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Bush v. shoe

December 15, 2008

CNN and FoxNews have different angles of an Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at President Bush. (Sorry i couldn’t get the videos embedded.)

In the Arab culture it is considered an insult to have shoes thrown at you (or to have the sole of a shoe face you, such as while seated). Staying out of the whole “Is Bush right or is he an absolute moron” debate:

  1. I’m glad President Bush got out of the way.
  2. This is funny.
  3. I’d hate to be the guy getting sacked and piled on by the Secret Service and the Iraqi security details.
  4. I find it interesting (in the observation of body language and international relations) that the Iraqi Prime Minister put out his hand to protect Bush and did not try to protect himself in case of an errant shoe.

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.”

Hurling shoes at someone, or sitting so that the bottom of a shoe faces another person, is considered an insult among Muslims.

Al-Baghdadia issued a statement Sunday demanding al-Zaidi’s release.

Al-Zaidi drew international attention in November 2007 when he was kidnapped while on his way to work in central Baghdad. He was released three days later.

Bush had been lauding the conclusion of a security pact with Iraq as journalists looked on.

“So what if the guy threw his shoe at me?” Bush told a reporter in response to a question about the incident.

Read the rest of the story

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From → OOPS!, Politics

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