Saddam's Sunni thugs also committed genocide against the Iraqi Shia - AND Iranians; (remember that Iran-Iraq War... the one during the Reagan Era... the one during which Reagan sold missiles to the... IRANIANS, NOT TO SADDAM... remember: Reagan's scandal was called IraN-Contra, and NOT IRAQ-CONTRA!). MILLIONS of Shia died in that war on both sides of the border. During Saddam's tyranny, the Shia within Iraq COULD NOT FIGHT BACK; it was a one-way war: ONLY SHIA DIED. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS.
NOW... the Shia are fighting and killing the Sunni who had been their terror/torture masters during the Saddam Era. Instead of ONLY DEFENSELESS Shia dying, Sunni and Shia are both killing & dying. And, on an annualized basis, FEWER Iraqis are dying now than during the Saddam Era. And half of them are Sunni.
UPDATE: HERE'RE 2 CHARTS FROM GATEWAY:
The current level of violence - though less than last year and the year before that - is SICKENING, and it must eventually should be stopped. It will not be until Iran and its stooges are NEUTRALIZED:
I also want to point out that on the one hand, Shia-Sunni violence is 1300 years old, and has NOTHING to do with Bush or democratization.The West needs to defeat BOTH of these foes: al Qaeda and Iran. If we do not make a stand in Iraq, then both of these foes will become stronger and it will only be much more difficult for us to defeat them down-the-road.
On the other hand, the Iranians (who support Moki alSadr) and al Qaeda (who deliberately RE-IGNITED the whole mess when they blew up the Shia mosque in Samara) are exploiting this sectarian rift for their own reasons. Al Qaeda's desire to control Iraq, and Iranian Hegemony - and NOT so-called US hegemony" - are the true reasons for the current mess.
These three contextualizations - (that the level of killing is not above what Iraq has suffered under for the last thirty years; that Sunni-Shia violence is not related to USA intervention; and that the sectarian rift is as old as Islam itself) - should temper criticism of US policy for any rational person. And all rational people should accept that our foes in Iraq must be defeated.
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH: I've heard all the "containment" BS: "We shouldn't have invaded; we had Saddam CONTAINED!" BULL! First off, Containment is a phony idiotic failed policy. IN FACT, IT FAILED in regard to the USSR. When it was introduced in the 1950's, the USSR was not even a quarter as powerful as they were in 1980. Containment allowed the Soviet Union to EXPAND AND EXPAND AND EXPAND: invading Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and Poland, and establishing satellites in SE Asia and Africa - AND CENTRAL AMERICA. Only Reagan's CONFRONTATIONAL approach defeated the USSR and liberated nearly a BILLION PEOPLE from socialist tyranny and the poverty that tyranny created.
WE IGNORED JIHADISM FROM 1979 UNTIL 9/11/01. As a result, it expanded and expanded and expanded. Now: We must be AT LEAST as confrontational with jihadism. We must NEVER accept containment. Containment is just appeasement by another name. Containment is dhimmitude.
All of our brothers and sisters EVERYWHERE who are denied their innate universal human rights - as encoded in their DNA and in the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights, or whose human rights are threatened deserve to be liberated from the filthy and evil ideology which underlies their serfdom: jihadism.