NEW YORK - Appearing on CNN this morning, E&P Editor Greg Mitchell renewed his call in a recent column (see When Will First Major Newspaper Call for a Pullout in Iraq?) that newspaper editorials strongly consider advocating a phased U.S. pullout from Iraq, or at the minimum begin a "healthy debate" on this subject.
MItchell cited a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll which found that 47% of the respondents said they favored withdrawing some or all troops from Iraq. This was up from 37% a month ago. "So it's odd," he said, "that the largest newspapers are seemingly not even taking this position seriously."
Asked why he thought that was, he replied that newspapers, until now, have considered this a "fringe" position, adding "a lot has changed in the past month, with the soaring U.S. casualties and now the prison abuse scandal in Iraq."
In light of recent events, Mitchell predicted that in the coming month at least one leading paper will call for a phased withdrawal "and this could snowball from there." As he did in his column, he mentioned Walter Cronkite's famous statement to CBS network viewers in 1968 in which he revealed that he had reluctantly come to the conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable and that the U.S. should begin withdrawing.
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