Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, June 13, 2005

From USA Today:

Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, a new Gallup Poll finds, the most downbeat view of the war since it began in 2003.


We should not withdraw from Iraq now. This is Bush's chance to do what Tony Blair did a couple of years ago, and stand for the right in the face of hostile public opinion. It's never a good idea to let the polls determine foreign policy. Polls are too fickle, too ill-informed.

That said, we are constrained in our foreign policy by both public opinion and the limitations inherent in a volunteer army. Many Iraqi insurgents may take heart from the belief that America is a democracy, therefore soft, and able to be worn down. Frustrating as it may be for some people, the insurgents are right: we do have our limits, and we can be worn down.

Pundits and policymakers should always bear in mind these constraints on the exercise of American power.

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