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When Cronkite Talks,
Do People Still Listen?

STEPHEN GORDON / Hammer Of Truth 16jan2006 

We’ve been saying it all along, and now Walter Cronkite agrees. When Cronkite said it during Viet Nam, America listened.
From the AP:

 

Cronkite: 
Time for U.S. to Leave Iraq 

DAVID BAUDER, AP 15jan2006

Walter Cronkite lent his support to the work of the Radios. Cronkite narrated Towers of Truth, a film about Radio Free Europe’s work commissioned by the National Committee for a Free Europe in conjunction with the Crusade for Freedom fund-raising efforts. When Cronkite Talks, Do People Still Listen? - STEPHEN GORDON / Hammer Of Truth 16jan2006 We’ve been saying it all along, and now Walter Cronkite agrees. When Cronkite said it during Viet Nam, America listened. From the AP:

Walter Cronkite lent his support to the work of the Radios. Cronkite narrated Towers of Truth, a film about Radio Free Europe’s work commissioned by the National Committee for a Free Europe in conjunction with the Crusade for Freedom fund-raising efforts.

PASADENA, Calif. - Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about Iraq.

"It's my belief that we should get out now," Cronkite said in a meeting with reporters.

Now 89, the television journalist once known as "the most trusted man in America" has been off the "CBS Evening News" for nearly a quarter-century. He's still a CBS News employee, although he does little for them.

Cronkite said one of his proudest moments came at the end of a 1968 documentary he made following a visit to Vietnam during the Tet offensive. Urged by his boss to briefly set aside his objectivity to give his view of the situation, Cronkite said the war was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit.

Then-President Lyndon Johnson reportedly told a White House aide after that, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

The best time to have made a similar statement about Iraq came after Hurricane Katrina, he said.

"We had an opportunity to say to the world and Iraqis after the hurricane disaster that Mother Nature has not treated us well and we find ourselves missing the amount of money it takes to help these poor people out of their homeless situation and rebuild some of our most important cities in the United States," he said. "Therefore, we are going to have to bring our troops home."

Iraqis should have been told that "our hearts are with you" and that the United States would do all it could to rebuild their country, he said.

"I think we could have been able to retire with honor," he said. "In fact, I think we can retire with honor anyway."

Cronkite has spoken out against the Iraq war in the past, saying in 2004 that Americans weren't any safer because of the invasion.

Cronkite, who is hard of hearing and walks haltingly, jokingly said that "I'm standing by if they want me" to anchor the "CBS Evening News." CBS is still searching for a permanent successor to Dan Rather, who replaced Cronkite in March 1981.

"Twenty-four hours after I told CBS News that I was stepping down at my 65th birthday I was already regretting it and I've regretted it every day since," he said. "It's too good a job for me to have given it up the way that I did."

sources: AP: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060115/ap_on_en_tv/cronkite_iraq;_ylt=AngF4.nel0ftuMp2RyK3Szus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ- Hammer: http://hammeroftruth.com/2006/01/16/when-cronkite-talks-do-people-still-listen/ 17jan2006


Cronkite Urges Withdrawal From Iraq

CBC (Canadian Broacasting Corporation) 16jan2006

 

Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite has urged U.S. news anchors to call for an end to the war in Iraq.

His appeal, made during an appearance before North American TV critics in Pasadena, Calif., called to mind his 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable.

Cronkite, then known as "the most trusted man in America," had returned from a visit to Vietnam during the Tet offensive when he briefly set aside his objectivity to talk about the war. His verdict was that the war was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit.

Then-president Lyndon Johnson reportedly told a White House aide at the time: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

In his speech, Cronkite, now 89, called that moment one of the proudest of his career.

Cronkite said he has reached the same conclusion about the war in Iraq and it's time for news anchors to call for a withdrawal. It's not unprofessional to voice an opinion if viewers are clearly told it is opinion, he said.

The best time to have made a similar statement about Iraq came after hurricane Katrina, he said, according to the Associated Press.

"We had an opportunity to say to the world and Iraqis after the hurricane disaster that Mother Nature has not treated us well and we find ourselves missing the amount of money it takes to help these poor people out of their homeless situation and rebuild some of our most important cities in the United States," he said. "Therefore, we are going to have to bring our troops home."

Iraqis should have been told that "our hearts are with you" and that the U.S. would do all it could to rebuild their country, he said.

"I think we could have been able to retire with honour," he said. "In fact, I think we can retire with honour anyway."

This is not Cronkite's first denunciation of the war in Iraq. In 2004, he said that Americans weren't any safer because of the invasion.

Cronkite retired in 1984 after 34 years at CBS, the last 19 as anchor of The CBS Evening News.

He is still considered an employee of CBS, though he jokes about his failing abilities — he is hard of hearing and walks haltingly. "I'm standing by if they want me."

CBS is still searching for a permanent successor to Dan Rather, who replaced Cronkite in March 1981.

Cronkite called Rather a "victim" of the 2004 scandal over a story about President Bush's National Guard Service. Rather announced his retirement soon after the story was discredited. Rather was ''a man who had done a great job over many years," Cronkite said.

source: http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2006/01/16/cronkite-war.html 17jan2006


Cronkite's Vietnam moment: 'US must leave Iraq'

DAVID USBORNE / The Independent (UK) 17jan2006

 

New York — Walter Cronkite, the former network news anchor they called "the most trusted man in America", has added his voice to those calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, echoing an appeal he made in 1968 to President Lyndon Johnson to cut his losses in Vietnam.

It has been 25 years since Mr Cronkite, now 89, hard of hearing and slow of gait, has presided over the nightly news bulletins for CBS, but he is still employed by the network and his status as an affable and avuncular national sage is intact. So his comments, made at a gathering of television critics in California, will reverberate.

They came as the Democrat congressman John Murtha, who shocked the White House in November by advocating a withdrawal from Iraq, reiterated his stance and predicted that all US troops would be out by year's end.

Mr Cronkite was recording a documentary for CBS in 1968 about the Tet offensive in Vietnam when he took on board advice from his bosses in New York that he should conclude it with an unusual personal note. That was when he suggested that the US was in a stalemate in Vietnam and should get out. It was a moment that many older Americans still remember and has been shown to have been a turning point in ending the struggle. President Johnson reportedly turned to an aide at the time and said: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America".

Engaged in a question and answer session at the critics' meeting, Mr Cronkite said he considered what he said on Vietnam as his proudest achievement. When a reporter asked him whether, given the chance, he would offer similar advice on Iraq, he did not even wait until the end of the question. "Yes," he said flatly. "It's my belief that we should get out now."

Mr Cronkite added that the best time to have opted for withdrawal would have been directly after Hurricane Katrina struck America's Gulf coast, crushing communities and inundating New Orleans.

"We had an opportunity to say to the world and Iraqis after the hurricane disaster that Mother Nature has not treated us well and we find ourselves missing the amount of money it takes to help these poor people out of their homeless situation and rebuild some of our most important cities in the United States," he said. "Therefore, we are going to have to bring our troops home."

He added that the Iraqi people should have been told that "our hearts are with you" and that the United States would continue to do all it could to help rebuild the country. But he went on: "I think we could have been able to retire with honour. In fact, I think we can retire with honour anyway."

By coincidence, Mr Murtha, himself a decorated veteran of the Vietnam conflict, repeated his own pitch for withdrawal on the CBS current affairs programme 60 Minutes on Sunday. He said he was convinced that the "vast majority" of American troops would be out by the end of 2006. Mr Murtha contends that American troops in Iraq are the catalyst for continuing violence there.

Since Mr Murtha first laid out his position, the Pentagon has signalled a gradual lowering of troop numbers. Pressure for a faster pace of withdrawal is likely to build before November's congressional elections.

In his commentary on Vietnam, Mr Cronkite told viewers: "To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion ... the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honourable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could."

Walter Cronkite, the former network news anchor they called "the most trusted man in America", has added his voice to those calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, echoing an appeal he made in 1968 to President Lyndon Johnson to cut his losses in Vietnam.

It has been 25 years since Mr Cronkite, now 89, hard of hearing and slow of gait, has presided over the nightly news bulletins for CBS, but he is still employed by the network and his status as an affable and avuncular national sage is intact. So his comments, made at a gathering of television critics in California, will reverberate.

They came as the Democrat congressman John Murtha, who shocked the White House in November by advocating a withdrawal from Iraq, reiterated his stance and predicted that all US troops would be out by year's end.

Mr Cronkite was recording a documentary for CBS in 1968 about the Tet offensive in Vietnam when he took on board advice from his bosses in New York that he should conclude it with an unusual personal note. That was when he suggested that the US was in a stalemate in Vietnam and should get out. It was a moment that many older Americans still remember and has been shown to have been a turning point in ending the struggle. President Johnson reportedly turned to an aide at the time and said: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America".

Engaged in a question and answer session at the critics' meeting, Mr Cronkite said he considered what he said on Vietnam as his proudest achievement. When a reporter asked him whether, given the chance, he would offer similar advice on Iraq, he did not even wait until the end of the question. "Yes," he said flatly. "It's my belief that we should get out now."

Mr Cronkite added that the best time to have opted for withdrawal would have been directly after Hurricane Katrina struck America's Gulf coast, crushing communities and inundating New Orleans. "We had an opportunity to say to the world and Iraqis after the hurricane disaster that Mother Nature has not treated us well and we find ourselves missing the amount of money it takes to help these poor people out of their homeless situation and rebuild some of our most important cities in the United States," he said. "Therefore, we are going to have to bring our troops home."

He added that the Iraqi people should have been told that "our hearts are with you" and that the United States would continue to do all it could to help rebuild the country. But he went on: "I think we could have been able to retire with honour. In fact, I think we can retire with honour anyway."

By coincidence, Mr Murtha, himself a decorated veteran of the Vietnam conflict, repeated his own pitch for withdrawal on the CBS current affairs programme 60 Minutes on Sunday. He said he was convinced that the "vast majority" of American troops would be out by the end of 2006. Mr Murtha contends that American troops in Iraq are the catalyst for continuing violence there.

Since Mr Murtha first laid out his position, the Pentagon has signalled a gradual lowering of troop numbers. Pressure for a faster pace of withdrawal is likely to build before November's congressional elections.

In his commentary on Vietnam, Mr Cronkite told viewers: "To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion ... the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honourable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could."

source: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article339113.ece 17jan2006

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