Change Marks Iraq War's Sixth Anniversary

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Friday marked the six-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Violence has significantly dropped in the region, and for the first time, Iraqis are more concerned about the economy than security.

It is an unfamiliar sight in Baghdad as race fans watch race cars zoom by on a track.

Meanwhile, a local market is packed with shoppers looking for good deals.

Despite the progress in Iraq, Christians in the country still face attacks.  Click play for more on this with Canon Andrew White, the Anglican Vicar of Baghdad, following George Thomas' report.

Could this be the sounds and the sights of a war-torn Iraq on the comeback?

Six years after the U.S. invasion, Iraqis across the country are for the first time, in a long time, hopeful about their future.

"I am just optimistic, and I think we are on the right path," said Hiba Aal-Jassin, a dental student.

Positive Effects

There are dramatic numbers to backup this sentiment. A new ABC News poll finds 65 percent of Iraqis feel positive about their lives.

So much so, that from the port city of Basra in the south, to Karbala in the heartland, there are signs of new life everywhere.

The streets, the markets, the restaurants, they are all bustling with people. some Iraqis in Baghdad have even taken up new hobbies like car racing.

"It is all new," said Luay al-Ameer. "It is nice."

Security Still A Factor

Tens of thousands of fans feel safe to gather for soccer matches.

Security is a big factor in all this. 84 percent of Iraqis say the security conditions are good. The number is double what it was in 2007.

"We feel safe and it is much better than last year," said one Iraqi.

Iraq's Economy -- The Largest Concern

Just like many Americans, Iraqis now say their economy is the big concern.

Rebuilding Iraq and establishing a stable government will take time and patience.

However, six years after the fall of their dictator with a new constitution and the freedom to vote in elections, an overwhelming majority of Iraqis, some 64 percent, say democracy and not Islamic law is the best form of government.

"Democracy is the only solution for Iraq," said one Iraqi.

*Originally aired March 20, 2009.

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CBN News
George Thomas

George Thomas

CBN News Senior Reporter

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