Sun Jul 15, 2007 at 10:47:22 AM PDT
"For me, this does it."
Those were the words of Bob Schieffer this morning as he tossed in the towel on Iraq and specifically the Iraqi government.
Let's let Schieffer and Cronkite do the talking.
I am still not sure that I believe it: The Iraqi parliament is going on vacation during the month of August.
The White House offers the lame excuse that, after all, Baghdad is hot in August – sometimes 130 degrees.
May I ask a follow-up?
How much hotter do you suppose it is if you are a wearing a helmet, full body armor, carrying ammunition and walking foot patrols through Baghdad?
The last I heard, that is how American troops are spending their August in Iraq.
For me, this does it.
God help the Iraqi people because there is not much America can do to help a government that leaves Americans dying in the streets while the parliament escapes to cooler climes.
Does this mean we should pull out immediately?
No. A sudden withdrawal could set the entire region aflame. The truth is there are no good options left. But from here on, we need to put aside the dream of building a democracy in Iraq and focus solely on what is in our national interest.
It won't be pretty, but for all our good intentions, about all we can do now is try to contain this mess, pull our troops back from the middle of this civil war, and concentrate instead on the terrorist threat that this country faces around the world.
As for what kind of government Iraq needs, let their parliament figure it out. They can get right on it when the Baghdad weather turns cooler. - Bob Schieffer July 15, 2007
39 year ago Walter Cronkite led the charge. Here are the important excerpts from his history making broadcast:
"We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds."
"For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate."
To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion . . . it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could." - Walter Cronkite, February 27, 1968
As always he signed off with "That's the way it is".
And in an acknowledgment of reality Lyndon Johnson said following Cronkite's historic broadcast:
"If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."
Congrats to Bob Schieffer...
"That's the way it is".