Re “Into Thin Air” [March 31]: Congratulations to Ben Wiseman for his fantastic mystery plane-and to the e w editors for putting this on your cover—an outstanding monument of aesthetics and journalistic intelligence to simultaneously visualize shrouded information and convey the drama of an enigma.
While I can understand and sympathize with the grief of those Chinese relatives who lost loved ones aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, this does not justify them behaving badly. Don’t forget there were Malaysians and citizens from other countries who perished. You don’t see their families throwing water bottles and hurling abuse at authorities. Perhaps this reflects the darker, ethnocentric side of China. For China to be treated like a great power, perhaps its citizens should behave like the citizens of one.
Andrew Yi Ming Lim,
Dunedin, New Zealand
Re “Old World Order” [March 31]: Europe’s recent history suggests that once nationalist aspirations are satisfied, fighting between groups reduces and cooperation increases. Perhaps the West should be focusing less on maintaining the mishmash of national boundaries left over from the colonial era and more on helping establish frameworks in which
nationalist aspirations can be satisfied peacefully.
According to Robert D. Kaplan, “civil society of the kind Western elites pine for is the only answer” for most of the problems, and the rule of law alone can provide for stability. Really? One wonders if the first half of the 20th century ever happened in Europe, or if Martin Luther King Jr.—demanding equal rights for all in America—was just being an extremist and a lunatic, like Nelson Mandela in the “Western” South Africa during apartheid.
César Augusto de Castro,
Luckless Down Under
Re “Australia’s Shame” [March 31]: Thank you for highlighting the shame more and more Australians are feeling as we witness the way our federal government treats asylum seekers. It is appalling the way our government can act toward people seeking a life free from terror.
The article, which asserted that Australia’s asylum policy is exceptionally harsh, was dishonestly misleading. Australia accepts tens of thousands of refugees each year and subsidizes them to a standard of living that most people on this planet will never attain. Because of Australia’s generosity, millions seek asylum in Australia. Clearly, all applicants cannot be accepted. In turning back these queue jumpers, Australia is acting sensibly and ethically.
Let’s stop treating symptoms and address causes. The problem is not the treatment of refugees. It is poor government in the country of origin. Any country that produces political or economic refugees needs strong medicine. No more useless U.N.-type dialogue. Most countries that get dumped with refugees are struggling to keep their own taxpayers in comfort and facing the increasing costs of their own aging populations. Why should they pay for their neighbors’ political crimes?
State of Decay
Re “Nigeria’s Reckless Neglect” [March 31]: While I am broadly in agreement with Alexis Okeowo’s assertions, I disagree with her statement that “past federal governments … have favored putting resources into the oil-rich south.” The fact is that the south, as well as the north, has been starved of funds, and infrastructure everywhere is poorly maintained. Money mostly generated in the oil-rich south has been used to build an enormous white elephant called Abuja, which has done nothing to benefit ordinary Nigerians, be they from the north or the south.
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