Tags: US | conflict | aid | Bono | refugee | migrant

Bono: Send Chris Rock, Amy Schumer to Fight ISIS

Bono: Send Chris Rock, Amy Schumer to Fight ISIS

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 10:49 AM

The United States should not see the aid money it spends abroad as charity but as a vital national security tool, Irish rock star Bono told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday, while also offered a novel idea for battling the rise of the Islamic State group with humor.

"Don't laugh," aid Bono, U2 frontman and founder of the anti-poverty campaign One, suggesting that the U.S. should "send in" comedians Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, and Sacha Baron Cohen to counteract the violent message of ISIS.

"If you laugh at them when they're goose-stepping down the street, then it takes away their power," he said.

Addressing a Senate subcommittee that oversees funding for campaigns against violent extremism, Bono said he had recently met with refugees in Africa and the Middle East.

"The fact is that aid can no longer be seen as charity, as a nice thing to do when we can afford it." Bono a said.

"If there's one thing I would like you to take away from this testimony, it is that aid in 2016 is not charity. It is national security," he told lawmakers.

"And when it's structured properly with a hard focus on fighting corruption and improving governance to qualify for that aid, it could be the best bulwark we have against violent extremism gaining traction."

Bono — who visited Kenya, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt as part of a congressional delegation led by Senator Lindsey Graham — warned that refugee crises like the one triggered by fighting in Syria typically last for 25 years.

And he said that without a coordinated global response, the Middle East, Africa, and now increasingly Europe would face the type of chaos that allows extremist groups to find willing recruits among desperate young people.

"Of the top 10 countries that are hosting refugees today, five of them are African. In Europe, the problem has moved from practical to existential," he said.

"Let me soberly suggest to you that the integration of Europe, the very idea of European unity, is at risk here," he said, echoing the private view of many U.S. foreign policy officials.

"Europe is America's most important ally since the Second World War. Are we not your most important ally in the fight against violent extremism?

"This should really matter to you. I know it does. Put simply, as we Europeans have learned, if the Middle East catches fire, the flames jump any border controls. And if Africa fails, Europe cannot succeed."

The United States is leading a coalition of western and Arab allies to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

And, with Russia, Washington has spearheaded an international diplomatic effort to end the broader civil war in Syria through a negotiated political settlement.

But President Barack Obama's administration has faced criticism for its late and slow response to the Syria refugee crisis.

 

 

© AFP 2021


   
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The United States should not see the aid money it spends abroad as charity but as a vital national security tool, Irish rock star Bono told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday, while also offered a novel idea for battling the rise of the Islamic State group with humor.
US, conflict, aid, Bono, refugee, migrant
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2016-49-13
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 10:49 AM
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