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Live Aid to ...Somalia?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-12-30 10:47:39
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If you were following the news back in 90s you have heard that one of the biggest humanitarian events of the decade was the Live Aids concert organized by Rock star Bob Geldorf. The impact of the event was so big that branded a whole era of similar events and the contribution of rock stars like U2’s Bono and Hollywood stars like George Clooney to the cause; even if their final aim was personal promotion like it happened with Michael Jackson when he saw his career becoming a …kindergarten.

I’ve always been very suspicious about all these events and I have often written about it; unfortunately reality proved me often correct. Most of these later events were a bad imitation of the first one with rock bands trying desperately to resurrect their dead career and the truth is that none manage to collect the money the first one did, not even come close to that. But the worst of all happened to the first Live Aids were most of the collected money, and they were a lot, were spent either in the logistics of the whole expedition to reach Ethiopia or in bribes to the local warlords and officials.

ovi_somalia01_400What remained from the whole drama? The photograph of the starving Ethiopian kid and the knowledge of what’s going in this continent. Suddenly Ethiopia became part of our life and every time any of us thought about kids suffering, the word Ethiopia was there to remind us. And this till last week, when the Ethiopian army invaded another country, Somalia from where photos of starving and suffering kids have reached all of us, photos of massacre mothers and an unsparing civil war!

So what really happened? Did Bob Geldorf succeeded so much, so in the end it didn’t only fed all these people and shorted out all their problems so much so a decade transformed Ethiopia from a country in the edge of life and death to a local military superpower that has the right to invade other countries? Countries like Somalia which is over the edge, closer to death than to life? How many more Live Aids concerts we are going to need now for Somalia?

I’m not able to give any answers, the only feeling I got is that of sadness, without really wishing it the image of that little boy in all the posters promoting Live Aids comes back, this little boy is more likely a soldier in the Ethiopian invading army in Somalia this moment. Imagine that this entire effect people did more than a decade before has just armed people to invade Somalia this very moment for …what reason?

I know, I wrote it my self a few weeks before, a minority government; an Islamists rebel movement and al-Qaeda make a good excuse for anything but if things were so scary why the international community doesn’t do anything? Why they let me believe that there is truth in all these articles that blame USA for arming the Ethiopian army against Somalia?

And by the way, just because I’ve been wandering; has Bob Geldorf said anything? After all, it is partly the money he collected that resurrected Ethiopia, obviously so well to create an invading army!

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