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Iraqi Throws Shoes at Bush

 
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 03:48 pm
One Iraqi was so happy to be liberated, he threw a pair of shoes at the president (He didn't have flowers handy) -


BAGHDAD (Reuters) " An Iraqi reporter called President George W. Bush a "dog" and threw his shoes at him on Sunday, sullying a farewell visit to Baghdad meant to mark greater security in Iraq after years of bloodshed.

Just weeks before he bequeaths the unpopular Iraq war to President-elect Barack Obama, Bush sought to underline improved security by landing in daylight and venturing out beyond the city's heavily fortified international Green Zone.

He declared the war "not over" despite recent gains.

In a sign of lingering anger over the war that will define the Republican president's foreign policy legacy, an Iraqi journalist shouted in Arabic "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog," and hurled his shoes at Bush during a news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Throwing shoes at somebody is a supreme insult in the Middle East. One of the shoes sailed over the president's head and slammed into the wall behind him and he had to duck to miss the other one. Maliki tried to block the second shoe with his arm.

"It's like going to a political rally and have people yell at you. It's a way for people to draw attention," Bush said. "I don't know what the guy's cause was. I didn't feel the least bit threatened by it."

The journalist was leapt on by Iraqi security officials and U.S. secret service agents and dragged from the room screaming and struggling.

Bush's fleeting visit to Baghdad was aimed at marking the recent passage of a U.S.-Iraq security pact that paves the way for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraqi cities by July next year and withdraw completely by the end of 2011.

It was also meant to hail a recent sharp fall in the sectarian violence and insurgency that raged after the 2003 U.S. invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, and to show support for Iraqi police and soldiers as they take on increasing responsibility.

Asked whether he had come to Iraq on a victory lap, Bush said: "No, I consider it an important step on the road toward an Iraq that can sustain itself, govern itself and defend itself."

"There's still more work to be done. The war is not over."
 
Butrflynet
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 03:54 pm
Sure wasn't a very quick response from the secret service. Good thing it was just shoe leather.

flyboy804
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 04:08 pm
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

Sure wasn't a very quick response from the secret service. Good thing it was just shoe leather.

It's rather easy to "smuggle" your shoes into any engagement.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 04:11 pm
too bad it wasn't a doc marten
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 04:56 pm
@djjd62,
They were DUCK! martens.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 04:56 pm
@flyboy804,
That's what the shoe bomber said in court.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 05:49 pm
I'm shocked that after 8 years of bush anyone anywhere can afford to lose the shoes....
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 06:37 pm
"All I can report is it is a size 10" ... Laughing
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 06:57 pm
Quote:
Asked whether he had come to Iraq on a victory lap, Bush said: "No, I consider it an important step on the road toward an Iraq that can sustain itself, govern itself and defend itself."


Quote:
Iraqi reporter steps forward and throws his shoe at Bush.



That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 07:03 pm
Check them heels for Semtex.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 08:23 pm
I lifted this quote from PDiddie's blog:

The full statement:

"This is a gift from the Iraqis, this is the farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

It's the height of insult to do anything with your shoes in the Iraqi culture. You may recall that when the statue of Saddam was toppled in Baghdad in 2003, Iraqis took off their shoes and slapped the face with them. Apparently the Iraqi shoe-throwing journalist had a colleague who had been kidnapped and tortured.
Green Witch
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 08:31 pm
@edgarblythe,
Mr. Iraqi Shoe Guy is my new hero.
I would personally send him a check to buy a new pair of shoes if I knew how to reach him, along with a thank you note.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 08:32 pm
@edgarblythe,
The backstory on the man behind the shoe throwing: (Haven't seen this reported elsewhere)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/28224135#28224135


0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 08:33 pm
@Green Witch,
You might wanna contribute to his defense fund...

(real curious to see the fallout of this stunt, not that I disagree)
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 08:46 pm
I would like to see the shoes in the Smithsonian with an explanation to future generations.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 08:48 pm
@Rockhead,
I think with the whole world watching (many agreeing with the act) the Iraqi gov't will restrain themselves. I'm sure the Bush people will not make a fuss.Wasn't this the point of liberating the Iraqi people? They now have the freedom to throw their shoes at political leaders they despise. We have won in Iraq!
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 08:55 pm
Just below the shoe story on the BBC website was this: 50 killed in suicide bombing in a restaurant near Kirkuk. 100 more injured.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 09:00 pm
One of our local reporters was there in the room and wrote up his account here:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003922606

Excerpts:

Quote:
We made our way to the prime minister's house, getting searched as we entered his compound, searched as we walked into a holding room before going into the house and then searched again before going in the gate. We saw American soldiers, but no Secret Service.

The Secret Service showed up and we got searched again.

And then we waited. We waited for about two hours in the conference room. At this point, I was the only American reporter in the room.

Oddly enough, one of the Iraqi government delegates gathered the correspondents and told us not to ask questions. "If you want to embarrass the prime minister, ask a question," he said. Ok, that kind of defeats the purpose of bringing together the entire Iraqi press.

Still, the Iraqis were having a blast, taking pictures of themselves at the table and lecterns where Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki would speak. The mood was positively jovial. Some joked about smartass comments they'd like to ask the president, like "Is the mission accomplished now?" Sounds offensive to Americans, but I'd chalk up to typical reporter banter.

Prime Minister Maliki and President Bush arrived with a red-carpet photo spray. The White House press corps followed. We swapped information and waited another half hour.

Out comes Maliki and Bush. Maliki praises Bush for sticking with Iraq for all this time. Bush returns the favor, praising Maliki. Then Bush gives an overview of the war, acknowledging the sacrifices made by Americans and Iraqis to bring Iraq to the relative stability it enjoys now.

"Schukran," he says, indicating the close of his prepared speech with the Arabic word for "thank you."

Hands leap, especially among the Iraqi press who have never had a chance to ask a question to the American president who shaped their lives for the past five years.

That's when the shoes started flying.


Quote:
Maliki and other Iraqi officials looked like they were fuming, probably in no small part because the spectacle went on and on with Zaidi's moans.

Hammed had Zaidi's name and affiliation before he hit the ground. We watched the press conference with a feeling of anticipation.

As it ended, a couple Iraqi security guards in suits took away two more Iraqi journalists because one of them called Zaidi's protest "courageous." Hammed bravely stood up for the journalists. Talking to a friend just isn't a crime. They were released a few minutes later after some American officials intervened on their behalf.

Some of the security guards started looming over members of the White House press corps who flew in with Bush, at least until a White House communications aide shooed them away.

The press conference was not aired live. Few political events are here.

Many of the broadcast reporters feared the Iraqi government would take their cameras and tapes. They expect that things will be tougher for them next time they cover one of Maliki's events.

"This will have consequences for us," one reporter told us.

That's a shame. All the Iraqi reporters in the front row apologized to Bush. It was a reporter who yanked Zaidi to the ground before Iraqi or American guards could reach him.

Interestingly, the Iraqi press came in by bus but had to walk out in the cold night.

What's going to happen to Zaidi? He's in custody, but I don't think there's a doubt that many Iraqis will view his outburst as courageous, even though it clearly embarrassed the prime minister.

Zaidi's TV station is pushing for his release. "Any action taken against Muntathar will remind us of the actions and behaviors taken by the reign of the dictator and the violence, the random arrests, the mass graves and confiscations of freedom from the people," the board of Baghdadiyah TV said.



0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 09:49 pm
I laughed at first, but what this symbolizes brings me no pleasure. It honestly tears at my heart. I think of all the people who have died Both Iraqi and Coalition Forces, and I feel a little defeated about being closer to resolution.

T
K
O
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 12:50 am
@Diest TKO,
It will be a good test case to see what brand of freedom we purchased for Iraq with all those lives and money.

From what I've read so far, I'm not impressed. The first instinct was to tell reporters not to embarrass the prime minister by asking questions at the event, and the second instinct was to attempt to suppress the shoe story. I wait to see if the reporter who threw the shoes and the others who cheered him on get anything more than something akin to a misdemeanor fine and a lecture from their government officials as a result of their arrests.

Iraqis use shoes, we use cream pies.

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site205/2008/1203/20081203_062730_RHRORIMER_400.jpg

In the meantime, our Secret Service needs some rapid response practice. Bush should not have still been standing there as a wide open target for the second shoe.

0 Replies
 
 

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