RUSH: Bob Geldof, the former ringleader of the Boomtown Rats and the organizer of the first Live Aid, is doing another one you may have heard, and, you know, some people are starting to raise some questions about this — and they’re valid questions. We’re researching, by the way, I’ve been working on this ever since Bush and Blair announced another $658 million to Africa yesterday. I want to find out just in the last 20 or 30 years, how much money we’ve actually sent to Africa through various arms, just our foreign aid budget. How much that we send to the UN goes to Africa, all these different things, because I want to prove the point that just throwing money over there is not the answer. Is never is. Look at our own situation with poverty, and theirs is 30,000 times worse, but look at our own. We’ve never been able to eradicate poverty. We’ve transferred in this country since the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson over $5 trillion or maybe more than that now to wipe out poverty. It didn’t. Welfare reform did. You try to attach some incentive. But over there you don’t have freedom. You don’t even know the money is getting to the people it’s intended for. It’s not enough to say that you have corrupt governments over there. You’ve got communist governments over there. You’ve got militant Islamic governments. You’ve got governments like Mugabe. You’ve got governments that existed like Mohamed Farrah Aidid Skyhook, that warlord in Somalia. Ethiopia was a government-sponsored famine, and Geldof didn’t realize it till he actually went over there and followed some of the trucks around himself, and he found out it was the government that was denying all of this relief aid to the people.
It’s typical of communist or tyrannical despot totalitarian governments. They end up killing their own people. But, see, here’s what we have learned so far, and this is another thing. It is so complex to try to figure out how much money the United States has given to Africa in any given period of time. We have somebody on the inside at the government level that’s working on this for us, and the range on humanitarian and related aid this year, three to 19 billion. Now, I know it’s a huge range. But somewhere this year alone, between three and 19 billion has been sent from this country, in one way or another, to Africa. It’s so complex getting a handle on it is going to take some days. I find it interesting that it’s going to take days to get it because not even government knows without looking it up how much we are spending in Africa. So Geldof is talking about his new Live Eight or whatever it is he’s calling it, and he’s very, very sensitive now to this charge, “Hey, wait a minute. You’re throwing good money after bad here because these are nothing but a bunch of corrupt governments.” Geldof says, “‘People are going to continue to die if world leaders use the excuse of corruption in Africa to stop them from helping the world’s poor.’ The Live Eight organizer demanded that leaders should get off the corruption thing and fulfill long held promises to help the world’s poor. In response to George Bush’s comments that political corruption in Africa has to be addressed before we start looking at aid to Africa he said, ‘Africans are simply too poor to stay alive anything that hits them that does not affect us they die of.'”
Well look it, Mr. Geldof. I’m very sensitive to your argument. We’re trying to do just that in Iraq, and people on your side of the aisle are talking about what a waste it is — anywhere we go where we try to get rid of a corrupt government, try to get rid of oppression and tyranny. The left used to be all for this. Any time we try to do this the left in this country just ramps up and opposes it and tries to say that we’re the ones who are corrupt. So there’s no winning here. Geldof said, “There are, of course, extremely corrupt governments in Africa, but there are very corrupt people in our part of the world. The difference is that we are rich.” Okay. Can I ask…? I’m going to ask the question. I ask this question all the time. It’s a think piece. You live in the United States of America. You are an American. Why is it that your country, with barely 230 years of existence, knows prosperity like no other country on earth ever has — countries that have been around, civilizations that have been around far longer than we have? I mean, they can’t hold a candle to us, and I don’t care what area you care to measure. It doesn’t matter. There’s not a country in the world or a civilization in the world that has produced the prosperity and the standard of living. (interruption) What are you laughing at, Mr. Snerdley? Okay, what’s the liberal answer to the question? (interruption) Well, okay, fine. The liberals are going to say, “Because the Americans came and destroyed everything,” right? Right. Well, let me tell you something. You think they had toilets in Europe before we came along? They didn’t. They still don’t have toilets in Europe that make any sense even after we’re here.
You ever been to Europe and used some of their toilets, even some of the “finest” hotels? It’s amazing. That’s just one example. You want to drive around some of those little lawn mowers with two seats on them they call automobiles over there? You want to go to a hospital over there? It boggles the mind. It literally boggles the mind. You take a look at the agriculture over there. You want to try to feed the world with European agricultural? The Soviets wouldn’t have been able to stay alive if we hadn’t subsidized wheat sales to them all during the cold war, for crying. All they can do is put prisons on their property and put people in them. I’m serious about this. If that liberals want to come around and say we’ve exploited all the riches around the world let them. They couldn’t be more wrong as they are wrong about virtually everything they believe in. We spread our wealth. We do everything we can to uplift people and it just burns me a new one to listen to people like Geldof and whoever else say we’re not doing enough! Nobody else is doing anything, and the governments of those people that are not being fed always get somehow left out of the equation. They never are held to account. Only the United States is. It’s a typical liberal class envy argument, and I’ve lost my patience for it. It’s just flat out crazy and it’s wrong. Now, you ask yourself, there’s an answer to my question. Why is it we are human beings just like they are human beings in Africa. We are human beings like there are human beings in China, in North Korea, wherever else. Why is it that we have led the world in inventions, why is it that we lead the world in technology, why do we lead the world in standard of living? There is a simple answer to it. It’s called freedom! Human experience here is allowed to maximize, or permitted, whatever. Our freedom allows human beings in this country to be the best they can be, to pursue excellence however they care to or decide it.
People around the world just don’t have the freedom that we do, and certainly they don’t have it in Africa and I would think after all these years we have seen… I mean, these appeals to help Africa are legendary, and they’ve been Andrea forever, and we respond to every one of them. One of the most recent was Somalia. And you know why we went into Somalia is because the New York Times kept publishing pictures of little starving black kids with flies buzzing all around them, and after awhile the American people said, “We got to do something. We can’t stand this. I can’t believe there are people living like this.” Bammo! So we go over there and with the intention of feeding those people, and what happened? The warlord that ran Mogadishu and Somalia took every bit of food that we sent over there and confiscated it in order to keep his people under control. He had no interest in feeding his people. That led us into a military confrontation, and you all know what happened, Blackhawk Down. Because we didn’t have the guts to let the military have what they say they needed to defeat the guy once it came to that.
The idea that we’re not trying to help is crazy. The idea that a bunch of rock stars could have a concert in Philadelphia and make a difference, they could make a difference in their own minds and everybody else would think they’re big hearted and compassionate and they may well be, but we’ve got to be realistic here about what is going to solve the problem. Right now people are talking about solving it, but what they really mean is, “I want credit for caring, and I can tell you how to do it, and I can tell you how to do it, and I can tell you how to spend your money, and I can tell you how to spend yours.” Well, yeah, everybody can do that, but until there’s some systematic, genuine reform in the way those people live over there, it’s going to be the same result. I don’t know why this is so hard to understand. There are hundreds of years of history that demonstrate it. So, anyway. “Yeah, their are corrupt governments here in our part of the world but we are richer than they are.” Well, why are we richer? Our governments are rich because of what? Our people! This government is said to be rich. Yeah, well, it may be, but it isn’t rich until it starts taxing people, and it can’t tax what’s not earned, and it can’t tax what’s not produced. So, yeah, if we’re rich it’s because people here have the freedom to be rich and prosper and produce, which is something that doesn’t exist in these totalitarian regimes. And I resent this business of us being compared to those African governments like Mugabe and elsewhere in Zimbabwe because, “Well, everybody is corrupt, some are just richer than others.” This is such ignorance. It’s a classic illustration of liberal ignorance on parade. Don’t examine my results, don’t examine the result, I only want to be judged on my intentions. Yeah, well, if we gave out stars for intentions you liberals may deserve a couple gold ones here and there, but when it comes to results, you get big Fs — sorry, we can’t give Fs anymore. What is it? — threes.
RUSH: I have a story from the UK Times by Richard Beeston. The headline: Why the West’s Billions May End Up in the Wrong Hands — “The G8 summit could help to make poverty history for a number of African countries, but corruption remains a major worry. Some of Africa?s most corrupt and brutal regimes will benefit to the tune of billions of pounds from the agreement reached by Tony Blair and President Bush to write off the debts of the continent?s poorest nations. Even as the Prime Minister returned triumphant from Washington with a deal that could salvage his hopes of making Africa the centerpiece of this year?s G8 Summit in Gleneagles, the continent?s woeful record on human rights, corruption and good government was already casting a shadow over his plans. Ethiopian police shot and killed 22 demonstrators in central Addis Ababa yesterday for protesting against fraud in recent elections. Hospitals in the capital said that a further 100 were injured… The violence was blamed on the Government of Meles Zenawi, a member of Mr Blair?s Commission for Africa, the body entrusted with promoting the continent?s recovery. There were also renewed fears that Ethiopia and Eritrea may be about to embark on a new round in their bloody battle for control of disputed areas along their border.”
This whole story describes the same situation in African country after African country after African country. Mozambique, Ghana, Guinea, Chad — and you don’t even have to talk about Zimbabwe where we’re going to forgive this debt where the value of that is billions, and you wait. You just see how much relieving the debt in these countries is going to benefit the people who live there. I’m going to tell you right now, flat out zero, diddly-squat, because you’re still going to be left with the same governments. But at the end of the day Tony Blair and everybody is going to be able to say, “Look at how we cared, look at our generosity, look at what we did.”