December 31, 2008 7:00 PM

2009 in Iraq: A new era dawns, but old fears still hold sway

With the arrival of 2009, Iraq has achieved, at least on paper, something it hasn't enjoyed since American troops entered the country almost six years ago — the declaration that it is a sovereign nation, free of a United Nations mandate that allowed the U.S. to run Iraqi affairs. Still, Iraqis aren't willing to say that the bad years of sectarian bloodshed are over or that what's taking place will lead to better days.

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