Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, December 15, 2008



BAGHDAD — Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets Monday to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, as Arabs across many parts of the Middle East hailed the journalist as a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president.

The protests came as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted Iraqi police, U.S.-allied Sunni guards and civilians in a series of attacks Monday that killed at least 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others, officials said.

Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security Monday and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a press conference the previous day in Baghdad, said an Iraqi official.

He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse. Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam with their shoes after U.S. Marines toppled it to the ground following the 2003 invasion.

Newspapers across the Arab world on Monday printed front-page photos of Bush ducking the flying shoes, and satellite TV stations repeatedly aired the incident, which provided fodder for jokes and was hailed by the president's many critics in the region.

"Iraq considers Sunday as the international day for shoes," said a joking text message circulating around the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Palestinian journalists in the West Bank town of Ramallah joked about who would be brave enough to toss their shoes at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, another U.S. official widely disliked in the region.


The old guy's got some pretty decent reflexes!


Obob said...

imagine if this guy had tried it on sadam or even worse ... obama???

Shaw Kenawe said...


If it had been Sadam, the guy would have been killed on the spot.

And why would an Iraqi journalist throw his shoe at Obama? He had nothing to do with the devastation that country has been through.

But I understand that the right has to somehow place Obama somewhere--anywhere-- in any issue to deflect responsibility away from Bush, who is the object of real hatred for many, many Iraqis.

So answer me, Obob. Why would any Iraqi throw a shoe in protest at Obama?

Obob said...

because he would have failed to remove the repressive regime the ruled over him.
I was actually baiting you into obama on lectern reply. Then my ever so callous wit would have noted his slow responses too queries would have resulted in both shoes hitting there mark but you deflated me to soon and resulting my super duper long run on sentence that should get banned from the blogosphere.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I will not ban you from the blogosphere, but I sentence you to Limbaugh frat house "pranks" where you will be blindfolded and have cheescloth placed over your mouth and nostrils and have water poured thereon until you denounce your loyalty to rightwing demagogues.

I will also deprive you of certain nouns, verbs, and adverbs until you promise to cease abusing them.

Now face your punishment like a man.

Obob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Obob said...

shaw, I am married, thus I fear no torture. And I do not have a "h" nor "j" on my keyboard due to my devious son. thus I type haphazardly.
p.s. I had to fix my previous errors.

dmarks said...

"And why would an Iraqi journalist throw his shoe at Obama? He had nothing to do with the devastation that country has been through."

When there was an important decision on the matter back in 2003, Obama supported Saddam's regime to the point where he would have preferred to have it stay in power.

"So answer me, Obob. Why would any Iraqi throw a shoe in protest at Obama?"

Obama has indicated that he will continue the policy of opposing terrorists based in Iraq, much as Bush had. So, that might be a reason that an Iraqi who hates Bush might still hate Obama.