Walter Cronkite, the veteran newsman who covered almost every major world event that took place during his six-decade career, on Sunday warned that if the United States takes action against Iraq without support from the United Nations it could set the stage for World War III.
‚ÄúThe threat from the White House is to go in anyway,‚Äù Cronkite said. ‚ÄúOur only ally would probably be Great Britain. That is not good enough. I see the possibility if we do that of really setting forth World War III.‚Äù
Blah blah blah UN blah blah blah allies blah blah blah unilateralism blah blah blah cowboy blah blah blah threat to world peace blah blah blah quagmire blah blah blah World War III.
Cronkite said he believes the best way to handle the situation with Iraq would be through a two-stage resolution adopted by the United Nations. It should first call for weapons inspections and then an invasion if inspectors are not allowed or they meet interference. Such a strategy could help the United States gain other allies, especially Russia and France, he said.
This is actually more than I would’ve expected from a diehard veteran Lefty, in that it does imply that some action might actually be countenanced in the event that Saddam does, well, the same damned thing he’s been doing for the past eleven years and in fact has done yet again recently; namely, throwing up roadblocks, obfuscating, temporizing, and wriggling away from any truly effective inspections like a well-salted slug.
‚ÄúThe legitimacy of our actions would be endorsed through the United Nations,‚Äù Cronkite said.
The legitimacy of our actions has nothing whatever to do with the UN, nor is it in any way dependent on that miscreant agglomeration of feckless droners either.
If the United States goes in without worldwide support, however, other countries in the region such as Iran and Pakistan could retaliate against the U.S., Cronkite said. He said the threat of nuclear exchanges between India and Pakistan could be increased if a conflict arises.
Blah blah blah the Arab street blah blah blah destabilize the Middle East blah blah blah our Arab allies blah blah blah danger danger young Will Robinson.
Cronkite, who began anchoring the CBS Evening News in 1962, said the country is at a very critical point in its history. The only other decade that compares, he said, is the 1960s, which saw the beginning of the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement come to the forefront and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers.
‚ÄúThat was a tough 10 years,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúBut this period, with the threat of war with Iraq on tap, economic difficulties and terrorism are something we must be terribly concerned about.‚Äù
Oooohh, yes, terribly, terribly, TERRIBLY concerned. Just not concerned enough to, you know, actually DO anything to rectify the problem. That would merely be justification for lots more terrible concern, you know.
But ol’ W.C. is absolutely dead-on in one regard, and in one only: this is indeed a very critical point in our history. In a week the voters go to the polls to decide whether we turn away once and for all from the failed policies of the Left that have brought us to this insane pass, or whether we continue, like Einstein’s madman, to rely on the same old proven-failure solutions which seem sadly to be the only ones the Loyal Opposition‚Ñ¢ are able to come up with.
Cronkite said he fears Americans are learning less and less about what their government is doing, and worse, they do not seem to care.
‚ÄúThat means we don‚Äôt have a democracy,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got an oligarchy here, not a democracy. Our democracy is in some danger if we don‚Äôt concentrate on educating the populace.‚Äù
Educating Americans should rest with the media, he said.
Well, Christ on a crutch, what a surprise. Cronkite accidentally shows off some of his real true Lefty cred here, with an offensively elitist statement about the ignorance and lack of concern of the Great Unwashed (that’s you and me, folks), followed up by the patronizing assertion that it’s up to Big Media to hold our hands and lead us in the right direction. Because hey, we’re just not smart enough to be trusted to make up our own minds. After all, look how many people failed to vote for Gore or Nader in the last election. Proof positive that we couldn’t find our collective asses with both hands and a compass, at least according to the Left anyway.
He said the ability to get the news, especially during times of war, also is becoming more difficult.
Umm, hello..? Is this thing on…? Anybody home? Yoo-hoo…
Since the Vietnam War, Cronkite said, the media has not been allowed to take its cameras, pencils and notepads into the field with the soldiers to give an accurate account of what is happening.
During World War II, reporters were in fox holes, and during the Vietnam War they were on the battlefields.
In many cases during WWII, the reports would have to go through intelligence officers all the way up the ladder to London, where top military censors decided if the information could be released. If security reasons prevented its release, the news was held until the threat passed. But information was not kept from the American public.
Cronkite said Americans may have thought they got the full story during Operation Desert Storm, but the media was denied much of the type of access it had been granted in the past.
Careful, Walt – your senile nostalgia is showing. The key line here is “If security reasons prevented its release” – and that’s the same thing that applied in the Gulf War, the same restriction that every one of us not holding a journalism degree from the Stalin School of Goebbels U. actually is firmly in favor of. The absurd spectacle of reporters and cameramen greeting the troops hitting the beach in Somalia is not one most of us would like to see repeated. And the adversarial relationship that now exists between our military and the press corps, unfortunate though it certainly is, is the direct result of the toxic anti-military bias that runs through the heart of the mainstream press like a stiff shot of pure weasel-piss. Far too many reporters have for far too long viewed the Armed Forces as a dangerous and out-of-control Enemy Of Democracy (rather than the true guarantors of it), and the military now quite rightly views most of the press as an enemy as well. It’s too bad, and it should never have come to this, but I suppose a schism was inevitable once the media stopped reporting the news and graduated to naked advocacy. The real problem is, the agenda they’ve been advocating for lo, these many years is not one that is particularly popular with the majority of us. So we all must be stupid, right? I mean, it couldn’t possibly be that these educated elites could ever in any way be wrong, could it?
But for a country‚Äôs citizens to be truly free and the government to be held accountable, he said people must have a free press that gathers all the facts.
He’s dead right again. It’s nothing short of tragic and perhaps even criminal that Big Media has decided to abdicate its ennobling responsibility to fairly report the news in as even-handed a fashion as is possible in the human universe in favor of cheap politicking and Orwellian brainwashing. And one other thing: this is, oh, I dunno, the second or third time I’ve found myself Fisking Cronkite, and I must say, it gets easier every time. Walter, you’re slipping, pal.