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Hannity

Bob Geldof on Anti-U.S. Sentiments

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 8, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: The Live 8 concert this past summer, one concert in nine cities on four different continents, tried to persuade the U.S. and other G-8 nations to make the poverty of African nations a top priority.

One million Americans attended the concert in Philadelphia and before the G-8 summit President Bush promised to double U.S. aid to Africa.

But what is the perception of the United States in the nations the Live 8 concert was trying to help? Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe made headlines today by responding to criticism of his regime from U.S. ambassador Christopher Dell by saying, "Mr. Dell, go to hell."

Joining us now is the organizer of the Live 8 concert, Bob Geldof.

The four DVD box set of the entire Live 8 concert event was released today. Royalties from the sale of the DVD will go to relieve — relieve hunger and poverty in Africa.

Bob, thank you for being with us. Congratulations on the great work you do.

BOB GELDOF, LIVE 8 ORGANIZER: Thanks, Alan.

COLMES: What about this controversy about Mugabe and the ambassador and telling the United States to go to hell? Doesn't that stop some people from wanting to participate, saying, "Why should we help a country that says these things about and to the United States?"

GELDOF: The ambassador is completely right. Mugabe is a tyrant. He's a thug and he's destabilizing his region. But you've got to park Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe is to Africa what North Korea is to Asia. It's a rogue state. He's brought unbearable suffering to his people.

And America should not help Zimbabwe. Let me be categoric. And neither should anyone else. And part of what the G-8 was saying and the philosophical and political background to Live 8 was the commission for Africa, which I asked Prime Minister Blair to put in place and which I sat on for a year. And 50 of the 90 proposals with endorsed by the G-8.

But the first one, Chapter one, paragraph one, sentence one, was on governance and corruption.

COLMES: Let me — you say don't help a certain country, even if the leader is corrupt. I know you want to help people who are suffering from hunger and from AIDS. But aren't we only punishing people living in these regimes if we don't get them some relief, even though their leaders may be corrupt?

GELDOF: Yes, but you can — that's the symptoms of poverty, which is what Live Aid was. What Live 8 tried to do is deal with the structure of poverty. We certainly must go on helping people who are suffering from hunger and dying of AIDS. We don't die of drought in Kansas. They die of drought in Africa. Why, because they're poor.

So, yes, we do that. I'm not even sure — I'm dubious about aid into Zimbabwe. The more — the most we can do to bring down Mugabe is to have the people just almost naturally rise up against him.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Bob, I'm glad to hear you say that. By the way, Sean Hannity here.

GELDOF: Hey, Sean.

HANNITY: I'm glad what you just said about that.

You know something? I see that your intentions and even some of the artists whose politics I don't like, I see the intentions are good. I don't have any problem with you doing it.

My only point is I would do it through the public — not through the public sector but through the private sector. You should sell this DVD. You should sell the concert tapes. You should get the artists involved. You should sell tickets, and I think you should do it privately.

Why do you insist that the governments be the ones responsible, because you're basically forcing charity on people, frankly an already generous people?

GELDOF: Sorry, I'm not sure I understand that. Why — we sell the DVDs anyway.

But Sean, if I understand your point, no matter how much we raise through individual charities, they will help a small number of communities. No matter how much in the world you raise through charities. Charity is critical. It's one human being saying to another, "Let me give you a hand here. This isn't right."

But if we're to deal with a constant, uniquely drifting from us inexorable economic decline with one percent of world trade, we have to deal with the system of that.

Now if you take Zimbabwe, beside Zimbabwe is Mozambique. Hugely democratic country, 10 percent growth per annum, a chronic AIDS problem. It's not capable of dealing with that itself, but we can help that. Their capacity for government is incredibly — we need to help them...

HANNITY: We have kind of a short segment here. The only thing I'd argue back in response to you is that whenever the American people and, frankly, the people of Europe and whenever there's been an appeal for people in serious needs, be it the AIDS crisis or any of these other crises, there has been enormous generosity.

But I don't think it's the role of the individual governments to force, through taxation and through the hard work of others, forcing this morality on them. I think this ought to be appeal from the works of you and others. And I think you've got the right idea but not through the government. That would be my only disagreement with you.

GELDOF: I agree with you, but governments must deal with governments, whether it's bilaterally or multilaterally. It's no use...

HANNITY: But it's the peoples' money.

GELDOF: It is the peoples' money, and part of that money must be in America's interest. And it's in their interest that the government spend it wisely so that America gets benefit out of this as well as Africa. Africa is a vast continent.

COLMES: We thank you very much for being with us. Good luck with that DVD. Thank you so much.

GELDOF: Thank you.

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