2005年05月30日

The words "Islamic militants" are like a spell. - Michael Portillo

The Uzbek regime allows America to use the former Soviet airbase at Khanabad. The US is to build a pipeline across Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. The words "Islamic militants" are like a spell. Mumble those words and the Americans will forget that they love democracy and freedom.
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-- source: Michael Portillo, "Gorgeous George batters Bush's beautiful fairy tale", 22 May 2005, The Sunday Times


※引用箇所は,記事の2ページ目(=URLポーティロらしいというからしくないというか,ちょっと微妙な記事。

「ゴージャス・ジョージ」ことジョージ・ギャロウェイの米上院での例のアレと,ウズベキスタンを関連させて書いているのだけど,前半部分(ゴージャス・ジョージの部分)がかなり混乱した記述になっててわかりづらい。ひょっとしてジョージ・ギャロウェイの揚げ足取りを試みているのかもしれない。

というか,さして意味もないことに,華麗なことばを当てはめているだけに見える。

でも後半(ウズベキスタンの部分)はいつもの通りだし,特に最後の4パラグラフは読ませる。

The Uzbek regime allows America to use the former Soviet airbase at Khanabad. The US is to build a pipeline across Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. The words “Islamic militants” are like a spell. Mumble those words and the Americans will forget that they love democracy and freedom. Karimov intones the incantation and the US overlooks his barbarities. President Vladimir Putin whispers it, too, to win Washington’s acquiescence for the massacres in Chechnya.
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You could argue that is realpolitik: to chafe at it is naive. But we have been here before. When Rumsfeld met Saddam he may or may not have tried to sell him weapons, but he did see the Iraqi dictator as a bulwark against Iran, which was exporting terror. The mayhem in Iraq today shows that we were right to regard Saddam as a buttress against Islamic militancy. But it also demonstrates how foolish we are if we try to base our foreign policy on alliances with monsters. Our support for Karimov is not only morally repugnant but also strategically short-sighted.
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Bush has used speeches to set out a narrative as beautiful and simple as any fairy tale. The countries that have lived under the yoke of tyranny can look forward to freedom. Across the Muslim world torture will give way to human rights and repression to democracy. He has explicitly repented past American policy, saying that the US can no longer ignore despotic outrages committed by governments, even if they are useful regional allies.
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However, American double standards in Iraq and Uzbekistan make us less credulous and ruin the fairy tale’s simplicity. Bush’s beautiful story cannot survive the fierce critique of a Gorgeous George.


ポーティロが書いているもの自体が,彼が指摘しているa narrative as beautiful and simple as any fairy taleなのだが,それでも。

マイケル・ポーティロは英国の元政治家(保守党)。今年の総選挙に立候補せず政界を引退した。

私にとっては英文ライティングの手本を書いてくれる人のひとりという位置づけ。(ライティングの手本なら,労働党じゃなくて保守党だよ,これは真面目な話。今の労働党の文章は,日本で言えば霞ヶ関で量産されてる文章にとてもよく似ている。)
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