A Very Busy Ex-Prez

Published in Chinese Translators Journal (No. 4, pp. 61-64, 1996)

本文作為英漢翻譯範文發表在 《中國翻譯》雜誌 1996年第4期第61-64頁


Bill Clinton put out the order Tuesday night: nobody in his administration should criticize Jimmy Carter. The command caused some gritting of teeth. In interviews and speeches the former president had not concealed his low opinion of the State Department and he was even quoted as saying he was "ashamed" of the U.S. policy toward Haiti. But Clinton was grateful for Carter's help in wriggling out of a tight spot. So dutiful Secretary of State Warren Christopher hopped a plane to the former President's home in Georgia to smooth things over.


星期二晚上,比爾.柯林頓發出命令﹕政府中任何人都不得批評吉米.卡特。部份幕僚對這一命令相當不滿,因為這位前總統在接受采訪或發表演說時,從不掩飾他對國務院評價不高。有人甚至引述他的話說,他為美國對海地的政策感到“羞恥”。不過,柯林頓對卡特協助他擺脫了海地問題這一困境還是很感激的。於是,盡職盡責的國務卿瓦倫.克里斯托弗赶忙登上飛機,飛往卡特總統的家鄉喬治亞,去做一番安撫和解釋工作。


That has not stopped le tout Washington from expressing views on Carter's return engagement. Negative and positive, it has all been said before. He is a softy who cuddles dictators. Or he is a tireless crusader for peace who devoted his post-presidential career to resolving some of the thorniest international conflicts. Or a proud figure consumed by the desire to live down his 1980 election defeat and win the Nobel Peace Prize many feel he should have received in 1978 for mediating the Egyptian Israeli Camp David accords.


柯林頓的命令還不能使整個華盛頓停止對卡特回來參與處理一些國際危機評頭評足。正面和負面的評論都有。有人說他軟弱,總是向獨裁者獻媚討好;有人說他是個為和平奔波而不知疲倦的人,將離任後的時間全都用在處理一些棘手的國際沖突上;另外一些人認為他是個自尊心很強的人,想取得一些成就來沖淡他一九八零年競選連任未果的失敗感並贏得諾貝爾和平獎。很多人認為他在一九七八年斡旋埃及和以色列簽訂戴維營協定時就應該獲得諾貝爾和平獎。


What he has unquestionably been is busy. He captured the public eye, post-White House, mostly during the one week a year he works as a carpenter helping to build low cost housing, but that has been a small part of his activity. Domestically, his Carter Center runs a number of other housing pro- grams and has launched the Atlanta Project , a complex of activities to revitalize the city. Overseas, Carter and other people from the center have monitored elections in many Latin American and African countries to make sure they were not rigged. His friends say Carter has intervened personally and very quietly to protect the human rights of the oppressed around the world. The consensus view: he has been a superb ex-President.


有一點毫無疑問,那就是,他很忙,他很受公眾的注意。離任後,他最引人注目的時刻是每年一個星期做木匠活幫助修建低價住房,不過,那只是他的活動的一小部份。在國內,卡特中心還有一些其它的住房項目。該中心還發起了一個包括很多複雜項目的亞特蘭大工程,旨在使該市獲得新的活力。在國外,卡特和卡特中心的工作人員監視了很多拉丁美洲及非洲國家的選舉,以保證它們不被操縱。朋友們說,他曾親自干預並悄悄地保護了世界各地的被迫害者的人權。普遍一致的看法是,他是一位很了不起的前任總統。


He obviously itched to get back into the main ring even while Republicans held the White House. He told the New York Times he had written to Deng Xiaoping and François Mitterrand urging a vote against U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. That attempt to undermine the policy of his own country's government was, Carter conceded, "perhaps not appropriate."


很顯然,還在共和黨主持白宮時,他就想重返政治舞台。他告訴《紐約時報》說,他曾給鄧小平和佛朗索瓦.密特朗寫信,敦促他們否決對伊拉克使用武力的聯合國決議。他自己也承認,這種有損於自己國家政府政策的作法“可能是不太合適的”。


When the former President insisted on accepting and invitation to visit North Korea in June "as a private citizen," his fellow Democrat Clinton had him briefed on what to tell Kim I1 Sung-because, says a resigned a U.S. official, he would have gone and talked to Kim anyway. Carter took the occasion to denounce Clinton's attempt to impose international sanctions on North Korea's nuclear program that have just been resumed, but with highly uncertain prospects.


今年六月,這位前總統堅持要應邀以“普通公民”的身份訪問北韓他的民主黨盟友柯林頓只好同意並讓人指點他向金日成說些什麼。一位美國官員無可奈何地說,因為即使柯林頓不要他去,他還是會去和金日成會談的。卡特則利用這一機會譴責柯林頓試圖對北韓實行國際制裁。他的訪問促成了美國和北韓之間新一輪的談判,以中止北韓重新開始了的核計劃。不過,談判的前景仍然很不確定。

Carter is proud of the Haitian agreement he negotiated and shrugs off attacks on his cordiality toward strongman Raoul Cédras. He is used to such griping; his wife Rosalynn once told TIME that "Jimmy sees good in everybody, and sometimes he sees more than is there." Her husband's defense is a blend of Christian principle and realpolitik: all people are sinners, but can be redeemed-besides which, denouncing a dictator does not help to negotiate an agreement with him. "When I'm trying to negotiate a last minute settlement of a crisis," he told TIME "it's not appropriate or advisable for me to rehash all the problems that the person I'm dealing with created." An odd mixture, perhaps, but very, very Jimmy Carter.

By George J. Church, Time Magazine, October 3, 1994, p. 36.

卡特對他達成的海地協議十分自豪,對那些攻擊他對海地強人勞爾.塞德拉斯過於友好的人,他採取不理會的態度,他對這類抱怨已經習以為常。他的夫人羅莎琳告訴《時代》雜誌說,“他在人人身上都看到長處,有時候他看到的長處並不存在。”他自己的解釋則是基督教教義和現實政治的結合﹕所有的人都是有罪的,但每個人又都是可以贖罪的—再說,譴責獨裁者無助於我們和他達成協議。他告訴《時代》雜誌說﹕“在試圖達成最後一刻協議以解決某一危機時,對我來說,將對方所造成的所有問題全部重新討論一番,是既不合適也不明智的。”基督教教義和現實政治也許是一種奇怪的結合,但它卻是非常典型的吉米.卡特風格。