The commentators 18-08-14
If Iraq is to survive then Iraqis must embrace regionalisation and accept that a unified Iraq is now a distant reality. A decentralized or regionalised Iraq is not tantamount to partitioning Iraq, which many oppose, and it might ultimately create the breathing space necessary for a unified Iraqi identity to emerge.
- Ranj Alaaldin, Independent
If the co-operation of the Iranians in keeping Iraq together and defeating the jihadi terrorists would suit Tehran, the reality is that it would help the moderate Arab governments and the West even more. An Islamic State straddling Iraq and Syria would destabilise the whole Arab world and be a base for exporting terrorism not just in the Middle East but throughout Europe and the United States. Furthermore, it would accelerate the radicalisation of a small but dangerous number of Muslims throughout the world.
- Malcolm Rifkind, Daily Telegraph
Cameron says it is vital that the Arabs, along with the West, unite against a common enemy ‘which threatens the way of life of all’. He talks of working with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey ‘and perhaps even Iran’ against this ‘shared threat’. Has he talked to Arab rulers? If not, why not? If he has, what was their response?
- Peter McKay, Daily Mail
America’s military operations so far have been limited; most of its focus has gone into trying to establish a government in Baghdad that will stop marginalising Sunnis. That is as it should be. Large-scale bombing of the areas that the Islamic State controls, which some on the American right are calling for, will only ensure that more angry young Sunnis follow the black flag of the Islamic State through the desert, to death or glory.
- Emma Duncan, The Times
Since ancient Greece, doctors have sworn to first do no harm. It is also a great principle for a superpower. Why attempt by war what you can achieve with diplomacy? Alas, President Barack Obama’s version of the Hippocratic Oath – “don’t do stupid stuff” – is ridiculed even within his own party. Every advance by Islamists in Iraq, and every missile fired by Russian separatists in Ukraine, is taken as an indictment of his caution.
- Edward Luce, FT
First World War centenary
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