Like so much left-wing moral grandstanding, Live-Aid accomplished the exact opposite of its do-good intent January 15, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, unadulterated evil.
I’m sure that to anyone not steeped in the manner of thinking I’ve developed over many years, that some of my statements sound ridiculous. Extreme. When I say that leftism is a competing and implacably hostile religion to Catholicism, I’m sure they scoff. And when I say that leftism is destructive in virtually every single one of its effects, even when it tries to do good, they probably think I’m nuts. Just a rabid right-winger.
So let me provide a concrete example of that latter bit. Remember Live-Aid, back in 1985? A huge rock concert cum media circus on two continents to raise money for starving Ethiopians? Run by Bob Geldoff, an Irish leftist whose anti-Catholicism has to be seen to be believed, the event raised, purportedly, around $100 million. Did that money benefit starving Ethiopians? Did it help end the war that precipitated the starvation? No. In a very long series of reports at Spin Magazine, dating from 1986, it turns out that Live-Aid gave the entirety of the money to the Ethiopian dictator who was the cause of the crisis in the first place, who then used it to build up the strongest army between the Sahara and South Africa, and inflicted that army on his own people to finally and definitively win the ongoing civil war. It should be noted that the Ethiopian dictator, Mengitsu, was a client of Soviets and was in the process of turning Ethiopia into a communist country (which is what the civil war was all about to begin with).
It seems that Geldoff simply could not comprehend that a fellow hard leftist would not have a heart of gold. So in spite of warnings from every single aid agency present in Ethiopia NOT to give Mengitsu the money, he did so, probably as much out of ideology as out of foolishness.
Since we’re a bit past the 30th anniversary of Live-Aid, Spin has re-released the articles it ran back in 1986 exposing the scam. Like I said, they’re quite long, but make very informative reading. I excerpt below from the preface to the articles that neatly sums up the total failure of the moral preening Live-Aid:
One night at dinner in late 1985, a friend talked about Ethiopia being in a civil war. Neither I nor anyone else at the table had heard that. It hadn’t been covered in the American press. This was just six months after the Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London had directly and indirectly raised over $100 million dollars for famine relief in the African nation. The next day I asked my sister Nina, an assistant at SPIN then, to research this, because if the country was at war, it would surely be difficult to move aid around and get it to people who needed it.
In those days we didn’t have the Internet, so research was done by going to the library and trawling through endless spools of microfiche — film of newspaper pages from around the world. That evening she came into my office ashen faced — she had discovered it was clear, and very well evidenced, that this famine, the awful depictions of which had pulled on the world’s heartstrings, was man made, by government planes deliberately napalming rebel farms.
Every year Ethiopia experiences some degree of drought, the worst ones bringing famine. But the country historically dealt with this. Some years were worse than others. In 1984 the famine that inspired first Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and then Live Aid, was very bad and people were dying of starvation. But the cause was less nature than cynical genocide. A fact apparently so easy to discover that an editorial assistant barely out of college did so in a matter of hours at the library.
I asked Bob Keating, a superb young investigative reporter who had just started working with us, to look into this for a story. The assignment was simple — all this money had been raised, where was it going, was it actually doing good?
He discovered it was not doing good, but, horrifically, unimaginably, the exact opposite. The Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu, until then deadlocked in the war, was using the money the west gave him to buy sophisticated weapons from the Russians, and was now able to efficiently and viciously crush the opposition. Ethiopia, then the third poorest country in the world, suddenly had the largest, best equipped army on the African continent. [This is exaggeration. In the 70s and 80s, I don’t think any country on the African country could compare to South Africa, militarily. I imagine Egypt and others along the Med were also stronger than Ethiopia at that time, but they were strongest of anyone in between]
By this time we had all seen the pictures and TV footage of Bob Geldof, the figurehead of Live Aid, bear hugging and playfully punching Mengistu in the arm as he literally handed over the funding for this slaughter. It was on TV now alright, but as an endless, relentless reel of heroic Bob Geldof highlights. He drenched himself in the adulation and no one begrudged him it, until our investigation exposed the holocaust that Live Aid’s collected donations had help perpetrate on the Eritrean independence fighters.
Most damningly, Keating reported that Geldof was warned, repeatedly, from the outset by several relief agencies in the field about Mengistu, who was dismantling tribes, mercilessly conducting resettlement marches on which 100,000 people died, and butchering helpless people. According to Medicins Sans Frontiers, who begged Geldof to not release the money until there was a reliable infrastructure to get it to victims, he simply ignored them, instead famously saying: “I’ll shake hands with the Devil on my left and on my right to get to the people we are meant to help.” [This is so typical. Self-congratulatory moral grandstanding is the true end, not so much actually helping people. Leftism in a nutshell.]
In the course of preparing our story, we tried to interview Geldof, who in the beginning, perhaps expecting more of the same media worship, was apparently willing to talk, but as soon as he and Live Aid realized what we knew and were going to ask him about, he declined. For more than a month we kept calling and faxing requests for his comments. As we were nearing our deadline, we Fedex’ed him written questions and two cassettes, every day for two weeks. Two cassettes because I urged him to record his answers on two machines, send us one cassette and keep the other as a record, so there could be no dispute about quoting him out of context.
He never replied, and our report, in July 1986, shocked the world. That is not an overstatement. It comprehensively exposed the fraudulent use of the charitable money by unmistakably the world’s most brutal dictator, and the naive, hubris-drenched, unwitting complicity of Live Aid and Geldof.
After the story broke, Geldof lied, claiming we published it to punish him because he wouldn’t grant us an interview. That sounded as ridiculous as it was, and, more crucially, was a pretty thin rebuttal for the serious issues revealed in the article……
……..This week, SPIN is republishing the stories that we ran then over a several-month period, starting with the first article today, which is the 30th Anniversary of the concerts in 1985, and continuing with our follow-up investigation published in September ’86, and the publication in the August ’86 issue of a statement Geldof distributed to the media (but not to us), which we then rebuffed, point by point.
Once again, 29 years later from the original publication of these articles, we have asked Bob Geldof to respond. [He hasn’t]