The AP story on the violence noted that of 136 killed in the latest violence, eleven were Americans. In other words, 92% of the victims were Iraqis, most of them Shiites.
Shiites have understood the simple math that is beyond Congressman Murtha and those standing with him.
About 5,000 Shiites, meanwhile, rallied in Baghdad to protest the bloodshed and denounce what they said was American backing of some Sunni politicians who have supported - or at least failed to condemn - insurgent groups in order to bring them into a broad-based government.
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Iraq's main Shiite religious party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, issued a veiled threat to Sunnis supporting the insurgency that its patience was wearing thin.
But in a chord struck by several politicians, the party also condemned policies it said were imposed by the U.S.-led coalition that were hampering Iraqi security forces' counterterrorism work. The Americans have increased their oversight of Shiite-dominated forces following widespread charges of abuse, especially of Sunni detainees.
"Not allowing these two ministries to do their job means exposing helpless Iraqis to ruthless terrorists," SCIRI said. "They should know that the patience of our people will not last for a long time with these sectarian dirty crimes."
The warning to Sunnis carried the possibility of using militias like the Badr Brigade, the former military wing of SCIRI, to take vengeance on Sunni supporters of insurgents.
Unfortunately, the innocent Iraqis dying by the hundreds are not an important factor to Rep. Murtha. Thus, he cannot see what is clear to the friends and relatives of the people who are the real targets of the terrorists. The problem is not the US presence in Iraq. The real problem is that the Sunni minority is shielding and supporting terrorism against the Shiite majority.
Rep. Murtha and his congressional supporters need to be addressing the issue of how to protect Shiite civilians if they care about peace in the Middle East, stability in Iraq, and world security. As more than one Middle East observer has noted, an even bigger threat than terrorist attacks in Iraq is that the Shiite majority in Iraq may unite with a nuclear Shiite Iran to not only dominate the region, but imperil the rest of the world. Wake up, Congressman Murtha!