They found substantial amounts of oil under western Iraq in Sunni country. Once this oil starts flowing, estimated at two to three years, it will change the face of Iraq. Unless Iraq ceases to exist. What wasn't talked about in the NY Times article about the new oil finds today, was that this could clear the way for the suggestion of former administrator Paul Bremer, to divide Iraq up into three parts. Kurdish in the north, Shia in the central area and the south, and now Sunni in the west. It could now easily function under a loose federal system, or now that the Sunni have their own resources, into three independent states.
America is not the final deciding arbiter in a division of Iraq, regardless of what our President believes. The final decision has to rest with the Iraqi people. Iraq has a long history and to propose that the nation be divided over natural resources which will not last forever is a very short sighted way of looking at a sovereign nation. Still, if the Iraqi people cannot resolve the internal strife and bloodshed that The United States invasion has sparked, than three different entities might not be such a bad idea. It could mean however that many people would be uprooted and made to leave ancestral homelands for the promise of peace and stability that the oil might give them, albeit only for the next decade or so. After that, if the oil money is not used wisely and invested in types of industry that could make the Sunni lands self-sustaining, all this does is make for a band-aid on a situation that needs more than a temporary fix.
It seems now that Iraq is bigger prize than originally thought. Is the administration now thinking of how it can exploit this new found resource? Why did the Commander of the Western Provence have to run out there to inspect the hole that engineers had drilled into Iraqi soil and capped off? Is this development so important to the American government that a General Grade officer had to verify it? If you look at the photo from the NY Times, you will see what this entire invasion was about, and the true symbol of Bush's religion.