The Bushies, playing politics with medals for the troops:
Many troops who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are expressing disappointment within military circles that the Bush administration has decided against awarding separate campaign medals for service in each country in favor of a single decoration covering service in the global war on terrorism....
But Pentagon officials say the issue is closed. President Bush's authorization of the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, they say, is appropriate, given the nature of the worldwide battle against terrorists and in terms of precedent in previous conflicts.
Bush also authorized creation of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal to recognize those who provided support in the conflict from outside the theater of operations and those who participated in operations to protect the homeland, called Operation Noble Eagle.
Bush authorized the awards March 12, a week before the war began in Iraq, on the recommendation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The awards, a Defense Department spokesman said, provide "flexible and tangible recognition for those serving in the current war against terrorism, a war that spans the globe and includes many diverse campaigns." ...
--from yesterday's Washington Post
As an ABC News story on the controversy (text not available online) notes, "there were separate medals for the Korea and Vietnam wars, even though in both the U.S. was trying to stop communism." And here's a comment in the Post from John Antal, a retired Army colonel who was a tank commander and now edits a military history magazine:
"Imagine how silly it would have appeared in World War II," he said, "if we did not issue European Theater of Operations and Pacific Theater of Operations ribbons but instead issued a generic 'war against fascism medal.' "
Of course, none of these is an exact analogy, because there's no connection whatsoever between the two wars conducted by the current president, except in his own administration's propaganda.
Saddam = Osama. Iraq = Afghanistan. 2 + 2 = 5. And if this conflicts with a long-standing U.S. military tradition, well, that's just too bad.