Guess who got a Presidential
January 7, 2005
Some days you wake up in the morning and there's no doubt
its Opposites Day. It's confusing at first; there are no
early morning signs to prepare you for it. But it quickly becomes
clear. It has got to be Opposites Day.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to the news that President Bush
was decorating three distinguished Americans.
Listening to the news closely, I gathered that the gentlemen being
awarded were none other than retired General Tommy Franks, former
CIA director George Tenet and former Ambassador Paul Bremer.
I tried to add up the
brownie points these gentlemen have stashed away in the past few
General Franks seems like a straight arrow. He managed to
write a book while waging an unpopular war. That seemed deserving
of reward at the Amazon site perhaps, but a Presidential Medal
I would have thought that the whole Abu Ghraib prisoner
torture scandal had tarnished the general's record a bit,
not to mention the effect of this award on those Iraqi hearts and
minds we keep hearing about.
Then there is Director Tenet, the United States Chief Spook
after 9/11 and the dude who appeared before many Senate committees
to assure us all that we had proof the Iraqis had WMDs. He also
sat squarely behind Colin Powell at the UN when the Secretary
made his infamous presentation against Iraq with CIA maps
and props. Well, a performance of that magnitude demands a Presidential
of Freedom. How could you not see it?
Last but most deserving
of the three, the Ambassador, Iraq's head honcho after
the invasion; the cat that sent the Iraqi army packing with their
weapons, only to be recruited by the insurgents. Way to go Mr.
Ambassador. Brilliant. You deserve two medals.
I scratched my head hoping to find a better candidate. The only
person more deserving than these luminaries would be Donald Rumsfeld.
I am sure the President does recognize he is qualified for some
sort of decoration but William Kristol must have vetoed
it. You can't not listen to your base. Perhaps after he
leaves office. Better luck next time, Mr. Secretary.
You know, our President has a very keen sense of meritocracy. He
is as they say, a CEO President. He recruits the best and finest
this land has to offer, and rewards and holds them responsible
for their actions, like other great CEOs of our time (Ken Lay,
Bernie Ebbers, Jeff
Skilling). Just about
now, I can see professors and alums at Harvard Business School
looking at each other with a great
deal of dismay.
There was a time that acts of such audacity would have confused
the heck out of me. But as they say, practice makes perfect. Under
this president's leadership, I have had much practice. Let's
see, the Patriot Act, The Clean Water Act, the No Child Left Behind
Act and the Forest Protection Act. The more it happens, the quicker
I jump up and say "Opposites Day!"
Abtin Assadi is member of the board of directors at Bay Area
Iranian American Voter Association baivoter.org.