The Iraqi government has assailed Muntazer Al-Zaidi, the TV reporter who made headlines recently after he threw his pair of shoes at US President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
“This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” the reporter shouted as he hurled both his size ten shoes towards the American leader who ordered the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” he continued before being dragged out of the room by security men.
The Iraqi government called his act “barbaric and ignominious,” and ordered that the Shi’ite journalist locked up for humiliating the Iraqi people. The government also demanded an apology from Al-Zaidi’s TV station, Al-Baghdadiya.
Bush for his part have only but laughs for Zaidi.
“I don’t know what the guy said, but I saw his sole… It doesn’t bother me.. If you want the facts, it was a size 10 shoe that he threw.”
Meanwhile, thousands went out of the streets of Baghdad to proclaim Al-Zaidi a hero and to demand his immediate release.
Al-Baghdadiya Television has also appealed for his release, “in accordance with the democratic era and the freedom of expression that Iraqis were promised by US authorities.”
The network asserted that Al-Zaidi’s detention brings back memories of the nation’s dictatorial past.
Zaidi’s brother, Udai, told Reuters TV that Muntazer has done the Iraqi nation a great service and that his deed “fills Iraqi hearts with pride.”
A Libyan charity group chaired by Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter has also extolled the shoe-throwing reporter for his bravery.
“Waatassimou group has taken the decision to give Muntazer al-Zaidi the courage award … because what he did represents a victory for human rights across the world,” the group, headed by Aicha Gaddafi, said.
Bush deserved the shoes
Considering that Bush’s unjust war on Iraq has caused the slaughter of more than a million innocent lives – and that this US-led barbarism unmistakably dwarfs what the US-installed Iraqi government called Zaidi’s “barbaric and ignominious act” – I believe the lameduck, warmonger leader that is Bush truly deserved the shoes and the contempt that went with it.
What Zaidi did was a legitimate act of protest against US imperialism’s (which is represented by Bush) continuing massacre of Iraqi people in their illegal and unjust occupation and invasion of Iraq.
In fact, Zaidi could have done a much better job if he didn’t miss his target. Sayang.