Why Bono Is Not Just Another Spoiled Celebrity

A lot of celebrities use their star status to lash out at anything Uncle Sam does.

Some even end up giving free publicity to our enemies while doing absolutely nothing to help those in need. Bono (search), the leader of the rock group U2 (search), may look like another one of these spoiled celebrities. But he’s not.

He was on a talk show Sunday promoting a concert series to aid Africans. The interviewer bated him several times to go after the U.S. and President Bush (search) in particular. But Bono wouldn’t bite. “I love America, I believe in America. It offs me, it upsets me when the rest of the world thinks America is not doing enough. The president is right to say they're doing a quarter of all aid to Africa.”

And he’s not blind about the realities of dealing with corrupt dictators who often pocket aid money for themselves. “This is the number-one problem facing Africa — corruption — not natural calamity, not the AIDS (search) virus, this is the number-one issue, and there is no way around it.”

There are still plenty of reasons to be skeptical of relief efforts that even minimally involve corrupt dictators. But at least Bono has his eyes on the ball. When he started out on this effort, he seemed hopelessly naive about this. But Bono’s one celebrity who’s not so self-absorbed that he can’t learn from mistakes.

And that’s the Observer.

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