Donald Trump needs to learn how Congress works, Emmanuel Macron’s approach to governing is risky, Why the US-Russia Syria cease-fire could anger Iran, The real reasons behind Syria’s many wars, Roger Federer’s stroke of genius

A roundup of global commentary for the July 31, 2017 weekly magazine.

Alex Brandon/AP
President Trump speaks during an event about healthcare in the Blue Room of the White House, Washington D.C., July 24, 2017.

The Telegraph / London

Donald Trump needs to learn how Congress works

“Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare completed their death spiral ... [after] two more Republican senators said they could not support legislation that would effectively deny insurance to more than 20 million people during the next decade,” writes Rob Crilly. “While the Russia scandal dominates headlines ... the healthcare debacle could prove far more damaging to this White House and its ability to get things ... done. It exposes ... [President] Trump’s ... misconception about life in modern America and an inability to understand how Washington works. First, it is a well-known truism ... that once introduced and disseminated it is all but impossible to scrap an entitlement.... Senators would simply not fall into line behind the health proposals. Cajoling and threats did not help.... And therein lies the problem. Mr Trump is still trying to run the government like his business.”

The Straits Times / Singagpore

Emmanuel Macron’s approach to governing is risky

“Few world politicians are as admired as France’s President Emmanuel Macron...,” writes Jonathan Eyal. “But just as ‘Macronmania’ reaches new heights, a strong dose of caution is recommended....
[H]is phenomenal rise to power ... should not obscure the fact that his style of government still amounts to a ... gamble.... There is ... a justification for trying to ram through economic and social reform from above.... If the measures produce the expected outcome and France flourishes, Mr Macron would be hailed as a second General de Gaulle. But the moment the reforms appear to flounder, he will find himself alone....”

Al Jazeera / Qatar

Why the US-Russia Syria cease-fire could anger Iran

“On July 9, the new ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia kicked off in southwest Syria,” writes Alexey Khlebnikov. “The agreement was signed by Jordan, Russia and the US.... One of the most important aspects of this agreement was that it was concluded separately from the Astana talks.... Russia, Turkey and Iran, the three sponsors of the Astana talks, did not sign a single agreement defining the parameters of the four de-escalation zones.... If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin continues to deal with Trump bilaterally on Syria, pushing forward more ceasefires, this could put Moscow at risk and would create problems with Iran.”

Arab News/ Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The real reasons behind Syria’s many wars

“Syria’s multiple wars continue unabated in various parts of the country. Fighting Daesh [Islamic State] is apparently a priority for almost all major actors in Syria, but a barely concealed competition is ongoing between Russia, the US, Iran, Israel and Turkey...,” writes Yasar Yakis. “Russia’s priority is to establish a military presence in Syria ... because it wants to maintain strong relations with the future regime.... The US has two priorities: To contain Iran’s ability to supply weapons and ammunition to Hezbollah, and to facilitate its own objectives in Iraq. Hence the intense military activity ... around ... the Damascus-Baghdad highway. This road is the most suitable land corridor to link Iran with Damascus and its Shiite proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon. So in its anti-Daesh fight, Tehran is focusing on controlling this route.”

The Hindu Times / Chennai, India

Roger Federer’s stroke of genius

“Wimbledon’s greatest illusion is the sense of timelessness it evokes.... [O]n its hallowed lawns, one of its finest champions managed to pull off a similar impression...,” states an editorial. “Roger Federer became the oldest man to win the singles title in the Open Era.... When he limped off Centre Court with a knee injury last year ... the future had looked bleak. But two far-sighted decisions have proven life-altering. Federer opted to take six months off to ... regain his health. Then, after winning the Australian Open, he skipped Roland-Garros.... Given that [his method] isn’t reliant on explosive athleticism or muscular ball-striking ... [i]t does not appear as though he is done winning Majors.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Donald Trump needs to learn how Congress works, Emmanuel Macron’s approach to governing is risky, Why the US-Russia Syria cease-fire could anger Ir...
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today