Condoleezza Rice:The dazzler that dimmed 康朵莉莎.賴斯:耀眼的明星 黯然失色

 |2007.08.25
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IT IS hard to believe now, but as recently as the spring of 2005 Condoleezza Rice was being touted for the presidency of the United States. She had just been appointed secretary of state in succession to Colin Powell at the start of George Bush's second term, and a world tour was going well. In Paris, the French ambassador to America remarked, "everyone was determined to fall in love" with her. She wowed the crowds in Wiesbaden by arriving in knee-high leather boots. Her spokesman went so far as to fuel speculation about a White House bid by planting a question with a helpful journalist.

現在實在很難想像,但近在2005年春,康朵莉莎.賴斯仍被看好可望坐上美國總統寶座。在布希第二任期剛開始,她就繼鮑爾之後,被任命為國務卿,而且一趟世界之旅也進行順利。在巴黎,法國駐美大使說:「每個人都不知不覺愛上她。」當她穿著及膝高筒皮靴現身威斯巴登時,群眾發出驚歎聲。她的發言人還安排一名記者提問,使她問鼎白宮的傳聞甚囂塵上。

Rice's star, which rose so fast, has plunged back into obscurity, and the reason is easy for anyone to see. As secretary of state, she has mostly failed in grappling with a web of problems that she herself helped to create when she was turning out to be a notably weak national security adviser. Powell presciently said of Iraq, "If you break it, you own it." That might serve as an epitaph for Rice's career at the top of American policymaking.

賴斯的星光乍起倏滅,理由很簡單。身為國務卿,她未能努力解決大半問題,而這些問題是在她出任明顯弱勢的國家安全顧問時所製造的。鮑爾談起伊拉克曾有先見之明:「如果你搞砸,它就跟定你了。」這可能是賴斯身為全美最高決策者的墓誌銘。

Of the two books about Rice, Marcus Mabry's "Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power" is the more comprehensive, a full-scale biography covering Rice's life from childhood in segregated and violent Birmingham, Alabama, to the present day. He takes as his book's title a saying in the Rice family that, as a black American (let alone a female one), you needed to be "twice as good" to succeed. Yet much of what he recounts belies this.

兩本有關賴斯的書,其中馬伯瑞的《付出雙倍努力:賴斯及她的權力之路》內容較周延,是完整版傳記,內容涵蓋賴斯的一生,從童年時期實施種族隔離及暴動的阿拉巴馬州伯明罕至今。他的書名濫觴於賴斯家的一句名言:身為非洲裔美國人(更別提女性了),要成功必須「付出雙倍努力」。但他書中所述多半證明此言不實。

Rice's early career—first to a place at the University of Denver, then to Stanford, then to the National Security Council in Washington, DC, then back to Stanford to become provost at the age of only 38—shows doors opening readily enough. Mabry produces nothing to suggest she needed to be anything like twice as good.

賴斯早期的經歷,先任職丹佛大學,再跳到史丹福大學,再到位於華府的國家安全會議,後再回史丹福大學擔任教務長,當時她只有38歲。這些經歷在在顯示,門隨時為她而開。馬伯瑞並未舉出任何實例,足證她必須比別人付出雙倍努力才能成功。

Her biggest break came in 2000, when Candidate George Bush chose her to coach him in foreign policy, of which he admitted to knowing almost nothing. Mabry makes much of the instant rapport between these two very different types, the cautious blue-stocking and the reformed hell-raiser, though he cannot entirely explain it. Rice has described the candidate as having "an incredibly inquisitive mind". Bush was later to describe Rice as "the most powerful woman in the history of the world".

她最大的突破發生於2000年,當時還是總統候選人的布希相中她來指引他的外交政策,布希當時承認,他對外交一無所知。馬伯瑞對這兩位完全不同的典型幾乎一拍即合多所著墨,但他也不能完全解釋清楚。賴斯曾形容布希這位候選人有種「極為好學不倦打破砂鍋問到底的精神」。布希後來也說,賴斯是「世界歷史上最有權勢的女人」。

Which makes it mysterious how she came to serve him so badly. The national security adviser is meant to co-ordinate foreign-policy making. Yet in that job Rice seemed entirely unable to resolve the many disputes between Donald Rumsfeld at Defence and Powell at State. Even without that failure, it would have been impossible not to allot her much of the blame for the mistakes in Iraq. If she realised America was sending too few troops and had rejected all post-war planning, she should have told the president: she had his ear, and access. If she did not realise, she should have done.

唯其如此,她怎麼會表現這麼差,實在令人納悶。國家安全顧問理應協調外交決策,但在這件差事上,賴斯似乎完全無能化解國防部長倫斯斐和國務卿鮑爾之間的無數紛爭和衝突。即使不算這項失策,伊拉克決策錯誤,她不可能卸責。如果她知道美國派到伊拉克的軍隊太少,又拒絕所有戰後的規畫,她應該告訴總統:她可以向他進言,她有管道。如果她不明白這點,她就應該搞清楚。

Mabry dwells at length on Rice's inability to admit to error. This quality of impenitence also extends to her refusal to accept any blame for failing to anticipate the attacks of September 11th 2001. The book presents abundant evidence of the warnings repeatedly sent to her by the CIA and of her failure to take them seriously. He notes that Rice seems to have had a blind spot about the potency of terrorism in general.

馬伯瑞鉅細靡遺地描述賴斯不能認錯。這種死不認錯的特質,甚至延伸到她拒絕就未能預見2001年將發生911恐怖攻擊上接受任何責難。這本書提出無數證據,指中情局曾再三警告她,而她未能嚴肅正視。他指出,賴斯對一般恐怖主義的潛力似乎有盲點。

Glenn Kessler's book "The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy" concentrates on Rice's first two years as secretary of state and her ultimately failed attempt to relaunch American foreign policy.

另一本由凱斯勒所撰的書《心腹:賴斯及布希遺業的創立》,重點放在賴斯出任國務卿頭兩年,及她終究未能再為美國進行外交出擊。

Kessler pays due credit to Rice's intelligence and energy. But his clear conclusion is that most of the problems she has tried to solve have been beyond her. He is excoriating about the limits of what Rice's team calls "practical idealism"; to Kessler the term is "nonsensical".

凱斯勒給賴斯的聰明才智和活力充沛適度的肯定,但他很明顯的結論是:大部分她試圖解決的問題,都超出她能力範圍之外。他也痛批賴斯團隊所謂「務實的理想主義」有其限度,對凱斯勒,這個用語「荒謬愚蠢」。

Her campaign for democracy in the Middle East comes in for particular criticism: when elections bring awkward results, as in Lebanon and Palestine, Rice's instinct has been simply to treat the results as aberrations, ignoring her own words about democracy. The administration has long ago given up trying to promote freer societies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, both American allies. Efforts to keep Iran non-nuclear have yielded nothing, and the war in Iraq still defies solution.

她在中東鼓吹民主尤其被批得體無完膚:當選舉結果很難堪時,如黎巴嫩和巴勒斯坦的選情,賴斯憑直覺,乾脆把選舉結果當成偏離常軌,無視於她自己有關民主的談話。布希政府很早以前就放棄在美國兩大盟邦沙烏地阿拉伯和埃及倡議較自由的社會。維持伊朗為非核國家的計畫也毫無進展;伊拉克戰爭更是束手無策。

It is possible, Kessler concludes, that a future historian will see Rice more favourably. But, as her current job draws to an end, the prospects do not look good.

凱斯勒下結論說,未來歷史學家可能會給賴斯比較正面的評價,但當她目前的職務告一段落之際,前景並不看好。



《詞解》
dazzler 耀眼的明星
touted 力捧,看好
secretary of state 國務卿
in succession 繼任
knee-high leather boots 及膝高筒皮靴
wowed 驚歎
fuel speculation 傳聞甚囂塵上
national security adviser 國家安全顧問
presciently 先見之明
full-scale 完整版
segregated 種族隔離
provost 大學教務長
instant rapport 一拍即合
inquisitive mind 好學不倦的精神
have one's ear 向…進言
impenitence 死不認錯
blind spot 盲點
confidante 心腹
beyond her 超出能力範圍
excoriating 痛批
nonsensical荒謬愚蠢
aberrations 脫離常軌
defy solution 束手無策

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