April 9 - A decade after U.S. troops toppled Saddam Hussein's regime, few Iraqis mark the day as they face political and economic woes. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
It's not much of a memorial. This is the spot in Baghdad where some ten years ago a statue of Saddam Hussein was torn down. On April 9th 2003 U.S. forces swept into Baghdad, symbolizing an end to the dictator's rule. There were hopes of better times to come. Not anymore. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CITIZEN, ABU ABBAS, SAYING: "I found out by accident that today is the anniversary of the regime's collapse and the U.S. invasion. What's changed? Nothing tangible has changed. Nothing has changed except that people can now express their opinion freely. Before, we could not say anything. The country is not stable. It is not OK." Ordinary life is now marred by security and economic concerns. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CITIZEN, RA'AD ABDULSTAR, SAYING: "Actually today is a normal day for me. You might consider it an anniversary, but I don't. Look at the security situation -- the political situation and the deteriorating economy. The people are tired of this situation. They don't feel that today is something to be remembered, either for good or bad." While violence has eased sharply since the height of conflict in 2006 and 2007 ... violent attacks still shake the country almost every day.