锦色幻觉

德克萨斯州,卡城——伴随着1989年柏林墙的倒下,以及共产主义在中欧和东欧各地、被民众以暴力色彩相对较轻的方式推翻,乐观主义者作出了关于新黄金时代的预言:那时,世界各地都将是和平安宁的民主国家;在某些人看来,历史已经终结。不过,随着全球大大小小的国家从这段历史中总结出了属于自己的教训时(而它们的观点又常常是相互冲突的),这些乐观主义者的想法已被证明并不正确。

对美国人来说,1989年证明了他们业已信奉的一切。美国人是通过强硬的实力与信念方才赢得了冷战(或者他们自己这么认为)。他们看到了喊着自由口号、出现在东欧各国首都的示威者以及聚集在天安门广场上的中国民众,他们相信这些聚集者期望成为美国人。正如乔治·H·W·布什所言:“我们明白应如何为世人确保一个更加公正、更加繁荣的生活:其方法便是通过自由市场、自由言论、自由选举、以及不受国家阻碍的、自由意志之行使。”

随后发生的事件看似证明了这份美国式处方的正确性。海湾战争一方面对美国的军事实力给予了确认,另一方面也证实了绥靖政策古已有之的风险。克林顿执政时期将积极推行民主制度作为了美国外交政策的原则性工具,而这一做法又被乔治·W·布什发挥到了登峰造极的程度。

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