A series of bomb attacks in downtown Baghdad have exposed the weakness of the new Iraqi government. It is not clear who or what is responsible for the bombings, and the list of suspects is long. But a government’s first responsibility is to provide for the safety and security of its citizens: By any measure, the Iraq government is not measuring up.

The explosions last Wednesday struck the very heart of the Iraqi state. A series of coordinated explosions — truck bombs and mortar fire — hit the most important ministries in the government, killing nearly 100 people and wounding more than 1,000 others. Two massive bombs targeted the finance and foreign ministries, a devastating rejoinder to the government’s plan to remove most of the concrete barriers remaining in the city and restore some sense of normalcy. The scale of the attacks and the prominence of the targets suggest life in Baghdad will not be returning to normal anytime soon.

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