The End of Putin?
Vladimir Putin is astute and ruthless, but he is not a dictator, and his regime is much more fragile than it looks ["See Putin Run," March 5]. As he loses popular support, the question is not whether he will also lose power but when. Will Russians be willing to wait another six years, or will they find a way to push him out sooner?
Contrary to what your article suggests, many of us believe that Putin remains a powerful political leader to be reckoned with. Please do not belittle him. While recent protests in Moscow do seem to reflect a drop in his popularity, he is still widely regarded by Russians outside the capital (especially in the rural areas) as an astute and strong-minded leader who can stand up to the West. He will be re-elected as President. Rest assured that a new era of global geopolitic will ensue.
Santorum's Family Values
Re "Rick Santorum's Inconvenient Truths" by Joe Klein [March 5]: It's easy to be sanctimonious when one can afford nannies and nurses to care for a child with a disability. The rest of us have to be practical: Who will care for this special child? How will we pay medical bills? What about the needs of other children in the family? Klein and the Santorums should get out and see the real world.
West Bath, Maine, U.S.
In Santorum's world, government has no right to save a failing financial industry but every right to insert religion into public policy. Our Founding Fathers knew the essential need for the separation of church and state. Santorum doesn't get it.
Marble Hill, Ga., U.S.
This is the most decent piece of journalist commentary I have read in a long time. To differ in opinion but to recognize the decency in another human being and to draw lessons from his views deserves your readers' respect.
Senegal's Rising Star
Alex Perry writes that N'Dour is "Africa's most famous living musician" ["Youssou N'Dour's Protest Song," March 5]. With Africa's high turnover of infamous politicians, I hope that by the time N'Dour is through with his political ambitions, he will remain untainted to still be worthy of the tag famous.
Cosmas Uzoma Odoemena,
What is anathema to the media-savvy youth of today's world is a power-drunk leader. Having witnessed the Arab Spring and the standoff in Ivory Coast, Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade better take heed and consider using the wisdom that comes with his old age to help build a democratic government.
Re "The Final Sacrifice" [March 5]: Now that the Syrian army is also aiming consciously at journalists, it really has come time for Western nations and the Arab League to take action and supply weapons to the opposition to end this murderous regime that has no respect for human life or international law.
C. den Heyer,
A Bit Rich
Your picture of the installation of 22 new Cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica made me sick [LightBox, March 5]. This opulence and show of wealth is not what being a Christian stands for. Think of all the children dying of hunger who could be fed with a fraction of the money spent on such pomp and ceremony.
Tauranga, New Zealand
In her article "Border Control," Carla Power implies that Europeans who oppose mass immigration into their countries are ignorantly sacrificing their future because of a fear of losing their cultural identity [March 5]. Power failed to mention the role of left-wing parties and European Union institutions in creating a climate of hostility toward immigrants by, at times, making immigrants' rights seem more important than those of the indigenous populations. Perhaps those who wish to promote more immigration into Europe should show more respect for the preservation of European culture and values.
Parkhurst, South Africa
Unless measures are taken to halt population growth, all developed countries will have to close off their borders or risk losing control over their societies.
Re "Pixar's Girl Story" [March 5]: For small heroines that are really worth believing in, I recommend the Japanese animated films from Studio Ghibli. A number of heroine-centered films come to mind Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke that are as popular with my 13-year-old son as with me, his 48-year-old feminist mother.