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Iraq: Under Worse Management

Finally free of tyranny, terrorism, and the U.S., now was supposed to be Iraq’s moment. Instead, it’s on the brink of another meltdown

Seif Abdel Sadeh’s eyes lolled as his brother tipped a cup of orange juice to his swollen lips. As he lifted his arm to push his brother’s hand away, he grimaced, agitating the charred skin on his face, causing still more pain. The day before, Seif, 18, was walking to his Sadr City high school when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded. It shattered his left leg and sent so much shrapnel into his right leg that it had to be removed. The bomb that hit Seif that morning, and another that went off minutes later, killed a dozen Iraqis, mostly day laborers waiting to pick up work at a busy intersection on the road that connects Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad, to the downtown expressway.

Seif’s family huddled around his hospital bed. “We lived in fear of this happening to one of our kids,” Seif’s father, Abdel Sadeh, said, fingering a set of worry beads. His eyes welled up. “Who benefits from attacking innocent people?” He saw the blasts as bad omens: “These attacks are proof that the political parties are going to start tearing this country apart now.”