View Full Version : U2's Bono Says Debt-Relief Campaign's Victories Not Enough

Chris Gaines
04-29-2001, 08:41 AM
Bono Says Debt-Relief Campaign's Victories Not Enough
U2 frontman pressing on with fight to have world's richest countries forgive debt owed by poorest nations.

U2's Bono is pressing on with his two-year-long battle for Third World debt relief, and he hopes to convince the White House and the American people to join the crusade, he said Friday.

During a press conference sponsored by the anti-poverty organization Results, Bono said he hopes to appear with former South African president Nelson Mandela on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to discuss the cause, which he described as essential to easing the devastating impact of AIDS on Africa's poorest nations.

The campaign to convince the world's richest countries to forgive all of the debt owed them by some of the world's poorest countries originally known as Jubilee 2000 has so far succeeded in convincing the U.S. and other nations to forgive some debt from 22 out of 41 targeted countries.

U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus, a Republican from Alabama who supports debt relief, credited Bono's extensive lobbying for much of the movement's success.

"Bono really breathed life into this whole movement. I can literally say, and I'm convinced, that had he not been involved there would be millions of children that would be dead in those countries today," Bachus said at the press conference. "As a result of debt relief there are millions of children that are attending schools today, there are millions of children that receive vaccinations."

But Bono said he feels his efforts which have included a meeting with the Pope, lobbying sessions with members of Congress and a speech to United Nations representatives have so far been a failure.

"There is a scandal in that one of the widest movements for any issue like this since the anti-Apartheid movement feels let down they feel after all their campaigning they haven't achieved the results they're looking for," he said.

Bono, who has met with members of President George W. Bush's administration, said he has "an informed feeling" that Bush might make significant progress toward 100 percent debt relief. In a presidential debate last year, Bush said he supported debt forgiveness.

Meanwhile, Bono said, he and Live Aid founder Bob Geldof who also participated in the conference will ponder how to best reach out to the American people. "We're going to get to the heartland in some way on this," Bono said.

The rocker spoke Friday from California during a day off from his band's Elevation 2001 Tour, which hits Phoenix on Saturday.

Brian Hiatt

04-29-2001, 01:34 PM
Poor Bono has lost it:rolleyes:
He is incredibly naive:rolleyes:

It is crazy just to let go what they owe us. They will NEVER stop fighting anyway and they will build up another dept and expect us to give in again:mad:

Let them pay what they owe us and PROVE that they can do better with stopping ALL violence FIRST before we give any dept relief:)


04-30-2001, 02:53 AM
Pilgrim--I used to think the same thing until I heard the explanation of why Jubilee 2000 wanted the debts forgiven.

Over the years, the US and other superpower countries repeatedly loaned money to governments--mostly in Third World countries--and the money was spent on building up the military, or as would be found out later, to line the pockets of the government officials.

As time has gone on and some of the dictatorships have been overthrown, these government officials have essentially fled their countries with the National Treasury, which leaves the countries they used to lead even more poor than before. Then the governments would have to go in and loan them even more money to help them restore their solvency as a nation. These countries are oftentimes attempting a more democratic form of government, but when you're poor and your economy is in a state of collapse and there are problems even making sure most of your people have some food to eat, it tends to be a breeding ground for revolutionaries who then overthrow the democratic-like goverments and set up new dictatorships. And then the problems start over again.

Part of the idea of Jubilee 2000 was to have the superpowers forgive their loans so these nations could take the money they were paying back and use it to rebuild their economies and make sure there's food. Therefore, you help promote the idea of free governments and free people. This may be part of the reason President Bush is interested in supporting the debt forgiveness.

I think I've explained it as best I can. If someone else can explain it better, please do so. :)


04-30-2001, 07:19 PM
We can cut it 25% then ant not a single cent more:D

There is NO WAY we should be so ridiculous to give in on everything.

We give millions of tax money to India to help the poor, and we have info that show that the leaders in the country split up the money between them, so they never reach the poor people. Yet out chicken government is so stupid that they keep sending money down there to "help" because they are afraid to lose "face" among the other countries leaders in the world.:rolleyes::mad:


05-12-2001, 01:23 AM
I haven't followed Bono's campaign in detail but if he's so determined to get to the 'heartland', the only place something of this nature could ever be pulled off, then I'm going with him in this adventure. A little forgiveness does go a long way. Good thing, because I'm sure this trip is riding on it.
Amazing the kind of leaders God is raising up to get the job done where the government has failed. I will keep believing with him, while he's out there fighting for you and me, and doing the dirty work.