Opposites Attract

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You couldn't just do a story about the legacy left by Ronald Reagan on the 100th anniversary of his birth, could you [The Role Model, Feb. 7]? Instead, your cover implies some sort of symbolic embrace of President Obama by Reagan. Where in your liberal minds did you come up with that one? Do you honestly think Reagan, a man who made his place in history by cutting the size of government, would embrace the policies of a man who thinks bigger government will solve everything?
Ann Craig-Cinnamon, GREENWOOD, IND., U.S.

Obama has learned nothing yet from Reagan. Reagan restored the U.S. after Carter's failed presidency. America needs the next Reagan ASAP. Obama still can!
Nathan Lerer, TEL AVIV

When I first saw your cover, I thought in disgust, How could they Photoshop together two such diametrically opposed people? But the article was a well-written, enlightening read on the lessons our political leaders can learn from one another behind the scenes. Kudos to Obama and Reagan for taking notes on political style from their predecessors: Obama from Reagan and Reagan from another diametric opposite, Franklin Roosevelt.
Adam Scott Kunz, WASHINGTON

I was surprised to see Ronald Reagan described as a transformer and visionary. His achievement in restoring confidence in free markets set the scene for the financial crisis. Private institutions had to be bailed out by the government, effectively privatizing their profits and socializing their losses.
James Moore, KINGSGROVE, AUSTRALIA

Seeing Presidents Reagan and Obama on your cover sent me back to my 1980s childhood. As the daughter of a public-school teacher, I remember the look of ever increasing worry on my parents' faces while we tried to survive Reaganomics. The glorification of his presidency mystifies me.
Mary Pirkl, KAMPSVILLE, ILL., U.S.

Egypt's Anger
The movement against Mubarak is fueled by the righteous anger of the Egyptian Arabs [On the Arab Street, Rage Is Contagious, Feb. 7]. Pakistanis are discussing Egypt's approach. When will Pakistan's Pandora's box open? Many believe the movement will travel from Tahrir Square, Cairo, to Constitution Avenue, Islamabad.
Mubasher Mir, KARACHI

Scandal in Italy
Re "Why Does Italy Put Up with Berlusconi?" [Feb. 7]: The opposition cannot effectively provide an alternative to Silvio Berlusconi, the unemployment rate is dramatically high, the economy is stagnant and signals of recovery are weak. Italy's tolerance threshold has been passed and change must come from a brand-new political class with a pragmatic approach to the country's problems and an open mind.
Raffaella Recanati, TRIESTE, ITALY

Berlusconi provided Italy with a dream. Italy needs dreams every now and then. Whether this is a politician's task is another question. But Berlusconi was no politician. That's why the dream seemed likely to work.
Giovanni Pagani, PIACENZA, ITALY

Connecting Chechnya
In "Putin's Terrorism Problem," Fareed Zakaria puts Chechnya in proper perspective and helps us understand a bigger pattern [Feb. 7]. As was the case for the Chechens, the struggle of the Palestinian people for their homeland was once secular. However, repeated snubs led people to accept whatever ideology might further their cause. Instead of getting more and more brutal (as Moscow is doing in the Caucasus), the world should address the core issues with resolve and diplomatic vigor.
Asim Allah Bakhsh, LAHORE

Zakaria writes that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's comments on the Moscow airport attack were "setting up the next stage in this cycle of violence and extremism." In what way does Putin's call for "retribution" differ from any Western leader's call for justice after the murder of civilians by ruthless terrorists? Zakaria's article exemplifies the West's incapacity to trust Russia as a long-term ally despite a history of common sacrifices. Isolating Russia would worsen its relationship with the West, slowing political liberalization and losing a precious ally in the global war on terrorism.
David Lamoureux, LONDON

Sizing Up SOTU
I have read at least a dozen reports and reviews of the State of the Union address, and none of them nailed it as Joe Klein did [Hello, Sunshine, Feb. 7]. Kudos.
Gene Davis Reese, WESTPORT, KY., U.S.

When will journalists like Klein stop using phrases like "the stranglehold of teachers'-union work rules"? In addition to keeping conditions reasonable, the union protects students, as it did when a fellow teacher was recently forced to accept 37 kids in her class, many of whom were struggling. After the union stepped in, the district hired another teacher.
Susan Keeney, SAN JOSE, CALIF., U.S.