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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Useful idiots

Bob Geldof and Bono have praised the G8 decision of African debt relief and aid. Geldof, creator of the Live 8 concerts, said: "The summit in Gleneagles is a qualified triumph".

Dissenting historian Mark Curtis, writing in today's Guardian, reveals the truth behind this "triumph":

"The new deal was recently morphed by spin doctors into a Marshall aid plan. Brown told a Chatham House audience that this was "a smart business proposition: enlightened self-interest at its best ... for the world economy to prosper and for the companies operating in it to have markets that expand, developing country growth is a necessity". Without this, rich countries were "unlikely to maintain the growth rates we have enjoyed over the past 20 years". Again, poor countries help western companies, at their own expense."

Read the whole thing.

Geldof and Bono have been fooled. But then, are they just ignorant, stupid or gullible?


Anonymous Aaron Lane said...

Instead of complaining of the motivation behind the G8's decision, why not just be glad that it was made? Every time a western political entity makes a decision for which you have been agitating, you quickly move to belittle it by questioning its movitation, integrity, etc. Israel could retreat from the West Bank and Gaza tomorrow and you would offer up some obscure historian to prove that it was some self serving Western conspiracy involving John Howard, global corporations, George Bush, Tony Blair, and anyone Jewish who doesn't hate themselves because of their ethnicity, as you clearly do. How about some optimism for a change.

Saturday, July 09, 2005 7:23:00 pm  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Alternatively, one could note that the world is still a savage place because the mechanisms that lead to the savagery have not fundamentally changed. I know others who would say, much like you but in their own way, that we should be thankful that Western nations haven't been subjected to more terrorist attacks than they have, because the West deserves everything it gets. Of course, we rightly condemn such statements because there is a serious disconnect between it and the facts.

Yes, questions will still remain. What role does an observer take? Is the critical voice always necessary? I think it is, if we are serious about eradicating the problems of the world. Besides, self-congratulation (on this issue, as others) can be left to mainstream voices. I doubt anyone here aims to be the sole voice in the globe. Even if they did, they could not in any event. The fact that forums like this exist reflects the fact that there isn't enough critical discussion of social issues in the mainstream media.

Saturday, July 09, 2005 10:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Fabian said...

I think the fact that they helped bring these issues to mainstream attention and that many people are debating and discussing them that would otherwise note be, is a small triumph in itself.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 11:42:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antony, you run a great site and need to be congratulated. Some pop stars with cool eyewhere may apease, many a concience, but where does it go from there?

Australians get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the nice things they do,and so should they. Sadly, the rest of the story gets lost under tears.

Keep barking on and don't leave home. We need alternative, intelligent voices, who can stand up to nonsense and name calling.

This is not your mum or family, but a reader. Sorry can not afford donation.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 6:24:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks for the kind words, Anon. Abuse seems to be normal via the blogosphere these days, but we soldier on.
As for Bono and Geldof, they've certainly destroyed any credibility they may have once had. Sucking up to power, and getting so little, especially the complete of discussion about Africa being open season for Western multinationals, shows how clueless they really are.

Monday, July 11, 2005 11:29:00 am  

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