In February 2003, “an important Shi’ite cleric, Majid al-Khoei, flew to Washington from London, where he had lived since fleeing Iraq in 1991. …On his return to London he told friends that he had spoken with some ‘American Jews,’ which was how he might have described neocons, who had informed him that ‘preserving the unity of Iraq’ was no longer a priority of American policy, and therefore the emergence of a separate Shi’ite state in southern Iraq would be entirely acceptable. This meant, as al-Khoei observed, that ‘there would be a Shia state in the south with lots of oil, a Kurdish state in the north with lots of oil, and a Sunni state in the middle with no oil at all!’ ” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, Page 186