Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoe Thrown at President Bush

The New York Times has a roundup of Iraqi opinion on the shoe thrown at President Bush yesterday by an Iraqi journalist. Opinion is running about 9-to-1 in favor of Muntader al-Zaidi, who tried to bean the president with a "size 10", although I'm sure a great many Iraqis can identify with this:

"I spent five years in Saddam’s jails," said Saman Qadir, a 51-year-old mechanic. "This journalist has to throw flowers on Bush, not a shoe, because Bush saved the Iraqi people from a bloody regime. Malaki has to raise a case against this journalist."
Here's how Dave Dilegge at Small Wars Journal sees things:

Ain't this just dandy and a pisser to boot - those who have strived - and died - to ensure Iraq's freedom and future place as a responsible partner on the world scene are brushed aside for the latest bash Bush melodrama and a 'real hero' is on the scene - Iraqi who threw shoes at George Bush hailed as hero via The Times. Plenty on this elsewhere, on the dailies and wires - most likely more tomorrow - meanwhile back in the real word ... People care, they die or suffer serious wounds, and their contributions are tossed aside for this. A damn shame it is, indeed.

Nothing follows.
President Bush was reelected in 2004, and is the representative of the American people; and while no one, really, should have a shoe thrown at them in disagreement, it's particularly disrespectful when directed at a sitting head of state who is the guest of the Iraqi government and people.

As always, the American left has erupted in righteous vindication. Take a look around at some of the radical blogs at Memeorandum. It's kind of sickening, really.

See also, "
Leftwing Blogosphere Cheers Iraqi Shoe Thrower."


UPDATE: I published too soon! I should've checked over at Lawyers, Guns and Money, where the brainless ones have not one but two posts up (here and here), plus this from one of their more typically cultured regulars:

You know what? I approve of throwing shoes at (some) people. I think this was the bees knees in political commentary. And I'm really not ashamed to say it ... Throwing a shoe at the tyrant who is singlehandedly responsible for the destruction of your country, the slaughter of a helpless civilian population, the razing of an entire city, the flight of a million or so men, women, and children into refugee status, penury, and prostitution?, its *literally the least protest you could make.* It is not to be deplored, it is to be applauded. I'm ashamed of my countrymen and our representative journalists that none of them has had the courage to at least turn their backs and fart on Bush. Let alone throw some footwear.
Yep, that's the kind of incisive analysis we'd expect from a couple of wanking professors who take $1000 to write book reviews while simultaneously twiddling their Johnson and sipping a few whiskey sours, and from those who really do need to work on their historical methods!


Anonymous said...

There is nothing "radical" about understanding why a guy would be furious at the destruction and death rained on his country for no reason by a guy who had no beef with Iraq. Some of those who think that Iraq has been prepared for ANYTHING would do well to actually read reports coming out of Iraq that our own Government has produced.

While I cannot condone tossing shoes at someone even as offensive as Bush, I can, and do, understand the point of view of the thrower. You can try this too, or you can continue to dwell in the land of illusion that Bush lives in.

JBW said...

Don, I too posted the video of the shoe thrower a few days ago; I didn't necessarily cheer him on but I did find the incident entertaining, considering his target and how I feel about the man. However, I thought more about it and decided to pen a refutation of my earlier post when I got home tonight, which I just finished writing before I came over here and saw your own. It goes up in the morning; drop by to check it out if you like.

JBW said...

Oh Jackpot, you crazy capitalistic commenter; you're irrepressible!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing "radical" about understanding why a guy would be furious at the destruction and death rained on his country for no reason by a guy who had no beef with Iraq. Some of those who think that Iraq has been prepared for ANYTHING would do well to actually read reports coming out of Iraq that our own Government has produced.

seanhecking said...

At first I thought this was funny when I saw this on YouTube. Then i heard the words of the shoe thrower, so sad to think of all the innocent people killed during this war.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Oh, please....

Muntadhar doesn't speak on behalf of all Iraqis, but will be hailed as a hero the same way a moonbat who throws a middle finger up at Dick Cheney and says, "Eff you", gets notoriety. He'd do better to direct his anger at the militants who kidnapped him or the ones actually raining destructive violence down upon innocent Iraqis.

Here's a different Iraqi perspective.

Ralph Peters piece is worth the read:

December 16, 2008 –

ON Sunday, President Bush ducked two shoes hurled toward him in Baghdad. But he never ducked his responsibilities in Iraq.

A great deal of justified criticism can be leveled at the Bush administration, but to his great - and enduring - credit, our president didn’t quit as mistakes made by his subordinates mounted and the prognosis in Iraq turned dire.

And the “shoe incident” shows how the results vindicated his stubbornness.

When an Arab heel aimed those shoes at our president, it showed the world the extent to which Bush loosened the laces of Middle Eastern tyranny.

If an Arab journalist had thrown his shoes at Saddam Hussein or one of his guests, the tosser would’ve been beaten, then tortured, then killed. Today’s Iraqi government is considering whether the man should be charged under the state’s democratically validated Constitution.

Bush won. Even if shoe-thrower Muntadar al-Zaidi (who works for an Egypt-based media outfit) walks out in his stocking feet and becomes a hero to dead-enders, he unwittingly showed what a great thing has been accomplished in Iraq.

Other than Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, what Arab head of government holds free-wheeling press conferences? “President” Mubarak of Egypt? Assad of Syria? The Saudi king? Qaddafi? If an Arab reporter had “shoed” any other leading Arab ruler during one of their staged events, he would’ve been fortunate to escape with his life.

The only countries in the Middle East where a journalist could survive after such behavior are Iraq, maybe Lebanon - and Israel. Even Jordan doesn’t allow such freedom.

The media have been having a ball with the video of the Great Baghdad Shoe Toss. But they’ve missed the point completely. Our sacrifices let that pathetic reporter muster the courage to hurl his shoes at our president: He knew he could get away with it.

Brothers and sisters, the world has changed since 2003.

Yes, Iraq could still fail. The Arab genius for failure is the region’s salient talent. But one Arab state has been given a chance to build something better than a nationwide prison - not perfect, but better.

And Iraq’s making tangible progress.

Terrorists will still be able to explode the occasional bomb 10 years from now, but daily life for most Iraqis has returned to commonplace concerns. The economy’s booming and democracy, messy but vibrant, appears to have put down roots.

Al Qaeda lost hugely, Muqtada al-Sadr’s star is waning, the Baathists are finished and Iraqis are taking ever more responsibility for their own security. The recent status-of-forces agreement between Washington and Baghdad - which the media sought to portray as a US defeat - shows a country on the mend and gaining confidence.

Our troops are coming home by the tens of thousands. A rump contingent will remain in Iraq for years to come - but facing isolated terrorist incidences, not a complex of insurgencies. And, contrary to another myth, most Iraqis aren’t anxious for us to leave - they just want to own their streets.

For all of our errors in Iraq, we’ve done a selfless, honorable thing.

Bush deserved better than the indignity of having shoes flipped at him - a serious insult in the Arab world. But the incident’s real message was: Mission accomplished!

In barely a month, it will be up to President Obama to safeguard a flawed but tenacious president’s hard-won legacy. Let us hope he’ll have the sense to do so.

Oh, and those shoes? The assailant was a journalist, so I’ll bet they were loafers.