Clinton orders military strike on Irish rock group U2

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Fri, 21 Aug 1998 17:05:24 EDT

WASHINGTON - President Clinton ordered today a full-scale military strike on
the Irish rock band, U2. Identifying the Dublin-based group as a "bona-fide
threat to national security," Clinton brushed aside reminders of his
longstanding relationship with the quartet and called band members Bono, The
Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr., "dangerous extremists."

Following a briefing with the security advisory staff, Clinton authorized the
launching of cruise missiles at the Dublin targets.

According to military advisors, between 75 and 80 weapons were fired from the
Red Sea shortly after dark and were estimated to reach U2 within four hours.

Clinton adamantly defended the decision, mentioning the role of ethics. "For
too long, this so-called rock band has operated according to their own rules,
under the cover of artistic creativity. Today, we have struck back," the
president said.

"Popular music," he continued, "is an integral part of our culture. Yet at no
time should we compromise our personal dignity through it's appreciation."

"U2 have stepped out of bounds. They have time and time again called for
radical re-inventions of themselves, they have enthralled millions of innocent
people in their unorthodox sound, and they have passionately - even recklessly
- advocated their form expression."

The justification came in the face of a slew of doubts posed by the
president's critics - many of whom indicated a possible connection between the
military strike and Clinton's recent personal issues.

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said, "We're not concerned about the attack on U2,
we're concerned about the timing. The fact that this decision has occurred now
deserves examination.

Citing U2's chameleon-like nature and ability to defend themselves when
provoked as reasons for the large magnitude of the attack, officials were
doubtful as to whether the first strike would be successful.
"We have taken the appropriate measures at this time," said National Security
Council member Gen. Don Kerrick. "We don't know precisely how effective this
offensive was against them, but the situation is being monitored closely."

Early reports from Dublin news agencies indicate that immediately following
the strike, hysterical laughter and whooping was heard from the U2 camp.

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