Wednesday, February 19, 2003

St. Paul (Hewson, that is)

Say what you will about celebrities getting involved with politics, and world issues. Bono has devoted most of his career to human rights and social justice.

Bono and the band have often used their fame to draw attention to humanitarian causes around the world. In the band's early days, Bono spoke during concerts against the violence in Northern Ireland. He visited Ethiopia during the famine crisis in the 1980s. U2 drew attention to the atrocities in the Balkans by broadcasting interviews from Sarajevo during the ZooTV concert tour. More recently, Bono has been active in the Jubilee 2000 movement, which hopes to erase the debt of third-world countries.

U2 fans have known this for years. In fact there’s almost a sense that being a real U2 fan goes hand-and-hand with being a compassionate world citizen. How many celebrities have really put themselves—not to mention their money—out there for something as immense as Third World Debt or the AIDS epidemic? When Bono does a reality TV show it’s not “Cribs”. It’s visiting Africa.

Appears that he’s not the favorite.

Lundestad said fears of war in Iraq had apparently not distracted from peace efforts elsewhere in the world. "The range of nominees is very wide," he said.

Stein Toennesson, the director of the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, said chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed El Baradei, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will be favourites if they help avert war in Iraq.

"If they succeed in getting Iraq to disarm sufficiently to prevent the United States and Britain from going to war, then they deserve it," he told Reuters.

Not bloody likely.

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