"In the spring of 2000, when we were working to secure $435 million
in debt relief for the developing world that President Clinton had promised,
a friendly legislator took Bono and me to a private office near the U.S.
Capitol. 'I think we can make a deal at about $200 million,' the lawmaker
said. He had been told that by 'certain people.' We knew that the prior
offer was just $60 million to $70 million. 'Declare victory and go home,'
our friend advised.
"Bono said, 'No we need the full $435 million.' There was an awkward
moment. 'And another thing,' Bono continued. 'If "certain people" fight
it, tell them U2 will come to their districts, get 50,000 kids in a stadium
and put their photo on 30-ft. screens with the caption, "This guy killed
African women and children."'
"When Bono and his wife Ali first went to Africa, they worked in a refugee
camp for a month. On the day they were leaving, a man approached him
carrying a baby. 'This is my son,' the man said. 'Please take him with
you when you leave. If you do, he will live. Otherwise, he will die.'
"I have heard Bono tell that story several times. Each time, I think
he is haunted by the unacceptable fact that any father should be faced
with such a choice and by the horror that this unjust moment is repeated
every day across Africa. He has dedicated his life to making sure that
such extreme poverty comes to an end."