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Behind the Bo Scandal
Your report on the Bo Xilai case is scary [“Crossing a Red Line,” May 7]. China’s political system can’t prevent events like this; it cultivates them. China is very complicated, and what you see is not what you get. Bo’s story is perhaps only the beginning.
John C.M. Lee,
Hong Kong

Hannah Beech is right in citing examples of trading on family ties in China, a less democratic political system, and in the U.S., a fully developed one. However, I can’t agree with the notion that making those ties known is more desirable to the populace. After all, these are unfair practices that would never be disclosed unless they were unraveled by the media. The general public could do nothing but just resign themselves to those injustices within the society. After reading this article, I’ve concluded that organizations holding absolute power would neither apologize to people they have hurt nor admit the wrongdoings they have committed.
Philip Tong,
Hong Kong

The End of bin Laden
“The Last Days of Osama bin Laden” contains several interesting points and facts, but the overall quality is weighed down by exaggerated drama, inconsequent motives and an almost complete lack of perspective [May 7]. It is shocking to see al-Qaeda’s terrorism being reduced to a war against the U.S. and the U.S. only.
Alan Mattli,
Lucerne, Switzerland

While many of us do not necessarily sympathize with bin Laden’s ultimate demise, we condemn the way he was killed and how the body was covertly disposed of. It speaks volumes of U.S. arrogance.
Faroud Rahman,

What impressed me most in your article “How It Went Down” was the statement attributed to CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell [May 7]. When he realized the military would be better equipped to handle the raid than his agency’s people, he told his boss, “It’s time to call in the pros.” That kind of selfless, self-confident cooperation should be held up as an example to all Republicans and Democrats and federal agencies. The government needs more leaders with this attitude.
Jim Fisher,
Oakdale, Minn., U.S.

Kudos to TIME for your special report on bin Laden. It reads like a Tom Clancy novel and makes me proud of our country.
Mary Ellen Lukasiewicz,
Cumberland, R.I., U.S.

Assessing Obama
I found it interesting that Rich Lowry opines that Obama can’t run on his record “so he’s left with petty attacks and paltry ideas” in a commentary [“As Small a President as He Can Be,” May 7] followed by Peter Bergen’s article “The Last Days of bin Laden,” which details one of Obama’s gutsiest, most substantive achievements as Commander in Chief.
A.W. Hartman,
Mansfield, Ohio, U.S.

This is one of the most biased and mean-spirited articles I have read in a long time. And not one word about the mess the current President inherited from his Republican predecessor!
George R. Emmett,

Don’t Blame Mexico
I was very disappointed by Rana Foroohar’s essay “Walmart’s Discounted Ethics” [May 7]. I think it is ludicrous to believe that corruption is endemic to Mexican culture, or any culture in particular. I know for a fact that you can have a successful business in Mexico without having to pay bribes; but I also know that any company wanting to break regulations in any country will try any illegal means to get away with it. Blaming it on the culture — even in part — is just beside the point.
Shulamis Bronstein,

The Bigger Picture
Re “Sudan’s Spiral Back to War” [May 7]: In your photo of the dead soldier, one important element of Sudan’s war is made abundantly clear: oil. There may be myriad causes for the war, as the article tries to show, but what sustains it is global demand for oil. It is oil revenue that most likely funds the war on each side. So tens of thousands of people in Africa have to suffer for what? So that we can use our cars? One of the most underrated causes for the many civil wars in Africa is our own vanity.
John Wong,

The TIME 100
Seeing Mamata Banerjee on this list confirms what has long been suspected by the observant middle class in her home state of West Bengal [“The 100 Most Influential People in the World,” April 30]. You can love her or you can hate her, but you certainly cannot ignore her — or her unmatched influence over her state’s and India’s political future.
Saurya Bhattacharya,

Rihanna? Yes, a young woman with a great voice, but one who has become the ambassador for immodesty. Influential? For now. Memorable 20 years down the line? I think not.
Linda Whitlock,
Sevenoaks, England

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