January 5, 2009


George Bush to award John Howard the US freedom medal (Samantha Maiden, January 06, 2009, The Australian)

JOHN Howard will be awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington next week, in one of George W Bush's final acts as president.

Mr Bush, who described the former Prime Minister as "a man of steel" during their warm relationship and cooperation through the Coalition of Willing in Iraq, said today through a spokeswoman that Mr Howard was being honoured for his efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad.

The award is the highest civilian decoration of the United States and was first established by former US President Harry S Truman in 1945 and largely focused on wartime service.

It was re-established by John F. Kennedy and the criteria for the award was broadened to include meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the US, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours.

Blair to accept top US medal in Bush's last week in office (Stephen Bates, 1/06/09, The Guardian)
Blair will find himself among others he will recognise. Donald Rumsfeld received the medal in 1977 for his original period in administration service; vice-president Dick Cheney got his in 1991; and President Bush has previously awarded other prominent figures involved in the Iraq campaign - Paul Bremer, the US's former director in Baghdad, General Tommy Franks, and George Tenet, former director of the CIA.

Blair was previously also awarded the US's other highest civilian honour, the Congressional Gold Medal, in 2003, for his support of the US invasion of Iraq, though he has never collected it.

He will receive next week's award alongside John Howard, the former Australian prime minister, and Álvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia. A White House spokeswoman said the three were being honoured by the president "for their efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad".

What about Aznar?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2009 9:19 PM
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