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Bono: Obama deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Rock star Bono on Sunday praised Barack Obama for helping "re-brand" the United States as a leading force in combating the world's most pressing problems, and deemed the president's controversial Nobel Peace prize deserved.

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In an article Sunday in The New York Times, the U2 rocker and rights activist praised Obama's dedication to "the eradication of extreme poverty in our time," as well as Obama's commitment to "fighting nuclear proliferation and climate change, improving relations in the Middle East and, by the way, creating jobs and providing health care at home."

And the world-famous singer said the US president is the central figure in the "re-branding" of the American image to one of hope, optimism and action.

"I will venture to say that in the farthest corners of the globe, the president's words are more than a pop song people want to hear on the radio. They are lifelines," he said.

"The world sees that America might just hold the keys to solving the three greatest threats we face on this planet: extreme poverty, extreme ideology and extreme climate change.

"The world senses that America, with renewed global support, might be better placed to defeat this axis of extremism with a new model of foreign policy," he wrote.

On the issue of the Nobel Peace Prize, which critics decried as undeserved or premature, the Irish rocker offered a different view.

"The president said that he considered the peace prize a call to action. And in the fight against extreme poverty, it's action, not intentions, that counts," wrote the singer, who has campaigned to get wealthy nations to step up donations to a global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

"The Nobel Peace Prize is the rest of the world saying, 'Don't blow it'."

He also praised the president's top advisors from Vice President Joe Biden to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to National Security Advisor James Jones as a "dream team" and underscored European dumbfoundedness that the US president is not more greatly appreciated by his own countrymen.

"There's a sense in some quarters of these not-so-United States that Norway, Europe and the world haven't a clue about the real President Obama -- instead, they fixate on a fantasy version of the president, a projection of what they hope and wish he is, and what they wish America to be," Bono wrote.

"I think the man might deserve the hype," he said.

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Last Updated (Monday, 19 October 2009 06:46)

 

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