Towards the end of the Dark Years, the Black Decade...
In Bosnia, we could testify about the way a Nobel campaign would work, and change mentalities on the ground. People, at every level, simple soldiers, field commanders, politicians, media editors, through the thick fog and din of war, were impressed by these voices which managed to reach them, and relate to the repressed parts of their former selves. The names mattered a lot to them. It came as a mental shock, switching from the madness of routine horror back to sanity and common sense - a sense of hope again. Something to remind them of the future, of the aftermath.
In Algeria, one of the most striking messages we received from the Nobel community came from the American writer Saul Bellow. He ended his pledge of support with this memorable line : "It is sure to intimidate those nasty bastards."
Nasty bastards refering to the terrorists, the Islamist fundamentalists who had devastated the country for years.
Saul Bellow made us all think. His logic was quite rational actually. It goes like this :
You should not presume that fanatics are made of one block, one essence. You should not form a monolithic vision of them. As if they could only be defeated by superior firepower. They have their own fault-lines. Hidden inside. Before pledging themselves to jihad and terror, they also were, for a number of them, students, teachers, mechanics, carpenters, what have you. Part of them still needs to relate to the world they left, that we represent.
If and when this world stands up, and speaks out, against their deeds, it does send them a shock-wave. Particularly on the moral ground, since they claim to rule morality. When people who are notorious worldwide are brave enough to speak their truth, it does destabilize them inside. Not only them, but more specifically, the people around them, the fringe they need to survive, for logistics, communications, outside support, et cet.
Terrorism cannot survive without this fringe, composed of people who still work and live in the world that jihadis have vowed to destroy.
This fringe, buffer-zone, is where the ideology of terror can and will be defeated.
NOBEL CALL FOR ALGERIA
We are human beings.
Horrified by the slaughters in the name of fundamentalism, we express our ultimate and universal reprobation concerning all acts of bloody savagery committed by the armed groups which terrorize Algeria. No political or religious speech, whatsoever, can ever legitimate the massacre of innocents, the murder of a child, the rape of a woman.
Mere scientists, researchers, and leaders devoted to the good of mankind, without any exclusion in terms of belonging and creeds, we want the whole people of Algeria to know about our deep emotion, and utter solidarity, facing the trials they live through. Aware of their daily courage, witnesses to the struggle of a people standing, surviving, and resisting noiselessly, we humbly affirm our heartfelt presence by their side.
Tell us what we can do for you, and how we can do it.
We are the members of the same human species. Let the will to live prevail, free and fearless !
Supported by :
9 Peace Nobels : Norman Borlaug (USA, 1970), le Dalai Lama (Tibet, 1989), Pdt Gorbachev (Russia, 1990), Mairead Maguire (Ireland, 1976), Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentina, 1980), José Ramos-Horta (East-Timor, 1996), Desmond Tutu (South Africa, 1984), Elie Wiesel (USA, 1986), Betty Williams (Ireland, 1976)
3 Literature Nobels : Saul Bellow (USA, 1976), Claude Simon (France, 1985), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria, 1986)
24 Chemistry Nobels : Paul Boyer (USA, 1997), Herbert Brown (USA, 1979), Elias Corey (USA, 1990), Sir John W. Cornforth (UK, 1975), Paul Crutzen (Netherlands, 1995), Robert Curl (USA, 1996), Manfred Eigen (Germany, 1967), Richard Ernst (Switzerland, 1991), Ernst Otto Fischer (Germany, 1973), Herbert Hauptman (USA, 1985), Dudley Herschbach (USA, 1986), Roald Hoffmann (Poland, 1981), Robert Huber (Germany, 1988), Jerome Karle (USA, 1985), Sir Aaron Klug (Lithuania, 1982), Sir Harold Kroto (UK, 1996), Jean-Marie Lehn (France, 1987), William Lipscomb (USA, 1976), Rudolph Marcus (Canada, 1992), Max Perutz (Austria, 1962), John Polanyi (Canada, 1986), Ilya Prigogine (Russia, 1977), Jens Skou (Denmark, 1997), Henry Taube (Canada, 1983)
19 Medicine Nobels : Julius Axelrod (USA, 1970), Baruj Benacerraf (Venezuela, 1980), Stanley Cohen (USA, 1986), Jean Dausset (France, 1980), Christian de Duve (Belgium, 1974), Renato Dulbecco (Italy, 1975), Edmond Fischer (USA, 1992), Roger Guillemin (France, 1977), François Jacob (France, 1965), Arthur Kornberg (USA, 1959), Edwin Krebs (USA, 1992), Ed Lewis (USA, 1995), Cesar Milstein (Argentina, 1984), Daniel Nathans (USA, 1978), George Palade (Romania, 1974), Richard Roberts (UK, 1993), Philip Sharp (USA, 1993), Maurice Wilkins (UK, 1962), Rolf Zinkernagel (Switzerland, 1996)
10 Physics Nobels : Georg Bednorz (Germany, 1987), Nicolaas Bloembergen (Netherlands, 1981), Arthur Schawlow (USA, 1981), Steven Chu (USA, 1997), Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (France, 1997), Jerome Friedman (USA, 1990), Klaus von Klitzing (Germany, 1985), Arno Penzias (Germany, 1978), Heinrich Rohrer (Switzerland, 1986), Simon van der Meer (Netherlands, 1984)
3 Economics Nobels : Gérard Debreu (France, 1983), Franco Modigliani (Italy, 1985), Herbert Simon (USA, 1978)
Le Matin (April 13, 1998, cover page) : "58 Prix Nobel se prononcent contre l'intégrisme"
El Khabar (April 14, 1998): "Messagers de paix et Nobel"
El Watan (April 14, 1998) "58 Prix Nobel dénoncent le terrorisme en Algérie"
La Tribune (April 14, 1998) "des Nobel condamnent les carnages commis en Algérie"
El Moudjahid (April 15, 1998, cover page) "le combat de l'Algérie est exemplaire"
Liberté (April 15, 1998) "le geste des Messageries de la Paix"
Le Soir d'Algérie (April 15, 1998) "mettre fin à la désinformation"
Horizons (April 15, 1998) "58 Prix Nobel condamnent les actes de sauvagerie commis en Algérie"
El Moudjahid (April 16, 1998) "l'objectif est de lutter contre la désinformation sur l'Algérie"
Le Matin (April 16, 1998) "d'autres Nobel vont signer"
La Nouvelle République (April 16, 1998) "on se démarque de la désinformation"
(to be continued)
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