您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 观点 >> 正文

言而无信是美国总统的致命伤

更新时间:2017-4-20 11:03:07 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How America Is Losing the Credibility War
言而无信是美国总统的致命伤

In times of crisis, credibility is an American president’s most valuable currency. It’s one thing for a foreign partner to doubt a president’s judgment; it’s entirely more debilitating when that partner doubts the president’s word.

在危机时刻,信誉是一位美国总统最宝贵的资本。外国盟友质疑一位总统的判断是一回事;那位盟友不相信这位总统说的话,则是令人丧气得多的事。

As President Trump confronts the twin challenges of North Korea and Syria, he must overcome a credibility gap of his own making. His insistence on remaining the most prominent consumer and purveyor of fake news and conspiracy theories is not only corrosive of our democracy — it’s dangerous to our national security. Every fact-averse tweet devalues his credibility at home and around the world. This matters more than ever when misinformation is a weapon of choice for our most dangerous adversaries.

在同时面临来自朝鲜和叙利亚的挑战之时,特朗普总统必须克服自己一手造成的信任缺陷。他执迷不悟地做假新闻和阴谋论最知名的消费者与散布者,不仅对我们的民主有腐蚀作用,还会危及美国的国家安全。每一条与事实相悖的推文,都会在国内外损害他的信誉。当虚假信息成为我们最危险的敌人选择的武器时,这比以往任何时候都更成问题。

Part of the problem is that Mr. Trump’s itchy Twitter finger can’t resist bluster. A series of sophomoric presidential missives — “North Korea is behaving very badly”; “North Korea is looking for trouble”; if China won’t help, “we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”; North Korea’s quest for a nuclear-tipped ICBM “won’t happen!” — has given Pyongyang a rare chance to take the high road. “Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words,” its vice foreign minister declared.

部分原因在于,特朗普管不住自己跃跃欲试的手指,总是在Twitter上口出狂言。他发出的一系列幼稚而自大的总统言论——“朝鲜表现得非常糟糕”;“朝鲜在自找麻烦”;如果中国不出手帮忙,“我们美国就自己解决这个问题!”;朝鲜制造出装载核弹头的洲际弹道导弹的情况“不会发生!”——让平壤有了难得的机会,摆出了一副高姿态。“特朗普总是以咄咄逼人的言语进行挑衅,”朝鲜副外相宣称。

Presidential bravado also risks North Korea taking him at his word, and miscalculating accordingly. Loose threats of pre-emptive military attacks could cause its leader, Kim Jong-un, to shoot first and worry about the consequences later — perhaps striking South Korea with conventional weapons to remind the world what he is capable of, if the United States seeks to eliminate his nuclear program. That’s a quick path to conflict with a volatile and nuclear-armed adversary.

这位总统的虚张声势还有令朝鲜将他的话当真、因此做出错误判断的危险。随随便便发出的有关进行先发制人军事袭击的威胁,可能会导致朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong-un)率先开火,之后又为其后果担心——或许会用常规武器袭击韩国,以提醒这个世界,如果美国试图消除他的核武器项目,他会怎么做。对一个变化无常且有核武器武装的对手来说,这是一条很容易导致冲突的道路。

Equally problematic is Mr. Trump’s challenged relationship with veracity, documented almost daily by independent fact-checking organizations. The greatest hits include his repeatedly debunked claim that former President Obama tapped his phones, that a nonexistent terrorist attack occurred in Sweden, that Germany owes NATO vast sums of money, that Mr. Obama released more than 100 detainees from Guantánamo who returned to the battlefield and that Democrats made up allegations about Russian efforts to influence our election. Mr. Trump’s canards risk undermining his ability to counter propaganda from our adversaries.

同样有麻烦的是特朗普在诚实方面存在的问题,对此独立事实核查机构几乎每天都有记录。其中流传最广的包括:他反复宣称——尽管已被证伪——前总统奥巴马窃听了他的电话;瑞典发生了一场并不存在的恐怖袭击;德国欠北约(NATO)巨额资金;奥巴马从关塔那摩释放了100多名囚犯,这些人重返了战场;有关俄罗斯试图影响美国大选的指控是民主党人伪造的。在需要反击我们的对手进行的宣传时,特朗普的假消息会削弱他的言论的效力。

The president was rightly applauded for striking back smartly against the Assad regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons. But his response incited an information war in which President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian enablers have sought to escape blame for the atrocity.

特朗普因叙利亚的阿萨德政权使用化学武器,对它进行了狠狠地反击,由此理所当然地获得赞扬。但他的反应引发了一场信息战,在这场战争中,巴沙尔·阿萨德(Bashar al-Assad)总统和他的俄罗斯主使者试图为自己的暴行脱罪。

Their tactics have ranged from advancing alternative scenarios — for example, alleging it was American warplanes that bombed a terrorist warehouse full of sarin gas — to asserting that the evidence proffered by the United States was fabricated. We don’t know where “those dead children were killed,” Mr. Assad asserted, adding, “Were they dead at all?”

他们手段繁多,从宣传替代的解释——比如,宣称是美国战斗机轰炸了一座充满沙林气体的恐怖分子仓库——到坚称美国提供的证据是伪造的,不一而足。我们不知道“这些死去的孩子”是在哪里“被杀害的”,阿萨德坚称,还表示,“他们真的死了吗?”

Mr. Putin is a master at this game, throwing out falsehoods to confuse casual consumers of the news while creating a phony equivalence between Western governments and media, and his own. An army of bots and trolls and RT, the Kremlin’s international propaganda network, carry his false flags around the world. In this way, every source of information is suspect, and there is no objective truth.

普京是玩这种游戏的行家,他抛出谎言迷惑不认真思考的新闻消费者,同时在西方政府、媒体和他自己之间制造同样虚假的信息。克里姆林宫的国际宣传网络,即由机器人、网络喷子和俄罗斯的国际宣传网络RT组成的大军,将这些虚假的旗帜插遍世界各地。这样一来,所有的信息源都变得可疑起来,也就没有什么客观事实可言了。

During the crisis caused by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine in 2014, I worked with colleagues in the Obama administration to convince people in other countries that Russian troops were indeed in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass, that Moscow was arming and directing the separatists, and that it was the separatists, using a missile launcher driven in from Russia, that shot down a Malaysian passenger airliner, killing all onboard.

在俄罗斯2014年侵犯乌克兰引发的危机中,我和奥巴马政府内的同事一起努力让其他国家的人们相信:俄罗斯的确进入了乌克兰东部的顿巴斯地区;莫斯科在给分裂分子提供武器和指导;分裂分子使用一个从俄罗斯运过去的导弹发射装置击落了一架马来西亚客机,导致机上人员全部身亡。

We spent hours negotiating with the intelligence community about what information we could declassify, marshaling open-source evidence and working on fact-based presentations for our allies and the media.

我们花了数小时与情报界交涉,讨论我们可以解密哪些信息,整理有公开消息来源的证据,向我们的盟友和媒体做出有事实依据的陈述。

Mr. Putin’s propaganda campaigns made our job tougher than expected. But we had one trump card that usually carried the day: President Obama’s credibility. Foreign leaders trusted his word, even when they disagreed with his policies.

普京的宣传活动令我们的工作比预想的更加艰难。但我们有一张通常都能致胜的王牌:奥巴马总统的信誉。尽管并不赞同他的政策,但外国领导人相信他说的话。

President John F. Kennedy demonstrated the value of presidential credibility at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, when he sent emissaries to America’s allies in October 1962 to secure support for the quarantine of Cuba. He designated Dean Acheson, the former secretary of state, to deal with Washington’s prickliest partner — President Charles de Gaulle of France.

1962年10月,约翰·F·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)派密使前往美国的盟国,请它们支持对古巴进行隔离。在这古巴导弹危机的紧要关头,约翰·F·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)证明了总统的信誉有多大的价值。他指派前国务卿迪安·艾奇逊(Dean Acheson)去对付华盛顿最不好对付的盟友——法国总统夏尔·戴高乐(Charles de Gaulle)。

When Acheson offered to show de Gaulle spy plane imagery to back up the claim that the Soviet Union had deployed nuclear missiles 90 miles from American shores, de Gaulle threw up his hands and said he needed no such evidence. “The word of the president of the United States is good enough for me.”

当艾奇逊提出要给戴高乐看间谍飞机的照片,以证明苏联在距离美国海岸90英里的地方部署核导弹的说法时,戴高乐摆了摆手,说他不需要这样的证据。“美国总统这么讲,对我来说就够了。”

If Mr. Trump continues to spread his own misinformation on matters large and small, he will cede that advantage and America will be seen like any other country — which is just what our adversaries want. This will complicate his administration’s ability to rally others against threats to our national security.

如果特朗普持续在不论大小的事件上传播错误信息,他将失去这种有利条件,美国将被视作与其他国家无异——这正是我们的对手所希望的。这会损害他的政府争取其他国家支持、应对美国国家安全威胁的能力。

Every country has a founding mythology. For Americans, it starts with our first president’s youthful encounter with a cherry tree and refusal to tell a lie.

每个国家都有一部创始神话。对美国人而言,这神话的开端,是我们的首位总统幼年时砍了一棵樱桃树但没有为此说谎的故事。

Mr. Trump would do well to find inspiration in that story, which goes to the heart of what makes America different — and our foreign policy effective — around the world.

特朗普应当努力从那个故事中获得启发,这是令美国与众不同、令我们的外交政策在全世界行之有效的核心所在。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表