Shoelidarity forever: Support for Iraqi journalist detained after throwing shoes at Bush

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derrick derrick's picture
Shoelidarity forever: Support for Iraqi journalist detained after throwing shoes at Bush

A grainy video is already available on YouTube...

 

Iraqi journalist hurls shoes at 'dog' Bush

BAGHDAD (AFP) — An Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes and an insult at George W. Bush, without hitting him, as the US president was shaking hands with the Iraqi premier at his Baghdad office on Sunday.

As the two leaders met in Nuri al-Maliki's private office, a journalist sitting in the third row jumped up, shouting: "It is the farewell kiss, you dog," and threw his shoes one after the other towards Bush...

 

Doug

The dog part I get, but is there some special insult in throwing your shoes at someone that I'm not aware of?

Stargazer

Shoes or a bullet. I'm sure shoes don't lead to jail. If I were an Iraqi citizen I would want to do far more than throw shoes at the beast.

Slumberjack

Not bad for a lame duck.

KeyStone

In case you are trying to make this look like the Iraqis don't like Bush, throwing shoes at someone is an Iraqi custom to show great appreceation for someone, reserved only for those they hold in the highest regard.

Fleabitn2

Bettter video here (bbc) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7782422.stm

This was no soft toss either, but a fastball (fastshoe?) directed at the cranium. Said reporter to sign with the RedSox next year.

As to why shoes were tossed: "In the Arab world, shoe flinging is a gesture of extreme disrespect. A notable occurrence of this gesture happened in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003. When U.S. forces pulled down a giant statue of Saddam Hussein during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, many Iraqi detractors of Hussein threw their shoes at the fallen statue.

This may be an ancient gesture from the Middle East; Psalms 60:10, speaking of some of the traditional enemies of Judah, says that "Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe...." (KJV)

The shoe represents the lowest part of the body (the foot) and displaying or throwing a shoe at someone or something in Arab cultures denotes that the person or thing is "beneath them." Showing the bottom of one's feet or shoes (for example, putting one's feet up on a table or desk) in Arab cultures is considered an extreme insult. "

 

check democratic underground for discussion on the incident .

 

ceti ceti's picture

The reporter was Muntazer al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old correspondent for the independent al-Baghdadiya television station. He was kidnapped in 2007.

Shoe flinging or showing the soles of shoes is disrepectful in most of Asia. Calling someone a dog is also big insult in South Asia.

 

Doug

Coyote

Dude's got no aim.

genstrike

Coyote wrote:

Dude's got no aim.

The guy didn't do too bad.  A shoe can be pretty awkward to throw, and he chucked it pretty hard and managed to make Bush have to duck.  I probably wouldn't be able to do any better.

Although I wouldn't mind if he threw a knife or a bomb instead...

SwimmingLee

I think the shoe-thrower will become a folk hero of sorts.

More power, and shoes, to him.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

http://LASIK-FLap.com ~ Website Created by Injured LASIK Patients

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
In Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City, thousands of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burned American flags to protest against Bush and called for the release of al-Zeidi. 

"Bush, Bush, listen well – Two shoes on your head," the protesters chanted in unison. 

Newspapers across the Arab world printed front-page photos of Bush ducking the flying shoes and satellite TV stations repeatedly aired the incident, which provided fodder for jokes and was hailed by the president's many critics in the region.

"Iraq considers Sunday as the international day for shoes," said a text message circulating around the Saudi capital Riyadh. 

Many users of the popular internet networking site Facebook posted the video of the incident to their profile pages, showing al-Zeidi leap from his chair as Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were about to shake hands. 

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog," al-Zeidi yelled in Arabic as he threw his shoes. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." 

Al-Zeidi was immediately wrestled to the ground by Iraqi security guards. The incident raised fears of a security lapse in the heavily guarded Green Zone where the press conference took place. Reporters were repeatedly searched and asked to show identification before entering and while inside the compound, which houses al-Maliki's office and the U S Embassy. 

Al-Zeid's tirade was echoed by Arabs across the Middle East who are fed up with U.S. policy in the region and still angry over Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein. 

Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the influential London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote on the newspaper's website that the incident was "a proper goodbye for a war criminal." 

The response to the incident by Arabs in the street was ecstatic. 

"Al-Zeidi is the man," said 42-year-old Jordanian businessman Samer Tabalat. "He did what Arab leaders failed to do." 

Ghazi Abu Baker, a 55-year-old shopkeeper in the West Bank town of Jenin said, "This journalist should be elected president of Iraq for what he has done." 

Hoping to capitalise on this sentiment, al-Zeidi's TV station, Al-Baghdadia, repeatedly aired pleas to release the reporter Monday, while showing footage of explosions and playing background music that denounced the US in Iraq. 

"We have all been mobilised to work on releasing him, and all the organisations around the world are with us," said Abdel-Hameed al-Sayeh, the manager of Al-Baghdadia in Cairo, where the station is based. 

Al-Jazeera television interviewed Saddam's former chief lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi, who offered to defend al-Zeidi, calling him a "hero."

[url=http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2008/12/15-3]Source[/url]

[img]http://www.commondreams.org/files/article_images/shoe-1215.jpg[/img]

 

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al-Qa'bong

As one might expect, the Angry Arab is having a lot of fun with this.

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/

 

He's been making Arabs-and-their-shoes jokes for years.  As he would ask, would it be considered an insult in Canadian culture if a reporter were to throw his shoes at Stevie-Boy Harper?

 

What would happen if every time one of these blankety-blank rightwingers were to advocate waging war on Arabs and occupying their lands, shoes were thrown in their general direction?

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Hey...now I know what to do with all my old shoes!Cool

Doug

al-Qa'bong wrote:

What would happen if every time one of these blankety-blank rightwingers were to advocate waging war on Arabs and occupying their lands, shoes were thrown in their general direction?

 

Imelda Marcos would have a fit of jealousy? Smile

Fidel

Viva  al-Zaidi! Viva Iraq!

Ghislaine

[url=http://baghdadbureau.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/15/iraqis-pick-up-their-s... This link [/url] in the The New York Times I found very interesting, as it has reaction from many individual Iraqis of all walks of life. I haven't gotten through reading it all, but it is fascinating.

Star Spangled C...

Doug wrote:
The dog part I get, but is there some special insult in throwing your shoes at someone that I'm not aware of?

It's like the biggest insult in the Arab/Islamic world. Because teh soles of your shoes touch the dirty ground, tehy are considered really unclean and offensive. I visited Egypt once for a medical conference and before meeting people I had this quick little session with my host about the cultural differences and was basically told that if I'm wearing shoes, the soles must be on the ground the whole time. Sitting cross-legged where the soles can be seen is like giving them the finger. And if you ever go into someone's house, it's jsut automatic that you take them off oat the door. To not do so would be like dragging feces through their home.

Remember when the Iraqis tore down the big Saddam statue? They immediately began hitting it with their shoes since this is the ultiamte sign of disrespect.

josh

Bush throws a shoe at the world:

"BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take-

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yeah, that's right. So what?"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/15/bush-acknowledges-absence_n_151...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

On a serious note, Muntadhar al-Zeidi is in serious trouble. He was handed over to the Iraqi military and has been beaten and tortured. An international campaign is being mounted for his release, but in the meantime he is being badly mistreated.

This is Bush's idea of bringing freedom and the rule of law to Iraq.

 

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lagatta

References for the campaign to support this heroic journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi?

Just saw this at Al-Jazeera - Free Bush shoe-thrower, Iraqis urge

"The two shoes narrowly missed the US president as he gave a news conference in Baghdad

Thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated in Baghdad's Sadr City in support of a journalist being held in custody after throwing his shoes at George Bush, the US president" (...)

"Free Bush shoe-thrower, Iraqis urge

The two shoes narrowly missed the US president as he gave a news conference in Baghdad

Thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated in Baghdad's Sadr City in support of a journalist being held in custody after throwing his shoes at George Bush, the US president.

Muntazer al-Zeidi was detained for what the Iraqi government on Monday said was a "barbaric and ignominious act" during a news conference the previous day.

The outgoing US leader, who was making a surprise visit to Baghdad, had just told reporters that while the war in Iraq was not over "it is decisively on its way to being won," when al-Zeidi got to his feet and hurled abuse - and his footwear - at Bush.

Bush, who had been giving a joint press statement with Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, ducked behind a podium as the shoes narrowly missed his head.

"Millions of Iraqis or rather millions of the people of the world wish to do what Muntadhar did," Uday al-Zeidi, Mundathar's brother, said on Monday.

"Thank God he had the guts to do it and avenge the Iraqi people and the country from those who plunder it and have killed its people."
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2008/12/2008121514483444081...

I'll ask some people here in Iraq solidarity about a campaign to free Muntadhar and protect him from further abuse.

martin dufresne

Mundathar is definitely a hero but we are deluding ourselves if we imagine that the puppet Iraki government will let him go free. They will want to make an example with the punishment meted out for the freedom he took.

lagatta

martin, I don't think any of us have illusions about that, but it is our duty to support this heroic journalist.

The latest news I have (via a poster at Bread and Roses) on Mundathar's fate and protests in support of him:

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m49624&hd=&size=1&l=e

martin dufresne

"it is our duty to support this heroic journalist." Absolutely. Will do what I can.

lagatta

Of course a petition isn't enough, but it can be a first step:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/iwffomuntatharalzaidi/index.html

So far it has garnered support from many continents.

Doug

It looks like Al-Zaidi is injured, but it's not clear if it's from when he was first jumped on by all the security people at the press conference or from later mistreatment. Neither source of the injuries would be a big surprise, but if it's the latter it pretty much proves in a way more visible than any other than the whole Iraq war with it's billions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost was for nothing.

Meanwhile, it seems the thrown shoes are becoming a much sought-after item. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7785338.stm

Fidel

They'll prolly murder him some time down the road, like the purged Iraqi academics and scientists on this partial list of those murdered by the American inquisition All this warfiteering because of Crazy George I's vendetta with former CIA pawn Saddam

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'd love to see someone mobilize a huge group of people to gather across from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, and throw their shoes onto the White House lawn as a symbolic protest! And do it soon!Laughing

bewaredabear

what do you think would of happened had he thrown it at Saddam?

I would venture to guess he would be dead and his head on a stick! possibly his entire family as well. I would propose it prooves that democracy is at the very least in its infancy in Iraq.  

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

It proves that human spirit is alive and well in Iraq as it always has been. Nice to raise the spectre of Saddam. A man brought to kangaroo court, accused, convicted, and executed for war crimes by war criminals. The Iraqi people never did a thing more to Americans than throw a shoe at one president, and yet the Americans have murdered in the neighbourhood of 2.5 million Iraqis and have left another 4 million as refugees. Genocide by any count. Bush should share Saddam's fate with the same amount of dignity shown

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Well said, FM.  Smile

bewaredabear

FM

human spirit may be have been alive and well in Iraq but only as long as 2+2=5. nothing like exaggerating body counts to negate any credibility to a debate

Fidel

bewaredabear wrote:

FM

human spirit may be have been alive and well in Iraq but only as long as 2+2=5. nothing like exaggerating body counts to negate any credibility to a debate

You're absolutely right. I think it's possible that FM may be off by at least one or two bodies in the total overal body count attributable to the mass-murdering Bushler family regimes I through Clinton and herr Bushler II. I suppose some of us are more lumpers than splitters when it comes to exact numbers and details.

 

bewaredabear

every single human life is more than something that should be "lumped" into a statistic. Since U.S. occupation in Iraq, Iraqii casualties is at the highest estimates 150,000. Previous conflicts are far fewer. Very large numbers I concede but nowhere near 2.5 million. Saddam on the other hand.....

Doug

2.5 million seems high. The Lancet study which broadly looked at all kinds of excess mortality due to the war and occupation came up with 655,000 as of mid-2006. Lots has happened since, but I don't see how the number gets that high.

However, spending a lot of time on these sort of numbers is a bit silly - either way it's a major disaster, just a matter of how major.

martin dufresne

...or a mere "disaster".

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

The problem with far too many brain-addled television viewers is that history begins and ends with the most recent after school special. The US and Britain, with the knowing consent of most of the Western world, for ten years before the illegal invasion and occupation, imposed illegal sanctions that killed about 1.5 million Iraqis with 500,000 of those being children. You might recall Clinton's Secretary of State, Madealine Albright, arisen like a vampire from her coffin for the Obama regime, saying of all those dead children, "it was worth it."

As well, not included in the body count, is all those tens of thousands of Iraqi infants born deformed, dying at birth if they're lucky, as they live the horrors of slow mass death- depleted uranium. A cruel and barbaric weapon not even the most vile torturers of the Spanish Inquisition could have imagined and all of the victims carrying the burden of original sin made in the USA.

Of the most recent murderous rampage against an ancient people, the best scientific evidence puts the figure at 1 million three years ago. The apologists and mother-fuckers who could try and rationalize murder, carnage, and the destruction of an ancient civilzation and the antiquities it held are the only ones to seriously dispute the numbers.

And, incredibly, they say with an appaling and shameless lack of compassion "democracy". As though democracy is made evident only when the streets are in ruins and running with blood - a la the Butcher Rumsfeld.

Only in Western civilization, where we gleefully trade our children's futures for the spittle of fast food grease on our chins, would we confuse mass murder, barbarism, and the transparent acts of plundering and looting with democracy.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

So the USians can congratulate themselves that their work of bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq is now done.

 

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N.R.KISSED

Sock and Awe

 

Hit Bush with your shoe

 

http://play.sockandawe.com/

martin dufresne

Shoe thrower tortured, Iraq to go up in flames?
by dday, dailykos
I think there's reason to be very concerned about the fallout from the shoe throwing incident in Iraq.  It's fun to joke about and all ("Bush hasn't dodged anything that fast since the draft!"), but the consequences are likely to be grave.  The act of defiance at an American President has galvanized opinion in the Middle East. I don't want to call him Munthadar the Plumber, but that's the basic dynamic.
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 -- at a Baghdad news conference on Sunday.
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.
dday's diary :: ::
"It indicates how much antagonism he's been able to create in the whole region," former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told Reuters, adding that the incident was regrettable.
Bush had harmed America's reputation and the friendship many had felt for i. "Despite past mistakes in its policies, there was always a redeeming factor. In this particular case, there doesn't seem to have ever been a redeeming factor," Maher said.
Now we're learning that this guy, seen as a hero by a non-trivial segment of the Arab world, has been charged with assault (on the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, not Bush), thrown into Camp Cropper prison and
tortured.
Albaghdadia, the TV channel where the Iraqi Journalist Montather Al-Zeidi works, reports that an Iraqi MP (Ms. Zainab Al-Kanani) informed them that Montather's hand was broken in jail.
This confirms a lot of reports and rumors about Montather being subject to torture while the Iraqi authorities are interrogating and detaining him in some unspecified location. (...)

 

martin dufresne

Fom that website - 22471398 shoes have successfully hit President Bush in the face so far! Well done!

Ghislaine

An Egyptian man has [url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081217/od_nm/us_bush_bride_3] offered [/url] his daughter as a bride to the shoe-thrower.

 

FM, you are attributing the murders by people other than the American military to the Americans. Various insurgent groups, rebels, and other from other countries are the main cause of death there at the moment. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=Muntadar">http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13915][u]Muntadar al-Zeidi: Hero, Martyr, Symbol of Resistance
Reach for your shoes…[/url] by Justin Raimondo

[url=Can">http://www.kroma.no/2008/bushgame/][u]Can YOU throw a shoe at Bush?[/url]

[url=Send">http://rense.com/general84/sending.htm][u]Send shoes to Bush the genocidal maniac[/url]

[url=Shoe">http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jG-4b5SQ6cn1uYFVw... attacker badly beaten[/url]

 

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd love to see someone mobilize a huge group of people to gather across from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, and throw their shoes onto the White House lawn as a symbolic protest! And do it soon!Laughing

Quote:
About 20 people have protested the war in Iraq by tossing shoes at a fellow demonstrator wearing a prison uniform and mask of President George W. Bush outside the White House.

The group yelled, "This is a goodbye kiss from the people of America!" They also arranged along a curb about 120 pairs of shoes tagged with the names of Iraqis who have died as a result of the war.

- [url=http://www.examiner.com/a-1749512~Anti_war_activists_throw_shoes_outside...

 

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bewaredabear

The problem with far to many lefty, daily show followers is that they think just because they can stickhandle with the facts we are all supposed to bow down and revel in their arrogance. Do not give Bush the satisfaction of thinking he is single-handedly responsible.

It goes without saying that the last eight years have been an embaracement to the U.S. and we all look forward to a new approach. Do not be fooled into beleiving that everything was going along just fine.

One only has to look to the late eighties and the Al-Anfal campaign, culminating in 1988 with the Halabja poison gas attack. If there ever was a time when the streets were in ruins and running with blood, it was then and there in northern Iraq. How long should've we let that continue? 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Haven't you been banned yet??

 

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Shoe-throwing Right-hander Impresses Scouts

In their latest bid to beef up their pitching rotation for the 2009
season, the New York Yankees today signed Iraqi journalist Muntadar
al-Zeidi to a three-year deal worth $32 million.

The right-handed al-Zeidi, 28, impressed the Yankee scouts with his
performance in Baghdad yesterday when he threw both of his shoes at
President George W. Bush.

While neither of the shoes hit their target, both throws "had great
velocity and good movement," said Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner.

"The first shoe was high and outside but the second one was right down
the middle," Mr. Steinbrenner said.

The Yankee boss said that he was also impressed with Mr. al-Zeidi's
fighting spirit when Secret Service agents tackled him.

"That could come in handy when we have a series with Boston," he said.

http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
One only has to look to the late eighties and the Al-Anfal campaign,
culminating in 1988 with the Halabja poison gas attack. If there ever
was a time when the streets were in ruins and running with blood, it
was then and there in northern Iraq. How long should've we let that
continue?

So it is your argument the US was justified in killing 2.5 million Iraqi, and laying waste to the nation, as well as genetically poisining large segments of the population because of a poison gas attack that occured when the US was providing Iraq with logistical support and, when informed of the gas attack, then president Ronald Reagan punished the regime of Saddam Hussein with additional trade. Because if that is your argument, then surely the Iraqis are entitled to kill some 35 million Americans as well as lay waste to the entire country. Do you agree? Or is it only white America that is priveleged to be judge, jury, and executioner and exempt from its own bloody standards?

Doug

bewaredabear wrote:

One only has to look to the late eighties and the Al-Anfal campaign, culminating in 1988 with the Halabja poison gas attack. If there ever was a time when the streets were in ruins and running with blood, it was then and there in northern Iraq. How long should've we let that continue?

 

The US at the time blamed the Halabja attack on Iran, which fit with the position of the Reagan administration as an ally of Iraq in its war against Iran. This only became a problem for the US after Saddam Hussein had become a liability.

al-Qa'bong

"One only has to look to the late eighties and the Al-Anfal campaign, culminating in 1988 with the Halabja poison gas attack. If there ever was a time when the streets were in ruins and running with blood, it was then and there in northern Iraq. How long should've we let that continue? "

Good grief man; the US was supplying Iraq with their poison gas at the time.

As the another US president said back then, "Well, heckuva job Saddami"

 

 

 

By the way, you can throw shoes of your own at:

 http://play.sockandawe.com/

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
I can’t lie. I’ve watched Iraqi journalist Montather Al-Zaidi whip those two shoes past George Bush’s head more times than I can count. I loved it; I even got into the corny jokes about the Red Sox drafting Al-Zaidi in the spring (cementing my belief that Iraqis have the second strongest arms in the Middle East — behind Palestinians of course). I also read endless blog coverage and joined the Facebook group, “Release Montather Al-Zaidi and Give Him New Shoes.”

Overnight, Al-Zaidi became a hero to many Iraqis, Arabs, Bush haters, and anti-war activists. After the episode, Iraqis rallied in the streets with shoes in hand and demanded that their new hero be released (reports have now surfaced that Al-Zaidi’s wrist has been broken and he has been tortured in jail). That’s when I realized that Al-Zaidi did something much greater than throw two shoes at a war criminal, he (even if it will only last a week) single-handedly put Iraq back on the map.

After the heartwarming questions concerning Bush’s safety (given his popularity, he should have been happy it wasn’t a couple Molotov cocktails) and the curious, almost racist, fascination with the meaning of the throwing of a shoe in Arab culture, a few journalists were bitten by what can best be described as a fleeting bug in their industry: integrity. On air, a number of journalists began to question why Al-Zaidi threw the shoes in the first place. The New York Times interviewed his proud family, who spoke of the devastation Bush brought to Iraq over the last half decade. His brother, Maythem Al-Zaidi, said, “[h]e was provoked when Mr. Bush said [during the news conference] this is his farewell gift to the Iraqi people.” It doesn’t take someone with an IQ higher than the president to deduce why Iraqis are so pissed off: our government is responsible for the death of a million Iraqis, the country lacks proper access to electricity, and nearly five million people have been made refugees. Compound this with Bush cramming US victory chants down the throats of Iraqis, and one can understand the journalist’s tame gesture....

[url=Remi">http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/12/try-that-one-on-for-size-al-zaidi-... Kanazi,  December 17th, 2008[/url]

 

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