Today's New York Times says the Pentagon doesn't want cities to hold Iraq victory parades, such as the big one Mayor Bloomberg wants to have in New York City. Instead, the Pentagon says, any celebrations should be "recognition for the troops — and to say thanks to the American people for supporting them," whatever that means in the absence of acknowledgment of the outcome of the war. Now, don't you think that if a Democrat had proposed making the word "victory" taboo at such events, he or she would be pilloried across the country on talk radio and in the right-wing press? But this is the Pentagon, so it's OK.
I'm not really sure what's going on here. Is this a genuine effort to avoid angering Arabs and Muslims? (If so, someone should have thought about asking President Flyboy to go easy on the triumphalism last Thursday.) Is someone worried that there might be a victory parade running on CNN on a split screen with a simultaneous assault on U.S. troops in Iraq or Afghanistan that doesn't really look like victory? Or is this just a Rovian effort by the White House to ensure that every major Iraq celebration takes place on a timetable keyed to the '04 election, and that every event carries the Bush™ brand?