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Shoe Watch

Liz Sly writes for the Chicago Tribune: "The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush made an impassioned courtroom appeal for clemency on the first day of his trial today, saying he became enraged when he saw Bush smiling and joking with Iraq's prime minister.

"Muntadher al-Zaidi, 30, was hailed as a hero throughout the Arab world for his shoe-throwing protest last Dec. 14, during Bush's visit to Baghdad....

"'While he was talking I was looking at all his achievements in my mind. More than a million killed, the destruction and humiliation of mosques, violations against Iraqi women, attacking Iraqis every day and every hour,' he said.

"'A whole people are saddened because of his policy, and he was talking with a smile on his faceand [sic] he was joking with the prime minister and saying he was going to have dinner with him after the press conference.

"'Believe me, I didn't see anything around me except Bush,' Zaidi continued. 'I was blind to anything else. I felt the blood of the innocent people bleeding from beneath his feet and he was smiling in that way. And then he was going to have a dinner, after he destroyed one million martyrs, after he destroyed the country.

"'So I reacted to this feeling by throwing my shoes. I couldn't stop the reaction inside me. It was spontaneous.'"

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Next: Afghanistan Watch


I guess he got tired of watching his buddies get killed in the Mahdi militia.


Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | February 19, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I remember some people saying that the fact he was able to throw his shoes was a sign that Iraq was enjoying freedom. But, look at what happened to him after throwing the shoes. He was arrested, tortured, and forced to sign a false confession. I'm sure somebody could have thrown shows at Saddam Hussein, but he would have been arrested, tortured, and forced to sign a false confession. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Hopefully the courts will show some clemency. After all, he missed.

Posted by: fletc3her | February 19, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I gotta agree there was something particularly infuriating about that fatuous, clueless smirk.

Posted by: herzliebster | February 19, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The only mistake Mr. al-Zaidi made was...........he missed, twice. Fortunately for duhbya, his policies over the last eight years will almost certainly prevent a similar situation from happening here in the USA. That is because, very soon now, none of us will be able to afford shoes.

Posted by: kgeakin | February 19, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mr. al-Zaidi, all of us who opposed meaningless war and wanton destruction have agonized over the past eight years as the serial killer George W. Bush bore that insufferable smirk while prating about what a great man he was, how he was the first president to "know what he thinks," dismissing polls, experts and victims while relying entirely on his almighty "gut." When you threw those shoes, you spoke for billions of people. May God have mercy on your soles, even if your fellow man does not.

Posted by: motorfriend | February 19, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Mr. al-Zaidi's emotions are understandable. W's are not.

Posted by: raqualung | February 19, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The Gunsharpener again fails to recognize a patriot and a hero acting out of honest and sincere feelings. How dare you get mad when I torture you, sharpy cries! The sheer nerve of our victims to point fingers at their torturing, thieving, mercenary, homoerotically charged and perverted occupiers.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | February 19, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

What sparkplug1 said, but in all caps.

Posted by: dickdata | February 19, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

How is al-Zaidi in jail and Cheney free?

Which one of them three a couple of shoes in a mostly symbolic act that ended up harming no one?

Which one sat in his office choreographing premeditated torture?

A-Zaidi committed assault; without question.

There's likewise no question that Cheney committed WAR CRIMES: gross violations of national and international law, crimes so vile and heinous that there is no statute of limitations, no safe harbor, no excuse, ever, under any circumstances, without limit or exception, anywhere in the civilized world.

So tell me again why Cheny is free, and al-Zaidi is in jail?

Posted by: jpk1 | February 19, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

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