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Demonstrators light candles to mark the first anniversary of the anti-government protests in Basra, Iraq Demonstrators light candles to mark the first anniversary of the anti-government protests in Basra, Iraq, Oct. 1, 2020 (AP photo by Nabil al-Jurani).

‘The State Has Built Nothing’: A Dispatch From Iraq

Monday, July 12, 2021

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, Middle East Memo, which takes a look at what’s happening, what’s being said and what’s on the horizon in the Middle East. Subscribe to receive it by email every Monday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it.

KARBALA, Iraq—Iraq’s weak democracy has fallen under direct threat from internal militias, and its economy and infrastructure have reached a breaking point. The country’s political system—a makeshift workaround to manage persistent ethno-sectarian divisions—seems unable to make even the slightest course correction. Is it about to unravel? And if it does, what type of government might take its place? ...

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