To throw or not to throw: The shoes, aimed at Bush, felt round the world To view the link you have to Register
The Iraqi journalist Muntadar Al Zaidi hurled one, then a second shoe at Bush this past Sunday in Baghdad, where the self-styled "war president" showed up at a press conference alongside Nouri Al Maliki (right, at podium), Washington's puppet prime minister of U.S.-occupied Iraq
Was it silly of the Iraqi journalist Muntadar Al Zaidi (a reporter for a Cairo-based TV channel) to have thrown his shoes at George W. Bush this past Sunday, when the lame-duck, self-styled "war president" turned up at a press conference in Baghdad alongside Nouri Al Maliki, Iraq's U.S.-puppet prime minister?
In many parts of the Arab/Muslim world, the owner of that high-flying footwear has quickly become something of a hero.
The Dubai-based To view the link you have to Register reports: "An Iraqi-government official[,] speaking on condition of anonymity[,] said Al Zaidi was being held for questioning by...Maliki's guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs. On Sunday,...Bush narrowly escaped [receiving] a shoe to the head while making a surprise visit to Baghdad. 'This is a gift from the Iraqis, this is the farewell kiss, you dog!' Al Zaidi shouted just before he chucked his shoes" at Bush. As he threw his second shoe, he shouted out: "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!" In response, Bush quipped: "All I can report is that it is a size 10...." (Reuters video clip of the incident To view the link you have to Register.)
To view the link you have to Register notes: "The hurling of shoes at...Bush on his farewell visit to Iraq strikes many in the Middle East as a fittingly furious comment on what they see as his calamitous legacy in the region. Arab and Iranian TV stations have gleefully replayed the clip, sometimes in slow motion, of an Iraqi reporter calling Bush a 'dog' and throwing his shoes at him - the Middle East's tastiest insults....The affront was a twisted echo of the triumphal moment for Bush when joyous Iraqis used their footwear to beat a statue of Saddam Hussein toppled by U.S. invading troops in 2003." Ahmed Maher, a former Egyptian foreign minister, observed that the shoe-throwing gesture reflects the considerable "antagonism" Bush has stirred up "in the whole region." There, Reuters reports, Bush has "harmed America's reputation and the friendship many had felt for [the U.S.]." Maher also remarked: "Despite past mistakes in [the United States'] policies, there was always a redeeming factor. In this particular case [of and throughout Bush's presidency], there doesn't seem to have ever been a redeeming factor...."
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Bush ducked as the footwear projectile headed his way
On the significance of footwear in the Arab/Muslim world, whether it high-flying or stationary, the To view the link you have to Register notes: "In Arab culture, it's considered rude even to display the sole of one's shoe to a fellow human being. Certainly, crossing one's legs ankle-on-knee style should never be done in a public place for fear of offending the person next to you. The sensitivity [about feet and footwear] is related to the fact shoes are considered ritually unclean in the Muslim faith." Thus, "[i]n addition to ritual ablutions before prayer, Muslims must take off their shoes to pray, and wearing shoes inside a mosque is forbidden....But beyond the Islamic significance, the dirty and degrading implication of the sole of a shoe crosses all religious boundaries in the Middle East."
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Security men immediately surrounded Bush and the Iraqi prime minister; Bush quipped that the flying shoes were "a size 10"
Muntadar Al Zaidi's headline-making, shoe-throwing gesture has provoked impassioned reactions in many countries. In predominantly Muslim Iran, which has been on the receiving end of constant criticism from the Bush-Cheney gang for its ongoing work on a nuclear-development program, "ordinary people [have] had no good words for the outgoing [U.S.] president." One 67-year-old, Iranian retiree remarked of Bush: "He left a legacy of disgrace for America. His name will certainly go down in history and be remembered for all bad things forever...." In Jordan, a researcher at Jordan University's Center for Strategic Studies regarded last weekend's shoe-hurling incident "as iconic" and told a reporter: "Arabs will always remember the shoes hurled at Bush as symbolizing their deep frustration with his failed policies." (To view the link you have to Register)
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This is HILARIOUS. I only wished the guy smacked Bush right in the face with them