Miss Universe and Madonna, Go to Bagram!
Yesterday, an unlikely message popped up in my inbox, from the U.S.-African Chamber of Commerce. Responding to Madonna’s latest controversial forays into the messy world of African adoption, Chamber President Martin Mohammed makes a plea in her favor, arguing that “African nations should welcome high profile celebrities seeking adoption as an opportunity to increase international awareness about the grave needs of the children of Africa.”
It reminds me of all the fuss over Miss Universe visiting Guantanamo Bay recently, which garnered more media attention to the U.S. prison in Cuba than any story about hapless Muslims sold for bounty to the U.S. military and imprisoned for years without charge ever did.
So despite the controversy and ridicule it inspires, I agree with Mr. Mohammed: bring on the celebrities! Fly the beauty queens out to the Bagram prison next, and maybe those 600 men imprisoned by U.S. authorities without charge or even the right to see the evidence against them will finally get some much-needed attention.
Anti-poverty advocates like the economist Jeffrey Sachs learned this years ago, working with stars like Bono and Angelina Jolie to call attention to the plight of the world’s poorest.
As distasteful as the celebrity buzz may be — and as bizarre as it must seem in a muddy village in Malawi or on the shores of Guantanamo Bay — little else moves Americans so much as a beauty, celebrity and wealth. And if those can every-so-often be put to good use, well, I say, “go for it.