在过去半个月的时间,美国政客、政府以及他们在网络世界和新闻媒体中的帮手,一直在炒作所谓“中国间谍气球进入美国领空”事件。卡塔尔大学副教授法尔·穆贾希德·沙克认为,美国对中国民用无人飞艇误入美国领空一事大张旗鼓歪曲事实,是出于政客的政治需求。一个气象气球真的有那么重要吗?显然是的,因为在价值约40万美元的响尾蛇导弹戏剧性地击落中国气球后,美国总统拜登的支持率略有上升。

The whole fanfare of the United States’ twists over a Chinese civilian airship is just what the political doctor ordered.美国大张旗鼓地对中国民用无人飞艇误入美国领空一事歪曲事实,正是美政客所需。

After all, US President Joe Biden’s Republican detractors were ridiculing him for quite some time. His predecessor and rival in the 2020 presidential election, former president Donald Trump, as well as others are exploiting his incoherent ramblings, which have provided all the ammunition that conservatives needed to have a field day.毕竟,美国总统拜登的共和党批评者已经抨击他很久了。前任美国总统、2020 年总统大选拜登的竞争对手唐纳德·特朗普以及其他人正在利用拜登的胡言乱语,作为共和党攻击他的武器。

But, truth be told, this is what Republicans and Democrats have always done: grossly caricatured each other by name-calling and stigmatization. According to the Pew Research Center, many Republicans and Democrats associate negative characteristics with members of the other party — and positive traits with their own.但是,这就是共和党人和民主党人一直在做的事情:通过辱骂和污名化来粗暴地讽刺对方。皮尤研究中心调查显示,许多共和党人和民主党人将消极特征与对方成员联系在一起,而将积极特征与自己联系起来。

But the specific criticisms that Democrats and Republicans have of each other vary. The Democrats have the unfortunate stigma of being “doves” — a synonym for being “weak “and “soft on terror”. On the other hand, Republicans are derided as “hawks” and warmongers who want fewer taxes and condemn the poor.

但民主党人和共和党人对对方的具体批评不同。民主党人被指责是“鸽派”,表现”软弱”和”面对威胁不够强硬”。另一方面,共和党人被嘲为”鹰派”和战争贩子,他们希望减少税收并谴责穷人。

Facts mean little in this raw, unadulterated and juvenile contest to smear, since Democrats and Republicans alike justify US exceptionalism on their own terms. Still, perceptions matter. Or, should I say, the carefully constructed management of perceptions that serve vested interests matter.在这场原始的、不加掩饰的、幼稚的抹黑竞赛中,事实毫无意义。因为民主党人和共和党人都以自己的方式为美国例外论辩护。不过,观念还是很重要的。或者,应该说,为既得利益者服务的精心构建的执政观念很重要。

The balloon, the White House argued, was part of a larger Chinese surveillance balloon program, and this violated US sovereignty. The Chinese countered that the US was sensationalizing nothing more than a weather balloon.白宫称,这个气球是中国侦查气球计划的一部分,侵犯了美国的主权。中国反驳称,美国只是在借气象气球炒作。

The truth is not important to Washington politics, for a wonderful opportunity arose for the US to reclaim its global leadership — by shooting first, and asking questions later. They had to take the shot.真相对美国政客来说并不重要。因为对美国来说,出现了一个夺回其全球领导地位的绝好机会——“先斩后奏”。他们必须抓住这个机会。

It is in this context, of US culture wars, economic woes, societal fracturing and Biden’s dismal approval ratings, that the mysterious balloon was a godsend. There’s nothing like cold-hearted destruction to reaffirm caricatures of masculinity.美国正在处于文化冲突、经济困境、社会撕裂和拜登支持率萎靡的背景下,这个神秘的气球成了美国的一个天赐良机。没有什么比冷酷无情的“摧毁”更能彰显男子气概了。

That is how the international mainstream media twisted Biden’s balloon moment with gladiator-like heroism. Channel after channel ran the balloon escapade at the top of every hour. CNN, BBC, Sky News and even Deutsche Welle all scrambled to get the latest on the balloon incident. Others, not so amused, privately giggled at the buffoonery of making a mountain out of a molehill.国际主流媒体就是这样把拜登对气球事件的回应歪曲成角斗士般的英雄主义。各大新闻频道在每小时的头条中报道气球事件。美国有线电视新闻网、英国广播公司、天空新闻,甚至德国之声都争相报道气球事件的最新情况。另一些人则不以为然,私下里嘲笑这种小题大做的小丑行为。

To be clear, some in Washington argued that it wasn’t enough to shoot it down. China needs to be taught a lesson, they said, and the US must not back down. Biden was dutifully playing that role of the unapologetic, no-nonsense tough guy who was guarding fortress America and would call out China’s misdeeds.需要说明的是,美国一些政客认为仅仅击落中国的气球是不够的。他们说,中国需要得到教训,美国绝不能退缩。拜登尽职尽责地扮演着守卫美国堡垒并“揭露”中国“不当行为”的专横、干脆的硬汉形象。

The media coverage of the so-called Chinese “spy balloon “dwarfed that of the toxic spill from a train derailment in the US state of Ohio, the bombing of Gaza Strip, and even the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. It was unbelievable.媒体对美国俄亥俄州火车脱轨造成的有毒物质泄漏、对加沙地带的轰炸,甚至是正在进行的俄乌冲突的关注远远不如对所谓的中国”间谍气球”的关注,这真是令人难以置信。

Was it really that important? Apparently so, since Biden’s approval ratings ticked slightly upward after the dramatic downing of the Chinese balloon by a Sidewinder missile costing around $400,000.这个气球真的有那么重要吗?显然是的,因为在耗资约40万美元的响尾蛇导弹戏剧性地击落中国气球后,拜登的支持率略有上升。

Following that, there was a massive US campaign and outrage over the Chinese balloons, with over 40 nations being briefed on US safety measures against such supposedly dangerous balloons. Another balloon soon appeared, but over Canadian airspace, and then two more. Again, without hesitation, they were all blasted out of the sky.此后,美国发起了一场针对中国气球的大规模运动以示愤怒,向40多个国家通报了美国针对此类危险的气球采取的安全措施。另一个气球很快出现在加拿大领空,随后又出现了两个。同样,它们都被毫不犹豫地击落。

However, the mainstream media is fickle. There was no sensationalist outcry, no dramatic footage of the downing of the balloons and no mass outrage. This balloon story lost steam. Here’s some advice to the American people: Your welfare is not threatened by a balloon. It is threatened by mass shootings and by a ruling class that denies access to healthcare and affordable housing.然而,主流媒体善变。没有哗众取宠的抗议,没有气球坠落的戏剧性镜头,也没有大规模的愤怒。这个气球故事失去了价值。以下是对美国人民的一些建议:你们的社会福利不会受到气球的威胁,却会被大规模枪击事件以及拒绝提供医疗保险和负担得起的住房的统治阶级所威胁。

You are also threatened by the transportation crisis across the country, unlivable wages, disenfranchisement of voting rights impacting people of color, and astronomical levels of violence against women and girls. Know your enemy.你们还面临着全国交通危机、无法维持生计的低工资、有色人种的投票权被剥夺以及成千上万的妇女和女童被施暴的威胁。你们需要清楚真正的敌人是谁。

来源:中国日报

作者:法尔·穆贾希德·沙克(Farhan Mujahid Chak)卡塔尔大学政治学和国际事务副教授

编辑:董静,李蕙帆(实习)

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