INT: There were some very tense moments there, when it looked as though Israel might lose. Was there a feeling of American support, that they would step in and stop at all costs Israel losing?
WC: The question of how far the United States would go in coming to the support of Israel at a time of military crisis, such as in the Yom Kippur war, is... I perhaps endanger my own reputation as an impartial pundit, if you please, by even suggesting such, but I think it is somewhat moot. I think most Americans would be inclined to say we would certainly come to Israel's defence under any circumstance. On the other hand, I think that at the time of such crises, there might be some second thoughts before we would commit the forces, or at least before there would be wholehearted support. This support also has been damaged in recent years by some of the intransigence, which is the word used to categorise Israeli behaviour in attempting to find a Middle East peace.
INT: Last question, if I may, sir. The Soviet advances in the Third World, particularly in Africa in the late 1970s had a destabilising effect on many of the Western governments. Was there much reported in America at that time, and what was the general feeling about those advances, particularly in places like Angola?
WC: The Soviet incursions into Africa, I think bothered the people in the United States who follow foreign policy very closely, foreign affairs. But in general, the importance of those moves was lost on the American public, I think. We reported it as faithfully as we could, but I would admit, as a managing editor of my evening news broadcast, that our judgement was I don't think affected by the remoteness of the area or anything of the kind; it was affected by the fact that we always have to take the most important story and prioritise from there in the entire picture what was happening in the world in those years. What was happening in Africa generally, was not that critical to the American public. There wasn't, in other words, a really serious alarm or concern about the Soviet incursions.
(B/g question re: oil crisis)
INT: Tessa, who's working on this programme as well, would like to... her final question is: in the oil crisis, where suddenly prices per barrel went through the roof, was there a feeling of outrage in America about that?
WC: When what happened?
INT: The oil crisis in the early Seventies, when...
WC: Oh. ... the oil crisis probably brought as much public reaction as any other of our international crises or the last 50 years of the Cold War, because obviously it hit directly at everybody's pocket book, at everybody's way of life: the long lines at the filling stations, the closed filling stations at certain hours of the day, the rationing in some cases, and not only at the filling stations but in the fuel deliveries to our homes; we had a lot of cold homes in that winter of '73, I think it was, of the oil crisis. Sure, that was a mighty blow to our vaunted independence. I think that we weren't thinking so much of independence at that moment as the fact that these Arabs had done this to us. But as we thought more about it and were taught more about it by the press and our situation ... the fact that we weren't as independent as we thought we were has left a scar on the American psyche, and that hasn't changed since '73, in this almost quarter of a century since. The American public is aware today that in the vital minerals needed for subsistence today, we don't have a monopoly, or even an adequacy, which I think affects our view toward the rest of the world.
INT: Happy, Tessa?
TESSA: Happy, thank you.
INT: Mr Cronkite, thank you very much indeed.