People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack close to one of the main gates to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses major government offices and the embassies of several countries, including the U.S. and Britain.
Nearly 10 years to the day after the start of the Iraq War, some 19 car bombs and a shooting in the country’s capital left 57 people dead, almost 200 wounded and many more wondering whether they’ll ever feel safe again.
The Tuesday bombings were just the latest in an ongoing saga of sectarian attacks that, we learned recently, were originally fostered by American invaders.
The legacy of the American military planners who sought to gain the advantage by turning one sect against the other is, as in so many imperial misadventures, never-ending violence.
Where is John McCain to remind us that his surge worked? Where is George W. Bush to declare the mission accomplished? Where is Thomas Friedman to say it was all worth it? Sadly only one of those warmongers has had the decency to go into seclusion.
By midmorning, the familiar sight of black smoke rose above a cityscape of palm fronds, turquoise-tiled mosque domes and squat concrete buildings. By midafternoon, the numbers had stacked up: 57 dead and nearly 190 wounded in separate attacks that included 17 car bombs, 2 adhesive bombs stuck to cars, and a killing with a silenced gun.
Most attacks hit Shiite neighborhoods. Their targets varied: restaurants, a bank, a vegetable market and a parking garage. Others were near a courthouse and a university, and some seemed to have no target other than innocent passers-by. Many Iraqis say they worry about an increase in sectarian tensions. Though there were no immediate claims of responsibility, the attacks were carried out in the fashion of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the Sunni insurgent group weakened but not vanquished by the American military.