A Very Busy Ex-Prez - 一位非常忙碌的前任总统

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

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

本文作为英汉翻译范文发表在 《中国翻译》杂志 1996年第4期第61-64页



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,比尔·柯林顿发出命令 :政府中任何人都不得批评吉米·卡特。部分幕僚对这一命令相当不满,因为这位前总统在接受采访或发表演说时,从不掩饰他对国务院评价不高。有人甚至引述他的话说,他为美国对海地的政策感到“羞耻”。不过柯林顿对卡特协助他摆脱了海地问题这一困境还是很感激的。于是,尽职尽责的国务卿瓦伦·克里斯托弗赶忙登上飞机,飞往卡特总统的家乡乔治亚,去做一番安抚和解释工作。

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.

柯林顿的命令还不能使整个华盛顿停止对卡特回来参与处理一些国际危机评头评足。正面和负面的评论都有。有人说他 软弱,总是向独裁者献媚讨好;有人说他是个为和平奔波而不知疲倦的人,将离任后的时间全都用在处理一些棘手的国际冲突上;另外一些人认为他是个自尊心很强的人,想取得一些成就来冲淡他一九八零年竞选连任未果的失败感并赢得诺贝尔和平奖。很多人认为他在一九七八年斡旋埃及和以色列签订戴维营协定时就应获得诺贝尔和平奖。

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 pert 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 interveded 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.

有一点毫无疑问,那就是,他很忙,他很受公众的注意。离任后,他最引人注目的时刻是每年一个星期做木匠活帮助修 建低价住房,不过,那只是他的活动的一小部分。在国内,卡特中心还发起了一个包括很多复杂项目的亚特兰大工程,旨在使该市获得新的活力。在国外,卡特和卡特中心的工作人员监视了很多拉丁美洲及非洲国家的选举,以保证它们不被操纵。朋友们说,他曾亲自干预并悄悄地保护了世界各地的被迫害者的人权。普遍一致的看法是,他是一位很了不起的前任总统。

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. resolu-tion 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."

很显然,还在共和党主持白宫时,他就想重返政治舞台。他告诉《纽约时报》说,他曾给邓小平和佛朗索瓦·密特朗写 信,敦促他们否决对伊拉克使用武力的联合国决议。他自己也承认,这种有损于自己国家政府政策的作法“可能是不太合适的”。

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,这位前总统坚持要应邀以“普通公民”的身份访问北韩。他的民主党盟友柯林顿只好同意并让人指点他向金 日成说些什么。一位美国官员无可奈何地说,因为即使柯林顿不要他去,他还是会去和金日成会谈的。卡特则利用这一机会谴责柯林顿试图对北韩实行国际制裁。他的访问促成了美国和北韩之间新一轮的谈判,以中止北韩重新开始了的核计划。不过,谈判的前景仍然很不确定。

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 October 3, 1994, p. 36.

卡特对他达成的海地协议十分自豪,对那些攻击他对海地强人劳尔·塞德拉斯过于友好的人,他采取不理会的态度,他 对这类抱怨已经习以为常。他的夫人罗莎琳告诉《时代》杂志说:“他在人人身上都看到长处,有时候他看到的长处并不存在。”他自己的解释则是基督教教义和现实政治的结合—所有的人都是有罪的,但每个人又都是可以赎罪的—再说,谴责独裁者无助于我们和他达成协议。他告诉《时代》杂志说:“在试图达成最後一刻协议以解决某一危机时,对我来说,将对方所造成的所有问题全部重新讨论一番,是既不合适也不明智的。”基督教教义和现实政治也许是一种奇怪的结合,但它却是非常典型的吉米·卡特风格。