Letters - In defence of Bono

John Pilger's tone is typically searing ("Iraq, the ghost at Gleneagles", 11 July), no doubt satiating the counter-populism your readers may crave in the light of such an unprecedented mass mobilisation and such a consensus on a benevolent international cause that the Make Poverty History campaign represents.

Although suspicion of celebrity is legitimate, Pilger's argument is misleading in crucial respects. He accuses Bono of "lauding . . . Bush's 'war on terror' as one of his generation's greatest achievements". This is incorrect. Bono has cited the war on terror instead as something "our generation will be remembered for". Such a statement is superficially neutral, yet the manner in which it is delivered in speeches and publicity films suggests it is a point from which the possibility of leaving a legacy less notorious is being urged.

"Not charity, but justice" is one of Bono's and others' most memorable and galvanising soundbites. Justice is what Pilger himself has devoted a career to promoting. While for him this represents truth and accountability over Iraq, and rightly so, it need not be at the expense of the unforgivable human degradation that is widespread in Africa. To disengage from our leaders, abhorrent as they may appear, would be to add African lives to those lost in Iraq.

Dan Jones

I have always admired John Pilger as a courageous journalist. His article exposes the hollow pretensions of Blair and the other summit leaders. The proposed $50bn is a drop in the ocean: the combined GDP of the G8 countries is in the region of $25trn. The pressing need for fair trade with Africa has been shelved. The music concert held at Hyde Park is a PR event to deflect people from the real problems haunting Africa. The suppression by the media of the tribunal in Turkey on the war crimes committed by Bush-Blair is shameful.

C R Sridhar
Bangalore, India