom. Whatever expectations the Cairo speech aroused in the Muslim world have yet to be fulfilled. Like Americans waiting for economic recovery, Muslim countries have been waiting for Mr Obama to match his words with deeds, and have so far been disappointed.
然而奥巴马对外宣传的穆斯林计划已然是举步维艰。皮尤研究中心(美国的一间独立性民调机构,总部设于华盛顿特区。该中心对那些影响美国乃至世界的问题、态度与潮流提供信息资料,是一个无倾向性的机构)7月的报告称,一年以来埃及穆斯林中表示对奥巴马有信心的百分比从42%降到了33%,而巴基斯坦则从13%降到了8%。原因非常简单。穆斯林世界对开罗演讲的所有期待都仍然没有兑现。像美国人等待经济复苏一样,穆斯林国家一直在等待奥巴马以实际行动去证实他的承诺,但到目前为止是令人大失所望的。

Under Mr Obama America no longer waterboards detainees, but that stopped on Mr Bush’s watch. Mr Obama promised to close Guantánamo, but so did Mr Bush—and it is still in operation. Mr Obama has withdrawn combat troops from Iraq, but sent more to Afghanistan and used drones to kill far more suspected terrorists in Pakistan. He said in Cairo that the plight of the Palestinians was intolerable, but the Palestinians are still stateless. To Muslim eyes, the formerly exotic Mr Obama has metamorphosed in office into just another American president, doing the things American presidents do to defend America’s interests.
奥巴马治理下的美国不再以酷刑“水刑”(把裸体囚犯蒙头浇水,模拟溺毙。公认的违法酷刑,从西班牙审讯异端的宗教法庭起暴政惯用的刑罚。二战后,美国曾把它当作战争罪,予以审判)虐囚,但早在布什执政时期就已被停止。奥巴马虽然从伊拉克撤军,却派遣更多的军队到阿富汉,而且在巴基斯坦使用无人机杀死多得多的恐怖嫌疑份子。他在开罗说巴勒斯坦人的困境是无法容忍的,然而巴勒斯坦人依旧无法建立自己的国家。在穆斯林的眼中,曾是与众不同的奥巴马上台后已经退化为另一位典型的美国总统,只是为了保护美国的利益做每位美国总统该做的事。
   
In the meantime, however, a funny thing is happening on the home front. Where the Muslim world sees just another president, Mr Obama is somehow becoming more exotic to Americans. In August a Pew survey found that nearly one in five, and a third of conservative Republicans, think that he is a Muslim himself. Only about a third of all Americans say he is a Christian and 43% say they do not know what religion he practises. Moreover, both the number who think he is a Muslim and the number who do not think he is a Christian have risen sharply since March 2009.
与些同时,美国国内却发生了一件有趣的事。穆斯林世界眼中典型的美国总统奥巴马,在美国人看来却不知何故变得越来越像个外来者。在8月一项皮尤调查发现,近五分之一共和党人,跟三分之一的共和党中的保守派,认为他自己就是一个穆斯林。只有大约有三分之一的美国人认为他是一个基督徒,43%的美国人不知道他信仰何种宗教。另外,认为他是一个穆斯林和并不认为他是一个基督徒的人数自2009年三月以来有显著上涨。   

Mr Obama is in fact a Christian, and the reasons for the public doubt are perplexing. But it is not hard to guess what the consequences might be. At his inauguration, Mr Obama said the choice between safety and ideals was “false”. That is not the case, as evidenced by his own decision to keep some especially dangerous suspected terrorists imprisoned indefinitely without trial. What may instead be true is that, to the dismay of liberals, the growing belief that Mr Obama is a Muslim will compel him to be ever more risk-averse when choosing between safety and civil liberty.
奥巴马实际上是一名基督徒,公众质疑的原因是复杂的。但是不难推测其后果。在其就职时,奥巴马就曾说过,安全和理想两者不可兼得的论调是“错误的”。事实却并非如此,正是他自己的决定使得一些特别危险的恐怖分子嫌疑人未经审判就被无限期关押。可能成为现实的,是令自由主义者所失望的,越来越多的人相信奥巴马是穆斯林,将会迫使他在选择国家安全还是公民自由时比以往更为规避风险。

As the trauma of 9/11 recedes, so have the inhibitions that politicians once showed about exploiting the war against al-Qaeda for partisan advantage. When Mr Abdulmutallab failed to detonate his bomb last Christmas, for example, Mr Obama’s Republican foes were quick to accuse the vacationing president of flaccidity in face of danger. Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, said that Mr Obama was too busy trying to “transform America” to admit that it was at war. Republicans were especially furious that the bomber was read his rights and not simply incarcerated as an enemy combatant. The administration’s stymied plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of 9/11, in a federal court instead of a military tribunal have likewise been greeted as evidence that the president is soft on terrorism.
随着911的创伤逐渐平复,政客们曾经关于利用对基地组织的战争以谋求党派利益的禁忌也不复存在。例如,当去年圣诞节阿卜杜姆塔拉布企图引爆炸弹未遂时,奥巴马所在的共和党的政敌立刻指责这位度假中的总统在面临危险表现软弱。迪克·切尼(美国布什政府时期的副总统)说奥巴马太忙于去“改变美国”以至于不能承认它正处于战争状态。尤其令共和党人恼火的是该炸弹客被宣读他享有的权利,而不是简单地作为敌方战斗人员关押。政府试图在联邦法庭上而不是军事法庭审判被认为策划911事件的哈立德.谢赫.穆罕默德的而今陷入困境的计划,也同样被作为证据证明总统在恐怖主义问题的软弱。

Fascinatingly, Mr Bush faced no such criticism when doing exactly the same thing. In 2003 Richard Reid, the would-be “shoe-bomber”, was brought before a federal court. That may be because nobody could accuse Mr Bush of being a less than diligent warrior, or suspect him of praying to other than the Christian God. Mr Obama cannot fail to see that he of all presidents would face severe punishment at the slightest sign of weakness.
有趣的是,布什做过一模一样的事情却不用面对如此批评。2003年,想成为“鞋子炸弹杀手”的理查德.里德也被带到联邦法院。这可能是因为没人能指责布什先生是一个不够勤奋的战士,或怀疑他祷告的是不属于基督教的上帝。奥巴马不会不明白他是所有总统中唯一对于最轻微的软弱表现就要面对严重惩罚的异类。

Ever-lonelier in the middle
越来越孤立的中间路线

Lately, a new front has opened in the war on terrorism—not Yemen or Somalia but back in lower Manhattan, where plans for the misnamed “ground-zero mosque” are being portrayed as a deliberate attempt by radical Muslims to demonstrate “triumphalism” at the site of the atrocity. As a previous column argued, this is a ludicrous misreading of a well-intentioned initiative, but the outcry against it has fed a stream of anti-Muslim sentiment, including plans by the pastor of a small church in Florida to mark the anniversary of 9/11 by burning copies of the Koran.
不久前,反恐战争开辟了一条新战线——不是也门或者索马里,而是回到曼哈顿下城,一个误称为“归零地清真寺”的项目被描述成激进的穆斯林蓄意在施暴之地展示他们的“必胜信念”。正如此前的专栏中所论及的那样:这是对一个良好初衷的荒唐误解,但是对其的强烈反对声浪已经激起一股反穆斯林情绪,这当中就包括一个佛罗里达小教会的牧师计划以焚烧《古兰经》的方式来悼念911周年祭。

To his credit, Mr Obama affirmed last month that in America Muslims had the same right to practise their religion as anyone else. But it was a muted statement, tempered a day later by an insistence that he was taking no position on the wisdom of the Manhattan mosque. In the war on terror, as in much else, this president’s pragmatic search for the middle way is in danger of satisfying nobody. It is turning into the recurring pattern, and may become the ultimate tragedy, of his presidency.
值得赞许的是,奥巴马上个月确认美国的穆斯林和所有人一样都有信仰他们本身宗教的平等权利。但第二天在一份措词委婉的声明中,出于缓和先前的表态他坚持在兴建曼哈顿清真寺一事中保持中立。在这场反恐战争中,如同许多其它事务一样,总统务实地寻求中间路线有两头不讨好之嫌。这正成为一种反复出现的模式,并且可能成为他总统任期内的最大悲剧。

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