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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Bono on O'Reilly

I caught this interview last night while flipping through channels after C-Span started showing Republicans dancing again. Bono impressed me a whole lot and he made some very very strong points. One section:

BONO: Get the message because these are great advertisements for America products. For your technology, your ingenuity. Imagine China, when Europe was going through the Bubonic Plague and lost -- 1/3 of Europe died in the Middle Ages to the Black Death. Imagine, say, China had a treatment for the Black Death and hadn't because it was difficult or expensive. What would we think of China now? O'REILLY: You want American drug companies then to send to Africa all the drugs they can possibly... BONO: I'm not asking drug companies to behave like philanthropists. I'm saying we, our governments, United States and Europe, have to deal with this problem. If we don't, we will reap a very ill wind. This is -- it's not just being bleeding hearts here. The strategic implications. There's 10 million AIDS orphans in Africa right now. There will be 20 by the end of the decade. 12 right now. This is chaos. This is a consummating (ph) havoc, and the war against terror, which you talk about every night, is bound up in the war against poverty. I didn't say that. Colin Powell said that. O'REILLY: I agree. BONO: And we have to join the dots here. O'REILLY: Let me ask you this. We liberated Iraq from a terrible dictator, Saddam Hussein. And the polls show that most Iraqis don't appreciate America's sacrifice in doing that. Do you think Africans would appreciate if Americans actually, you know, said, OK, we're going to suffer financially, we're going to do what you want. Do you think we'd be appreciated even if we did it? BONO: I think it would turn around the way the United States is seen in the world right now. I think that's one thing as well as it just being this great -- this awful thing. This is a chance for the United States to redescribe itself to the rest of the world, show its greatness, and respond to what is the greatest health emergency in 600 years. I absolutely believe that. And the people who are watching this show, people all over America, they are more interested in this than the politicians in D.C. realize. I know this from...
One of the lessons I learned from 9/11 is that in a globalized world, chaos and misery can, and probably will, spill over from brutalized regions to the richest nations of the world. In this section here I think Bono is missing out on a few things though:
BONO: And my father grew up, and his generation grew up, and they thought they were American, they loved it so much. And I would just ask Americans to think back when was the brand brightest.? And I'll tell you when it was. As I said earlier, the Marshall Plan, it cost 1 percent of the GDP. Right now the United States is at 0.15 percent, and in the list of the richest countries and what they give to the poorest as a percentage, they are No. 22 in the list… O’REILLY: OK. Well, we’ve… BONO: Including private philanthropy, it makes it like No. 15. This is a great country, generous, generous, generous people. I think if they think the money is not going to be wasted, if it’s not going down a rathole, they're with us.
I am sure that Bono is technically correct here. There are though a few ways that we 'give' to the world that arn't on this list. The U.S. Navy is the primary force that keeps the oceans of the world safe for trade. This is an expensive, and seldom lauded task that is paid for by the American people and benefits the entire world. South Korea is defended by U.S. service men and women, and the American tax payer. Yes, this is in our interest, but it is also a philanthopic gift. Just this summer, 7 carrier battle groups performed an exercise aimed at convincing China that we could, and would, respond if Tiawan was threatened. Western Europe is free, and able to ignore their militaries because of the United States. Put dollar amounts on all those services and see where we rank amoung the most generous nations.


Blogger Cubicle said...

while aids is a terible disease...it is contracted by a choice, barring poor medical care (70 percent of aids cases come from sexual transmission).

The one flaw in bono's agrument is that with the plauge it was contagious but Aids is not contagious in the same way the plauge is.

America can help 30 percent of the problem, but even then we cannot change people's behavior.

So if they want to stop having unprotected sex, stay with one partner, and pratice responsible behavior when they do get aids (and before thet get aids) sure we can give them drugs to make them live longer and prevent the transmission else where.

9/02/2004 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that AIDS in Africa is somehow easy to control because people just choose to not have sex shows a fundamental misunderstanding about what's really happening in Africa.


9/02/2004 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Well said Jake.

Remember that Aids started in Africa and spread widely before it was even diagnosed. Many people in Africa, with less access to education, still do not understand the methods in which Aids is transmitted.

Yes, we need to educate the people. But we need to provide help now. And we would be wise not to judge.

9/02/2004 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cubicle said...

Aids is spread by sex, the plauge is spread by other means (either air, touch, rat poop).

And that we do not have a cure for aids, only drugs that reduce the chances aids being spread (though they greatly reduce the chances).

The arugment(s) mentioned in the above article is wrong, simple as that.

Now that i have said that i feel much better.

"To say that AIDS in Africa is somehow easy to control because people just choose to not have sex shows a fundamental misunderstanding about what's really happening in Africa."

No i did not say that at all, i said we could solve 70 percent of the problem. Aids in america is no different than Aids in Africa. If i understand how a disease works in one place i will understand how it works in all places. Is it speard through the air, water, or food? No is is transferred through blood and sex.

"But we need to provide help now. "

What help, the drugs i suppose would be what you are talking about. But the people who know they have aids are not the ones who are spreading the disease (unless they are being very irrsponible). It is the unknowns who are spreading the disease, and they need education as you said. And that education would be telling them not to have sex, use a condom when they do, and don't partner jump.

Maybe we do need to judge, in order to solve the problem.

9/03/2004 07:38:00 AM  

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