Le bouleversant témoignage de Jeff McMullen, célèbre reporter de guerre


Around the world millions of people are right now imagining the possibility of peace.  In an Age of Violence in which humans are at war with one-another and even the earth itself the dangers of relentless conflict clearly threaten all life. Our role as humans, in fact this is the very meaning of what it is to be human, is to be responsible custodians of the earth until that day billions of years into the future when the earth is engulfed by the Sun.

This notion of peace, of Custodianship shared by the human family, is an age old Aboriginal concept that has been handed to us by the Children of the Sunrise. We are on Aboriginal land here, the land of the Eora nation, and the Ancestors would smile to see us standing here in the rain and opening our minds to peace and balance in the world. Aboriginal people understand that life is out of kilter.

In over fifty years of world wandering I have seen war in thirty countries. We have just passed through the most violent century in all of human history with over 180 million people killed in conflict, most of them civilians. War is a terror that you can never imagine, pain and grief that I have never seen fully captured on film or even in words. It was for me watching a mother hold her dead child, a father trembling over the bodies of his sons, stakes driven into the bodies of young girls, soldiers shaking like a leaf, in shock over the carnage, other men, trained men, reduced to the most barbaric savagery. War is so overwhelming because it is so totally irrational.

At such an hour as this I can only say calmly once more, echoing the belief of all civilised men and women, that war represents a terrible human failure to solve our disputes like intelligent sentient custodians. For too long most us in the developed world have lived in a Matrix, a matrix of self-interest, isolated from the reality that much of the world is in a very dangerous state. We are unable or unwilling to empathise with people who are different, who live in a vastly different state of modernity where life is extremely violent and survival is sometimes a daily issue. We feel powerless to change the fact that in the undeveloped world there is so much despair and rising anger towards those who have power and prosperity.

To prepare for the dangers ahead we desperately need to understand the Big Picture. We need an overview to understand the pattern, the inter-connecting factors that are making life so dangerous. We must stop seeing war as the solution and understand that it really is a huge part of the problem.

In the fog of war it is harder than ever to separate truth from dangerous propaganda. That great American playwright, Arthur Miller once told an audience in Washington’s Kennedy Centre that the true measure of modern political power was a leader’s willingness to kill and his willingness to lie to his own people in the national interest. The ancient art of political lying, the practiced dissemination of Big Lies, has great relevance to us at this hour. We should examine the words of our leaders carefully and remind them that in a democracy we demand to be told the truth, not dismissed with stonewalling that wars have to be fought for decades at such tremendous cost without any real progress to alleviate the underlying causes of conflict.

The greatest threat to our children’s future, in my view, will be the environmental ruin that already is fuelling much of the conflict in these zones of distress. This is the Big Picture. With over six billion people in the world today, one quarter of us live in dismal poverty. There is a growing water crisis and already over half a billion are subject to chronic water shortages. By 2030 it is expected that the world population will have grown to at least eight billion, maybe more and we may then exceed the available supply of fresh water. Desalination can see us through in the developed world but there is likely to be a dangerous desperation among those who don’t have these resources. Conflict over the most basic life sustaining resources threatens to dominate our children’s lifetime.

Drive south from the Horn of Africa down through the Sahara and you follow great rolling waves of desertification. In the Sahal this may be partly cyclical due to natural changes in the weather. But the impact of man and deforestation is dramatic. In Senegal I saw whole villages buried by the sand dunes, sometimes three levels of houses and even mosques down beneath my feet. In the Eritrean war against Ethiopia, a grinding battle in the trenches as both sides clawed their way across rocky ground, I was introduced to the connection between war, famine and environmental ruin. I was driving back from the front lines, then near Nacfa, when I stopped our four-wheel drive to give some food to a terrified huddle of refugee women and children, sheltering under the roots of a tree. This strikingly beautiful woman waved me away and I brought back our driver to translate for me. The woman lifted a veil by her side and there was the tiny day old baby that had died because she did not have the milk in her breast to feed her child.  That woman’s face was the saddest I have seen. It too is one of my enduring members of war.

Since the end of World War Two humans have devoured more raw materials than all our ancestors combined. Many species, apart from humans, are being liquidated at an astonishing pace. By the end of our century one third of all living species may be gone. Watch the birds now on the wing because of 10,000 species, 7000 are in drastic decline. Take a long walk through the bush and drink deep on its beauty because up to 50,000 of the world’s 250,000 kinds of plants are expected to disappear over the next few decades. After seeing so much of the world I agree with Richard Leakey, Tim Flannery and others that the evidence is overwhelming – the Earth is going through the Sixth Period of Mass Extinction. We human beings are driving this destruction.

Now I understand that perhaps for the first time in the history of life on earth, a single species, has threatened the very balance of the interconnected systems on which all life depends. We are at war with one another and with the Earth itself. As bad as it is now, it can get much worse. Our generation must act with a more comprehensive strategy to halt this violence and destruction or future generations may not exist. We simply cannot fully comprehend the full consequences of failure.

There are many things we can do to move the world to peace.

1.   A Religious Summit. As religion continues to be the most

profound cultural difference dividing humanity and is so
frequently exploited as the rhetoric for conflict, the world’s
religious leaders should meet urgently this year, agree to drop
their dogma of exclusivity, and stress all the other values shared
by all peaceful philosophies. As simple as this sounds the real
religious supremos have not yet done it. This could help ease
the clash of Islam with Christianity.

2     A Political  Summit. Although there are one billion Muslims in the world today they have no regular voice in the United Nations Security Council. If Islam has been incapable of engaging the West, we must engage Islam.  India too, with almost one billion Hindus, must now have an important place at the political table. So far we have not managed to create a viable forum for fair discussion.

3     A Population Plan. The world’s richest nations have reneged on most of their promises at the UN Conference on Population in 1994. For about one cent a day or the cost of a couple of beers a year those of us in the developed world could fund the birth control plan we promised the undeveloped nations. Without it, we are in far worse trouble.

4     Environmental Action. We must urgently address the water crisis around the world before the last good opportunity dries up. Global warming moves us deeper into a chaotic future unless we act as a human family. We have to recognise that what we do now affects everyone and everything else.

5     A Real Health Plan.   If the developed world were to invest seriously in the health of struggling nations to combat preventable diseases like malaria and cholera, there would be a great reduction in infant mortality and dangerous levels of poverty. Are we going to watch passively as HIV/AIDS engulfs more than forty million people because the developed world again treats this illness as someone else’s problem? Africa alone by the end of this decade will have 40 million orphans. What hope do we have of averting more conflict, more boy soldiers,  unless we behave responsibly towards these children? Medicine should be subsidised for the poorest nations, because as another visionary Stephen Hawking has warned, viruses threaten the survival of humanity. Each global plague is humanity’s problem.

6     A Refuge for Refugees.  More than 23 million refugees adrift around the world may soon be joined by more fleeing the next war zone and these people must be absorbed in a human and tolerant way, with the burden fairly shared by all wealthy nations. The poorer countries now are supporting most of the refugees.  We are all boat people in Australia. There will be many more on the way.  It is impossible to turn this tide. If we act with hardened hearts and blinkered eyes we will not increase our chances of survival but guarantee an unstable and dangerous world for lifetimes to come.

7     No More Fear. It is time to stop being afraid of people we do not understand and to really believe that there is more to unite us than divide us. More then ever before we need men like Nelson Mandela,and Anwar Sadat who found their greatness in history by turning away from war and we need women like Mary Robinson who courageously argue that development can pave the way for  peace. We need more Gandhis, more Thoreaus, more Martin Luther Kings. We  must all work for this and recognise that even out of sheer self-interest, the survival of our species, it is time to consider others as well as ourselves. Isn’t this the essence of being human?

Jeff McMullen Sydney October 3rd 2009.

5 Responses to Le bouleversant témoignage de Jeff McMullen, célèbre reporter de guerre

  1. isabelle 3 octobre 2009 at 23 h 32 min #

    Paimarire (Good Peace)!
    On behalf of the Waitaha Matriarchs, ‘Kia pai to haere’ (Go well on your journey)!
    From your first imprints, Powhiri (Welcome)by Nga Rima O Kaipara, at Kawai Purapura, where it was our honour, to be involved in your first Hongi (Intermingle of Sacred Breath&Spirit)!
    Wherein, we renewed old memories, that stirred within our souls,, the whisperings of ‘kindred spirits’,,,and refreshing of the ’strong bonds we have as the ‘One Soul Tribe’,,,with the same mission,, :”Like it was in the Beginning…One Love…One Heart!!!
    Blessings our dear Whanau (Family), of the ‘Core Team’!
    True to Waitaha tradition, we wished you no goodbyes; as you left early hours this morning,,,,however, we do know that when you finish this journey…” things will never be the same,,,becos, already on 2 October,,we together, gave the “Jump Start” from Aotearoa (nz) which has sent “Ripples Worldwide”. starting small and increasing; as the Spirit of Love continues to stir within us all; ancient memories, that our true nature is; one of Peace and Love! Thankyou my dear brothers and sisters of the ‘Core Team’, for being that Light and reminder,,to those of our Beautiful Worldwide Whanau; who may have forgotten! Aroha&Nga Manaaki (Love&Blessings)Kereru! Kereru Pounamu


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    […] Le bouleversant témoignage de Jeff McMullen, célèbre reporter de guerre 3 octobre 2009 | Auteur: isabelle Isabelle, l’irréductible positive nous fait partager «Le bouleversant témoignage de Jeff McMullen, célèbre reporter de guerre» sur son blog. Et de ce témoignage, j’apporte mon humble contribution en essayant de traduire ce que Jeff nous propose concernant les choses à faire pour la paix dans le monde. C’est pour cette traduction que je me fais une ode à moi-même, «tellement qu’elle est belle, tellement qu’elle est vraie», vous ne trouvez pas ? Et en même temps je fais une ode à Isabelle que j’ai suivie tout au long de la Marche Mondiale pour la Paix qui s’est arrêtée en janvier dernier. Voici donc l’extrait que j’ai traduit du billet d’Isabelle à propos de Jeff McMullen Il est clair que l’espèce humaine menace l’équilibre des systèmes connectés de la vie sur terre. Nous sommes en guerre entre nous et avec la Terre elle-même. Si nous ne faisons rien, cette situation va empirer. Notre génération doit agir en mettant en œuvre une stratégie complète (comprendre ce qui se passe et agir ensuite) pour interrompre cette violence et cette destruction. L’avenir des générations futures en dépend. Nous ne pouvons tout simplement pas rester les bras ballants. Il y a tellement de choses que nous pouvons faire pour la paix dans le monde Un Sommet Religieux La religion continue à être la différence culturelle la plus profonde divisant l’humanité et est si fréquemment exploitée par la rhétorique pour le conflit. Les leaders religieux du monde devraient instamment cette année, consentir à laisser tomber leur dogme d’exclusivité et souligner toutes les valeurs autres partagées par toute la philosophie paisible. Aussi simple que cela semble être, les grands chefs religieux ne l’ont pas encore fait. Cela pourrait pourtant aider à atténuer le heurt de l’Islam avec le Christianisme. Un Sommet Politique Bien qu’il y ait un milliard de Musulmans dans le monde aujourd’hui, ils n’ont aucune voix régulière dans le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies. Si l’Islam a été incapable d’engager l’Ouest, nous devons engager l’Islam. L’Inde aussi, avec presque un milliard d’Hindous, doit maintenant avoir une place importante à la table politique. Jusqu’ici nous n’avons pas réussi à créer un forum viable pour la discussion juste. Un Plan de Population Les nations les plus riches du monde ont manqué à leur parole sur la plupart de leurs promesses à la Conférence de L’ONU de la Population en 1994. Pour environ un cent par jour ou le coût de deux ou trois bières par an, ceux d’entre nous dans le monde développé pourraient financer le plan de contrôle des naissances dans les pays pauvres. Nous devrions nous en inquiéter sérieusement.[i] Action Environnementale Nous devons instamment nous pencher sur la pénurie d’eau dans le monde entier avant que la seule ressource précieuse ne soit tarie. Le réchauffement climatique nous mène inexorablement vers un avenir chaotique à moins que nous n’agissions comme une seule famille d’êtres humains. Nous devons reconnaître que ce nous faisons affecte chacun d’entre nous et tout le reste. Un Plan de Santé Réel Si le monde développé devait investir sérieusement en santé dans les pays qui combattent des maladies évitables comme la malaria et le choléra, il y aurait une grande réduction de la mortalité infantile et des niveaux dangereux de pauvreté. Allons-nous observer passivement le fait que le VIH/SIDA engloutit plus de quarante millions de personnes parce que le monde développé traite de nouveau cette maladie comme le problème de quelqu’un d’autre? L’Afrique seule, vers la fin de cette décennie, aura 40 millions d’orphelins. Quel espoir avons-nous de prévenir les conflits, de prévenir le nombre croissant de garçons «soldats si nous nous penchons sérieusement sur ce problème ? Les médicaments devraient être subventionnés pour les nations les plus pauvres, parce que comme un autre visionnaire Stephen Hawking a averti, les virus menacent la survie de l’humanité [ii]. Chaque peste mondiale est le problème de l’humanité. Un Refuge pour Réfugiés Plus de 23 millions de réfugiés peuvent dans le monde entier bientôt être rejoints par d’autres qui ont fui leur pays en guerre et ces peuples doivent être accueillis d’une façon humaine et tolérante, et non comme un fardeau par toutes les nations riches. Les pays plus pauvres supportent maintenant la plupart des réfugiés. Nous sommes tous sur le même bateau comme en Australie [iii]. Il y en aura beaucoup plus en route. Il est impossible d’éviter cette marée. Si nous agissons avec le cœur endurci et les yeux bandés, nous n’augmenterons pas nos chances de survie. Nous garantirons plutôt l’évolution vers un monde instable et dangereux pour les années à venir. Non à la Peur Il est temps d’arrêter d’avoir peur des peuples que nous ne comprenons pas. Il est temps de vraiment croire qu’il y a plus pour nous unir que nous diviser. Plus que jamais, nous avons besoin d’hommes comme Nelson Mandela et Anwar Sadat qui onttrouvé leur grandeur dans l’histoire en se détournant de la guerre et comme nous avons besoin de femmes comme Mary Robinson [iv] qui courageusement soutiennent que le développement peut amener à la paix. Nous avons besoin de plus de Gandhis, plus de Thoreaus, plus de Martin Luther King. Nous devons tous travailler pour cela et reconnaître qu’au delà de l’intérêt personnel pur, pour la survie de notre espèce, il est temps de considérer les autres aussi bien que nous-mêmes. N’est-ce pas là l’essence même de l’être humain ? […]

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