In Depth

Instant Opinion: Iraqis rebel over regime ‘farce’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 8 October

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The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Fanar Haddad on Al Jazeera

on the lack of political opposition in Iraq

Iraq’s protests and the reform farce

“Today, the political sphere in Iraq is more of a diffuse web of vested interests (formal and informal, Iraqi and foreign) than ‘a regime’. Going against it is less like butting against an immovable rock and more like punching through jelly. Paradoxically, this might be one of its most powerful attributes and one which could ensure its survival. It precludes the possibility of state capture without its complete destruction by way of a major civil war or a foreign 2003-esque intervention. Because of this opaque, decentralised political system and in the absence of clear and focussed demands, the protesters' total rejection is more likely to yield zero-sum contestation than solutions.”

2. The New York Times editorial board
 

on another twist in the tale of US foreign policy

Does Donald Trump know what his Syria policy is?

“It may seem paradoxical, but in caving in to one of the strongmen he so admires, Trump may have set the United States on a collision course with Turkey. He’s also put himself into conflict with the Pentagon and his own Republican allies. He may walk his own decision back once again, in part or in whole. But what ally could look at the United States now and see a stalwart partner - and what foe could look at it and fear a determined adversary?”

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3. Frida Ghitis on CNN

on cutting your losses

Trump's chance to make the deal of his life

“You could declare that Americans simply don't deserve you, that it was the country's fault. You can blame the deep state if you want. Say you don't want to waste your valuable time in a divisive impeachment process - then blame the Democrats. If you're a really good negotiator, you might be able to sign an immunity agreement guaranteeing that you won't be prosecuted. Then you will admit to nothing and say that you stepped down selflessly, to spare the country. In that case, history might be more inclined to consider your version of the story.”

4. Zoe Williams in The Guardian

on the personal tribulations of the PM

Boris Johnson’s Arcuri scandal is about public funds, not private life

“Before he became prime minister, commentators observed that sex was already ‘priced in’ with Johnson – voters knew what to expect. Extreme negligence around its consequences – being unable to number your own children, say – was also priced in. Adultery, divorce, skeletons in closets: this is a man whose relationships are so sketchy no one knew for sure who he’d move into Downing Street with, having got there on the votes of a narrow but trenchant constituency who didn’t care.”

5. Kate Leaver on the Huffington Post

on the joys of a British institution

Why Pizza Express must be saved

“The cheesy aficionados of Pizza Express have clearly been giving away too many 2-for-1, 3-courses-for-£12 discount codes. They are allegedly in £1.6 million of debt per restaurant, which sounds... bad. What can we do? How can we rescue the greatest pizza restaurant in modern Britain? The truth is that the increasingly likely prospect of its closure is nothing short of a national disaster. In fact, they have restaurants in Asia, let’s declare it an international disaster. It is a travesty and a tragedy. I do not know the usual protocol for culinary calamities of this scale, but we must immediately enact some sort of community action plan. Pizza Express must be saved.”

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