Jewish World Review April 4, 2003 / 1 Nisan, 5763
Robert L. Haught
These medals will not be displayed proudly
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | "What did you do in the war, daddy?"
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle qualified for the Congressional Medal of Dishonor when, as troops moved into battle positions, he unleashed a partisan attack on the commander in chief, telling a labor union group that he was "saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war."
Peter Arnett earned the Iraqi Commendation Medal. While reporting on the war for NBC, MSNBC and National Geographic, he gave an interview to state-controlled Iraqi TV in which he said the U.S. war plan had "failed." He was fired, then hired by a London anti-war tabloid.
A Medal of Inhumane Action is reserved for U.S. Army Sgt. Asan Akbar, who was detained for a grenade attack on his fellow soldiers that killed two and wounded 14 others in Kuwait. He told family members he encountered racism as an African-American and a Muslim in the armed services.
Lance Cpl. Josh Gracin was living like a celebrity and singing on the "American Idol" TV program while other Marines from his unit were deployed to the war zone. Such undistinguished service merits a Citation for Conspicuous Ungallantry.
The Hollywood Combat Readiness trophy can share space with the Oscar won by movie director Michael Moore, who used his appearance at the Academy Awards to launch a diatribe at President Bush. He drew some return fire from the largely liberal celebrity audience.
Mayor Edward "Buddy" Tyler and four members of the all-Democrat Fieldsboro, N.J., town council are in line for the Order of Unpatriotic Action. They supported a decision to outlaw yellow ribbons for the American troops fighting in Iraq if they were placed on public property.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., should be given a Home State Security Campaign ribbon. A Democrat facing re-election in a conservative state, he voted to support Bush in the war, saying the Saddam Hussein regime "must be disarmed and removed from power."
"And what did you do in the war, mommy?"
Wanda Baucus, wife of the Montana senator, put an anti-war poster on prominent display in the window of the Baucus' home in Washington, making her eligible for the Spousal Defiance Medal. "I don't think we have any business being in a pre-emptive war against Iraq," she said.
The Grand Order of Disloyalty is appropriate for Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, who told a London audience: "We're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." After radio stations boycotted their music and fans started tearing up concert tickets, she issued an apology.
Recording artist and children's book author Madonna should be awarded the MTV Assault Badge. She made a video, "American Life," released overseas, in which the final scene shows the singer throwing a grenade in the lap of a President Bush look-alike. She was quoted as saying the image is "my wish to find an alternative to violence."
Actress Susan Sarandon was a leader in opposition by the Hollywood left to
Bush and military action against Iraq, calling it American imperialism and an
effort to grab Iraqi oil. Her mother, Leonora Tomalin, who lives in Florida,
supported the president. She can pin a Bad Conduct Medal with Poison Oak
Leaf Cluster on her daughter's chest.
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