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为了自由的奥尔布赖特

2006-07-12 19:37

  President Clinton's key advisers could hardly believe their ears when Madeleine K. Albright put it straight to tough guy Russian Foreign Minister Primakov.

  Tense negotiations were under way in the State Department conference room. Primakov was insisting that Moscow could not accept a NATO committed to the defense of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic——the very states forced into the Soviet empire 50 years ago.

  Fixing her eyes on his, Albright said firmly, “Neither the President nor I will allow the security or the rights of the Eastern European states to be bargained away.

  Primakov, the former chief of the Russian foreign intelligence service, had no answer for such simple yet resolute words that left no diplomatic wiggle room.

  Secretary of State Madeleine Albright may look like a pleasantly rumbled housewife, eyes round and bright as full moons. But being an aide and security agent, she tools across the globe with the zeal of a super-saleswoman.

  Her consuming wok is to explain to Americans the puzzles of post-Cold War foreign policy when, as she told Reader's Digest, we confront “not an enemy with a face,” but huge problems such as international terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

  Albright is particularly well-suited to the job., Certainly on American Secretary of State in history could approach her personal experiences: a family run out of Prague, Czechoslovakia, first by Adolf Hitler, then by Joseph Stalin. Those dreadful events set her far apart from the rest of Clinton's national security staffers – many of them postwar baby boomers whose views of the world were formed during the counterculture protests of the Vietnam War. Albright's own life has taught her the meaning of freedom, the importance of national security —— and the vital role the United States plays in restoring the world to order.

  She was born on May 15, 1937, in Prague to Jewish parents. Shortly after Hitler arrived in Prague in March 1939, her father, Josef Korbel, a Czech diplomat, escaped with his wife and two-year-old daughter to a basement apartment in London, The city was soon in the middle of the Nazi blitz. “I spent huge portions of my life in air-raid shelters, singing 'A Hundred Green Bottles Hanging on the Wall,'” Abright said.

  Soon the family moved to Walton-on-Thames, where “they had just invented some kind of steel table” Albright says. “If your house was bombed and you were under the table, you would survive. We ate on the table, slept under the table and played around the table.”

  While her father worked against Hitler in Czechoslovakia's government-in-exile, six-year-old Madeleine went to school. A 1943 report card described her as a “ quick and lively” student who “ learns easily and remembers well.” Her grades were solid——except for one surprisingly low grade in geography.

  Abright was baptized and raised a Roman Catholic. She insists she was unaware of her Jewish background until recently, when Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs disclosed the truth of her heritage. Albright learned that her grandparents and several other relatives had perished in the Holocaust.

  How could she not have known? “Perhaps, when the truth about her family began to appear,” wrote Philip Taubman in the New York Times, “Albright thought it too late and too painful to dismantle the world her parents had constructed and she had preserved for herself and her children.”

  Now she has to expand NATO, walk the tight line of engagement with China and persuade American taxpayers that keeping the world safe does not come cheap. That's a tall order, but Madeleine Albright has made an auspicious start.

  为了自由的玛德琳·奥尔布赖特

  当玛德林直截了当地向强硬的俄罗斯外长普利马科夫申明利害时,克林顿总统的高参们几乎无法相信他们的耳朵。

  在国务院会议厅里,正进行着激烈的协商。普利马科夫坚持莫斯科不能接受北约组织承担对波兰、匈牙利和捷克共和国的防御义务——正是这几个国家五十年前被强行纳入苏维埃帝国。

  奥尔布赖特两眼盯住对方坚定地说,“无论总统还是我都不会让东欧国家的安全或利益有半点丧失。”

  普利马科夫,这位前俄国情报组织的首脑,对这样简单而毫无外交斡旋余地的坚定话语无言以对。

  国务卿玛德林·奥尔布赖特看上去像是个和蔼可亲,爱唠叨的家庭主妇,圆又明亮的眼睛如同满月。而作为助理和安全代表,她怀着超级推销员的热情足迹遍及全球。

  她日理万机的工作是为了告诉美国人民冷战后对外政策的难题。正如同她在《读者文摘》里说的,我们面对的“不是直接的敌人,”而是诸如国际恐怖主义与核扩散这样的巨大问题。

  奥尔布赖特与她的工作非常相称。当然历史上没有哪位美国国务卿有着类似于她的个人经历:一个逃出捷克斯洛伐克布拉格的家庭,先是由于阿道夫·希特勒,而后是由于约瑟夫·斯大林。那些可怕的事件使她与其他克林顿的国家安全官员迥然不同—— 他们中很多人是战后人口出生高峰期出生的,他们对世界的看法是在反对越南战争的反主流文化中形成的。奥尔布赖特的亲身经历教给了她自由的含义,国家安全的重要性,以及美国在恢复世界秩序中所担当的重要角色。

  1937年5月15日她出生在布拉格一个犹太家庭。1939年3月,在希特勒到达布拉格不久,她的父亲约瑟夫·戈倍尔,一位捷克外交官,与妻子和两岁的女儿逃到伦敦一间地下公寓。这座城市不久就处于纳粹的空袭之下。“我一生中很大的一部分是在防空洞中度过的,并常会吟唱起'挂在墙上的一百个绿瓶子,”

  奥尔布赖特说。

  不久全家又搬到泰晤士河边的瓦尔顿,奥尔布赖特说:“就是在那里他们发明了一种钢铁桌子,如果你的房子遭到了轰炸而你正呆在桌子下,你就有救了。我们在桌子上吃饭,在桌子下睡觉,在桌子旁玩耍。

  当玛德琳父亲为捷克斯洛伐克的流亡政府做反希特勒的工作时,六岁的她上了学。1943年的一份纪录卡描述她是“敏捷而活泼”的学生,“接受力强且记忆力好。”她的成绩很好——除了地理成绩低得令人惊讶。

  奥尔布赖特受过洗礼并成了天主教徒。她一直坚持说自己不晓得她犹太人的背景,直到最近《华盛顿邮报》的记者麦克尔·多布斯发现了她家族的真实情况。奥尔赖特得知她的祖父母和其他几个亲属在大屠杀时丧了生。

  她怎么会不知道呢?《纽约时报》的菲利普·陶博曼写道:“可能,当有关她家庭的事实行将显现时,奥运会尔布赖特觉得将她父母给她构筑的这个世界公之于众为时已晚且不堪回首,她已将此留在自己和孩子们的心中。”

  现在她必须要扩展北约组织,在与中国的抗衡中走钢丝以及说服美国纳税人维持世界安全不会只需区区数文钱。这并非轻而易举,但玛德琳已开了个好头。

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