Because Hussein held the country together. He was the glue. He not only wielded the absolute power of the state to consolidate the authority of the State, but he gave Iraq a sense of unity through ordinary Iraqis' quotidian fear and loathing of him. He fell, in effect, the first invading step taken towards Bagdhad. Nothing Iraq had was going to stop the Murkins. It was a done deal.
Nota bene: It's well to recall that, by my theory, there were really always three primary reasons for invading Iraq:
- to overthrow the guys whose signatures, just coincidentally, were on existing oil agreements which shut Murkin & British interests out of the rich Iraqi oil "bidnuss": the fields, refineries and port (the main one);
- to eliminate Iraq--the richest, most powerful of its adjacent adversarial neighbors (other than Egypt)--as a potential threat to Israel (which fate was probably sealed when Saddam Hussein fired the (impotent) SCUDS during the first ME conflict),
- to install a large, powerful contingent of US forces on the ground in a strategically significant place in the region, from which they can extend USer "influence" over as great an area as possible, from the Mediterranean to the Caspian.
For the first (the second), partition is the unique expedient which ensures, better than any other could, that Iraq ceases to be a threat to Israel. The three parties cannot agree on the allocation of wealth; they won't be able to agree on jihad, either. It will take YEARS to rebuild a semblance of the infra-structure the ICORP has devastated. The Iraqis will be too busy rebuilding to attack anybody. There's enough work now for a generation or more.
For the second (the last), partition opens up weaker parties contending for influence and perhaps protection from USer military forces to deals which trade the long-term, well-armed presence of USer military in the region for the protection those troops afford against the possible predations of their richer, or their more aggressive bretheren elsewhere in the country.
But we should also not lose sight of the first point, that the primary reason for invading Iraq was to invalidate the signatures on a bunch of documents legitimizing oil deals Dick Cheney, GB41, and their pals wanted to re-negotiate. And of course, and for similar reasons, partitioning Iraq assists in the domination of the existing, contesting parties by the neo-colonial interests which will withdraw, in good time, onto the bases from which they will watch and occasionally stir the pot while the sectarian states around them descend intot debilitating conflict which, when spent, will leave the area ripe for the picking.
The "real" point here, that is, is the Iraqi Oil Law.
alMaliki will be retained in power by the US if an only if he gets parliament to sign off on the Iraqi Oil Law. This document, somewhat troublingly to many Iraqis, . Remember "the war's gonna provides for distributing about 70% of the profits from Iraqi oil for the next 20 years to foreign (read USer/Brit)oil companies. Remember "the war is gonna pay for itself"? Well, the Oil Law is where they're gonna raise the principal to do it.
Have you heard the volume and the number of complaints by USer pols on all sides about the weakness of al Maliki and the "lack of political progress"? It's the Iraqi Oil Law, stupid. "Political progress" = The Oil Law. Period.
Since the Iraqi parliament's inability (or unwillingness) to pass the IOL can--and probably should--be construed as an act of resistance against both the puppet Maliki regime and their puppet-masters in DC and elsewhere, it is very likely the Busheviki--at least the ones with ANY brains--are aware of the matter. If al Maliki gets it passed, he'll be hailed as the next fucking Attaturk. If he can't (or won't) do it, they'll install someone who can/will. Which is why the former prime-minister, the murderous Allawi, has been allowed to float his trial balloons lately, both in Bagdhad and in DC.
Me? Hell, I STILL think Ahmad Chalabi, if he lives, could become the 'eventual' Iraqi strongman. And install Judy Miller as his concubine. It's the part of a lifetime.