我看了以后，就用Google（百度查不出来，你懂得！）查了一下这位专栏作家托马斯弗里德曼(Thomas L. Friedman)在美国《纽约时报》的文章。发现那是该专栏著者在《纽约时报》题为“A Biblical Seven Years”的文章。发表在2008年8月26日，是他在北京奥运期间的文章。
托马斯弗里德曼“A Biblical Seven Years”
《A BiblicalSeven Years》
After attending the spectacularclosing ceremony at the Beijing Olympics and feeling the vibrations fromhundreds of Chinese drummers pulsating in my own chest, I was tempted toconclude two things: “Holy mackerel, the energy coming out of this country isunrivaled.” And, two: “We are so cooked. Start teaching your kids Mandarin.”
However, I’ve learned over theyears not to over-interpret any two-week event. Olympics don’t change history.They are mere snapshots — a country posing in its Sunday bests for all theworld too see. But, as snapshots go, the one China presented through theOlympics was enormously powerful — and it’s one that Americans need to reflectupon this election season.
China did not build themagnificent $43 billion infrastructure for these games, or put on theunparalleled opening and closing ceremonies, simply by the dumb luck ofdiscovering oil. No, it was the culmination of seven years of nationalinvestment, planning, concentrated state power, national mobilization and hardwork.
Seven years ... Seven years ...Oh, that’s right. China was awarded these Olympic Games on July 13, 2001 — justtwo months before 9/11.
As I sat in my seat at the Bird’sNest, watching thousands of Chinese dancers, drummers, singers and acrobats onstilts perform their magic at the closing ceremony, I couldn’t help but reflecton how China and America have spent the last seven years: China has beenpreparing for the Olympics; we’ve been preparing for Al Qaeda. They’ve beenbuilding better stadiums, subways, airports, roads and parks. And we’ve beenbuilding better metal detectors, armored Humvees and pilotless drones.
The difference is starting toshow. Just compare arriving at La Guardia’s dumpy terminal in New York City anddriving through the crumbling infrastructure into Manhattan with arriving atShanghai’s sleek airport and taking the 220-mile-per-hour magnetic levitationtrain, which uses electromagnetic propulsion instead of steel wheels andtracks, to get to town in a blink.
Then ask yourself: Who is livingin the third world country?
Yes, if you drive an hour out ofBeijing, you meet the vast dirt-poor third world of China. But here’s what’snew: The rich parts of China, the modern parts of Beijing or Shanghai orDalian, are now more state of the art than rich America. The buildings arearchitecturally more interesting, the wireless networks more sophisticated, theroads and trains more efficient and nicer. And, I repeat, they did not get allthis by discovering oil. They got it by digging inside themselves.
I realize the differences: We wereattacked on 9/11; they were not. We have real enemies; theirs are small andmostly domestic. We had to respond to 9/11 at least by eliminating the Al Qaedabase in Afghanistan and investing in tighter homeland security. They couldavoid foreign entanglements. Trying to build democracy in Iraq, though, which Isupported, was a war of choice and is unlikely to ever produce anything equalto its huge price tag.
But the first rule of holes isthat when you’re in one, stop digging. When you see how much moderninfrastructure has been built in China since 2001, under the banner of theOlympics, and you see how much infrastructure has been postponed in Americasince 2001, under the banner of the war on terrorism, it’s clear that the nextseven years need to be devoted to nation-building in America.
We need to finish our business inIraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible, which is why it is a travesty thatthe Iraqi Parliament has gone on vacation while 130,000 U.S. troops arestanding guard. We can no longer afford to postpone our nation-building whileIraqis squabble over whether to do theirs.
A lot of people are now advisingBarack Obama to get dirty with John McCain. Sure, fight fire with fire. That’snecessary, but it is not sufficient.
Obama got this far because manyvoters projected onto him that he could be the leader of an American renewal.They know we need nation-building at home now — not in Iraq, not inAfghanistan, not in Georgia, but in America. Obama cannot lose that theme.
He cannot let Republicans makethis election about who is tough enough to stand up to Russia or bin Laden. Ithas to be about who is strong enough, focused enough, creative enough andunifying enough to get Americans to rebuild America. The next president canhave all the foreign affairs experience in the world, but it will be useless,utterly useless, if we, as a country, are weak.
Obama is more right than he knowswhen he proclaims that this is “our” moment, this is “our” time. But it is ourtime to get back to work on the only home we have, our time for nation-buildingin America. I never want to tell my girls — and I’m sure Obama feels the sameabout his — that they have to go to China to see the future.