Sunday, December 14, 2008

Iraqi Journalist Hurls Shoes At President Bush

I guess the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush today just didn't give a damn any more and decided to jeopardize his own freedom to protest the policies of our lame duck. He made the statement, "This is a farewell kiss you dog!" shouted the journalist,per MSNBC, and hurled his shoes at Bush, who was not hurt, as you can see in the video below.

CNN reports the following:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A man identified as an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at -- but missed -- President Bush during a news conference Sunday evening in Baghdad, where Bush was making a farewell visit.

Bush ducked, and the shoes, flung one at a time, sailed past his head during the news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in his palace in the heavily fortified Green Zone.

The shoe-thrower -- identified as Muntadhar al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist with Egypt-based al-Baghdadia television network -- could be heard yelling in Arabic: "This is a farewell ... you dog!"

While pinned on the ground by security personnel, he screamed: "You killed the Iraqis!"

Al-Zaidi was dragged away. While al-Zaidi was still screaming in another room, Bush said: "That was a size 10 shoe he threw at me, you may want to know." (CNN)
It and other news sources say it's an insult in Arab culture to show someone the sole of your shoe. I knew that already because a reader told me about this cultural dissing while commenting on President-elect Barack Obama's visit with John McCain. I think when it comes to the Obama/McCain meeting, the commenter was over-analyzing Obama's body language, but I tucked the info. away.

CNN has the following quote from Bush about today's shoe incident, and video of the shoe-hurling follows. "W" appears to be laughing it off:
"So what if the guy threw his shoe at me?" Bush told a reporter in response to a question about the incident.

"Let me talk about the guy throwing his shoe. It's one way to gain attention. It's like going to a political rally and having people yell at you. It's like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers. ...

"These journalists here were very apologetic. They ... said this doesn't represent the Iraqi people, but that's what happens in free societies where people try to draw attention to themselves." (per CNN)
I guess "W" can say this is one thing that hasn't happened to any other President. He stands apart.

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