A wave of bombings tore through Iraq on Tuesday, killing 65 people on eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion and showing how unstable Iraq remains
It was the deadliest day of attacks in Iraq since Sept. 9, when insurgents unleashed an onslaught of bombings and shootings across the country that left 92 dead.
The symbolism of Tuesday's attacks was strong, coming 10 years to the day, Washington time, that former President George W. Bush announced the start of hostilities against Iraq
Beginning in the early morning Tuesday with the assassination of a Ministry of Finance official by a bomb attached to his vehicle and continuing for hours, the attacks were a devastating reminder of the violence that regularly afflicts Iraq.
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 stacked up: 52 dead and nearly 180 wounded in separate attacks that included 16 car bombs, 2 adhesive bombs stuck to cars, and 1 assassination with a silenced gun.
Most attacks hit Shiite neighborhoods, and their targets were varied: restaurants, a bank, a vegetable market and a parking garage. Others were near a courthouse and a university
Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda are regaining ground in Iraq, invigorated by the war next door in Syria and have stepped up attacks on Shi'ite targets in an attempt to provoke a wider sectarian confrontation.
One car bomb exploded in a busy Baghdad market, three detonated in the Shi'ite district of Sadr City and another near the entrance of the heavily fortified Green Zone.
The attacks show how dangerous and unstable Iraq remains a decade after the war — a country where sectarian violence can explode at any time.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts, but the attacks bore hallmarks of al-Qaida in Iraq.
But what of the original American objective, the new Iraqi example "for the region and beyond"? With each challenge to US power - not just military, but political, economic, and ideological - the Bush Administration's vision of the "unipolar era" receded.
There were attempted revisions, such as Bush's proclamation of a "freedom agenda" in 2005, but they could not substitute for the US failure to impose authority. The administration had entered with the January 2001 vision of regime change; it exited with the December 2008 image of a journalist throwing both his shoes at a surprised President in Baghdad.
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Russia joined its ally, the Assad government, in charging that Syrian rebels had used the chemical weapon, an act it called alarming and dangerous.