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Partnering with Pakistan
In “Frenemies” [May 23], Aryn Baker suggests that Pakistan needs some show of support to rebuild its trust in the U.S. Why isn’t the aid we send enough? And why is it assumed that Pakistan is the only side that needs, and deserves, some reassurance? Considering that the world’s most wanted man was living — barely even hiding — in plain sight for five years in their country, I think a show of support from the Pakistanis is what is needed. Let them prove to us that what they really want is to be our allies, because that’s not the message that I’m getting so far.
Alexandra Pochert,
Kentwood, Mich., U.S.

Pakistan is a mess. However, the U.S. cannot absolve itself completely from the disarray. After Pakistan served our interests in getting Soviet forces out of Afghanistan, it was abandoned and left to deal with the postwar chaos. Pakistan must revamp itself and correct its wrongdoings, but concurrently the U.S. must acknowledge that its shortsightedness added to Pakistan’s woes. Redemption is possible with a true commitment to resolving problems and not merely placing a Band-Aid on them.
Mansura Bashir Minhas,

I am disappointed that Baker’s article states that India has contributed to Pakistan’s paranoia by massing troops on its border. What choice does India have but to maintain sufficient troops to safeguard our long porous borders and to combat terrorism, especially in Kashmir and other troubled regions?
Mohan Sreenivasan,

It is about time the U.S. stopped pampering Pakistan. Like India, Pakistan was born in 1947, and it is no longer a baby. But every time Pakistan bawls, America does not mind giving it more weapons to play with. What is next? Nuclear arms? I lived through the three wars with Pakistan in the Indian border town of Amritsar, experiencing power cuts, rations and air raids, witnessing the wounded and the dead — all because of U.S. aid. Do you think if it were left to itself, Pakistan would be able to build up such an arsenal?
Edith D’Sa,
Betim, India

Pakistan is both a failed state and a rogue state, and yet the U.S. needs it. The U.S.’s new long-term strategic foreign policy should be to team up with India and Afghanistan to counter al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The U.S. should not support Pakistan militarily, but only for economic development. I expect that NATO, Russia and Japan would encourage such a scenario.
R.S. Sarma,
Mysore, India

I recommend a rereading of David Halberstam’s book The Best and the Brightest . Simply substitute Afghanistan for Vietnam, Pakistan for Cambodia, the Taliban for the Khmer Rouge, North Waziristan for Ho Chi Minh Trail, General David Petraeus for General William Westmoreland. And here’s to hoping that Pakistan does not end up with its own Killing Fields and Year Zero.
Raja M. Kaiqobad,
Lahore, Pakistan

Who’ll Stop the Rain?
Michael Grunwald states that the increased frequency of severe floods of the Mississippi River “could be a symptom of global warming, although there’s not yet proof” [“Who Controls the Mighty River?” May 23]. It is a fact that humans have created a warmer planet by burning fossil fuels, and a direct result of this warming is increased, episodic, heavy rainfall that leads to flooding. The debate on global warming is no longer a debate. Please don’t suggest that the science is inconclusive, as it breeds passivity at the exact moment we need the energetic engagement of everyone on the planet to avert a climate disaster.
Felicia Taghizadeh,
Albuquerque, N.M., U.S.

It is time to remove the Army Corps of Engineers from its position of responsibility for rivers, lakes and flood control. The Air Force does not manage air transportation, the Navy does not manage seaports, and the Army does not manage highway systems or road transportation. Even though many corps employees are civilians, the chiefs are still professional soldiers educated primarily at the U.S. Military Academy. Establish a purely civilian organization with true professionals.
Robert C. Tugwell, Lieut. Colonel (ret.),
U.S. Army, Belton, S.C., U.S.

My Generation, Baby
As a soon-to-be voter (I am 17), I appreciated “The Cool Kid” on presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman [May 23]. It is nice to see a serious Republican candidate among all those in the GOP opting for fearmongering and swift-boating. It will be especially pleasing to see how Huntsman’s personality as a calm, levelheaded, worldly person interacts with President Obama’s in the election. Finally, a moderate Republican. Who knew?
Zach Clifton,
Bel Air, Md., U.S.

Thanks for the much needed information on Huntsman. Perhaps he will be the Republican candidate with enough intelligence and sanity to enable a civil discussion on the priorities of our country and offer realistic ways to address them.
Italo Sinopoli,
Canton, Ohio, U.S.

The Wage Gap
Re Rana Foroohar’s “The 100% Solution” [May 23]: As a former stay-at-home dad, I can say that when women earn the same pay as men, it frees us from the burden of shouldering an imbalanced portion of the family finances. It provides men with the time to be more involved with their families and allows women to pursue more lucrative careers. Over time, this creates a shift of consciousness, making the world more tolerable and functional.
Melvin Weiner,
Kennebunk, Maine, U.S.

It isn’t, or shouldn’t be, that mothers who also work outside the home have something to prove. They have something to do — a job at the office and a job at home. The price can be high, but we do it all, and well. Man up, guys! We did!
Joan Messinger,
Los Angeles

I don’t agree that women suffer wagediscrimination because they “don’t jump as quickly as men do at new opportunities,” as author Mika Brzezinski believes. In the E.U., women on average earn 18% less per hour than men do. How can we accept such social injustice? The article says some economists believe that the average woman in the U.S. and Western Europe will outearn her male peers by 2024, but pay parity will not just drop from the sky. Only the mobilization of discriminated women can put an end to such unfairness. As claimed by Martin Luther King Jr., “Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability.”
Oliver Slattery,
Rennes, France

Foroohar’s essay is just one more of the endless articles about a few well-educated women wanting to grab the jobs at the top of the ladder. Women may make up 50% of the workforce, but they make up only a small percentage of occupational deaths. The feminist movement studiously avoids advocating that women should get burned to death at the bottom of coal mines alongside men. Perhaps the feminists’ idea of equality is taking all the good things men have, handing over nothing in exchange, and leaving all the bad things with men.
Vail Hubner,
Tauranga, New Zealand

It’s the Economy — and More
Joe Klein accurately opines that a “bum economy” could cost Barack Obama re-election [“Why Obama’s Not a Lock,” May 23]. But by implicitly comparing Obama 2012 to Jimmy Carter 1980 and George H.W. Bush 1992, Klein omits crucial factors that also cost those two incumbents re-election. Both Carter and Bush faced significant opponents (Edward Kennedy in 1980, Pat Buchanan in 1992). Carter was not aided by the hostage crisis in Iran. And no one has accused either Carter or Bush of being great campaigners. On the other hand, there is little doubt that Obama is an excellent campaigner, putting to shame any current member of the Republican field.
Alan Ginsberg,
Corea, Maine, U.S.

Gains for India’s Farmers
It is good to know that farmers in India are becoming better off [“A New Crop of Consumers,” May 23]. But if they can invest their money in something like mutual funds, which offer better returns than banks do, they can even double their savings. But, alas, people living in rural India are not very aware of the options that can give them lucrative returns.
Zeeshan Swalaheen,

Just Like Guevara?
Thank you for publishing Jorge Castañeda’s Essay comparing the killings of Che Guevara and Osama bin Laden [“Grave Lessons,” May 23]. Guevara is still alive in the hearts of many people, and although President Barack Obama confirmed the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist, thousands of people around the globe don’t believe him. One was a Marxist and the other an Islamist, but both men fought imperialism.
Ershad Mazumder,
Dhaka, Bangladesh

“Grave Lessons” is the most despicable and the most vulgar verbal spat on Guevara. How can Castañeda compare him to bin Laden? And what a contemptible description of Guevara’s body.
G. Suresh Dhas,
Chennai, India

Trust Issues
Of course Pakistan is acting with duplicity [“How Can We Trust Them?” May 20]. And no wonder it is. Pakistan’s government is one of many that are receiving, or have received, easy money from the U.S. in a supposed effort to fight terrorism or, in the past, to ward off communism. There is ample evidence to show that the leaders of these recipient governments have become very rich men, and the trick to becoming even richer is to divert some of the U.S. money to militants in order to continue that country’s struggle and perpetuate their milking of the American financial cow. The U.S. needs to turn off the money taps, including those to Pakistan, and stop inadvertently funding its own enemies.
Paul Stafford,
Western Cape, South Africa

A Win for Peace
The photographs in your special issue on the death of Osama bin Laden all seem to suggest one thing: the U.S. operation has proved to be the people’s ultimate vindication against Public Enemy No. 1 [May 20]. I was just 12 years old on 9/11, but the horror of the tragedy still lingers in my mind. Though some have criticized the operation for being unauthorized and unilateral, its great success eclipses all such allegations. Surely, it is a tribute to all those who gave their lives for sustainable peace in the world.
Anju Claranel Thomas,
Kochi, India

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