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Bobby Ghosh

The U.S. Shouldn’t Try to Save Iraq’s Prime Minister

Instead, it should push him to enact the reforms the protesters seek.

There’s a reason for the riots.

There’s a reason for the riots.

Photographer: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images

The most charitable thing to be said for Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s response to the protests wracking Iraq is that it was ill-advised. But perhaps this was to be expected, since one of his senior advisers has declared that “there is no real answer” to the country’s problems.

Mahdi, a lugubrious figure in the best of times, delivered an especially dismal performance in the most important speech of his career on Friday, after his security forces had killed several dozen Iraqi protesters. He offered no answers, only mealy-mouthed platitudes about listening to the people’s demands — and then cautioned that there was “no magic solution.”