Re “Waiting for the Taliban” [April 14]: With the U.S. withdrawal in full force, Kabul cannot depend on its own less-than-proficient army and security personnel to cope against the ferocious Taliban. Taliban supporters and informants have been hiding all over in the capital city, sowing the seeds of fear. A chaotic and lawless Afghanistan has just begun.
Re “Zhang Ruimin’s Haier Power” [April 14]: This is a typical story of rags to riches, as reflected by Zhang’s years of hard work and persistence to make Haier a global brand. His daring approach to shatter the old and bring in the new is something worth learning by entrepreneurs. After all, if the old gets lethargic and obsolete, it has to be replaced by the new.
It’s strange that you put up a feature article on Haier, which in my eyes was outdated and unrepresentative of trends in China’s business sector. Transition to a modern, Western-style management system started over 20 years ago and has largely been successful. Globalization has been going on for over a decade, with mixed results. Haier’s reputation as a model of domestic companies that underwent painful transformations to become successful is also tapering off because of lack of continuous innovation. You should feature trendier companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.
Wisdom of the Waters
Re “Ocean View” [April 14]: The beauty and importance of coral reefs is far from known to everyone, as Bryan Walsh rightly pointed out. I do think it is crucial to raise awareness of the threats that coral reefs and their associated biodiversity face in the long term. The connection between climate change, warming ocean waters, acidification and decline in coral reefs is complex, and knowledge about these issues is limited to relatively few people.
Much Ado About Racism
Re “Is ‘Microaggression’ the New Racism?” [April 14]: Reading about “microaggression” filled me with despair about the way the U.S. is going. Where is the self-confidence of a country that we in Europe used to admire? The culture of grievance has gone so far that it impinges upon freedom of speech in the name of political correctness. While nobody in their right mind wants racial hatred, there is now a neurotic fear of offending people who are looking for offense. I very much doubt whether the Chinese, Russians or even Germans are turning themselves inside out in the way the North Americans are doing.
John Mcwhorter describes microaggression as a new form of racism. I agree that stereotypes are usually subconscious. However, I don’t think we should overanalyze. It’s not about being politically correct but about treating everyone with the same kind of respect. And as long as we do that, we should avoid taking everything too seriously, because then we soon won’t be able to say anything anymore.
Re “The Voters’ Voices” [April 7]: What the story fails to mention is the dismay that many Aam Aadmi Party supporters felt at its poor governance during the short time it was in power in Delhi. As a result, it has left Indians with no option but to choose between a corrupt, dynastic Congress Party and a fundamentalist, divisive Bharatiya Janata Party.
The story appears to have missed out mentioning the aspirations and dreams of millions of educated young Indians who are highly ambitious. They want change but are not sure as to what exactly they want, considering the limited options available, while their illiterate and barely literate counterparts have more voting power than them in terms of numbers.
Suresh K. Parappurath,
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