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'Uncle Walter' says it's time to get out of Iraq

Back in the day when there wasn’t a plethora of news sources to choose from, most folks read the local paper and then turned on the TV at 7PM to get their 30 minutes of news from one of the big three networks. Most folks tuned into learn about current events from Walter Cronkite. He stepped down from the big chair way back in 1981, turning the reins over to Dan Rather, who retired last year (good grief, I’m old). (AP):

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.

…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.


Photo: Irving Haberman

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.”

The Freepi were quite predictable.


Actual Freeper Quotesâ„?

“When will this leftist go away?!”

“Time for Walter to leave Earth.”

“The only thing Cronkite should being doing is taking a dirt nap.”

“Oh, STFU, Walter! Go back to protesting the Nantucket wind farm that would provide renewable energy but would annoy your delicate sensibilities with its appearance, you Leftist loser.”

“Does anyone care what Walter think???? I believe he’s still tilting at Nantucket windmills”

“Cronkite: Shaddap ya senile old coot.”

“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. And the fact that their opinions are worthless is why journalists should stick to hard facts. Who was Cronkhite that his military accumen allowed him to make such an evaluation? Who was CBS to publicize it? Hacks.”

“Walter: Turn up your hearing aid…and now that you can hear me–STFU!”

“Cut and Run Cronkite”

“How is this any different from Pat Robertson saying Sharon is being punished by God? How is it different from so many wacky statements of similar ilk that have come out of Christian evangalists in the past 5 years claiming God was punishing this country or that? Why isn’t the media responding in a similar manner? Don’t bother, that’s rhetorical.”

“Yeah, Walter, there are millions of Iraqis who should have an appointment with the re-education camps like so many Vietnamese did, you sorry-assed SOS (first word being Sack).”

“Briefly set aside his objectivity? He didn’t and still doesn’t have any. Freakin’ pathetic defeatist liberal.”

“The man has lost his class, his wisdom, his fans, and his mind. Poor poor Walter – no where to go – no one listening. He’s lonely.”

“Oh yes, Cronkite, the commentator who betrayed 2.5 million men in uniform that served in Viet Nam when he declared a decisive victory a defeata nd enabled the enemies of freedom to overtake all of Viet Nam, after costing America nearly 58,000 lives. Walter, enjoy your retirement, no one cares what you think, least of all, us Viet Nam Vets you helped betray!”

“That skunk is still spreading a suspicious aroma.”

“‘Now 89’ — I thought he was taking the dirt nap a long time ago.”

“Hey Cronkite: Go find yourself an old coot boyfriend. Maybe you’ll shut up for a while.”

“I can remember as a little kid in the ’60s my dad calling WC a commie, and CBS the Communist Broadcasting Station. Your dad saw the light about 20 years before I did.”

I was a strange child, not as strange as the above fools, mind you. I used to watch Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News every weekday. While other kids said they’d want Winnie the Pooh or Captain Kangaroo over for dinner, who did I want my mom to ask over — “Uncle Walter.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding