White House: Protests a sign of progress in Iraq

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) - The White House says today's demonstrations in Iraq are a sign of progress.

Thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. They shouted for U.S. forces to leave Iraq. Some marchers tried to rip apart an American flag.

Aboard Air Force One, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe says the rallies show Iraqi democracy at work.

Johndroe says Iraq is now a place where citizens can gather and freely express their opinions. He says there's still more progress to be made, but that the country has "come a long way from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein."

Earlier, a U-S military spokesman also said the protests were a sign of progress, saying Iraqis would not have been able to hold such demonstrations four year ago.

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