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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Firm and Patient Realism Needed in Iraq

From the Heritage Foundation:

Last week, two Republicans joined a pair of Democrats in sponsoring a bill calling for the Bush Administration to begin withdrawing U.S. troops by October 1, 2006. "Washington politics should not be allowed to drive the U.S. timetable in Iraq," cautions James Phillips. "A politically driven pullout would be a disaster."

A pullout, writes Phillips, "would send a dangerous signal of weakness to our allies and enemies." Insurgents would redouble their efforts against U.S. troops, and many Iraqis would have little choice but to support the insurgency, to protect themselves against reprisal.

Calls for an 'exit strategy' seem to have little to do with the situation in Iraq, and more to do with Washington politics. In Iraq, tension between insurgent factions is growing; tribal leaders are becoming more amenable to the political process and compromise; and the insurgents' political base is steadily eroding.

Building a stable Iraq "will be a long and costly enterprise," concludes Phillips. "But the potential costs of a premature exit are considerably greater."


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