Rock Star Bono: Clinton's a Genius, Let's Negotiate with al-Qaeda

In his interview in the 40th anniversary of Rolling Stone, rock star Bono sounded more moderate on terrorism, but sadly, he turned to how Bill Clinton was a genius in talking with the IRA (his role in Irish peace was hailed by the media during his presidency) and how we need to talk with terrorists:

There is an imminent threat. It manifested itself on 9-11. It’s real and grave. It’s as serious a threat as Stalinism and National Socialism were. Let’s not pretend it isn’t. I think people as reasoned as Tony Blair looked at the world and didn’t want to be Neville Chamberlain, who came back from meeting with Hitler with a piece of paper saying "peace in our time," while Hitler was planning to cross the channel from France.

There is a world all of us have learned to undervalue: compromise. Bill Clinton once rang us, because he was collecting opinions on whether he should give Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams [of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army] a visa into the United States. I thought, "These people have put bombs in supermarkets, and many innocent people have lost their lives." So I said, "No. Don’t dignify them." And he said, "But shouldn’t you always talk to people?" And I said, "Yeah, but you dignify them."

I was wrong. Clinton did exactly the right thing in talking to the Provisional IRA and other elements. Now they have to do the same, in my opinion, with Hamas, and they have to do the same with Al Qaeda. You have to involve them in dialogue.

Here's a roundup of the other political items in Rolling Stone. From Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam:

ROLLING STONE: At the start of the Iraq war, you were called unpatriotic for wearing a Bush mask and performing ‘Bushleaguer.’ Do you feel vindicated?

EDDIE VEDDER: I wish it wasn’t this way, but we were proved right. The educated opinions we had at the beginning of this thing – of shock and awe– have all regretfully turned out to be true. Early on, people were trusting government more than we did. Now everybody’s trust has been betrayed.

Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day, likes Barack Obama:

"People don’t question their rulers, these political figures, just as they don’t question their ministers and priests. They’re not going to question George Bush, especially if he goes around talking about God - ‘I’m going to let God decide for me. He’s going to give me the answer.’ The fear of God keeps people silent.

Armstrong cast his first vote for Clinton, he said, and liked him as a fresh face with fresh ideas -- but then he didn’t like Clinton dropping bombs.

But he became a target. We have this puritanical vision of what a leader is supposed to be , and that’s what makes us the biggest hypocrites in the world. We got so inside this guy’s sexual habits. Now we have a president going around, killing in the name of what? In the name of nothing.

Bruce Springsteen thinks all grade-schoolers should get Jon Stewart training:

Jon Stewart is the first modern interpretive-media class on television. That’s what he does on a nightly basis. My kids, they put The Daily Show on, and they instinctively go, ‘Somebody’s telling me the truth.’ My son was 15 when he got plugged into it. There was a sense that finally the veil is being pulled away. It was the way I felt about ‘Highway 61': ‘My God, the veil is being pulled away, and I’m getting a view of the real America and the real me.’ Unbelievable. It was a life-stopping moment.

ROLLING STONE: The Daily Show did that for him?

SPRINGSTEEN: He got into The Daily Show – anything that reveals the country as itself, but also reveals the machinery of the dissemination of information and how it is distorted. That’s what I think I was seeing and feeling. There needs to be classes in those things that begin with children at a very young age. Otherwise, there’ll be the recurrence of a lot of what we’ve experienced over the past few years, where bold lies come off as truth.

Speaking of comedians, Chris Rock might be trying to be funny, but that doesn't mean we can't ask: Huh? On Rudy Giuliani: "He was great during 9/11, but what about 9/10 and 4/16? He’s like a pit bull. He’s great if you have a burglar, but it you don’t, he might eat your kids." And then, at interview's end: "With global warming, somebody’s baby is going to have to burst into flames to make people do the right thing. [in anchorman voice] Five babies burst into flames today. Turn off your car!"

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