The hearing specifically dealt with the “causes and consequences of violent extremism and the role of foreign assistance.” The U2 frontman joined a panel of diplomats and aid experts pushing the U.S. government to provide more assistance to the Middle East and the millions of refugees fleeing violence in the region.
Bono called for an aid package similar to the Marshall Plan — which helped rebuild Europe after World War II — and said, “When aid is structured properly, with a focus on fighting poverty and improving governance, it could just be the best bulwark we have against the extremism of our age.” He then suggested that laughter could also be an equally effective weapon against extremist groups like the so-called Islamic State.
“The first people that Adolf Hitler threw out of Germany were the dadaists and surrealists,” he said. “It’s like, you speak violence, you speak their language. But you laugh at them when they are goose-stepping down the street and it takes away their power. So I am suggesting that the Senate send in Amy Schumer and Chris Rock and Sacha Baron Cohen, thank you.”
Since making his case to the Senate, only Schumer has responded to Bono’s idea, writing on Twitter: “Holy shit.”