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Iraqi Kurdistan has achieved new prosperity by exporting its own oil and gas to Turkey, against the objections of Iraq’s central government. By challenging Baghdad’s claims to exclusive control of Iraq’s natural resources, the Kurds are showing how economic cooperation can make Middle Eastern borders more porous.
Underneath all the anger in Egypt lies a basic fact: The country's economy is in deep trouble. Normally a country in such a bad way would go to the IMF for support. Instead, it has tried to play the fund and Gulf donors off one another to stay afloat.
Secularists have taken to the streets to argue that Egypt's new constitution, likely to be ratified this week, is an illegitimate document produced in an undemocratic process. What they really fear, however, is that normal politics will soon return to the country -- setting up a fight that they know they can't win.