Not quite the Diplomat, Chp 8


第八章,說的是美國無遠弗屆的超級強國的力量。當今天下,根本沒人能及。

‘In 2004, America attracted 80 per cent of global savings. In this mad world, the savings of poor Chinese peasants purchase American Treasury securities to help keep interest rates in the US lower and the financing of the deficit more secure. The trade-off for the Chinese and other Asians for investing in this mountain of paper is that it eases the pressures on them over the exchange rate of their own currencies and over the size of their surplues with America. They fund US debt so that Americans will continue to buy their products.’ p.219

經濟上,我們全都要看美國的臉色,無論是多麼不會理,多麼委曲。

‘America spends on defence more than Europe, Russia and China combined – indeed, probably as much as the rest of the world put together. Through the last decade defence spending has amounted to about 4 per cent of America’s GDP. America could knock over any government in the world if it wanted to do so. It has the technollogy to destroy with greater precision than a military machine has ever had before, though as many Iraqi and Afghan causualties testify the precision is far from perfect. It can spy on us all, friend or foe, its satellites reporting back what we say and photographing everything we do, though there is here a second caveat.’ p.225

軍事上,更不消說。只要美國願意,以其軍事實力,根本是無堅不催。我突然感到很慶幸,一個擁有這麼強大力量的國家,是一個崇尚民主自由的國度,他們的國民超碼對政府還有一定程度的制約,要是換上一個極權國家坐擁如斯實力,後果恐怕不感想像了。

‘American investments in the Netherlands in that year were almost as great as in the whole of Asia. Over the past decade US firms have put ten times as much capital into the Netherlands as into China, and twice as much as into Mexico.’ p.224

彭定康作為歐洲人,卻再次為自己的同胞打打氣,說山姆大叔最大的投資始終是在文化上同源的歐洲。

‘How on earth can America regain that global image? How can it rebuild international order based on agreement, and how can Europe help?’ p.233

不過,自上世紀九十年代以來,美國就成了唯一的超級強國。其實這是極危險的情況,因為權力一旦不受制衡,就容易出軌,演生各種問題。九十年代,民主黨的克林頓在位,在很多方面自我約制,當時令不少人以為歷史將終結在美式自由民主的潮流中,而現實世界亦出現了烏托邦。可惜,新保守主義的回朝,令美國再次成為問題。

作為山姆大叔在經濟上、軍事上和文化上最親密的盟友,如何像日月忠貞的賢相那樣,助美帝重踏賢明之路?

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