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Rocker Bono interviewed George Clooney last week on CNN and discussed, among other things, the actor’s role as activist and the problems facing Darfur.

Although one might wonder what qualified the singer to conduct the interview, Bono’s long-time experience as an activist brought much insight into the conversation.

During the discussion Clooney noted that, because he is not a politician, his hands are less tied to say and do what he wants. Bono, equally unrestrained, asked: “What went through your mind the first time you saw the squandering of human life that’s an everyday experience in Darfur and Sudan or in Chad? You’ve seen life slip away. Were you angry, were you upset, were you embarrassed because the West looks liked it’s turning its back on another genocide?”

Clooney recalled how shocking it was to find such a completely different world only a plane flight away, "where the average life expectancy is 38 years old. Well that’s insane to me, coming from a place where the average age is 80. And it’s not just disease that’s killing them. It’s murder and rape and genocide.

“First you’re really angry and you want a bunch of planes that say UN on them to come in with bombs and just take out all the bad guys. That’s the first reaction you have. And then you go through these phases of trying to figure out who are the bad guys. Why are they the bad guys? …There has to be a reason why [they’re] doing these things. And you find that it’s almost always oil. Strangely. It’s oil in the Sudan for the most part.

“…It comes down to those sort of issues where you think the people who need to take the lead have no vested interest in taking the lead. China needs to take the lead. They’re the ones who are taking oil out. But they need oil. Badly. So, there’s no great interest in it being settled. You walk out of there with them saying all of the important first steps that are needed. But they’re not really doing any of them. There is no great urgency. And unfortunately, there is no reason for it to stop.”

The pair also discussed diplomacy, politics, strategies and the effects that outside influence might have in Darfur. Actions taken, like the International Criminal Court indicting the president of Sudan, don’t always have universal approval.

Clooney says, “You could ask anyone there, a father of six, and three have been killed and three of them are alive and you ask, ‘Do you want to avenge those three kids’ lives or do you want to save those three kids’ lives?’ They’ll take saving – safety first. …[Yet] at some point someone has to be held responsible.”

You can find the full interview under Entertainment at the CNN website.

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