Could Richard Leiby [Style, July 1] be any more cynical about the Live 8 concerts and debt relief for the poorest nations? And why did The Post print an article so clearly devoted to naysaying when the concerts hadn't even happened yet?

Leiby quotes Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria as saying that "G-8 summits are mind-numbingly boring." Leiby also states that "many consumers of mass culture -- say, the kids flocking to Philly to hear Destiny's Child or Linkin Park -- won't know, or care, that the G-8 is a tedious affair where [world leaders] will debate debt relief, foreign aid, trade policy and suchlike."

Here's some news for Leiby:

* It doesn't take an economist to understand that the poorest nations cannot educate their children or buy medicine because they are paying billions of dollars a year in debt payments to the richest countries.

* It doesn't take a financial analyst to understand that there is something wrong when the greedy investor class lobbies to prevent the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund from selling their gold reserves to make both debt relief and future development aid to Africa possible.

* Finally, the same edition of The Post carried a story on the front page with a headline that read: "Bush Pledges $1.2 Billion for Africa to Fight Malaria; President Also Vows to Double Total Aid to Continent by 2010." Yes, it is a small gesture intended to avoid having to do real things such as changing the trade rules that are stacked against developing countries, but you can bet that even that wouldn't have happened without the pressure of the Live 8 concerts and the One campaign.

-- Laura V. Farthing Berthiaume