Bono, U2 and “haters”

Recently, Bono of U2 fame, was interviewed and said the following:

With respect to the backlash resulting from Apple making U2’s new album Songs of Innocenceavailable for free to iTunes users, Bono was quick to brush off any criticism.

The same people who used to write on toilet walls when we were kids are now in the blogosphere. The blogosphere is enough to put you off of democracy [laughs]. But no, let people have their say. Why not? They’re the haters, we’re the lovers, we’re never going to agree.

Bono explained that the entire point of the promotion was to get the album heard by as many people as possible and that it was mission accomplished. The album has already been downloaded by 77 million users and the band’s Singles album is now in the top 10 of 14 different countries, all thanks to the Apple deal.

In it’s day I liked U2 and attended their concerts, but there is nothing new, nothing revolutionary coming out of them any more. The old new song is just old. It is why I had no interest in the album, I’ve moved on and U2 can’t seem to grasp that a lot of other people have, too. This album release was nothing more then a misguided advertising campaign to say “Hey, look at me, I’m still relevant” and it blew up in Bono’s face and he called people “haters”.

There is one other thing – freedom of choice – where people have the right to choose without being called “haters”. Just because an artist creates something doesn’t make it good. It is the patrons of that art that get to decide and give it value through praise, appreciation and purchase

Perhaps Bono is right . . . . if something isn’t worth liking – like the new album – then the people are haters. But that’s on Bono. When you give something away for free, the creator has no right to be critical, it’s only worth what you pay for it. So rather then Bono being a hater – and a hypocrite – go back into the studio and do something that has value, meaning and that people will buy. Putting up money (value) gives value and meaning and a proper rating rather then an artificial, inflated rating on the charts.

While I think Apple was trying to do something nice, Apple proved they are as out of touch as Bono is. U2 is an antiquated band trying to catch one more wave before they fade into obscurity. Bono has done a lot of charity work and gotten out front for those causes. He is no coward. Perhaps it’s time he gets out front and apologizes for infringing on people’s privacy, right to choose and for his rudeness.

I had thought Bono understood independence and freedom of spirit. Now I don’t.

A strategy for dealing with ISIS and Syria

The rebellion and attempt at regime change in Syria is over. Any leader who stands firm, does not let his will be broken and is willing to keep power at any cost generally cannot be beaten. It is time to help those that America supported in that rebellion and help America and our friends and near-friends.

Evacuate the rebel elements America supports in Syria to the Kurdish territory of Iraq to reinforce the Kurds in their fight against ISIS

Do for Iraq what the US did for the Afghani’s in their fight against the Taliban – provide the air force and let them do the fighting to control their own country and destiny.

Forget about attacking ISIS in Syria. Push ISIS out of Iraq and back into Syria and let Assad and the Russians worry about dealing with them.

By containing ISIS in Syria, Sunni and Shi’ite extremists will fight one another, drain Syria and Russia and keep all of them too busy to bother with anyone else for quite a long time. Russia, if it wants access to the Med via the Syrian port of Tartus has to keep Assad in power.

With Syria fighting ISIS, they will be too busy to bother with Israel. Same with Hezbollah, who is slowly getting pulled into fully fighting ISIS. 

If Hezbollah gets fully involved, their power in Lebanon might be weakened, maybe even enough for the central Lebanese government to run them out

Iran will get sucked into the mess, too, with ISIS and Syria since Iran is a key supporter of both Syria and Assad. Perhaps even to the point that Sunni ISIS stages attacks on Shi’ite Iran rather then the US or Europe.

Two additional points:

1) Chechnya – ISIS has made threats against Russia, Putin and very specifically, to “liberate” Chechnya

2) ISIS is attracting extremists away from the Taliban in Afghanistan, making the Taliban weaker and less likely to overcome the Afghan government once all but an American token force remains behind. Perhaps Afghanistan won’t become another Vietnam

ISIS is the mortal enemy of the western way of life, another theocracy in the making. And while America and Europe must do all it can to fight ISIS, it doesn’t mean that we, America or Europe, have to waste any more treasure then necessary fighting them. Let those who have inflicted so much violence on the world fight and waste themselves making the rest of the world a safer place.

Cold-blooded? Probably. Karma? Damn right!

A Strategy to Help Ukraine

The Spanish Civil War and China in WWII gives America a strategy – and a precedent – for the US to help the Ukraine. And that is re-activate the Flying Tigers, give them A-10’s to attack armor (tanks) and Wild Weasels to suppress anti-air defenses. They would not accept targets that involved attacking cities, or even convoys – just armor and SAM sites. The Ukraine military would then be free to deal with the rest and to use their own air force against targets the Flying Tigers would be prohibited from attacking.

The same protocol would be used as for the original Flying Tigers – US pilots would be given the option of resigning for the duration of their length with the Ukraine military and then re-instated when done and back in the US.

Russia will complain – but they say no Russian troops are in Ukraine, just “volunteers”, which are Russian troops being forcibly volunteered. So America sends volunteers and equipment just like Russia.

There is a precedent for the US to openly arm the Ukraine – the Cuba Missile Crisis – which, afterwards, the US arrived at an understanding that Russia could arm Cuba, station Russian troops in Cuba and freely use Cuban ports. The only restriction is no WMDs and Cubans did there own fighting.

George Bush abandoned the former Soviet Georgia and let the Russians , de facto, take parts of Georgia. Now Barack Obama is going to let Russia take parts of Ukraine that will be annexed into Russia just like the Crimea.

The west abandoned the east to Russia after WWII and if the west doesn’t stand firm now, it is the Baltic nations next, who, unlike Ukraine, are members of NATO and the EU, with the exception of Estonia, and we are bound by treaty to go to their defense even if it means WWIII.