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POLITICS AND THE IRAQI SHOW-THROWING INCIDENTRegarding the Huey Long medal mentioned last week, Neil Shafer writes:
I have seen two sizes of the same design, with the smaller being much more available than the larger. Both made of the same bronze or whatever composition the metal is. I mention this because I do not recall having read any reference to a second size, but I have absolute knowledge of this.
Dan Hamelberg writes:
A word about the suggestion for a Bush "shoe throwing medal" in last week's E-Sylum. We should be careful on injecting political references in E-Sylum topics. Someone will take it the wrong way. I know you qualified the comments, but your comparison of the circumstances resulting in the production of the Huey Long Toilet Seat Medal and the shoe throwing incident with the President is loose at best.
Long was most likely punched out by a disgruntled citizen. Further, it would not be unreasonable to assume that Long may have said something in the bathroom to deserve his treatment. The circumstances surrounding the Baghdad incident are hardly similar. We may certainly disagree on the reasons for the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, but at least a vote was taken in Congress, and it appears for now that no payoffs or bribes were involved in the process. Also, the shoe thrower was most likely not a US citizen, and probably motivated by his own agenda.
We should try to keep the E-Sylum apolitical. The next time you have an "opportunity to discuss one of [your] favorite medals," you might think about keeping the motivation free from politics.
But since you brought it up, how about a "Free Construction Medal" in honor of the great Senator from Alaska. Or, who wouldn't like a Cheney "Shotgun Medal"? How about an Illinois governor's medal commemorating "Pay for Play"? Then of course, we could design a New York Governor medal of.......well, we probably don't want to go there.
George M. Vanca of Santa Clarita, CA writes:
Any "Heroism" Medal should go to President Bush for his quick reflexes and good sense of humor over this incident. Had the "heroic" journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi dared throw a shoe at Saddam Hussein, neither Mr. al-Zaidi, nor his family, would be around today to receive any such recognition.
When a medal's purpose and subject is political, it's hard to keep that out of the discussion. The best we can hope for is to be as even-handed as possible. When several numismatists began discussing possible medal topics following the incident, I put nothing in The E-Sylum; it was only when newspapers reported that someone had actually given the shoe-thrower a medal that I decided to report it, and that's when the parallels to the Huey Long medal came to mind. I could dig through my emails and publish some of the other medal suggestions, but I'll let the topic drop.
The next item is also of an unavoidable political nature. Let's all heed Dan's advice and keep our comments off politics and on numismatics. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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