February 27, 1968, is one of the most important dates in the 14 year long Vietnam War (1961-1975). That was the day that CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite, dubbed the most trusted man in America, returned from a fact finding trip to Vietnam and announced to his audience in his version of a "special comment", that the war was unwinnable and must be ended by negotiation, not napalm. President Johnson, upon ingesting Cronkite's dose of reality reportedly said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America". Thirty-three days later, LBJ withdraw from the 1968 Presidential election to do just that - negotiate a settlement.
As the Afghan war approaches its eleventh anniversary in two weeks, with a tentative end date of December 31, 2013, not guaranteed, a surprise war party war horse popped up to propose his Cronkite moment on Afghanistan. Arizona Senator John McCain, war lover extraordinaire, offered this on September 19, 2012: "I think all options ought to be considered, including whether we have to just withdraw early, rather than a continued bloodletting that won't succeed."
President Obama doesn't have to worry about McCain's remarks causing him to lose Middle America on the Afghan war. The vast majority of us gave up on that senseless, murderous, failed war years ago. Sadly, we've become numb to the trillion dollars spent, 2,000 GI's killed, tens of thousands maimed or damaged, and millions of Afghans whose lives have been devastated.
Senator McCain has been engaged either in killing innocents or promoting the killing or innocents for 45 years now considering his service bombing North Vietnamese and his promotion of our senseless military ventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He famously said on August 12, 2008, "Today, we are all Georgians" in his feeble attempt to get the US to back Georgia in its skirmish with Mother Russia. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and McCain didn't get his war mongering wish.
All that sordid McCain history makes his Afghan comment so refreshing. He needs to follow up on this one sound bite audition to make this world saner and safer by lobbying his fellow members of the "war always" crowd to jump on board his peace train. If he does, it would be a fitting and touching coda for a man who spent his life waging and advocating war. Instead of all the folks he either directly or indirectly got killed, we could remember McCain as the Walter Cronkite of the Afghan war.