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英语演讲29. John F. Kennedy - American University Commencement

2008-10-16    来源:http://www.yeidj.com.cn    【重庆时时彩五星定胆      普特网校:美国外教1对1

文章摘要:英语演讲29. John F. Kennedy ,深耕攀越酥胸,敲掉果木临时文件。

新概念| 重新定义经典英语教材

29. John F. Kennedy - American University Commencement

President Anderson, members of the faculty, board of trustees, distinguished guests, my old
colleague, Senator Bob Byrd, who
has earned his degree through many years of attending
night law school, while I am earning mine in the next
30 minutes, distinguished guests, ladies
and gentlemen:

It is with great pride that I participate in this ceremony of the American
University, sponsored by the Methodist Church, founded by Bishop John Fletcher Hurst, and first opened by
President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. This is a young and growing university, but it has already
fulfilled Bishop Hurst's enlightened hope for the study of history and public affairs in a city
devoted to the making of history and to the conduct of the public's business.

By sponsoring this institution of higher learning for all who wish to learn, whatever their color
or their creed, the Methodists of this area and the nation deserve the nation's thanks, and I
commend all those who are today graduating. Professor Woodrow Wilson once said that
every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time,
and I am confident that the men and women who carry the honor of graduating from this
institution will continue to give from their lives, from their talents, a high measure of public
service and public support.

"There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university," wrote John Masefield in his
tribute to English universities and his words are equally true today. He did not refer to
towers or to campuses. He admired the splendid beauty of a university, because it was, he
said, "a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive
truth may strive to make others see."

I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often
abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth:
peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax
Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or
the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life
on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and
build a better life for their children not merely peace for Americans but peace for all
men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age where great
powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without
resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age where a single nuclear
weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by
all the allied air forces in the Second World War.

It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would
be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to
generations yet unborn.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of
making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace.
But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles which
can only destroy and never create is not the
only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. I speak of peace, therefore, as
the necessary, rational end of rational
men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as
the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no
more urgent task.

Some say that it is useless to speak of peace or
world law or world disarmament, and that it
will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope
they do. I believe we can help them do
it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own
attitudes, as individuals and as a Nation, for our attitude is as essential as theirs.

And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful
citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward, by
examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace, towards the Soviet
Union, towards the course of the cold war and towards freedom and peace here at home.

First examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible.
Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that
war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot

We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade. therefore,
they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human
destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit
have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do
it again. I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and
good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and
dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and
immediate goal.

Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden
revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human
institutions on a series of
concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is
no single, simple key to this peace. no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two
powers. Genuine peace must be the product of
many nations, the sum of many acts. It must
be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each
new generation. For peace is a process a way of solving problems.

With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within
families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each
man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual
tolerance, submitting their
disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between
nations, as between individuals, do not
last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may
seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between
nations and neighbors. So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need
not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and
less remote, we can help all people to see it, to
draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.

And second, let us reexamine our attitude towards the Soviet Union. It
is discouraging to think that
their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write.
It is discouraging to read a recent, authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find,
on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims, such as the allegation
that American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different
types of war, that there is a very real threat of a preventive
war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union, and that
the political aims and I quote "of the American
imperialists are to enslave economically and politically
the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of
aggressive war."

Truly, as it was written long ago: "The wicked flee when
no man pursueth."

Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements, to
realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning, a warning to
the American people not to fall into the same trap as the
Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not
to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing
more than an exchange of threats.

No government or social system is so evil
that its people must be considered as lacking in
virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal
freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements in
science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.

Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger
than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have
never been at war with each other. And no nation
in the history of battle ever suffered more than
the Soviet Union in the Second World War.
At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless
millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation's territory,
including two thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland a loss equivalent
to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.

Today, should total war ever break out again no matter how our
two countries will be the primary target. It
is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in
the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed
in the first 24 hours. And even in the cold war, which brings burdens and dangers to
so many countries, including this Nation's closest allies, our two countries bear the heaviest burdens.
For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to
combat ignorance, poverty, and disease.
We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous
cycle, with suspicion on one side breeding suspicion on the other, and new weapons begetting
counterweapons. In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet
Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race.
Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours. And even
the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations, and only
those treaty obligations, which are in their own interest.

So let us not be blind to our differences, but
let us also direct attention to our common
interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end
now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final
analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe
the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.

Third, let us reexamine our attitude towards the cold war, remembering we're not engaged in
a debate, seeking to pile up debating points. We are not here distributing blame or pointing
the finger of judgment. We must deal with the
world as it is, and not as it might have been had the history of the last
18 years been different. We must, therefore, persevere in the
search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within
the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now
seem beyond us. We must conduct our affairs in such a way
that it becomes in the Communists' interest to agree on a genuine peace. And above all, while
defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring
an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that
kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy or
of a collective deathwish for the world.

To secure these ends, America's weapons are nonprovocative, carefully controlled, designed
to deter, and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and
disciplined in selfrestraint.
Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and
purely rhetorical hostility. For we can seek a relaxation of tensions without relaxing our guard.
And, for our part, we do not need to use threats to prove we are resolute. We do
not need to jam foreign broadcasts out of fear our faith will be eroded. We are unwilling to
impose our system on any unwilling people, but we are willing and able to engage in peaceful
competition with any people on earth.

Meanwhile, we seek to strengthen the United Nations, to help solve its financial problems, to
make it a more effective instrument for peace, to develop it into a genuine world security
system a system capable of resolving disputes on the basis of law, of insuring the security
of the large and the small, and of creating conditions under which arms can finally be
abolished. At the same time we seek to
keep peace inside the nonCommunist world, where
many nations, all of them our friends, are divided over issues which weaken Western unity,
which invite Communist intervention, or which threaten to erupt into war. Our efforts in West
New Guinea, in the Congo, in the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, have been
persistent and patient despite criticism from both sides. We have also
tried to set an example for others, by seeking to adjust small but significant differences with our own closest
neighbors in Mexico and Canada.

Speaking of other nations, I wish to make one point clear.
We are bound to many nations by
alliances. Those alliances exist because our concern and theirs substantially overlap. Our
commitment to defend Western Europe and West Berlin, for example,
stands undiminished because of the identity of our vital interests. The United States will make no deal with
the Soviet
Union at the expense of other nations and other peoples, not merely because they are
our partners, but also because their interests and ours converge. Our interests converge,
however, not only in defending the frontiers of freedom, but in pursuing the paths of peace.

It is our hope, and the purpose of allied policy, to convince the Soviet Union that she,
too, should let each nation choose its own future, so long as that choice does not
interfere with the choices of others. The Communist drive to
impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension
today. For there can be no doubt that if all nations could refrain from interfering in the selfdetermination
of others, the peace would be much more assured.

This will require a new effort to achieve world law, a new context for world discussions. It will
require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves. And increased
understanding will require increased contact and communication.

One step in this direction is the proposed arrangement for a direct line between Moscow and
Washington, to avoid on each side the dangerous delays, misunderstandings, and misreadings
of others' actions which might occur at a time of crisis.

We have also been talking in Geneva about our firststep measures of arm[s] controls
designed to limit the intensity of the arms race and reduce the risk of accidental war. Our
primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament,
designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political
developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place
of arms. The pursuit of disarmament has been an effort of this Government since the 1920's. It
has been urgently sought by the past
three administrations. And however dim the prospects are today, we intend to continue this
effort to continue it in order that all countries, including our own, can better grasp what the
problems and possibilities of disarmament are.

The only major area of these negotiations where the end is in sight, yet where a fresh start is
badly needed, is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests. The conclusion of such a treaty, so
near and yet so far, would check the spiraling arms race in one of its most dangerous areas. It
would place the nuclear powers in a position
to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man
faces in 1963, the further spread of nuclear arms. It would increase our
security. it would decrease the prospects of war. Surely this goal is sufficiently important
to require our steady pursuit, yielding neither to the temptation to give up the whole effort
nor the temptation to give up our insistence on vital and responsible safeguards.

I'm taking this opportunity, therefore, to announce two
important decisions in this regard.
First, Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that highlevel
discussions will shortly begin in Moscow
looking towards early agreement on a comprehensive test ban
treaty. Our hope must be tempered Our hopes must be tempered with the caution
of history. but with our hopes go the hopes of all mankind. Second, to
make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on this matter, I
now declare that the United States does not propose to
conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We
will not We will not be the first
to resume. Such a declaration is no substitute for a formal
binding treaty, but I hope it will help us achieve one. Nor would such a treaty be a substitute
for disarmament, but I hope it will help us achieve it.

Finally, my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude towards peace and freedom here at
home. The quality and spirit of our own society
must justify and support our efforts abroad.
We must show it in the dedication of our own lives as
many of you who are graduating today will
have an opportunity to do, by serving without pay in the Peace Corps abroad or in
the proposed National Service Corps here at
home. But wherever we are, we must all, in our
daily lives, live up to the ageold faith that peace and freedom walk together. In
too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete. It
is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government
local, State, and National to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all
means within our authority. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all
levels, wherever the authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate.
And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to
respect the rights of others and respect the law of the land.

All this All this is not
unrelated to world peace. "When a man's way[s] please the Lord," the
Scriptures tell us, "he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with
him." And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights: the right
to live out our lives without fear of devastation. the right
to breathe air as nature provided it. the right of future generations to a healthy existence?

While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human
interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both. No treaty, however
much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide
absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion. But it can, if it is sufficiently
effective in its enforcement, and it is sufficiently in the interests of its signers, offer far more
security and far fewer risks than an unabated, uncontrolled, unpredictable arms race.

The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do
not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough more
than enough of war and hate and oppression.

We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do
our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not
helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we must
labor onnot towards a strategy of annihilation but towards a strategy of peace.

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