McCarthy has a must read article at NRO. Here’s a taste:

In Iraq, we’ve tried to fight the most civilized “light footprint” war of all time.

In the wake of 9/11, the American people did not care about democratizing the Muslim world. Or, for that matter, about the Muslim world in general. They still don’t. They want Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors crushed. As for the aftermath, they want something stable that no longer threatens our interests; they care not a wit whether Baghdad’s new government looks like Teaneck’s.

Read the whole piece.

I had similar thoughts in this post, as did Neptunus Lex who wrote:

The definition of a state is ownership of the levers of organized violence. As an organized force, the Mahdi Army represents the same challenge to Iraqi statehood that Hezbollah does in Lebanon, a state within a state and worse: A inner state with a jealous eye upon the larger crown. They must be destroyed, no matter how much al Maliki might squeal.

We have come too far, spent too much in blood and treasure to allow the political calculations of a man whose governmental writ still does not extend throughout the capital city to prevent us from doing what we must.

Go Big, Go Long, Go Home – to these three options I add a fourth: Go Hard.

It is probably wishful thinking to hope that this is the message that Bush will deliver to al Maliki at their postponed meeting.