Biden vs. Putin Over the War in Ukraine

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  • Promoting Known Lies at Fox News
  • Don Lemon’s Comment About Women
  • Make Election Day a Holiday
  • A Gap in U.S.-Philippine History
Credit…Daniel Berehulak/The New York Times
Credit…Dmitry Astakhov/Sputnik, via Reuters

To the Editor:

Re “Putin Pulls Back From Nuclear Arms Treaty, Signaling Sharper Break With West” (nytimes.com, Feb. 21):

In a major speech to the Russian people on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin said Russia was suspending its participation in the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. Under this key treaty, both the U.S. and Russia are permitted to conduct inspections of each other’s weapons sites.

Mr. Putin’s threat is an apparent attempt to scare the U.S. into reducing or suspending our arms and monetary support to Ukraine. He knows that his huge nuclear arsenal cannot be unleashed without provoking a potential nuclear Armageddon that could ultimately destroy Russia and end his regime.

Nevertheless, he has long tried to use his nuclear cache as a “sword of Damocles,” to dissuade the U.S. from providing Ukraine with arms that could be used to inflict damage directly upon the Russian homeland.

Mr. Putin’s bombast will not deter President Biden. As the president’s dramatic visit to Kyiv on Monday demonstrated so vividly and so powerfully, he stands unequivocally with Ukraine, and his personal support and commitment to Ukraine remain undiminished. The American people’s commitment to the Ukrainian cause may not be quite as robust, and that is why the president’s visit is so symbolically important to help boost our national resolve to stay the course.

Ken Derow
Swarthmore, Pa.

To the Editor:

Re “Long, Risky Night for Biden on Way to a Besieged Kyiv” (front page, Feb. 21):

The best form of leadership is that of leading by example. President Biden’s visit to Kyiv was both an act of courage and an action that spoke more loudly and eloquently than any speech could have about the United States’ support for Ukraine.

Charles R. Cronin Jr.
Hempstead, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Re “The U.S. Can’t Go ‘Wobbly’ on Ukraine,” by David French (column, Feb. 20):

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. French’s statement: “On the war’s anniversary it’s time for a concerted effort to persuade Americans of a single idea: We should support Ukraine as much as it takes, as long as it takes, until the Russian military suffers a decisive, unmistakable defeat.”

Mr. French lays out all the arguments for staying the course. The similarities between this conflict and the beginning of World War II are too obvious to ignore.

The megalomaniac Vladimir Putin must not be allowed to wreak the havoc that his blood brother Hitler unleashed. To withdraw support now would be an incredible mistake that would lead to even more bloodshed. Remember Neville Chamberlain.

Bill Gottdenker
Mountainside, N.J.

To the Editor:

David French and the rest of us need to stare one fact in the face: As long as Russia has nuclear weapons available for use (even starting small), we cannot “win” the war in Ukraine. We used them; why do we think that the Kremlin would not?

Mr. French believes that it is an empty threat: Nuclear powers “rattle the nuclear saber to deter an effective response.”

How myopic can we be, especially when pushing the line that Vladimir Putin is a madman? If we can’t think straight, why do we think Mr. Putin can?

Tom Roeper
Amherst, Mass.

Promoting Known Lies at Fox News

To the Editor:

Re “Fox Stars Voiced Voter Fraud Doubts” (Business, Feb. 17):

Internal Fox News text messages showing that Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, urged on by Fox management, continued to promote known lies about the election in order to compete with Newsmax and protect profits shows these individuals and their network for what they are. A greedy and despicable operation that is willing to lie to its gullible audience to make money, knowing full well that the lies were fanning the flames of insurrection, violence and distrust of American democracy.

The advertisers who continue to support them are not worthy of our business.

David S. Elkind
Greenwich, Conn.

Don Lemon’s Comment About Women

Credit…Mike Coppola/Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “CNN Anchor Is Rebuked for Remarks on Women” (Business, Feb. 18):

Don Lemon, CNN’s morning-show anchor, has been widely criticized for his assertion that Nikki Haley, the 51-year-old Republican presidential candidate, “isn’t in her prime.”

When challenged by his female co-anchors, he replied: “I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it.”

So I did. The first hit says “in your prime” is an idiom that means “in the best, most successful, most productive stage,” so clearly Nikki Haley is in fact in her prime.

There continues to be rampant discrimination against women in the workplace not only with respect to compensation, but also with respect to appearance.

“Lookism” — the importance of appearing youthful — hurts women far more than men. In an AARP poll, nearly two-thirds of women age 50 and older report age discrimination.

Mr. Lemon’s comments underscore the need for continued workplace training on implicit bias, with the goal of promoting a culture of meritocracy. Effective leadership comes from people of all ages, all genders and all races.

Kathleen McCartney
Northampton, Mass.
The writer is the president of Smith College.

Make Election Day a Holiday

Credit…David Zalubowski/Associated Press

To the Editor:

Re “Washington Would Hate Presidents’ Day,” by Alexis Coe (Opinion guest essay, Feb. 20):

Ms. Coe’s persuasive criticism of Presidents’ Day provides an additional argument for a vital reform. Subtract Presidents’ Day from the list of federal holidays and add Election Day — perhaps restyled as Democracy Day.

Many other countries make national elections a holiday from work obligations, thus significantly expanding citizen participation in voting. Let’s do the same here.

Now placed close to Election Day, Veterans Day could be moved to February to balance the calendar, preserving a good reason for a holiday break in February, while giving citizens a federal holiday to vote in November without adding yet another holiday to the calendar.

George Washington would likely smile from Mount Rushmore at the change. After all, he was a veteran too!

Eric W. Orts
The writer is a professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

A Gap in U.S.-Philippine History

Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and President Richard Nixon in 1969 in Manila.Credit…Bettmann/Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “The Curse of the Philippines’ Geography,” by Gina Apostol (Opinion guest essay, Feb. 8), responding to the news that the U.S. military would expand its presence in that country:

I totally understand where Ms. Apostol’s opinion piece comes from. I remember how the U.S. (particularly under Richard Nixon) looked the other way regarding Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s authoritarian rule. But she does not readily acknowledge the other side of the coin regarding U.S. behavior toward the Philippines.

During World War II, many U.S. servicemen lost their lives trying to remove the occupation of the Japanese military from their islands.

I believe that U.S. foreign policy under President Biden is correct and necessary in trying to push aside China’s influence in Asia. And his interest in doing so can hardly be called an occupation. It is called mutual self-interest.

Paula Twilling
Evanston, Ill.

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