历史的弧线:奥巴马外交政策评说(7)

来源:互联网新闻 时间:2020-04-30 08:35

自从2009年1月奥巴马入主白宫后,民众对他的期望值就开始成为这位总统要面对的一个重大挑战。他在一些问题上把人们的希望提得过高,比如修复美国与整个伊斯兰世界间的裂痕,比如结束美国参与的战争,再比如解决巴以冲突。而前任留下来的难题和其他国家那些难以对付的领导人比想象中更加棘手。这样一来,失望是注定要发生的。有人可能会责怪那些笃信奥巴马承诺的人太过天真,竟然会真的认为奥巴马会很快找到疗愈世界顽疾的良药——况且,难道他没有警告过人们变化是来之不易的吗?事实上,在奥巴马执政尚未满1年之际,诺贝尔委员会已经决定授予他诺贝尔和平奖,这标志着奥巴马从就职典礼开始就已经伴随着高到令人窒息的期许,即使一些情况不怎么乐观的国家也对他充满期待。尽管偶有例外,奥巴马本人仍然强化了这种希望、变化和历史转变的意识,不仅在竞选中如此,在其他地方也常常是一样,例如2009年4月在布拉格,6月在开罗。于是,他按照人们已经高到不切实际的期望值,承担了一些不切实际的责任,即便奥巴马可能一直都清楚地知道自己这个总统不可能像其他人认为的那样有能力迅速改变世界。

在国内,奥巴马没能完成他要成为一名后党派政治家的愿望,也没能实现他在竞选中关于消除美国政治分裂的预言。可以肯定,共和党的不合作是造成这个结果的部分原因,但奥巴马本人也并非无懈可击。这种党派关系大部分是由国内政策造成的。但他对一些外交政策问题的处理,也受到来自党派的一些不必要的干扰。

伊拉克正是这样的一个例子。当然奥巴马本来有充足的理由反对战争,但他长期拒绝承认增兵的进展,由此造成了党派间的矛盾和互相猜疑。这可能会反过来困扰到奥巴马自己,因为批评者(可能是大量的)会认为,奥巴马并不是真的有兴趣去探求一种方式,使美军在2011年后还可以留驻伊拉克。而奥巴马的这种做法可能会导致美国在前些年得来不易的成果付诸东流。此外,奥巴马确实向伊拉克人提供了超出原定计划二十几个月的军事支持,确实按照乔治 布什的日程表要求美军撤回。事实上,也确实承诺只要伊拉克议会提出的条件在可接受的范围内,美国就可以保持更长时间的军队驻留。最重要的是,即使是在美国军队在场的情况下,伊拉克的政治家们也可能已成功提升了自身对抗的能力;毕竟,由于不同党派之间的对峙,他们几乎花了1年时间希望在2010年组成一个执政议会联盟。尽管如此,批评者意识到,奥巴马在这个问题上又开始恢复其最初始的态度,清楚无疑地表现出对伊拉克不感兴趣,而在他执政的前3年,他却一味地在掩盖这一点,针对这个问题奥巴马前后不一的说法也印证了这一事实。此外,奥巴马长期讨论关闭关塔那摩监狱,以至于加深了在这个问题上的政治分歧。奥巴马没有说服国会或州和地方政府官员,在美国本土另外寻找一处新址以关押关塔那摩囚犯,没能兑现他要在就任1年内关闭关塔那摩监狱的竞选誓言和对穆斯林世界的承诺。实际上,在这一方面,他不得不继续沿用布什的反恐政策。(高菲 译)

The expectations held for Obama as he entered the White House in January 2009 thus became a major challenge for the president. He had raised hopes so high on matters such as repairing the breach between the United States and the broader Islamic world, or ending the nation’s wars, or resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that disappointment was bound to occur as inherited problems and difficult leaders proved more intractable than expected. One might blame Obama’s audiences for their na veté in thinking that he could quickly provide the antidote to many of the world’s ills—after all, hadn’t he warned that change would not come easily? Indeed, the decision of the Nobel Committee to award Obama the Nobel Peace Prize after less than a year of his presidency symbolized the degree to which a breathless hopefulness accompanied his inauguration, even in normally tight-buttoned countries abroad. But notwithstanding his occasional caveat, Obama himself had cultivated that sense of hope, change and historic transformation, not only on the campaign trail but in places like Prague in April and Cairo in June of 2009. So he bears some of the responsibility for the unrealistically inflated expectations, even if he might have always known better than to expect that an Obama presidency could change the world as rapidly as he led many others to believe.

At home, Obama has failed to fulfill his aspiration to be a post-partisan politician and to realize his prediction on the campaign trail that he could bridge the American political divide. Part of the reason, to be sure, has been Republican recalcitrance, but Obama has not been blameless. Most of this dynamic arose in regard to domestic policy. But his handling of several foreign policy issues also was afflicted by more partisanship than was necessary.

Iraq is a case in point. Obama was certainly on reasonable ground in having opposed the war in the first place, but his refusal to acknowledge the progress of the surge for so long created bitterness and some suspicions across the political aisle. This may come back to haunt him as critics (perhaps excessively) suggest that he was not really interested in finding a way to keep any U.S. forces in Iraq after 2011, thereby risking all the hard-fought gains of previous years. Again, Obama did give Iraqis twenty more months of military support than originally intended, did follow George Bush’s schedule for withdrawing American forces, and in fact did offer to keep troops deployed longer if acceptable terms could be offered by Iraq’s parliament. On top of that, it is possible that Iraqi politicians would have escalated their rivalries even with U.S. forces present; after all, they had taken almost a year to form a governing parliamentary coalition in 2010 due to standoffs between different parties and factions. Nonetheless, critics sensed that Obama was going back to his roots on the subject, revealing a certain disinterest in Iraq that he had simply masked for the first three years of his presidency, and his confused rhetoric on the subject fed into this interpretation. In addition, Obama talked about Guantanamo for so long that he hardened political divisions on the subject. Unable to persuade Congress or state and local officials to locate a new facility on American soil, he failed to honor his campaign pledge and his promise to the Muslim world that he could close down the detention facilities within a year of his inauguration. In effect, he has had to retain this aspect of Bush counterterrorism policy.

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