西奥多·罗斯福需要战争，几乎任何战争都行。 1886年，当27岁的他只是达科他领地的牧场主时，就建议增加“一些骑射火枪手，对付爱找麻烦的墨西哥。”他对朋友众议员亨利·卡伯特·洛奇（Henry Cabot Lodge）写到：“如果战争不可避免，你能马上给我发电报吗？” 1889年，出于对军事“戒备”的不安，他写信给英国外交官塞西尔·春稻（Cecil Spring-Rice）：“坦白地讲，我不知道是否应该对我们与德国间的冲突感到遗憾；纽约和其他一些沿海城市被袭击，恰恰说明需要建立强大的海防体系。” 罗斯福喜欢夸张，但他显然是认真的。他对春稻写到，“如果我们首先发起攻击，我想最终我们就要替德国皇帝担心了。” 几年后的1894年，他在给世交鲍勃·弗格森的信中说，他期盼“一场全民参与的海盗探险，将西班牙人从古巴驱逐出去，将英国人从加拿大驱逐出去。”
Theodore Roosevelt wanted a war, and almost any war would do. In 1886, when he was a 27-year-old gentleman rancher in the Dakota Territory, he proposed raising "some companies of horse riflemen out here in the event of trouble with Mexico." He wrote his friend Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge: "Will you telegraph me at once if war becomes inevitable?" In 1889, while agitating for military "preparedness," he wrote British diplomat Cecil Spring-Rice: "Frankly, I don't know if I should be sorry to see a bit of a spar with Germany; the burning of New York and a few other seacoast cities would be a good object lesson on the need of an adequate system of coastal defenses." Roosevelt loved hyperbole, but he was apparently serious. He wrote Spring-Rice, "While we would have to take some awful blows at first, I think in the end we would worry the Kaiser a little." A few years later, in 1894, he wrote a family friend, Bob Ferguson, that he longed for "a general national buccaneering expedition to drive the Spanish out of Cuba, the English out of Canada."
In my new book, The War Lovers, I tell this story—of Roosevelt, and of how we became involved in the Spanish-American War—as a way of understanding the ancient pull of the battlefield. I was, in part, trying to understand my own attitude on the Iraq War. As a NEWSWEEK journalist writing about that conflict (from a safe distance), I had initially been hawkish, then regretful as the costs mounted. The war may, in some muddled way, achieve some of its objectives, but it is clear that too many journalists, including me, caught at least a mild dose of war fever between 9/11 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I looked to the past to come to terms with those impulses.
目前，我们介入伊拉克和阿富汗、打击伊斯兰极端主义的“持久战”已持续了近10年。对战争的厌倦情绪已然形成。对大多数人来说，战争似乎遥不可及，从某种程度上说，很容易被人忽略。也许不巧的是，近来出现的一连串书籍和影片试图以音像和现实主义手法还原真实的战争体验，最引人注目的是奥斯卡获奖影片《拆弹专家》和塞巴斯蒂安·云格尔（Sebastian Junger ）的报告文学《战争》，我们已在以前的文章中摘录过该书的章节。这些令人警醒的故事值得人们理解和牢记。尽管它们可以暂时压抑人类与生俱来的战争欲望，但我相信，战争狂热不会真正消失，这是最基本的男性心理。
Now we're almost a decade into "the Long War," as some call our engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing struggle with Islamic extremism. A kind of war weariness has set in. To most people the fighting seems far off and, in a way, easy to ignore. Not coincidentally, perhaps, a recent spate of books and movies has arrived seeking to make graphic and realistic the true experience of war, most notably the Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker and War, the Sebastian Junger volume of war reportage we excerpted in the previous article. These are cautionary tales that seek to make us understand and remember. They may for a time dampen the age-old atavistic lust for war, though war fever, I believe, never really goes away. It is too fundamental to the male psyche.
Roosevelt was a true war lover. Whether he was trying to compensate for his beloved father, who bought a draft substitute in the Civil War, or because, as he often wrote, he feared that the Anglo-Saxon "race" was becoming "overcivilized" and weak, Roosevelt wanted to test himself in the crucible of battle. He got his wish on July 1, 1898, charging up Kettle and San Juan hills with his Rough Riders in Cuba. ("Did I tell you that I killed a Spaniard with my own hand?" Roosevelt exclaimed in a letter to Lodge.) That seemed to satisfy his war lust, for a time. As president, TR preferred to "talk softly but carry a big stick." Still, in 1917, overweight and increasingly infirm at 58, the former president of the United States volunteered to raise a division to fight in France. (Not wanting to make Roosevelt a hero or a martyr, President Woodrow Wilson declined.)
Roosevelt was an extreme case. But how many men, over how many millennia, have wanted to know how they would do in combat? Would they be brave and fight? Or would they cringe and run? War has been, for almost all peoples and all times, the purest test of manhood. It is a thrilling addiction and a wretched curse—"a force that gives us meaning," as former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges has written—and the ruination of peoples and nations.
Men and (now increasingly) women fight wars for all sorts of reasons, sometimes out of nobility or at least necessity. We think of the "Good War," World War II, whose warriors are fast dying off now, honored in their passing. But before the Good War was the Great War, as it was known at the time. The outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 was greeted with something like euphoria by the young men who flocked to the colors. British schoolmates and teammates formed "Pals Battalions," and sometimes advanced on German positions while passing a soccer ball. They were slaughtered. At the Battle of the Somme in 1916, roughly 20,000 British soldiers perished in a single day.
“每一场战争都具有讽刺意味，因为每一场战争的结果都要比之前预期的还要糟糕，”保罗·福塞尔（Paul Fussell ）在《伟大的战争与现代的记忆》（The Great War and Modern Memory）中写道。“注定要被作为一大糟糕战事的索姆河战役，是自文明开始以来最大的交战。”尽管后来有更大规模和更残酷的战役，战争却已变得更为现代化和更简单；除了士兵之外，平民受到武装攻击的机会也越来越多了。
"Every war is ironic because every war is worse than expected," wrote Paul Fussell in The Great War and Modern Memory. "The Somme affair, destined to be known as the Great F--k Up, was the largest engagement fought since the beginning of civilization." There have been larger and deadlier battles since, though, as war has become at once more modern and more primitive; the armed conflicts increasingly involved civilians, not just soldiers.
不过，不知为什么，我们忘记了这一切。不愿辜负父辈的年轻人与年轻时错过战争的老人一样，都患上了健忘症。19世纪90年代，不只是罗斯福，他的同胞中也有很多人对战争充满了渴望。日后可能成为美国最高法院最伟大法官的小奥利弗·温德尔·霍姆斯（Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.），穿上自己的内战制服，向年轻的哈佛学生演讲，称战争是“神圣”的，不该被忘却。在内战中当过兵、目睹过尸骨如山的美国总统威廉·麦金莱竭力反对仓促发动战争，但是，他被罗斯福和威廉·伦道夫·赫斯特（William Randolph Hearst）等鹰派人士抛在一边。报纸出版商威廉·伦道夫·赫斯特更是夸张地声称，是他本人运用煽情主意，引发了西班牙与美国之间的战争。
And yet, somehow, we forget. A collective amnesia afflicts young men who wish to live up to their fathers, and old men who missed war as young men. In the 1890s, not just Roosevelt but a good slice of his countrymen were possessed by a hunger for war. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., later perhaps the greatest of U.S. Supreme Court justices, put on his Civil War uniform and lectured young Harvard students that war was "divine," not to be missed. The U.S. president, William McKinley, who had seen the dead stacked up at Antietam as a Civil War soldier, tried to resist the rush to battle. But he was swept aside by hawks like Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher who would claim, with some exaggeration, that he personally caused the Spanish-American War with his sensationalist crusading.
"It was a splendid little war," John Hay, the U.S. ambassador to Britain, wrote Roosevelt in August 1898. The Americans had driven the Spanish from Cuba. But another, unexpected conflict was just starting in the Philippines, halfway around the world. The U.S. Navy had defeated a Spanish fleet at Manila Bay, and now the Americans were unintentional occupiers of a country that President McKinley said he could barely find on a map. The fighting in the Philippines dragged on for four more years and cost 4,000 men, roughly the same number we have lost so far in Iraq. There were atrocities on both sides in the long-forgotten counterinsurgency against the Filipinos, and for the first time Americans used an interrogation method called waterboarding.
My own appreciation of war, while particular to my generation, is an uncomfortably familiar history lesson in war and remembrance—or forgetting. I graduated from college in 1973, too late for Vietnam and in any case shielded by a high number in the national draft lottery. I was, like almost all my peers, opposed to the war and glad to miss it. Yet as time went on I felt increasingly uneasy about the realization that my type had been able largely to avoid the war, while less well-educated and poorer young men were drafted and killed. (In Memorial Church at Harvard, one can read the names of 234 students and faculty who died fighting in World War II, which cost 405,399 American lives, and 22 who perished in Vietnam, where 59,000 Americans died.)
似乎在很长一段时间，我们想忘掉越南，对其成本和徒劳无功绝口不提。但在看了1994年的影片《阿甘正传》（Forrest Gump ），我有了新的认识。阿甘看似不可能地成了英雄，戴着军装上的战斗勋章，丝毫没有意识到自己正站在华盛顿广场上的和平集会上。而衣冠不整的反战示威人群成了反面角色（阿甘得到了那个女孩）。对我来说，显而易见，国家的情绪正在发生变化；好莱坞当然可以感觉到。越战已经过去了，我们正为下一场战争做着准备。
For a long time, it seemed, we wanted to forget about Vietnam, to turn away from its cost and futility. But watching the movie Forrest Gump in 1994, I had a flash of recognition. The unlikely hero was Gump, unself-conscious in his Army dress uniform with combat medals at a peace rally on the Washington Mall. The villains were the scruffy antiwar protesters (Gump got the girl). It was apparent to me that the national mood was changing; Hollywood certainly could sense it. We were over Vietnam—and ready for the next war.
奇怪的是，1991年的海湾战争中没有足够的血腥值得夸耀，仅仅不到100小时，以不到300名美国人（其中一半人死于非战斗意外）的代价结束战争。它很快被忽略了。随着20世纪90年代的流逝，人们感觉到无法完成消灭萨达姆·侯赛因的任务，我之所以知道这一点，因为我也有同感。但自911之后，旷日持久的伊拉克和阿富汗战争，使我们对战争的忍耐达到极限。我们体会到了电影和回忆录所展示的战争的黑暗面。战争不应该是神话，但它应该被记住。 “幸好战争是如此可怕，”将军罗伯特·李（Gen. Robert E. Lee ）曾经说过，“否则我们将乐此不疲。”
The Gulf War of 1991 was, curiously, not sufficiently bloody to be glorious—fought and won in less than 100 hours at the cost of fewer than 300 Americans (half of those the result of noncombat accidents). It was quickly overlooked. As the 1990s went on, there was a feeling that we hadn't finished the job of getting rid of Saddam Hussein—I know I felt it. But since 9/11, with the prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we've now had our fill of fighting. We're back to the phase where movies and memoirs capture war's darker side. War should not be mythologized, but it should be remembered. "It is well that war is so terrible," Gen. Robert E. Lee once observed, "lest we grow too fond of it."
2010-05-13 23:02 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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