Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Good lord, the heat Bill took for a spot of oral sex, and yet nobody seems that put out that Bono and Bush have had a full love-in in the Oval Office.

Bono told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview before they dined that he had no fear of meeting Bush or any other world leader.

"They should be afraid, because they will be held accountable for what happened on their watch," Bono told the magazine for an article on newsstands Friday. "I'm representing the poorest and the most vulnerable people. On a spiritual level, I have that with me. I'm throwing a punch, and the fist belongs to people who can't be in the room, whose rage, whose anger, whose hurt I represent.

"The moral force is way beyond mine, it's an argument that has much more weight than I have. So I'm not feeling nervous."

Also, of course, he's on first name terms with so many of the world's rich, he's no more likely to get nervous than, say, Robbie Williams does when he talks to the mirror.

We do love this idea that Bono thinks Bush is going to be shaking with fear at the prospect of Bono coming in with the power to hold people to account. Shaking with mirth, perhaps, at the idea that he's going to be worried by the guy who's played his dupe more than once (calling the G8 settlement a success, when everyone who actually works for the world's most vulnerable railed at an opportunity pissed away, and repeatedly praising Bush's AIDS initiative, despite the slowness of delivery costing lives, the decision to place it under a drug manfacturer rather than a health professional costing lives, and the insistence on tying assistance to acceptance of narrow, impractical morality costing lives).

In fact, Bono is up to his Bush-rubbing again in the Rolling Stone piece:

In the Rolling Stone interview, Bono heaped praise on Bush for providing $15 billion to help fight AIDS in Africa, money that is helping pay for anti-retroviral drugs. He said he was disappointed that Bush and Congress had cut the Millennium Challenge program that gives foreign aid to countries that pursue political, economic and human rights reforms, but he'll keep pushing them to fund the full amount that the president promised.

Bono said he is "capable of having a row" if he doesn't get what he wants. He said he once criticized Bush for not getting the Millennium Challenge money out quick enough and was rebuked for it.

Ooh, he once muttered something uncomplimentary about Bush. He really is a modern day Che Guevera, isn't he?

"One senator threw a newspaper at me in a meeting. 'How dare you disrespect the president of the United States!'" Bono told the magazine.

See? Who says that Bono doesn't have a clue about social struggle? Let me tell you, a well-aimed copy of the Wall Street Journal can really smart if it hits you square on the forehead. He's on the baricades.

Bono said he doesn't support any president from the left or the right, but he has a hard time criticizing Bush after he has sent the money to Africa. He said he's made it clear that he doesn't support the war in Iraq, but he doesn't campaign against it because his main priority is helping the poor and disadvantaged.

And how better to help the poor and disadvantaged than by pouring billions of dollars into dropping depleted uranium on their houses? Unless the poor and disadvantaged of Iraq don't count, of course. And let's not even start to think how many wells could have been dug, how much river blindness cured, how many hungry bellies filled with just one day's spending on the war in Iraq.

"I work for them," Bono said. "If me not shooting my mouth off about the war in Iraq is the price I pay, then I'm prepared to pay it."

But, he added, "I'm a big-mouthed Irish rock star. Of course it frustrates me."

We're sure as Iraqis settle down to another night's sleep with one eye open, they'll spare a little thought for poor Bono, who has to struggle so much to meekly accept their fate so as not to restrict his access to Bush. Because if he doesn't keep himself on message, why, he might not be able to do his job. And remember - every good meal he takes in the White House, every round of golf at Gleneagles, he's doing that for the starving.

[Thanks to Jim McCabe for another excellent spot of article spotting]


Miss Templeton said...

If your posting is registered in my time zone, we must have been hard at work on our respective posts of this story at roughly the same time!

I like the direction you took it in, but I also hope you will do something with the other Bono news nugget of the day concerning his fetish for sunglasses.

you know me said...

Bono"s one man. He's not responsible for the worlds problems. Instead of breaking him down for what he hasn't done, Let's be thankful for any support we get from anyone anywhere that is trying to make a change for the better. Point your fingers at the rock stars, movie stars, and the richest of the world, who won't acknowledge any problem. Or even worse, acknowledge a problem but don't do anything about it. Bono is not nor will ever be a state representative in this country, so don't blame him fot the gripes you have on capitol hill.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Sorry, You Know Me, but you're wrong on this by about the width of Bono's ego.

He elbowed his way to the front of the Make Poverty History movement, and took the hopes of that organisation and the millions who signed up for Live8's pledge behind the wire to his friends at Gleneagles. They gave a few crumbs, and at that point Bono had a choice. He could have done as he promised, and made a fuss. But instead, he came out and tried to sell their deal to us as a fair and square result. He could have been on our side; instead he chose to be on theirs.

With AIDS, when it became clear that Bush wasn't interested in helping, but instead was using his money to try and impose chastity, to try and socially engineer abortion away as an option and a right for the poorest in the world, and to put a drug company rep at the centre of US AIDS-HIV policy, Bono could have made a fuss. Instead, he continues to push the line that Bush has done great things for the millions dying of AIDS, and who will continue to die of AIDS. He could have been on our side, instead, he sides with his rich, powerful friends.

Bono does have the position and profile to make a difference. Instead, he uses it to justify the inaction and empty gestures of the rich and powerful he enjoys meeting for lunch and drinks and golf. Why should we thank him for acting as a neocon's PR guy?

NancyD said...

I, for one, am grateful for Bono's efforts. I don't think he is choosing sides as you point out.

You get more bees with honey than vinegar. It would seem to me that if you wanted the President and other world leaders to keep meeting with you, you would have to 'play nice.' You, yourself, point out Bono's lack of real power in an earlier post. Wouldn't the more practical approach be to praise what the effort that world leader's are making (however small it may be)and then keep pressing for more? Isn't that what he is doing?

I think Bono's comments about "causing a row" are good press. The press eat it up, it gets published and it points out what people should be doing, promised to do, and now aren't.

I agree with "you know me." If more people in high profile jobs like Bono's gave a damn and were trying (like he is) to make a difference, wouldn't the world be a better place?

Why fry him for that?

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