February 25, 2006

BILL CLINTON WRITES:

An example of this is the power of the internet in the hands of people around the world. Remember a few years ago we had the SARS epidemic? Remember when it broke out in Hong Kong and Canada, and the Chinese government was in denial about it?

They turned on a dime, and all of a sudden began to co-operate with the world climate because of the internet. There was a citizen uprising on the internet. The young people didn’t fill Tiananmen Square. They filled the Chinese government website.

They said: “Quit denying this. Tell the truth. Turn it around.”

And what could have been a cataclysmic epidemic was turned around.

I can give you lots of other examples of that. When we had the tsunami – a terrible event in South Asia – the former president George Bush and I were asking for donations. It was a fascinating thing. We raised more than $US1 billion, and about a third of American households contributed. Half of them did so over the internet.

It was a stunning thing, if you think about the power it gives to ordinary people.

Heh. I think that he and I are on the same page.