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Ear to the Ground

The Shoe-Thrower Speaks

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Posted on Feb 19, 2009
Zaidi
AP photo / Evan Vucci

Fateful footwear encounter: This photo from the Dec. 14 press conference with President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad shows Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi in the act that won him millions of fans and landed him in a heap of trouble.

Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who quickly became renowned throughout the world after chucking his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last December, took the stand in court Thursday to defend his memorable act as a gesture of self-expression, on behalf of both himself and “the Iraqi people.”


The Washington Post:

Throwing his shoes, fastball style, at the leader of the free world was not, Zaidi argued, a crime.

Zaidi, 30, who is charged with assaulting a foreign head of state, posited that Bush’s Dec. 14 trip to Baghdad was not an official visit by a foreign dignitary because he arrived in the country without prior notice and didn’t leave the Green Zone, which at the time was still under U.S. control.

“I am charged now with attacking the prime minister’s guest,” he said stoically, making his first public remarks since the incident. “We Arabs are famous for being generous with guests. But Bush and his soldiers have been here for six years. Guests should knock on the door. Those who come sneaking in are not guests.”

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By ZombieNation, February 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Bush’s visit was unannounced, guests should knock on the door. Those who come sneaking in are not guests.” Neither are those who kick-in your door.

This man is not only a hero but also brilliant, great defense to the charge of insulting a “official” guest.

He should be made Prime Minister of Iraq !!!

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By Folktruther, February 20, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Aparently in Arab culture it is common to throw something to express defiance and contempt.  Thus in Palestine throwing stones at boder guards or other acts of defiance have a different meaning than in Western culture.  Otherwise they might have tortured him to death.  Now he is obviously a hero to the whole world and so they have to treat him more gingerly.  Even under the Freedom and Democracy that the US has installed in their occupations.

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By nimblehuman, February 20, 2009 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

It’s a terrible reflection on the government of Iraq that they are prosecuting this man so ferociously instead of just giving him a slap on the wrist and letting him go.  He did what millions of people the world over wish they had the opportunity, and the bravery, to do.

December 14 should be declared Muntadhar day, and made a national holiday in Iraq (if not also in the US!)

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By hippy pam, February 20, 2009 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

This guy just did what some[not all]of us would like to have done….Throw SOMETHING at “ole bullshit”.....But there wasn’t any one with the BALLS to do it…..American Sheeple=COWARDS


THIS MAN IS A HERO!!!!!!!

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By HC, February 20, 2009 at 1:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

M.B.S.S. noted that Dumbya dodged the shoes quite swiftly. Such agility shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, he’s been extremely well practiced in dodging the truth and responsibility his entire life.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, February 19, 2009 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Obama should demand Maliki pardon this brave man and a statue be erected next to Lincoln.

We should also establish a national shoe day holiday in honor of the size ten, in perpetuity.

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By M.B.S.S., February 19, 2009 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

you have to admit, bush dodged that shoe quite swiftly.  its as if he was waiting for something like that to happen.

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By freeyourmind, February 19, 2009 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

do you understand what it means to throw shoes at someone in this mans country.I agree, Bush is lower than dog shit. This man has more balls than all the sheeple in the good old usa.

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By coloradokarl, February 19, 2009 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Throwing shoes at a President, a Plumber or a Clown is still simple assault and depending on past criminal indiscretions should be tried and sentenced as such. Time served?

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By Paolo, February 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Now, if only some Americans had the guts to throw shoes at our leaders, on our soil….

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By Sepharad, February 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wish he hadn’t missed.

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By PatrickHenry, February 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

I think we should name a national holiday after this guy.

He puts our “free press” to shame.

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By amilius, February 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Al-Zaidi is modest.  He spoke for the world when he tossed those shoes.  He should be thanked, not chastised. Release him now.

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By dr wu, February 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

Free the shoethrower—free all political prisoners.

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By joe, February 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

bush got what he deserved,i wish it was me.

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