Wikileaks: Carey, Usher, Beyonce perform for Gaddhafi

Aug 11, 2009
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Don't forget about the in-kind compensation, either. They were all flown in (almost certainly on private aircraft) and treated to the finest accomodations in order to celebrate the dead of winter in luxury on a private Carribean getaway. For a million bucks.

Oh, yeah, they were presumably working at something they enjoy, anyway (i.e. their art). To say they live like kings would be to imply that they have some legitimate responsibilities and concerns threatening their posh way of living.
 
Dec 4, 2010
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"Thugs"? Really? Your emotional investment in this matter is most unpretty.

Frank Sinatra, Queen, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, et al played Sun City, South Africa. I imagine they lived as paupers, and had to pay their own transportation bill to get there.

Don't forget Ronald Reagan's "constructive engagement" justification/rationalization for the US's continued business dealings with South Africa in direct opposition to the UN's call for sanctions and economic divestment.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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fujisst said:
"Thugs"? Really? Your emotional investment in this matter is most unpretty.

Frank Sinatra, Queen, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, et al played Sun City, South Africa. I imagine they lived as paupers, and had to pay their own transportation bill to get there.

Don't forget Ronald Reagan's "constructive engagement" justification/rationalization for the US's continued business dealings with South Africa in direct opposition to the UN's call for sanctions and economic divestment.
Fair point.

I'll note that I don't see entertainers as being all thugs, though (my own sister is a film director). I don't resent superstars their success, either. Nonetheless, I do think their wealth is pretty remarkable; no harm in having a discussion about it. I'm also curious to see whether anyone is fired up about stars accepting such massive payouts from a dictator...
 
Dec 4, 2010
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ergmonkey said:
Fair point.

I'll note that I don't see entertainers as being all thugs, though (my own sister is a film director). I don't resent superstars their success, either. Nonetheless, I do think their wealth is pretty remarkable; no harm in having a discussion about it. I'm also curious to see whether anyone is fired up about stars accepting such massive payouts from a dictator...
The voice of fairness in these type of discussions is the service I provide - good you can acknowledge it...

Yeah, in that case, let's discuss all wealthy persons and how they acquired their bullion.:rolleyes: Oh, you only want to discuss how the "thugs" acquired their wealth? Makes sense to me...

You say you don't resent their success, huh? Admittedly I'm not too smart, but if I squint and look sideways I think I detect a contradiction somewhere in your paragraph...
 
icebreaker said:
JUst so long as they don't have the nerve to start spouting off about the evils of ...

Pretty much anything.

They've taken blood money. They keep their mouths shut.
I agree. If you reach a point in your life when dodgy global leaders are prepared to pay you top coin for your choice to do an hour's work, then all that's really left of the reality you once knew is you and your personal ethics.
 
Jan 18, 2010
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Moose McKnuckles said:
Unreal. One million bucks for 4 songs from Mariah Carey.
These thugs lived like kings.
Seems like a few people from the West got taken in by this piece of scum. Nice money if you can make it though.
Mariah Carey - his taste in music is ****. :cool:

Bill Clinton had the right idea of firing off Cruise missiles at the place and not fawning all over him like Tony Blair.
 
Dec 4, 2010
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icebreaker said:
JUst so long as they don't have the nerve to start spouting off about the evils of ...

Pretty much anything.

They've taken blood money. They keep their mouths shut.
Hypocrites if they do spout off? So what else is new?
Elton John played both Sun City and Live Aid. How's that for playing both sides of the equation?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but for some, the ends have always justified the means...just because the "thugs" play by the same rules also now makes it a topic of discussion?
 
Aug 11, 2009
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fujisst said:
The voice of fairness in these type of discussions is the service I provide - good you can acknowledge it...

Yeah, in that case, let's discuss all wealthy persons and how they acquired their bullion.:rolleyes: Oh, you only want to discuss how the "thugs" acquired their wealth? Makes sense to me...

You say you don't resent their success, huh? Admittedly I'm not too smart, but if I squint and look sideways I think I detect a contradiction somewhere in your paragraph...
I'm all for skepticism here, but I think you've taken it a little too far with my post. I really wasn't trying to pick a fight. I'm not the one who referred to performers as "thugs."

Noting that I think it's fair to discuss the implications of getting paid huge money by a dictator does not mean that I resent the very notion of Mariah Carey, Usher, et al being superstars in the first place.

Also, I never suggested limiting the discussion in any way. Whose wealth do you want to add to the list of talking points?
 
Jan 5, 2011
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When I read the OP I thought Moose was refering to Gaddhafi and co. being the thugs living like kings. Perhaps I am the one that read that wrong?

I have no problem with entertainers making money for entertaining, no matter whom their clients may be. I do have a problem with world leaders handing out millions of their citizen's money for their personal enjoyment. Looks like they are paying for it a bit now.
 
The irony is that these dictators were as much "despised" by the West, as they were convenient. Playing on the backwards tribal situation we have in parts of North Africa and the Middle East, it was convenient business wise because of oil and natural gas to have the worst forms of government in the region.

Now the populations have had enough, and the West doesn't know whether to applaud or to tremble. Europe loved a Ghaddafi in the Cirene because he prevented (though also played upon the EU's fear for political leverage) a local population of Muslims form immigrating en mass to its territory, while suppling them with oil and natural gas. America has of late "rehabilitated" the Libyan dictator for largely the same strategic reason.

The only problem, of course, was that if instead the destitute and deprived Arabs of the Maghreb were allowed self-determination and to keep resource money at home and out of the hands of a few greedy, puppet and megalomaniac despots pleasing to the West, then perhaps such fears would have been allayed long ago.

As for the superstars' performances, it simply comes with the territory. And which somewhat decadent Western performer wouldn't jump at the chance to perform for the most eccentric of Arab Sultans? It's simply radical-chic.
 
May 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
The irony is that these dictators were as much "despised" by the West, as they were convenient. Playing on the backwards tribal situation we have in parts of North Africa and the Middle East, it was convenient business wise because of oil and natural gas to have the worst forms of government in the region.

Now the populations have had enough, and the West doesn't know whether to applaud or to tremble. Europe loved a Ghaddafi in the Cirene because he prevented (though also played upon the EU's fear for political leverage) a local population of Muslims form immigrating en mass to its territory, while suppling them with oil and natural gas. America has of late "rehabilitated" the Libyan dictator for largely the same strategic reason.

The only problem, of course, was that if instead the destitute and deprived Arabs of the Maghreb were allowed self-determination and to keep resource money at home and out of the hands of a few greedy, puppet and megalomaniac despots pleasing to the West, then perhaps such fears would have been allayed long ago.

As for the superstars' performances, it simply comes with the territory. And which somewhat decadent Western performer wouldn't jump at the chance to perform for the most eccentric of Arab Sultans? It's simply radical-chic.
The main strategic reason for the US is likely that Libya's population is very tribalized (think of Somalia, Afghanistan and parts of ****stan). Now, if the strong central government fails, Libya might devolve into what Somalia is today, including a haven for all kinds of extremists of one kind or another as well as terrorists.

You're right about the Europeans who mostly fear illegal immigration.

For both US and Europe, a steady supply of oil is also a very high priority.

Anyway, all of that made the perception of Ghaddafi's regime change over the years from Lockerbie to where it was just a few days ago.

Sadly, Ghaddafi has support among some of the tribes which have benefitted from his rule and the oil money. Not so much in the east (Benghazi, Cyrenaica), but certainly around Tripolis. He might be able to hold on to power for quite some time in regions of the country which can be considered his home turf.
 
Cobblestones said:
The main strategic reason for the US is likely that Libya's population is very tribalized (think of Somalia, Afghanistan and parts of ****stan). Now, if the strong central government fails, Libya might devolve into what Somalia is today, including a haven for all kinds of extremists of one kind or another as well as terrorists.

You're right about the Europeans who mostly fear illegal immigration.

For both US and Europe, a steady supply of oil is also a very high priority.

Anyway, all of that made the perception of Ghaddafi's regime change over the years from Lockerbie to where it was just a few days ago.

Sadly, Ghaddafi has support among some of the tribes which have benefitted from his rule and the oil money. Not so much in the east (Benghazi, Cyrenaica), but certainly around Tripolis. He might be able to hold on to power for quite some time in regions of the country which can be considered his home turf.
Well as long as he spares Leptis Magnus!

As for the rest, that's the price to pay for democracy.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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ergmonkey said:
I'm all for skepticism here, but I think you've taken it a little too far with my post. I really wasn't trying to pick a fight. I'm not the one who referred to performers as "thugs."

Noting that I think it's fair to discuss the implications of getting paid huge money by a dictator does not mean that I resent the very notion of Mariah Carey, Usher, et al being superstars in the first place.

Also, I never suggested limiting the discussion in any way. Whose wealth do you want to add to the list of talking points?
I expect there's far greater extravagance elsewhere in terms of waste of money over the festive period.

For any artiste based in the South of the US, St Barts is a few hours away; it's an easy gig. Did they know they were playing for Gaddhafi? Well, they didn't play for him, so it's unlikely.

The most interesting thing is how certain areas of the press are twisting this into something it wasn't, i.e. a private bash for Gaddafi and select terrorists.

Does the audience look like Middle Eastern thugs to you?
 
Cobblestones said:
The main strategic reason for the US is likely that Libya's population is very tribalized (think of Somalia, Afghanistan and parts of ****stan). Now, if the strong central government fails, Libya might devolve into what Somalia is today, including a haven for all kinds of extremists of one kind or another as well as terrorists.

You're right about the Europeans who mostly fear illegal immigration.

For both US and Europe, a steady supply of oil is also a very high priority.


Anyway, all of that made the perception of Ghaddafi's regime change over the years from Lockerbie to where it was just a few days ago.

Sadly, Ghaddafi has support among some of the tribes which have benefitted from his rule and the oil money. Not so much in the east (Benghazi, Cyrenaica), but certainly around Tripolis. He might be able to hold on to power for quite some time in regions of the country which can be considered his home turf.
Certainly the tribal and Islamic fundamentalist movements have played a decisive role in those areas you mentioned and we can't always chalk it up to a Mossadeq that was knocked off with the help of the CIA, although our foreign policy in the regions has always been primarily about our best interests assisted by force and not those of the locals that were brutalized by it, while this has certainly fomented (not taken oxygen from) the extremists causes. And this, of course, goes back to European neo-colonialism of the 19th century, the aftermath of which produced the sectarian and divided up map of today from the Maghreb to India-****stan, while setting up a rebus of local conflicts and private gains that has never been resolved and that has resulted in the rather unwieldy and volatile situation we presently have.

In any case within the Mediterranean region there are too many special interests, too much social diversity, too much hot blood, too much history compressed in too little space to escape the fact that, periodically, the waters begin to boil. The reasons are many and apparently the most varied, from the ancient duel for supreme power in the region between Rome and Carthage, to the subsequent sweeping campaigns of the Arab "sultans" and "emirates" that gobbled up the whole North African coast from the north of Palestine to the Atlantic, yet the deeper, underlying cause has always been the same: the instability of a sea which doesn't divide, but unites, two continents and today threatens to suck the entire globe into its gorge. It was here, for example, in 1801 that the US for the first time sent its fleet beyond the Atlantic waters to put a stop to the "barbarian" (though really "Berber") pirates under the control of the of the Sultans of Morocco and of Tripolitania (once part of the Phoenician kingdom, then Cyreniaca of the Roman "mare nostrum," before becoming part of Bizans and then the Ottoman Empire, the "Berber Coast", Tripolitana, today Libia). Not even the conflict between East and West, after the end of the all out war between the Axis and Allied powers, was able to chill the Mediterranean waters, between the Algerian rebellions, the anglo-french bombardments of Nassar's Egypt while the Israeli army advanced toward Sinai, to the reciprocal monitoring presence of Soviet and US nuclear submarines. All the while every dominating power, from Rome, to Bizans, to Spain, France, Great Britain and America had believed that its hold over the region would be permanent.

But to return to Gaddafi and North Africa...It has become all too evident, now, that which before was merely intuitable: the local despots, of various prestige and diverse gradations of prepotency, have been in power over the past decades in considerable part because it was convenient to Europe and the US, the former also in terms of a security threat. They survived to protect the Europeans from the "Islamic danger" in its two distinct forms: namely, its religious phantom and its migration en mass, which coincided with the classic xenophobia that sees ships full of jihadists sailing toward Europe's coasts like the Saracens of old.

The islamic phantom does exist as does the en mass migration, which isn't a phantom at all, but a dilemma made up of human flesh and international territory. But what the Europeans and Americans didn't foresee, however, is that there also exists Arabic peoples, many millions of human beings that (in their homelands) have simply realized that they don't want to be poor and subjugated any longer. To have overlooked and under-considered their existence, their rights, their capacity to self-determination has been (let's hope) the last vestiges of a euro-centric racism (with full compliance from a rather cynical and self-serving US government - look at the case of Mubarak), which when it speaks of the "arab masses" imagined a disinherited and under-civilized flock (or perhaps a pack of stray dogs portrays the sentiment more accurately) that understands much better the beating stick than the biscuit treat. Yet now that flock has its own human faces, own voice, its own dead. It desires to overthrow brutal and unjust governments and expel tyrants. We in the West are so worried about "our" future, so as to be incapable of comprehending that it's actually about theirs that one is speaking now.

The sooner our leaders understand this, the sooner the possibility of resolving both our fears and their problems becomes a more likely scenario. Certainly a stronger chance than anchoring ourselves down within past policies, which the shear and inexorable force of history eventually makes untenable and obsolete. The Arab protesters voices are, in this sense, also a reality check for us and their leaders.
 
May 6, 2009
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Why should it be up the musicians to take the moralistic upper hand? It's not their country so who are they to judge?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Nelly Furtado donates money from Gaddafi

The Canadian singer wants to donate 1 Million $ which she received for a 45 minutes concert for members of the Gaddafi clan. The concert took place in a hotel in Italy in 2007.
 
Christian said:
Nelly Furtado donates money from Gaddafi

The Canadian singer wants to donate 1 Million $ which she received for a 45 minutes concert for members of the Gaddafi clan. The concert took place in a hotel in Italy in 2007.
What's this? A mass outbreak of not-so-spontaneous guilt from the citizens of Celebrityland? She must be pre-empting a stink story, otherwise she needn't have told anybody about it. All this silliness is just another example of Cartoons in Copenhagen.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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While not defending the lack of ethics apllied by many stars and celebs its realy small beer compared to govement hipocrasy.
Nice example came out yesterday when it was revealed £900,000000 of Libya currency printed in the uk was being frozen as well as Gaddafi`s family assets held by UK Banks and many other banks across Europe.
So for all the condemnation on the surface theres little evidence that it stopped the powers that be conducting plenty of business with the despot to the extent of even printing the notes with his picture on.:rolleyes:
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Jürgen Trittin of the Green Party in Germany revealed that his country had a deal with Gaddafi to train his army, and they sold him techniques and devices to control telecomunications (internet, phones ...)

I am sure this is one example of many ... all of Europe was very happy to have Gaddafi in place, because he guarded his border well, and therefore kept many Africans from getting across to Europe. They gladly accepted the fact that he oppressed his people, and even actively helped him by selling him the know-how, weapons and devices he needed.

The fact that now people bash celebrities because they sang a couple of songs for his clan baffles me.
 
Christian said:
The fact that now people bash celebrities because they sang a couple of songs for his clan baffles me.
If they're OK with doing these little performances, so be it. I'm happy to bash them, however, if they now try to come over all contrite and want to make a story out of it. :)
 
Mar 13, 2009
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L'arriviste said:
If they're OK with doing these little performances, so be it. I'm happy to bash them, however, if they now try to come over all contrite and want to make a story out of it. :)
On the other hand, Nelly Furtado could easily have kept the money (after all a significant amount, probably even for her) and no one would have ever found out. I think she wasn't mentioned by wikileaks, which makes me think there were lots of others, and she is the only one who publicly comes out with it and donates the money.

But then again she could just have donated the money without coming out with it, that might have been the best option
 

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