Bono Praises George W. Bush for Saving Millions in Africa, Prendergast Credits Bush for Peace in South Sudan

 A truly amazing coincidence happened on Monday night as former President George W. Bush was praised for helping millions in Africa by two separate public figures in two unrelated matters - the fight against AIDS in Africa, and South Sudan’s successful fight for independence - on two different television shows.

As rocker Bono of U-2 appeared as a guest on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, he praised President Bush for helping to save so far five million lives in Africa over the past eight years because of his push to supply treatment to AIDS patients.

And on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, guest and human rights activist John Prendergast of the Enough Project, when prodded by host Stephen Colbert, noted that it was under Bush that America used its influence to help the South Sudanese secure a peace deal with the north.

On the Late Show, after Letterman brought up some of Africa’s recent humanitarian problems, Bono credited the United States with saving millions of lives:

This week, we just hit the five million mark, the United States saving five million lives, people who are suffering from AIDS and now have anti-retroviral drugs because of the United States, because that's who you are, and you've done an amazing thing. And so, when people get organized, get busy, things change, and that is an amazing - five million lives have been saved over the last, in eight years, in eight years.

After Letterman asked if someone else would have "stepped up" in the absence of the rocker’s efforts, Bono lauded President Bush for leading the effort:

I'd like to believe that the American people have that sort of in them, and, but it was an interesting, it was an unusual combination of people on the left and the right got together, organization's called One because it's the one thing people on the left and the right can agree with. And President Bush, you know, whom, you know, you might have arguments with on various levels, he actually led this and he deserves some credit for this.

And on the Colbert Report, after Prendergast recounted the history of South Sudan’s long struggle with the north, he brought up America’s role in creating a peace agreement:

But there’s no question that America as the country that has the most influence in Sudan played a major role in ensuring that that peace deal actually came to fruition and gave the southerners a chance to vote for independence.

Playing the part of stereotyped conservative looking for a reason to praise former President Bush for comic effect, Colbert nevertheless managed to inform viewers of Bush’s role in South Sudan’s good fortune:

STEPHEN COLBERT: And who was the President in office when that peace was achieved?

JOHN PRENDERGAST, THE ENOUGH PROJECT: That would be President Bush.

COLBERT (GIVES HIGH FIVE TO PRENDERGAST): Give it right up here, baby, give it right up here. All right, let's mark that down in the history books, and, babies in South Sudan, name them George.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, July 18, Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, followed by the same day’s Colbert Report on Comedy Central:

#From the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS:

DAVID LETTERMAN: Now, listen, from time to time - not time to time, every darn day - you hear things about Africa, and, sadly, you don’t hear much good about Africa. And, recently, I heard that because of a 20-year drought, the Cape of Africa, like 10 or 15 million people, are gonna be without food here, like they don’t have enough problems in Africa. Tell me about your efforts and how they have affected that continent.

BONO: You know, actually, yes, there is tragedy in Africa, and you will always find it there, and we must take those tragedies seriously, but there is also extraordinary opportunity. And if you see this continent as the continent of the future, it sort of reframes it. I mean, this is, this is a continent that, by 2050, will be the largest continent, the youngest continent in the world. It’s very rich, you know. Under the ground, they have a lot of great minerals. They have some tough stuff to do, and, but they do, they get their fair share of difficulties to overcome, but I will say this: This week, we just hit the five million mark, the United States saving five million lives, people who are suffering from AIDS and now have anti-retroviral drugs because of the United States, because that’s who you are, and you’ve done an amazing thing. And so, when people get organized, get busy, things change, and that is an amazing - five million lives have been saved over the last, in eight years, in eight years.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: And would this have - and it’s impossible for you to acknowledge this one way or the other - but without your efforts, would this have been accomplished, do you think? Would somebody else have stepped up?

BONO: I’d like to believe that the American people have that sort of in them, and, but it was an interesting, it was an unusual combination of people on the left and the right got together, organization’s called One because it’s the one thing people on the left and the right can agree with. And President Bush, you know, whom, you know, you might have arguments with on various levels, he actually led this and he deserves some credit for this.

#From the Colbert Report on Comedy Central:

STEPHEN COLBERT: Who really should get credit for, A, ending that fight, and making the opportunity for this country to come into existence?

JOHN PRENDERGAST, CO-FOUNDER OF THE ENOUGH PROJECT: The South Sudanese fought, and then they pushed for a peace deal that would give them the chance to vote. But there’s no question that America as the country that has the most influence in Sudan played a major role in ensuring that that peace deal actually came to fruition and gave the southerners a chance to vote for independence.

COLBERT: And who was the President in office when that peace was achieved?

PRENDERGAST: That would be President Bush.

COLBERT: Give it right up here, baby, give it right up here. All right, let’s mark that down in the history books, and, babies in South Sudan, name them George.