After the Tet offensive in early 1968, the Most Trusted Man in America announced the war in Vietnam could not be won. "If I've lost Cronkite," the President of the United States said, "I've lost America" and conceded by announcing he wouldn't run for reelection.
Walter Cronkite is 91 now, and George W. Bush is no Lyndon Johnson, but America's news nanny, who tucked us in every evening for two decades by ending the CBS Evening News with "And that's the way it is," has declared "Our Troops Must Leave Iraq."
In a piece co-written and appearing in print, Cronkite's voice is still being heard. In the Japan Times, on the eve of Pearl Harbor day, he concludes:
"Congress must act. Although Congress never declared war, as required by the Constitution, they did give the president the authority to invade Iraq. Congress must now withdraw that authority and cease its funding of the war.
"It is not likely, however, that Congress will act unless the American people make their voices heard with unmistakable clarity. That is the way the Vietnam War was brought to an end. It is the way that the Iraq War will also be brought to an end. The only question is whether it will be now, or whether the war will drag on, with all the suffering that implies, to an even more tragic, costly and degrading defeat. We will be a better, stronger and more decent country to bring the troops home now."
Trust is not what it used to be, and age has diminished the reach of Cronkite's voice, but he is still trying to tell America how it is.