Note the plug for the militia in the following linked report. The obvious truth is if all those people had ever done was protect innocent unharmed Shia pilgrims no one would have demanded they disband. The Kurds were able to keep their militias intact because they were actually a defensive force, not a death squad that shook down the people they were supposed to be protecting.
The following statement was made following an attack in Hillah that killed over 100 people and the bias of the reporter is so obvious there is no question it is there. He makes the statement that the US military is helpless to stop attacks. Well for one thing, that assumes that there would not be a dozen more attacks if the military were not present and for another when these people can pull of attacks in London, Manilla, Madrid, Mumbai, Kabul and NYC...it goes without saying that you can not always stop terrorists. That is why they call them terrorists.
The government bears some responsibility for this," complained a Shiite parliament member, Bahaa al-Araji. "It has not provided enough security to protect the pilgrims."
In the past two years, the powerful Mahdi Army militia watched over pilgrimages to Karbala. But the group agreed to put down its arms under intense pressure from the government, which wanted to avoid any confrontations with U.S.-led forces during a Baghdad security crackdown launched last month.
"This year, things are sadly different," said al-Araji.
But Hillah has seen worse. In February 2005, a suicide car bomber hit mostly Shiite police recruits, killing 125 people.
U.S. forces suffered their deadliest day since Feb. 7, when 11 troops were killed _ seven when their helicopter was shot down north of Fallujah and four others in combat operations.