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June 20, 2005
Geldof Defends Bush On Africa

Sir Bob Geldof took the unusual position in the entertainment industry of defending George Bush on African aid, according to the London Telegraph. Geldof, speaking to Time Magazine, asserted that the empirical evidence shows that Bush has done more for Africa than any other American president:

The Live 8 organiser said he had recently defended Mr Bush on the issue in France.

"They refuse to accept, because of their political ideology, that he has actually done more than any American president for Africa," Geldof told Time magazine. "But it's empirically so."

Geldof made headlines this weekend when he told Live-8 stars appearing at the concert series that he didn't want partisan rhetoric on stage, especially regarding George Bush and the United States. That's a smart move from a smart man who understands the need to work with people like Bush and Tony Blair, rather than rail against them in public.

In the conversation we had during our blogger telecon on Live-8, Geldof stressed the need for nonpartisanship for any hope of success in getting the G-8 to agree to their platform. During that call, he also emphasized the opportunity he sees with Bush at the reins, as he gave Bush credit for actually accomplishing something in Africa. Both Geldof and screenwriter Richard Curtis said during that telecon that the increased aid Bush released to Africa saved 200,000 lives. While Curtis said that more should have been done, both said that no one could diminish the positive impact Bush has had -- and that previous administrations had done "f*ck-all" after talking a good game for years.

Will the Left listen to Geldof, or will they remain in their BusHitlerHalliburtonRove-a-GoGo conspiracy theory mindset and shrug their shoulders at Bush's efforts? While I think that Geldof (and Bono, who sounded a more critical note but acknowledged Bush's efforts) has enormous credibility, the anti-Bush antipathy has curdled into a belief system so irrational that even Geldof won't make a dent in it.

And that has enormous implications for the success of Live-8; if Bush and the GOP see that no amount of effort in this direction will generate any support while it whittles away at the GOP base, eventually the GOP will press Bush to walk away. That's why Geldof wants to engage the Left to look "empirically" at the Bush administration -- to encourage the establishment that efforts to improve Africa's lot hold out some long-range political return for them. It's an uphill battle, and Geldof knows it.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 20, 2005 12:16 PM

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