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Old 02-07-2005, 03:52 PM   #1
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does U2 still have a political stand?

i have always thought U2 standed for certain political values, such as peace, enviromentalism, human rights and freedom (although not in the sense that is being used these days) , and they were very passionate and not afraid to voice their opinions.

SBS, SATS, New years day, please.. they were all politically charged songs. in the 80s they campaigned for africa, amnesty.. they railed against reagan and bush in their concerts, in the 90s they supported greenpeace actively, even went as far as calling chirac a wanker, in PARIS, actualy. towards the end of 90s they were still about peace in n ireland. U2 has always been about politics, in a way.

but lately, ever since bono has got all tangled up with bush, i think U2 has been losing that quality. now bono is playing the politics game and thats a game only politicians win.

sure, africa is a very important issue, but i just cant accept the fact that bono is keeping his mouth shut about certain issues (iraq and the war, obviously).

seriously, in the oscars last year, i expected bono to get up there and blast bush, since it was very obvious that they didnt support the war (just like the rest of the world). nothing happened. except that little couplet in HTBA, of course.

ok, it makes commercial sense that U2 shouldnt badmouth the US administration since US is a vital market for them. but i think at this point in their career, U2 shouldnt be about commercial issues. i think its time bono grew a spine and spoke up! what happened to the anti-war, pacifist U2? is LPOE all thats left of U2's political standing?

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Old 02-07-2005, 04:49 PM   #2
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Bono's being a smart man. He's staying non-partisan, which is key for him if he wants a penny to be spent on Africa by this administration.
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:59 PM   #3
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It has nothing to do with "commerical" sense. It has to do with political sense. Bono has an issue that's very important to him and many others, he's not going to throw it away by bad mouthing a president. Where would that get him.

The band's made their stance clear, if you haven't seen it then you aren't paying attention. But they've grown up and they've realized "bad-mouthing" a president on stage gets them nowhere.
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: does U2 still have a political stand?

Quote:
Originally posted by all_i_want
i have always thought U2 standed for certain political values, such as peace, enviromentalism, human rights and freedom (although not in the sense that is being used these days) , and they were very passionate and not afraid to voice their opinions.

SBS, SATS, New years day, please.. they were all politically charged songs. in the 80s they campaigned for africa, amnesty.. they railed against reagan and bush in their concerts, in the 90s they supported greenpeace actively, even went as far as calling chirac a wanker, in PARIS, actualy. towards the end of 90s they were still about peace in n ireland. U2 has always been about politics, in a way.

but lately, ever since bono has got all tangled up with bush, i think U2 has been losing that quality. now bono is playing the politics game and thats a game only politicians win.

sure, africa is a very important issue, but i just cant accept the fact that bono is keeping his mouth shut about certain issues (iraq and the war, obviously).

seriously, in the oscars last year, i expected bono to get up there and blast bush, since it was very obvious that they didnt support the war (just like the rest of the world). nothing happened. except that little couplet in HTBA, of course.

ok, it makes commercial sense that U2 shouldnt badmouth the US administration since US is a vital market for them. but i think at this point in their career, U2 shouldnt be about commercial issues. i think its time bono grew a spine and spoke up! what happened to the anti-war, pacifist U2? is LPOE all thats left of U2's political standing?

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What a city. What a night. What a mistake. What a wanker you have for president.
In the 2001 year end issue of HOT PRESS, BONO explains that he is NOT a pacifist. He also talked about his support for the Bush administrations war on terror including the invasion of Afghanistan. While its true the band did not support the initial invasion of Iraq, I'm sure they all support the development of democracy in Iraq.

In addition, U2 know that many of their fans support Bush, and many also are serving in the military in Iraq or elsewhere. Bono does agree with Bush on a number of issues and does respect that the great work that the US military is doing around the world. On the Elevation tour, when U2 went on the "Jay Leno" show, the entire audiance were members of the US military and BONO complemented them on the work they were doing.

Prior to the current Bush administration in the 1990s, both BONO and the EDGE were upset in 1993 when the United States proposed military intervention in Bosnia but saw the idea get rejected by most European Governments. This is noted in Bill Flannagans book "Until The End Of The World". The band wanted to see military intervention. Eventually this would happen in 1995 and the USA succeeded in stopping a bloody civil and brought in other NATO countries to help keep the Peace. U2 then came to BOSNIA on the POPMART tour.

The song New Years Day was written in support of the Polish solidarity movement and was ANTI-SOVIET because of the Soviet Unions threats to crush the movement with a military invasion of Poland if necessary. This is one where U2 and Ronald Reagan would be in total agreement about!

Sunday Bloody Sunday was written about the troubles in Northern Ireland but to many people like to take that song and apply it to virtually any conflict they feel is appropriate.


To sum up, the band is not nearly as liberal or politically left as some of their fans may be. The band in fact supports many things that those on the "political right" do. They are not Republicans or conservatives of course, but are closer to the political center than many suspect although they still are on the left side of the fence instead of the right.
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:07 PM   #5
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Mark the record....but i agree with sting.







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Old 02-07-2005, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
Bono's being a smart man. He's staying non-partisan, which is key for him if he wants a penny to be spent on Africa by this administration.
I agree with this. If Bono felt the need to criticize President Bush as much as he did with Reagan, he would only appear credible to half the Americans, if even that. However, since he went in fighting for what he believes is the most important situation to wrestle with right now, in fact a safe issue, more people are listening to him. With the Iraq situation under our feet, dividing us in half, it's nice that Bono is not hot-heading it to death. I'm definately glad to see Bono and Bush working together for Africa, regardless of any differences they might have.
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:34 PM   #7
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first of all, i am not a leftist. i think soviets were a part of the problem, they were never gonna add up to anything good. also, this is not about taking sides, being against reagan doesnt mean you HAVE TO support the soviets, vice versa. saying war is wrong doesnt make you a leftist, just like saying soviets were useless doesnt make you a right winger.

STING, youre right about bosnia. whats different about that intervention was there was a bloodbath going on and if someone hadnt stepped in thousands of people would have been exterminated. i believe that was a right move for US and europe is unforgivable for letting such bloodshed right in the middle of the continent. anyone in their right mind would support that kind of military action. also, NATO was involved and i have always viewed it as a very useful force - unlike the UN peace corps.

also, i am not even arguing about afghanistan - that government was a despicable one and they were constituting an immediate threat to the world. hiding men like bin laden doesnt help either. also, nobody argued against war against terror after 9-11 anyway. why do you think everyone was pissed off because of iraq anyway? those are different issues, afghanistan and iraq.

also, i dont think voicing an opinion on a certain issue makes you partisan. do all republicans support the war? are all democrats against it? but i know it would be seen as a partisan move if bono said that he was against the war. hell, where i am from, i wouldnt even consider myself a real leftist, but US is so far on the right that the rest of the world cant help but look leftist!

it is just so bloody annoying that even the poets dont speak their hearts anymore.
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Old 02-07-2005, 06:10 PM   #8
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What Bono can't do is piss off a conservative president, and a conservative Congress. People who've read my posts here know I'm no conservative. If Bono wants the votes in Congress, not to mention the President's signature on any bill for aid to Africa, he can't exactly say what he damn pleases in public. That's bad politics. His whole campaign would have fallen apart if he'd pulled a Michael Moore at the Oscars. Bono makes his points in a more subtle way; for example, improvising those lyrics in the performance of HTABA. He did go to a demonstration in Dublin protesting the war plans for Iraq, the same day I went to a demonstration here with fever of 102. I didn't vote for Bush, I didn't vote for my Republican Senator who got re-elected, but like it or not they're the people whose support he's got to have if he wants a dime in aid for Africa. And dammit, I want that aid for Africa, so he'd better not piss these guys off, or it will piss me off too, even though I don't like them either.
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:01 PM   #9
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I think Bono's become wiser, and he knows that while rants may make an impact and swearing his mouth off attract attention and makes him feel good, they don't necessarily gain results. Some people, of course, aren't going to appreciate that and are going to say he has gone soft, but he's fighting the toughest battles and a few angry rants will only disadvantage himself, and more importantly, those he's trying to help.

And if Crumbs From Your Table isn't one of U2's most cutting and harsh political songs, I don't know what is.
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:26 PM   #10
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I dunno. I think that when you get older, you lose your "brashness." Bono's more calculated politics has its place. Let the younger generations be brash instead.

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Old 02-07-2005, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
Bono's being a smart man. He's staying non-partisan, which is key for him if he wants a penny to be spent on Africa by this administration.

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Old 02-07-2005, 07:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Bono's being a smart man. He's staying non-partisan, which is key for him if he wants a penny
sounds like you got a sneak-peak at W's budget proposal
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Old 02-07-2005, 08:01 PM   #13
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No, deep, BONO must have gotten a sneak-peak at Bush's budget proposals for 2006 and look what he and DATA said:


02.07.05

Bono's Reaction to Pres. Bush 2006 Budget Request


REACTION FROM BONO, U2 LEAD SINGER AND FOUNDER OF DATA:

"Good intention at the highest levels of the Bush Administration was not enough to deliver on the Millennium Challenge promise to the world’s poorest people in this year’s budget request. To make 2005 the year of a global breakthrough in the fight against poverty, we need the tens of millions of Americans who care -- who go to every church and rock concert -- to raise the volume before President Bush leaves for the G8's Africa summit in July."

REACTION BY JAMIE DRUMMOND, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DATA:

“Not only has President Bush broken his word on funding for the Millennium Challenge, he has not put in the effort required to turn this excellent idea into a lifesaving reality for the world’s poorest people in the three years since it was announced. The pressure is now on for the President to demonstrate a serious commitment to helping the world’s poorest at the international Africa summit in July.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doesn't sound to me like Bono thinks he has that much in common with Bush!

THE GOAL IS SOUL....
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:56 PM   #14
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The folks who suggest that Bono is both being strategic and practical are correct; that's the only reason he would ever hang with the Clintons, Blairs, and Bushes. But the effort in one post to make him "pro-military" and "pro-war" or "with Bush" is a stretch, quite a stretch.

Although I've been passionate about U2 since 1983, I wouldn't be in this online community if it weren't for the lyrical message of HTDAAB: "Love and Peace" is not an ambiguous song that can be read as in support of the war on terror and "Crumbs" and "Drug" cannot be read as support for the same anti-poor, anti-gay, anti-people agenda the right has pursued for ages.

In response to Jamila's first post, I think Bono is back and Bush and Blair better watch their backs. As a rock star, he is still a walking contradiction; but if you read the transcripts of his recent lectures and rants, he knows more about politics from hanging with the politicians and is more on message than not.

He's strategic but not soulless or stupid; he believes in a world where the streets have no name, where the colors bleed into one, where the blood of the poets cries from the ground (One Tree Hill is about a singer murdered by a right-wing regime not unlike the ones Bush wants to keep in power in Latin and South America).

Now, as a Tennesseean, I'd rather be dead than hob-nobbing with Bill Frist, but Bono's vision of the world is far more radical than Rebulikan *or* Democrat. Bono a Centrist?

If you have doubts, read between the lines of his address to British Labour. He says if they don't take action against poverty now, he knows where they park their cars. It's an implied threat of mass action that would make the white flag message of the War tour look like a rehearsal for world war, class war. He's saying: solve poverty or die. That's what he says if you read it close. It's like Kennedy said: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.

(And to those of you who noted that Bono's not a pacifist: Sure, that's true, and neither was Malcolm X. What he says is that in some cases the use of force is acceptable, but that should not be taken out of context. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" denounced delusions about the "revolution" but it wasn't exactly calling for complicity and submission to the British empire).

Enough rant for now; see the excerpt from the address below where Bono says it best. --anu bonobo

Let's be clear about what this problem is and what this problem isn't.

Firstly, this is not about charity, it's about justice.

Let me repeat that:

This is not about charity, this is about justice.

And that's too bad.

Because you're good at charity. The British, like the Irish, are good at it. Even the poorest neighbourhoods give more than they can afford.

We like to give, and we give a lot. But justice is a tougher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.

Because there's no way we can look at Africa -- a continent bursting into flames -- and if we're honest conclude that it would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. Anywhere else. Certainly not here. In Europe. Or America. Or Australia, or Canada.

There's just no chance.

You see, deep down, if we really accepted that Africans were equal to us, we would all do more to put the fire out.

We've got watering cans; when what we really need are the fire brigades.

That's the first tough truth.

The second is that to fight AIDS, and its root cause, the extreme poverty in which it thrives, it's not just development policy. It's a security strategy.

The war against terror is bound up in the war against poverty, I didn't say that, Colin Powell said that. And when a military man from the right starts talking like that maybe we should listen!

Because maybe, today, these are one and the same.

People get nervous when I talk like this. I get nervous when I talk like this. But in these distressing and disturbing times, surely it's cheaper, and smarter, to make friends out of potential enemies than it is to defend yourself against them.

Can I just say that again?

Surely it's cheaper, and smarter, to make friends out of potential enemies than it is to defend yourself against them.

Africa is not the frontline on the war against terror. But it could be soon. Justice is the surest way to get to peace.

So how are we doing, on this other war, that will affect so many many more lives than the war I read about every day.

Well, I'm going to tell you what I think, but you're probably better off asking an economist. An NGO. An African farmer.

In fact, anyone but a rock star. I mean, get yourself a source you can trust -- one who, say when he hears the word "drugs," probably thinks "life-saving," rather than "mind-altering."

Let's just say that when the government sends a fact-finding mission somewhere in the world, there's probably a good reason they don't send a delegation of rock stars.

But actually, I can see through these goggles. I know progress when I see it. And I know forward momentum when I feel it. And I do feel it.

There is a lot for Britain to get excited about.

And with that in mind, I want to say a few words about two remarkable men.

Like a lot of great partners, they didn't always get along as the years passed. They didn't always agree. They drifted apart. They did incredible things on their own, as individuals. But they did their best work as a pair. I love them both: John Lennon...and Paul McCartney.

I'm also fond of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. They are kind of the John and Paul of the global development stage, in my opinion. But the point is, Lennon and McCartney changed my interior world -- Blair and Brown can change the Real World.

And that's why I'm here.

You know as transcendent as I'd like to think a U2 show can be, it isn't life or death. This is. And I've met people whose lives will depend on the decisions taken by these two great men. They have great ideas. And the promises they have already made will save hundreds of thousands of lives -- if they follow through, and you don't let them forget who they are.

Don't let them forget who they are, promise me that, conference.

Growing up in Dublin in the Seventies, I didn't think much of politics, and I thought even less of politicians. I had no idea they worked as hard as they do. I had no idea what it takes to make good on your ideals.

Hillary Benn is doing a great job, with big shoes to fill. I'd like to thank Clare Short, for letting me in.

The Chancellor's spending review showed me this is a serious moment in time.

And the IFF, what a brilliant idea.

The Prime Minister's Africa Commission. This can be a radical landmark -- like the Brandt report -- certainly if Bob Geldof has his way, and it's hard not to give him his way. The Irish, don't you love them?

Anyway, what I'm telling you is 2005, when Britain takes the reins of the G-8 and EU, this is it.
And if we don't get there in 2005 -- if we don't get there in 2005 -- I know where these people park their cars.

Listen, this is a real moment coming up, this could be real history, this could be something that your children, your children's children, that our whole generation, will be remembered for at the beginning of the 21st century.

Putting right a relationship that has been so very wrong for so very long.

The North, the South, the have nots, the have yachts.

Britain is in a unique position here. I know you've got a chequered past. I'm Irish, let's not go there. Forget the plundering of Empire, I wont even bring it up...

You have real relationships in these places -- real relationships -- right across the developing world.

You could be the interface -- there's a 21st century thought for you, -- interface -- as opposed to just-in-your-face -- between the worlds of the haves and the-have-nothing-at alls.

But Empire aside, we have to accept that even people with short memories are not sure they like the look of us.

In certain quarters of the world, Brand U.K., Brand EU not to mention Brand USA -- are not their shiniest.

They're in real trouble.

The neon sign is fizzing and crackling a bit, isn't it?

The storefront's a little grubby. Our regional branch managers are getting nervous.

Let's cut the crap.

The problems facing the developing world afford us in the developed world a chance to redescribe ourselves in very dangerous times.

This is not just heart -- it's smart.

Onerous debt burdens, decreasing aid levels, duplicitious trade rules, no wonder people are pissed off with us.

Listen, I know what this looks like, rock star standing up here, shouting imperatives others have to fulfill. But that's what we do, rock stars. Rock stars get to wave flags, shout at the barricades, and escape to the South of France. We're unaccountable. We behave accordingly. But not you. You can't. You can't do that.

See, we're actually counting on you.

Politicians have to make the fight, do the work, and get judged by the results.

The weight of expectation is a heavy burden. Hang it on a rock band and that's usually when they make a crap album.

The weight of history is so heavy. It's a huge responsibility to be the repository of people's dreams, to be their hope for the future.

So Tony...Gordon...I don't envy you.

Because there's a lot of work to do.

There is progress, but it's incremental. History never notices that, and the lives that are depending on it don't deserve the wait.

You know we made a promise to half poverty by the year 2015 -- a big millennium promise -- but we're not even going to make it by 2115.

It's not enough to describe Everest, we've got climb it and we've got to bring everyone else along. George, Jacques, Silvio, Gerhardt, Paul, Junichiro -- they've all got to come up the hill.

Because this is the big year, 2005. All of you have to double aid, double its effectiveness, and double trouble for corrupt leaders.

The G8 -- people look at these meetings and wonder whether they ever achieve anything.

I stood in Cologne, with how many thousands of people. We got that announcement on debt cancellation which now means that three times as many children in Uganda are going to school.

Finish what you started in Cologne. Thank you for last weekend, Gordon.

And trade. Our badge of shame. We in the rich countries shuffle the poorest into a backroom, tie their hands and feet with our conditionalities and then use our subsidies to deliver the final blow.

We have to reform the CAP, and we have to let democratically elected governments -- not the IMF, not the World Bank, not the WTO, not the EU -- decide what policies work best.

We can't fix every problem, but the ones we can we must.

But it's going to cost you. Justice, equality, these ideas aren't cheap.

They're expensive -- I know that.

And while I'm sure you care about education in Africa, I know you also care about schools at home.
You care about AIDS clinics in Africa, but there's a hospital right down the road you're not sure you can get in.

These are hard choices.

And I'm probably the wrong person to ask you to make them.

And I know that on certain issues this room is already divided. I know many people -- and I include myself -- were very unhappy about the war in Iraq. Still are. But ending extreme poverty, disease and despair -- this is one thing everybody can agree on.

These efforts can be a force not only for progress but for unity -- not only in Labour but around the world.

Can you take this from a rockstar, "All You Need is Love" when all you need are groceries.

Now you know why Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are really excited that U2's got a new album coming out -- why?

Because I'll be away on tour next year.

But even from a tour bus I can be a pain in the arse. That's my job. And I've got some very interesting friends, there's as many of them in mothers unions as trade unions.

It's not just purple Mohawks we've got going, it's blue rinses.

It's the Temperance League of Tunbridge Wells.

The Wigan Bowling Society.

The Chipping Camden Ladies Cricket Club.

OK, I made those up. But don't mess with us.

As I say, next year, 2005, Great Britain is on the door at the EU and G-8. So this is the time to unlock something really big. Excuses? Horseshit.

Earlier I described the deaths of 6,500 Africans a day from a preventable treatable disease like AIDS: I watched people queuing up to die, three in a bed in Malawi.

That's Africa's crisis. But the fact that we in Europe or America are not treating it like an emergency -- and the fact that its not every day on the news, well that is our crisis.

And that's not horseshit, that's something much worse, I don't even know what that says about us.
There will be books written.

Think about it. Think about who you are, who you've been, who you want to be.

I don't care if you are Old Labour or New Labour, what is your party about if it's not about this -- if it's not about equality, about justice, the right to make a living, the right to go on living?

Simply agreeing with us is not enough.

If Britain can't turn its values into action against extreme, stupid poverty… if this rich country, with the reins in its hands, can't lead other countries along this path to equality, then the critics tomorrow will be right:

I am Tony Blair's apologist. The rock star pulled out of the hat at the Labour Party Conference.

I've more faith in the room than that. I've more faith in your leaders than that. I don't need to have. I'm an Irish rockstar. It looks much better on me to slag you off.

But let me say this again. For the last time.

We're serious, this is gigantic. This stuff is the real reason to be in politics, to go door to door, to organise and demonstrate and take bold action. It's every bit as noble as your grandparents fighting the Nazis.

This is not about "doing our best." It's win or lose. Life or death. Literally so.
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Old 02-08-2005, 06:31 PM   #15
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The folks who suggest that Bono is both being strategic and practical are correct; that's the only reason he would ever hang with the Clintons, Blairs, and Bushes. But the effort in one post to make him "pro-military" and "pro-war" or "with Bush" is a stretch, quite a stretch.

Although I've been passionate about U2 since 1983, I wouldn't be in this online community if it weren't for the lyrical message of HTDAAB: "Love and Peace" is not an ambiguous song that can be read as in support of the war on terror and "Crumbs" and "Drug" cannot be read as support for the same anti-poor, anti-gay, anti-people agenda the right has pursued for ages.

In response to Jamila's first post, I think Bono is back and Bush and Blair better watch their backs. As a rock star, he is still a walking contradiction; but if you read the transcripts of his recent lectures and rants, he knows more about politics from hanging with the politicians and is more on message than not.

He's strategic but not soulless or stupid; he believes in a world where the streets have no name, where the colors bleed into one, where the blood of the poets cries from the ground (One Tree Hill is about a singer murdered by a right-wing regime not unlike the ones Bush wants to keep in power in Latin and South America).

Now, as a Tennesseean, I'd rather be dead than hob-nobbing with Bill Frist, but Bono's vision of the world is far more radical than Rebulikan *or* Democrat. Bono a Centrist?

If you have doubts, read between the lines of his address to British Labour. He says if they don't take action against poverty now, he knows where they park their cars. It's an implied threat of mass action that would make the white flag message of the War tour look like a rehearsal for world war, class war. He's saying: solve poverty or die. That's what he says if you read it close. It's like Kennedy said: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.

(And to those of you who noted that Bono's not a pacifist: Sure, that's true, and neither was Malcolm X. What he says is that in some cases the use of force is acceptable, but that should not be taken out of context. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" denounced delusions about the "revolution" but it wasn't exactly calling for complicity and submission to the British empire).

Enough rant for now; see the excerpt from the address below where Bono says it best. --anu bonobo

Let's be clear about what this problem is and what this problem isn't.

Firstly, this is not about charity, it's about justice.

Let me repeat that:

This is not about charity, this is about justice.

And that's too bad.

Because you're good at charity. The British, like the Irish, are good at it. Even the poorest neighbourhoods give more than they can afford.

We like to give, and we give a lot. But justice is a tougher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.

Because there's no way we can look at Africa -- a continent bursting into flames -- and if we're honest conclude that it would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. Anywhere else. Certainly not here. In Europe. Or America. Or Australia, or Canada.

There's just no chance.

You see, deep down, if we really accepted that Africans were equal to us, we would all do more to put the fire out.

We've got watering cans; when what we really need are the fire brigades.

That's the first tough truth.

The second is that to fight AIDS, and its root cause, the extreme poverty in which it thrives, it's not just development policy. It's a security strategy.

The war against terror is bound up in the war against poverty, I didn't say that, Colin Powell said that. And when a military man from the right starts talking like that maybe we should listen!

Because maybe, today, these are one and the same.

People get nervous when I talk like this. I get nervous when I talk like this. But in these distressing and disturbing times, surely it's cheaper, and smarter, to make friends out of potential enemies than it is to defend yourself against them.

Can I just say that again?

Surely it's cheaper, and smarter, to make friends out of potential enemies than it is to defend yourself against them.

Africa is not the frontline on the war against terror. But it could be soon. Justice is the surest way to get to peace.

So how are we doing, on this other war, that will affect so many many more lives than the war I read about every day.

Well, I'm going to tell you what I think, but you're probably better off asking an economist. An NGO. An African farmer.

In fact, anyone but a rock star. I mean, get yourself a source you can trust -- one who, say when he hears the word "drugs," probably thinks "life-saving," rather than "mind-altering."

Let's just say that when the government sends a fact-finding mission somewhere in the world, there's probably a good reason they don't send a delegation of rock stars.

But actually, I can see through these goggles. I know progress when I see it. And I know forward momentum when I feel it. And I do feel it.

There is a lot for Britain to get excited about.

And with that in mind, I want to say a few words about two remarkable men.

Like a lot of great partners, they didn't always get along as the years passed. They didn't always agree. They drifted apart. They did incredible things on their own, as individuals. But they did their best work as a pair. I love them both: John Lennon...and Paul McCartney.

I'm also fond of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. They are kind of the John and Paul of the global development stage, in my opinion. But the point is, Lennon and McCartney changed my interior world -- Blair and Brown can change the Real World.

And that's why I'm here.

You know as transcendent as I'd like to think a U2 show can be, it isn't life or death. This is. And I've met people whose lives will depend on the decisions taken by these two great men. They have great ideas. And the promises they have already made will save hundreds of thousands of lives -- if they follow through, and you don't let them forget who they are.

Don't let them forget who they are, promise me that, conference.

Growing up in Dublin in the Seventies, I didn't think much of politics, and I thought even less of politicians. I had no idea they worked as hard as they do. I had no idea what it takes to make good on your ideals.

Hillary Benn is doing a great job, with big shoes to fill. I'd like to thank Clare Short, for letting me in.

The Chancellor's spending review showed me this is a serious moment in time.

And the IFF, what a brilliant idea.

The Prime Minister's Africa Commission. This can be a radical landmark -- like the Brandt report -- certainly if Bob Geldof has his way, and it's hard not to give him his way. The Irish, don't you love them?

Anyway, what I'm telling you is 2005, when Britain takes the reins of the G-8 and EU, this is it.
And if we don't get there in 2005 -- if we don't get there in 2005 -- I know where these people park their cars.

Listen, this is a real moment coming up, this could be real history, this could be something that your children, your children's children, that our whole generation, will be remembered for at the beginning of the 21st century.

Putting right a relationship that has been so very wrong for so very long.

The North, the South, the have nots, the have yachts.

Britain is in a unique position here. I know you've got a chequered past. I'm Irish, let's not go there. Forget the plundering of Empire, I wont even bring it up...

You have real relationships in these places -- real relationships -- right across the developing world.

You could be the interface -- there's a 21st century thought for you, -- interface -- as opposed to just-in-your-face -- between the worlds of the haves and the-have-nothing-at alls.

But Empire aside, we have to accept that even people with short memories are not sure they like the look of us.

In certain quarters of the world, Brand U.K., Brand EU not to mention Brand USA -- are not their shiniest.

They're in real trouble.

The neon sign is fizzing and crackling a bit, isn't it?

The storefront's a little grubby. Our regional branch managers are getting nervous.

Let's cut the crap.

The problems facing the developing world afford us in the developed world a chance to redescribe ourselves in very dangerous times.

This is not just heart -- it's smart.

Onerous debt burdens, decreasing aid levels, duplicitious trade rules, no wonder people are pissed off with us.

Listen, I know what this looks like, rock star standing up here, shouting imperatives others have to fulfill. But that's what we do, rock stars. Rock stars get to wave flags, shout at the barricades, and escape to the South of France. We're unaccountable. We behave accordingly. But not you. You can't. You can't do that.

See, we're actually counting on you.

Politicians have to make the fight, do the work, and get judged by the results.

The weight of expectation is a heavy burden. Hang it on a rock band and that's usually when they make a crap album.

The weight of history is so heavy. It's a huge responsibility to be the repository of people's dreams, to be their hope for the future.

So Tony...Gordon...I don't envy you.

Because there's a lot of work to do.

There is progress, but it's incremental. History never notices that, and the lives that are depending on it don't deserve the wait.

You know we made a promise to half poverty by the year 2015 -- a big millennium promise -- but we're not even going to make it by 2115.

It's not enough to describe Everest, we've got climb it and we've got to bring everyone else along. George, Jacques, Silvio, Gerhardt, Paul, Junichiro -- they've all got to come up the hill.

Because this is the big year, 2005. All of you have to double aid, double its effectiveness, and double trouble for corrupt leaders.

The G8 -- people look at these meetings and wonder whether they ever achieve anything.

I stood in Cologne, with how many thousands of people. We got that announcement on debt cancellation which now means that three times as many children in Uganda are going to school.

Finish what you started in Cologne. Thank you for last weekend, Gordon.

And trade. Our badge of shame. We in the rich countries shuffle the poorest into a backroom, tie their hands and feet with our conditionalities and then use our subsidies to deliver the final blow.

We have to reform the CAP, and we have to let democratically elected governments -- not the IMF, not the World Bank, not the WTO, not the EU -- decide what policies work best.

We can't fix every problem, but the ones we can we must.

But it's going to cost you. Justice, equality, these ideas aren't cheap.

They're expensive -- I know that.

And while I'm sure you care about education in Africa, I know you also care about schools at home.
You care about AIDS clinics in Africa, but there's a hospital right down the road you're not sure you can get in.

These are hard choices.

And I'm probably the wrong person to ask you to make them.

And I know that on certain issues this room is already divided. I know many people -- and I include myself -- were very unhappy about the war in Iraq. Still are. But ending extreme poverty, disease and despair -- this is one thing everybody can agree on.

These efforts can be a force not only for progress but for unity -- not only in Labour but around the world.

Can you take this from a rockstar, "All You Need is Love" when all you need are groceries.

Now you know why Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are really excited that U2's got a new album coming out -- why?

Because I'll be away on tour next year.

But even from a tour bus I can be a pain in the arse. That's my job. And I've got some very interesting friends, there's as many of them in mothers unions as trade unions.

It's not just purple Mohawks we've got going, it's blue rinses.

It's the Temperance League of Tunbridge Wells.

The Wigan Bowling Society.

The Chipping Camden Ladies Cricket Club.

OK, I made those up. But don't mess with us.

As I say, next year, 2005, Great Britain is on the door at the EU and G-8. So this is the time to unlock something really big. Excuses? Horseshit.

Earlier I described the deaths of 6,500 Africans a day from a preventable treatable disease like AIDS: I watched people queuing up to die, three in a bed in Malawi.

That's Africa's crisis. But the fact that we in Europe or America are not treating it like an emergency -- and the fact that its not every day on the news, well that is our crisis.

And that's not horseshit, that's something much worse, I don't even know what that says about us.
There will be books written.

Think about it. Think about who you are, who you've been, who you want to be.

I don't care if you are Old Labour or New Labour, what is your party about if it's not about this -- if it's not about equality, about justice, the right to make a living, the right to go on living?

Simply agreeing with us is not enough.

If Britain can't turn its values into action against extreme, stupid poverty… if this rich country, with the reins in its hands, can't lead other countries along this path to equality, then the critics tomorrow will be right:

I am Tony Blair's apologist. The rock star pulled out of the hat at the Labour Party Conference.

I've more faith in the room than that. I've more faith in your leaders than that. I don't need to have. I'm an Irish rockstar. It looks much better on me to slag you off.

But let me say this again. For the last time.

We're serious, this is gigantic. This stuff is the real reason to be in politics, to go door to door, to organise and demonstrate and take bold action. It's every bit as noble as your grandparents fighting the Nazis.

This is not about "doing our best." It's win or lose. Life or death. Literally so.
Its not a stretch to say that BONO has supported things the Bush administration has done in the war on terror, because he has done so in fact. His support for the US military in both Bosnia and Afghanistan is not a stretch its a fact. Some of his biggest fans are in the US military right now. Several of them are my friends Some have served multiple tours in Iraq and have been working hard to improve the lives of the Iraqi people. Despite Bono's reservations about the initial invasion of Iraq, I'm sure he supports the brave men and women who are involved currently in make Iraq a better place. They have been going throughout Iraq building infrustructure where there had been none before, providing food and medical relief, running water to parts of Iraq that Saddam had denied such things to. They are turning Iraq into a democracy and ending the poverty that many Iraqi's had come to live with under Saddam.

There will be many US Marines in the crowd at the San Diego shows from Camp Pendleton( several of my friends lucked out with GA), and I'm sure BONO is happy they are there and is certainly not against their heroic efforts to combat terrorism and poverty in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Republicans and people who are on the right side of the fence are NOT anti-gay, anti-poor, anti-people! Bono would be the first person to tell you so.




"One Tree Hill is about a singer murdered by a right-wing regime not unlike the ones Bush wants to keep in power in Latin and South America)."


One Tree Hill is about Greg Carroll, an assistant and good friend of Bono and Ali who was killed in a motorcycle accident in Dublin.


Its important not to make broad sweeping generalizations about the band. Most of their political views on various issues are actually unknown. Many would like to pretend the band is in line with them poltically, but in reality this probably not the case, left or right.

I also think its wrong to make generalizations about Republicans or people on the right. Most of the people who voted for Bush in the election are concerned about the poor, and are not anti-gay!
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