Re "The Art of Darkness" [Feb. 4]: Zero Dark Thirty, with a production budget estimated at $40 million, was directed in a splendid manner and depicts the events that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in a realistic sequence. But the movie is full of demographic errors about Pakistani society: Pakistanis speak Urdu, English and other regional languages and not Arabic; Pakistani men do not go around wearing 17th and 18th century headgear in markets; and the list goes on. The large viewership of a violent movie as a source of entertainment is a major point of concern and shows a deterioration in the intellect and ethics of highly civilized societies, besides just a deterioration in poor and deprived societies like Pakistan.
Asad Jabbar, MULTAN, PAKISTAN
Reform in China
After reading "Foreseeing Red: Lee Kuan Yew on China," I think new leader Xi Jinping should heed the public's will to make the nation a democracy, which could even involve dissolving the Chinese Communist Party altogether [Feb. 4]. In that way, the country's internal and external dilemmas could be discharged. Without democracy, Xi cannot make China a responsible stakeholder, a respected player in Asia and eventually the world power in the foreseeable future.
Song Xiaowen, PINGZHEN CITY, TAIWAN
A one-person-one-vote, multiparty system, as realized in a small area like Taiwan, may not realistically be applicable in today's mainland China, with the understandable complexity driven by factors like the large population, high proportion of illiteracy, the bureaucratic legacy of the communist system and so on. A multiparty system may not be politically or materially beneficial to Chinese citizens, at least not in the foreseeable future. Consider the annoying stagnation in reviewing bills and the flagrant chaos in most voting procedures in the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan's parliament. After experiencing American-style democracy, the majority of Taiwanese citizens do not, generally speaking, live more satisfactorily or enjoy greater contentment in their daily lives than before the multiparty system was implemented.
Lau Hieng-hiong, BAOSHAN, TAIWAN
France's War in Mali
France entered the war in Mali because it cannot tolerate a terrorist state at Europe's door [In and Out of Africa, Feb. 4]. But when Israel launches a defensive operation to protect its citizens from rocket attacks by terrorists in Gaza, the French media shout about Israeli "aggression." The distance between Bamako and Paris is roughly 4,000 km; the distance between Gaza and Israel none. They share a border.
Dov Weissberg, REHOVOT, ISRAEL
Anyone wondering if France's famed Foreign Legion (established in 1831 during the heyday of French colonialism) still exists to undertake the country's military actions in its former colonies and elsewhere will find the answer in the insignia on the shoulder of the French soldier in Mali. It reads just that: LÉGION ÉTRANGÈRE Foreign Legion. Indeed, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Tony van der Watt, PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
Violence Against Women
It is shocking to read about the acid attack on Sommayeh Mehri and her daughters [The Agony of Injustice, Feb. 4]. Acid attacks on women are a common crime in Pakistan, but it's surprising that such violence on women is being carried out in Iran, which is perceived to be relatively developed and more educated than its neighbor. These attacks are used to harass women and deprive them of their basic rights. Because of fear, women are afraid to ask for divorce, alimony or the right to have children's custody after divorce. Despite increased media coverage and legislation, these crimes are growing in number as perpetrators of such offenses are not brought to justice.
Asiya Latif, LAHORE, PAKISTAN
I cannot understand why women are treated so badly in some countries without justice being properly carried out as a result. While the victims suffer, the culprits roam free. How and why the world tolerates such unspeakable crimes is beyond my understanding. Is it not time to empower these women to stand up and speak their mind?
Isetan Miko, KOBE, JAPAN
One aspect that goes unnoticed and often acts as the catalyst in any innovation and growth is the role of marketing and media [The Rewards of Mastering Risk, Feb. 4]. What is innovation that does not create awareness about its product and its developments? Even the greatest industry players like Apple and Nike bring their products to the people, into their homes. This ability to market innovation is one of the foremost qualities of good leadership. Media is a tool, and marketing is the backbone for any innovation and success.
Neena Mittal, SINGAPORE