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President Bush and the Flying Shoes: A Cautionary Tale

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Posted on Dec 16, 2008
Sadr City protest
AP photo / Karim Kadim

A shoe is raised during a protest in Baghdad demanding the release of the journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush on Sunday.

By Robert Scheer

They hate us for our shoes. Somewhere in what passes for the deeper regions of President Bush’s mind might come that reassuring giggle of a thought as he once again rationalizes away Iraqi ingratitude for the benevolence he has bestowed upon them. Ever at peace with himself, despite many obvious reasons not to be, Bush quipped, “I didn’t know what the guy said but I saw his sole.” But the lame jokes no longer work.

The shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist is now a venerated celebrity throughout the Mideast, and his words to the president—“this is the farewell kiss, you dog”—will stand as the enduring epitaph in the region on Bush’s folly, which is the reality of his claimed legacy of success in the war on terror. That and the Iraqi’s devastating follow-up as he threw his second shoe, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” a reminder that we have used much deadlier force than a shoe in the shock-and-awe invasion once celebrated in the American media as a means of building respect for democracy.

This was more than a presidential photo op gone wildly awry. One might suspect that the weekend event was designed originally to draw attention from the Friday release of the long-awaited Senate Armed Services Committee’s report on Bush’s torture policy. A report that unanimously concluded that it was the White House and not a few bad apples that “damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.” The report, endorsed by all Republican senators on the committee, including ranking minority member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., cited former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora’s testimony that “the first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq—as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat—are, respectively the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.”

Not only has the Bush administration subverted the image of the United States’ commitment to the rule of law and justice, but it has done similar damage to our reputation for economic efficiency. On Sunday, The New York Times reported on an unpublished 513-page federal history of the Iraq reconstruction, which the article termed “a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.”

This invasion, according to then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, was supposed to be financed by Iraqi oil money, but instead has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1 trillion. The results, as the Times’ account of the report put it, are abysmal: “The hard figures on basic services and industrial production compiled for the report reveal that for all the money spent and promises made, the rebuilding effort never did much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the convulsive looting that followed.”

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No wonder then that we are perceived as blundering bullies by so many in the region that we claimed to be interested in modernizing. That an Iraqi journalist, whose family had been victimized by Saddam Hussein and who was kidnapped by insurgents while attempting to work as a TV reporter, came to so loathe the American president, as does much of the world, should serve as the final grade on the Bush administration. It should also serve as a caution to President-elect Barack Obama as he seeks to triangulate withdrawal from Iraq with an escalation of the far more treacherous attempt to conquer Afghanistan.

In the end, it does not matter that our claimed intentions appear noble if our practice on the ground adds up to a mélange of brutal incompetence. It is significant that increased troop deployment to Afghanistan was recently announced by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who will hold that same post in the new administration. This is the same Gates who in his 1996 memoir details how, as a member of the Carter administration, he was involved in supporting the mujahedeen Islamic fighters against the secular government in Kabul six months before the Soviet invasion.

These foreign adventures always start out so wonderfully: We will be greeted as liberators, democracy will flourish, the West will be safer, and instead we end up ever more scorned. The media traveling with Bush reported it as a victory of sorts that no reporters in Kabul threw shoes at our president during his press conference there. So much for lowered expectations.

Robert Scheer is author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By comfortablefoot, December 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

The real tragedy of the Bush legacy is the ease with which he could quip and prevaricate and for this slippery wheedling he was not seen as selling snake oil but rather applauded for his folksy, down-home charm. Whether spinning his wheels or spinning far-fetched tales he was comfortable shoes in the air or not - and thanks to this bubble of unreality which we as a people tolerated as acceptable the future is now open to any stuffed shirt, with a bullhorn sticking out of the collar as long as it speaks in a twang.

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By Saul Survivor, December 23, 2008 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Maker of shoes thrown at Bush swamped by orders”

Now that’s one way to stimulate the economy!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081222/od_afp/iraqusmediabushshoescompanyoffbeat_081222204331

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By Eric Von Baranov, December 20, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One pair of shoes for every widow and orphan

Every president has a legacy and every president attempts to rewrite history.  Clinton had his blue dress, Bush’s Daddy with “read my lips”, Reagan and his Jelly beans and now W with shoes.  What a fitting legacy.  A man who lied and committed genocide for a personal vendetta to impress his father now receives the gratitude of the Iraqi people in the form of having shoes thrown at him.  Like the child pointing out the emperor had no clothes journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi put into one defining moment everything we should remember about George Bush, Dick Cheney and the Iraq War.

Liberals whine and complain about Bush, now they can do something tangible and lasting.  In a call to arms let us all bundle up an old pair of shoes and donate them to the George Bush Presidential Library.  Perhaps if they receive enough shoes they will create a room dedicated to the loss of life and genocide in Iraq.

The George W. Bush Institute
Southern Methodist University
6425 Boaz Lane
Dallas TX 75205

E.V. Baranov CEO
The Kondratyev Theory Letter
http://www.kondratyev.com

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By TAO Walker, December 20, 2008 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Blaming the self-inflicted predicament theamericanpeople are in today on the antics of the juvenile delinquent they suffered to occupy the White House the last eight years has about as much validity as blaming Nature for the ills domesticated people suffer as a direct consequence of their own stubborn stupidity.  This self-righteous exercise in finger-pointing Robert Scheer indulges himself in here is as much bent on excusing him and his peers for their own complicity in the depradations of allamericanimperialism, as it is on providing a glaring target-of-opportunity NOT themselves for the certain to be soon exploding rage of a population taken to the cleaners by self-selected “elites” that definitely include the proud punditry Sheer cannot avoid being lumped-in-with.

These burgeoning apologetics are long past being merely tedious.  Rather they reek of the desperation always engulfing the careless when their just desserts are being served.  Where was Rober Scheer when a better informed “public” might’ve softened the coming blows by letting go of their terminal obsessions with comfort and convenience?

“It’s all Bush’s fault!” is a refrain chanted all over the place these days.  Those mouthing it are not worthy of even notice….nevermind respect.

Hokahey!

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By Inherit The Wind, December 20, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Fadel:

That’s just an Americanism: When you REALLY detest someone you get more and more polite…because you don’t give him the courtesy of being familiar.

It’s not an honor.

(I think we agree with this journalist’s sentiments and I hope the Iraqi courts give him a very light sentence—and that Maliki pardons him).

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 20, 2008 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

By Amanullah ibrahim, December 18 at 6:15 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

“Dear President-Retiring Bush

With powers I am vested with I, representing the peaceful world wish to honor you with a Doctorate degree - a Degree in Science of Genocide awarded by the University Of Mankind (a collaboration of famous and elite universities in US (except the one that awarded you your first degree) and the Universities in Iraq and the World.”
==================================
Dear Amanullah:
I found your open letter to evil Bush interesting. Since I am working on a manuscript entitled “The Trial of George W. Bush” I find your letter relevant to the theme of my work. Therefore, I ask for your permission to quote it in my work. 

One thing I don’t agree with you about is the ironic way of trying to show respect for such a criminal by addressing him with “Dear” and “Sir!”

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By basho, December 19, 2008 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

they should have given the shoe-thrower a medal.

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By cyrena, December 18, 2008 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

Allan Garfinkle asks:

“...Also, how can Sheer write such nonsense as “our claimed intentions appear noble”, our claimed intentions have never appeared as anything but an complete charade to mask a murderous neo-con policy that remains in place…”

~~

I’m just adding that I had the same reaction to these words from Scheer. Whether he (Scheer) intends to or not, the language tends to legitimize the cover story that kicked in AFTER the WMD story and the made up connection to 9/11.

We’ve known since long before the invasion and occupation were initiated, that it never had anything to do with ‘noble intentions’ and NOTHING can be viewed as ‘incompetence’. To the contrary, things in Iraq have proceeded (or NOT proceeded) according to Cheney’s plan.

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By Alan MacDonald, December 18, 2008 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The real irony here, which none in the MSM have apparently noticed, is the inverse relation with the movie, “Wag the Dog”.

In “Wag the Dog” the propaganda arm of the American ruling-elite ‘corporate financial Empire’ creates a phony PR event about Pvt. Shoemaker, captured in the phony war with Albania, and honored by PR shills throwing shoes over telephone lines—- which the American people buy; hook, line and sinker from the phony MSM propaganda organs parroting the phony war ‘news’.

Now, in the real war ON Iraq the real anger and contempt of an Iraqi real journalist throwing a shoe at the faux Emperor of the ruling-elite ‘corporate financial Empire’, which has wrecked their country and killed a million Iraqis, has backfired on Bush, the “dog”, as the honest Iraqi journalist had the guts to call him.

If the American people had any sense of humor and propriety, we would throw old shoes over the imperial White House fence, mail them to Bush (as some are already doing), and throw old shoes through the windows of the lying MSM organs that helped ‘sell’ this immoral, illegal, and international war crime of a war ON the Middle East.

Instead of wasting time finding the best ‘distractive’ games to play, the American public should have half the guts of the Iraqi journalist and actually take some serious action to throw shoes at Bush, the White House, the lying US media establishment, the Congress, and the looting corporate CEO crooks in their limousines.  Otherwise the real joke is on us.

Here’s some ‘shoe news coverage’ from Pakistan news that we don’t see in the US with our censored MSM:

http://www.dawn.com/2008/12/18/top11.htm

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By Inherit The Wind, December 18, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

writon, December 17 at 2:26 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

I think this shoe incident will become the defining image and memory of entire Bush era and the historic crime that was the invasion of Iraq.
**********************************************

In that we owe Mr. al-Zaidi a vote of thanks.  His rage and response are understandable, but I personally cannot condone physically attacking a President of the US, even such an evil one.  It’s the office I care about, which will soon be held by a much better man than Bush.

Still, George W. Bush does need to be hit with a shoe metaphysically.  He deserves the insult and our contempt from all Iraqis and all Americans together.

But Mr. al-Zaidi’s punishment is totally inappropriate.  Consider: Attacking the US President is a crime but two things in an assault are normally evaluated:

1) Was the assailant acting with the intent to injure or kill the victim? Clearly, Mr. al-Zaidi had no such intent.

2) Was the object used in the assault capable of inflicting injury, serious injury, or death? It’s POSSIBLE that Mr. Bush’s eye could have been blackened or his nose bloodied, but there is NO way anything other than a superficial injury was possible. Even a minor injury was highly improbable.  Mr. Bush’s safety was in no danger. That much is also obvious.  Mr. al-Zairi had no intention of hurting Mr. Bush, which is why the objects hurled were not really capable of inflicting ANY injury.

In the USA, traditionally, similar attacks have been made by hitting the victim in the face with a creme or custard pie.  Sentences have been very mild. (who is going to claim they were assaulted with intent to injure or kill by a creme pie???? The worst is a dry-cleaning bill).

Therefore, an appropriate sentence would be 6 months in prison—suspended of course, a fine, and loss of his press pass.  No more.

Still, I want Bush hit in the face with the sole of following shoe: Jan 21st indictments on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violation of numerous Federal statues designed to prevent dictatorship.  Then, imprisonment for the rest of his life, for all the lives he caused to be lost.

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By msgmi, December 18, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The democratic republic of Iraq has dealt with shoe thrower al-Zaidi in a typical way. He won’t face arraignment until his healing process is complete.

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By WARIS SHERE, December 18, 2008 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The world is experiencing a global rebirth of attacks, eventhough terrorism has occured throuhout our history. Such acts or the threat of such action have been in existence for millennia. In my opinion no amount of outrage and condemnation can suffice to express the anger and frustration one feels when faced with such mindless brutality and violence. Terrorists and extremists know no borders. Religious extremists often reject the authority of secular governments and view legal systems that are not based on their religious beliefs as illegitimate. Terrorism is an act of indiscriminate violence that targets innocent people. Nobody knows when, where, and who will suffer next time. The worst about terrorism is that ordinary innocent people die. We must all be concerned about the loss of life and consider acts of terrorism are harmful to the whole international order and a challenge to humanity. It is a serious threat to democratic values and to international peace and security. The global security challenges of today cannot be fought effectively by one country alone—no matter how powerful. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, organised crime and environmental disasters are long-term international problems, and they require long-term multinational solutions. Peace, security, freedom and justice for all , irrespective of one’s faith and nationality, can be the best solution to terrorism. We must and should achieve these aims by meaningful dialogue towards all cultures and civilizations. Resolving terrorism will inevitably require responding to the politics of other countries. United States of America is a global power and with global interests. It must be abundantly made clear that the problem of terrorism cannot be addressed only from the perspective of United States politics. America needs to start dealing with other communities’ interests. American-led reconstruction of Iraq, which has proved to be a $100-billion disaster, according to a 513-page federal report. Very little progress has been accomplished other than restoration of the basic services. Half a million Iraqui civilians have been killed. It is not at all surprising, Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at George W. Bush at the recent president’s farewell Baghdad news conference. Terrorists today have become more global because of freedom of movement. I recall when Rev. John Dear a Catholic peace activist led a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners to Baghdad. Dear’s profound account on his trip to Baghdad is summed up very eloquently: “We asked everyone the simple question, “What do you want us to do?” Everyone we met, from the Papal Nuncio to the Muslim Iman to the non-governmental organization leaders to hundreds of high school children to the hundreds of mothers holding their dying children, said: “Don’t kill us!” That sounds so obvious, but they said it with tears. If you want to help us, don’t kill us! If you want us to live in peace, don’t kill us! If you want us to be friends with you, don’t kill us! If you want Iraq to create a new democracy, don’t kill us! Send us food and medicine instead, and fund. Then, we will live in peace with you. Violence cannot stop violence. We have to break the cycle of violence, renounce violence, start practicing creative active nonviolence on a level that the world has never seen, and reach out and embrace the world’s poor by meeting their every need. Then, we will win over the world, and no one will ever want to hurt a Westerner again. On that new day, we will sow the seeds of love and peace and discover what a world without terrorism, war, poverty, and fear is like”.  Terrorism is like cancer which has already reached a metastatic stage. It is spreading rapidly and must be rooted out from our history with every means in our command. If unchecked, it will be a threat to our civilization.

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By Amanullah ibrahim, December 18, 2008 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear President-Retiring Bush

With powers I am vested with I, representing the peaceful world wish to honour you with a Doctorate degree - a Degree in Science of Genocide awarded by the University Of Mankind (a collaboration of famouus and elite univeristies in US (except the one that awarded you your first degree) and the Universities in Iraq and the World.

I am sure the CNN reporter who propogates terms like genocide, ethinic cleansing will concurr….

President retiring Bush,
Thou shall be awarded this degree for helping the world understand the difference between Peace and War, for upholding the Truth.

Thou shuld wear the robes from Agfanistan and be paraded in the Hague before both your hands be deskined and then thou sent to the Chair to receive the Doctorate Degtee in Science of Genocide.  You shall be accompanied by your buddy Blair, the PM retiree and witnessed by CNN, BBS, Aljazeera of course the WHTV - white house TV.

Sir,

Remember your fathers picture was stepped by all at the hotel lobby in Kuwait and You will enjoy the same respect in due course - like father like son.

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By Matthew, December 18, 2008 at 4:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Savior the incident, the defining moment of the whole Bush/Cheney Administration. Even so, Iraq remains a nightmare thanks to the malovelence of Bush/Cheney.

But Robert Sheer why would you pen an article on the Great Shoe Incident and not name the hero Muntader al-Zaidi?

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By MisteR33, December 18, 2008 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

USA, CIA, NSA, the security of the Twin Towers not destroi thies building.

US-governement makes in the last 10years verry much bad things.
But the suizidbombers not a problem from the USA or the not islamic-peoples!

Thats a house made problem of the verry hard/ fashism padagogic of so much families of the islamic world!!!

Yes, say on the street: my father is the best and my mother is my mother - but realy?

Against terrorist you brought terrorists (but not funny or crazy blackwater int. soldiers!) with extrem correctly instruction but verry much special conditions and a 100% immunology and a good discreed and tarned as civilists!

we will freedom! what?
to make a better war?

we will see that this peoples understand - the own situation!
if the families/fathers say no - than nothing suizidbombers.

100years of peace and than a great djihad!
thats a chance - ol other is nothing.

stupid world.

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By Ed Harges, December 17, 2008 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

And bear in mind that the shoe-thrower is a Shiite - a member of the group that supposedly most benefited from Bush’s “liberation” of Iraq.

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By eileen fleming, December 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

December 17, 2008
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear President George W. Bush,

As a NONVIOLENT person deeply anchored to what Jesus taught, I would never throw anything at you or any other.

These silver slippers are sent as a gift of remembrance of that little child of Bethlehem who you once claimed was your favorite philosopher.

Jesus is best known by me, as the Prince of Peace. He promised it is the Peacemakers who are the daughters and sons of God and that his sisters and brothers were those that did the will of the Father.

“What does God require? He has told you o’man!
Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8

These silver slippers are sent in NONVIOLENT Solidarity and with deep compassion for the misery of all people caught in the crossfire of violence, especially refugees and children who pick up shrapnel that reads “Made in the U.S.A.”

Most sincerely yours;

A patriotic American Irish dissident, who has been to Israel and occupied Palestine six times since June 2005,

Eileen Fleming, Founder WAWA:
http://www.WeAreWideAwake.org/
Author “Keep Hope Alive”
“Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Producer “30 Minutes With Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

War is Over
If you Want It
War is Over
As soon as nobody shows up to fight it.

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By Paolo, December 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

This guy Zaidi is a true, one hundred percent HERO!

What he did took incredible courage. He did what many of us would like to do to our masters in Washington, but lack the nerve.

I only hope someone, somehow can follow through on Vincent Bugliosi’s recommendations and try George W. Bush for murder. He is a thoroughly despicable piece of human trash.

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By msgmi, December 17, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reagan’s library has a replica of the presidential plane and the “shoe” should be the hanging centerpiece at GW’s future library.

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By Charlotte Roost, December 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—“this is the farewell kiss, you dog”—

IF THE SHOE FITS; WEAR IT!

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By monish, December 17, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

[I posted this elsewhere on the same topic]

Given the ghastly crimes committed by this dreadful monster and his criminal minions around the world, Vincent Bugliosi commented that he would like to see him at least face living hell the rest of his blighted life. He hoped that there would be perpetual lawsuits and other indictments against such a remorseless war criminal and hateful executioner (I cannot begin to recount his other monstrous qualities- far, by far overshadowing the worst in history), such that he and his fellow criminals, who, like so many American genocidal racists and murderers, have gotten away scott-free for the most despicable crimes- would never have a moment of peace in their post-murder and post-genocide lives.

Of course, much of this is likely pipe-dream. After all, Henry Kissinger is still showing up at Olympic games, and even on TV shows. This long-standing smiting of humanity is one of America’s terrible legacies.

Hence, as many have commented here, the shoe-throwing journalist deserves high plaudits from his pilloried, raped, invaded, desecrated country, whose millions of devastated lives will cry for justice for hundreds of years. As do the millions in Vietnam, Cambodia, the New World, Hiroshima, Nagasaki- and the list is sky-high.

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By P. T., December 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Iran is the winner in Iraq.

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By sophrosyne, December 17, 2008 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush has grweatly weakened America economically, , morally and miltarily.  The depth of his depravity will only be known decades from now as the full records are released. Ironically, we are seeing a geo-poltical switch of major proportions as China and Japan’s ownership of American assets and debt instruments is quietly ending American hegemony and compromised basic autonomy. In free-fall decline, Bush has undermined his neo-con assumptions of uni-polarity and hegemonic freedom to ruin the resisting world at will. Bush’s undeclared war on America has been devastating.

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By LarryInLA, December 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

In every Robert Scheer piece there is at least one buried but beautiful kernel of larger truth. In this one it is: “In the end, it does not matter that our claimed intentions appear noble if our practice on the ground adds up to a mélange of brutal incompetence.” Amen

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By Paul J. Theis, December 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(Corrected post)

I have been posting for a while here as WildCard08 (sometimes using spaces bewtween elements and sometimes not), but now I see someone posting as ‘P.T.’ so I feel obligated to register and post under my real name, in the unlikely event that anyone might confuse me for ‘P.T.’—or the unlikely event that anyone might care one way or the other.

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By Paul J. Theis, December 17, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have been posting for awhile here as WildCard08, but now I see someone posting as ‘P.T.’ so I feel obligated to register and post under my real name, in the unlikely event that anyone might confuse me for ‘P.T.’—or the unlikely event that anyone might care one way or the other.

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By P. T., December 17, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Patrick Cockburn (of the London Independent) on US loss of Iraq War:

On November 27, the Iraqi parliament voted by a large majority in favor of a security agreement with the US under which the 150,000 American troops in Iraq will withdraw from cities, towns and villages by June 30, 2009, and from all of Iraq by December 31, 2011. The Iraqi government will take over military responsibility for the Green Zone in Baghdad, the heart of American power in Iraq, in a few weeks time. Private security companies will lose their legal immunity. US military operations and the arrest of Iraqis will only be carried out with Iraqi consent. There will be no US military bases left behind when the last US troops leave in three years time, and the US military is banned in the interim from carrying out attacks on other countries from Iraq.

The Status of Forces Agreement, signed after eight months of rancorous negotiations, is categorical and unconditional. America’s bid to act as the world’s only superpower and to establish quasi-colonial control of Iraq, an attempt which began with the invasion of 2003, has ended in failure.

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By WildCard08, December 17, 2008 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You cannot make this stuff up. In a Dec. 15 AP interview, Sec. of State Rice claims that there was no corruption involving US funds in Iraq! Think Progress had a Dec. 16 item on this. I do not see why this was not the lead story on every newscast and blog in America. Just incredible!

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By yellowbird2525, December 17, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Everything that this nation accused Saddam Hussain of they themselves (lawless leaders) are guilty of millions of times over; chemical warfare is used against the people of the USA in the food chain with the full knowledge & consent of the leaders; if you google coca cola & FDA you will see: undrinkable, unthinkable! pesticides in Pepsi & other soft drinks are USED as pesticides there; England sued Coke over chemicals there; they agreed to stop using it in THAT country only. Our “free” press is not so free now is it. SALT is chemically treated to turn to poison in the human body 15 minutes after ingested to cause High blood pressure, & hardening of arteries & has increased dramatically causing one doctor visibly upset to say that it is NOW causing kidney stones in adults & children: excruating agonizing pain in children it is used so agressively in “processed foods”; of course it is: our nations leaders are sadistic savages who plot how to best “get even” with everyone: 2 days after this on news, on GMA an “authority” figure exploding myths about foods stated there is no difference at all between regular salt & sea salt as it is CHEMCIALLY TREATED & they are the same. PUBLIC PERCEPTION is thru media & print. REALITY: organic sea salt can be found inexpensively & contains multitudes of minerals etc & does not harm humans. I wish we could round up the LOT of them, take THEM to Iraq & say we are sorry our leaders are millions of times WORSE than they depicted Hussain as being: & if heads roll, let them.

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By godistwaddle, December 17, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Shoes are cool, but justice will be served when Bush, his cronies, and most of the congresspersons who voted for Iraq hang in Nuremberg alongside their the ghosts of their Nazi brethren.  I include Hillary, who couldn’t be bothered to read the NIE in full.

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By Ham-Archy, December 17, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

WOW!! George W. Bush himself is posting to this thread! Aren’t we LUCKY. And of course his statements are classically deluded. Well, you can’t blame him for thanking himself. No other individual no matter how stupid, brainwashed, ignorant, or pathetically apologetic would be able to do it.
Howdy there George, let me just say this. When you are indicted by a world tribunal for your crimes, and convicted, and face your execution before all the world, only THEN will know reality.

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By felicity, December 17, 2008 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Case you missed it, last night after proving Bush by way of his own over time 180 statements on the wars, the Taliban etc. is full of it, Olbermann did his Olbermann thing, stopped for a moment being a talking-head, looked into the camera and said, “The president is full of crap.”

Lord, they don’t have to throw shoes, but I wish some American reporter would stand up during a Bush news conference and tell the loser/liar/assassin that he’s also full of crap.

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By Shift, December 17, 2008 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Washington is beyond the reach of critical words.  It consists of self sustaining corruption based upon great wealth.  Money has become language.

The withholding of money speaks loudly. Living a life based upon sustainability wrecks the Washington party. Money flows ever more slowly in such a system.  Live simply, sustainably, and release yourself from the constraints of time.  Quiet time and contemplation provides room for life again, absent the imposed slave-like requirements of Capitalism.  The Capitalistic tune is not the dance of life.

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By choupachoup, December 17, 2008 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding the “thank you” for bush. The stagnant thinkers that see this administration as having kept us safe are a monument to denial. 
Bush was firmly in office when we suffered the attacks on 9/11, he was forewarned, but ignored the warnings.  His prodigious accomplishment is that he has managed to dodge every “shoe” of accountability during his entire disastrous reign of incompetence, corruption and arrogance.
This Iraqi man expressed the outrage and disgust of millions of victims.

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By omop, December 17, 2008 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Even after six decades children born in two of Japan’s main cities as well as in South Vietnam have deformities attributed to Atomic incineration and chemical orange.

The children to be born in Iraq will also show the effect of depleted uranium as the main result of the “cakewalk”. If to some Americans getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a God given crusade then to millions of Iraqis getting rid of Bush and his coalition of the willing that has killed closed to 2 million Iraqis is understandable.

Unless of course in the scheme of God’s worldly affairs the deaths of some 4000 Americans can be equated with the deaths of 2 million Iraqis and thousands of Afghans, Not to mention the complete destruction of their towns and villages.

News reports from Asia and particularly Afghanistan hint at the number of NATO forces that are physically mutilated and left to bleed to death. If force is the only measure of right then Saddam Hussein was only copycatting what the British and the US have done in Asia and Africa for decades.

Or as the cautionary tale puts it “live by the sword, die by the sword”. What may have been the “flying shoe” seen around the world can only mean that in time the show will be replaced with other missiles.

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By kloe, December 17, 2008 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

prole - ditto!  I’ve read your posts on other articles and responded by echoing similar sentiments.  Most of the people that post on this Blog seem pretty independent and are what the media wants to label as “progressive”.  I reject that term and instead tend to think we are just calling things as they are.  I.e. our corptocracy is a “one-party state with two public faces.”  Neither of them truly representing the majority but rather the political and corporate elite.  Unfortunately, we are a very, very small minority.  When I talk politics to people (and I don’t preach or get on my soapbox), they whole heartedly agree with the fact that we have a corrupt duopoloy.  Yet in the end, they still vote for one of the two major parties.  Go figure.

Every election cycle (and really all the time) I do everything I can to encourage people to at least take a look at third party candidates.  Consider the Green party or an Independent or a Libertarian or even a conservative Independent - I really don’t care, just something, anything to erode the corrupt political power base that the Republicrats maintain.  And for those who say you are just wasting your vote, I counter with wasting your vote seems to be what your doing when you vote for basically the same people (Republican or Democrat) to play political musical chairs every four or eight years.  As you say, any member of congress or the senate who maintains the active bi-partisan status quo is just as guilty of warmongering and damaging our reputation as President Bush and the out going administration has been.

Of course it also goes without saying that campaign finance laws and regulations need to be strictly enforced so that all candidates are heard on an equal basis.  Its ironic that now after the election I hear even the mainstream media complaining that Obama is bringing back retreads from the Clinton administration and the pundits are questioning where are the “new” thinkers “progressives” who are going to bring about change in the Obama adminstration?  I guess they have in part themselves to blame for not allowing candidates like Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr, etc., to be interviewed on a more regular basis instead of worshipping at the feet of St. Barack and feeding the public with Entertainment Tonight style news about the stupidity of Sarah Palin.  I would have paid money to see a real Presidential debate between either of the Republicrats and Ralph Nader!  Talk about holding feet to the fire and really calling these clowns who represent themselves as statesmen to the table.  Now, that WOULD have been entertaining!

Likewise the Commission on Presidential Debates - there’s a real joke.  Somehow, this system needs to be revolutionized.  I don’t know how it can be done when these two parties and the corporate media who supports them control our access to other viable candidate/citizens who could probably do a much better job than these professional politicans/hucksters.

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By Little Brother, December 17, 2008 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

ThnkUBush:  No, thnk U, ThnkUBush, for the hilarious satire!

After all, no one who is sufficiently weak-witted or delusional enough to mean those words has the cognitive function required to type them out so neatly.

Unless, of course, ThnkUBush is actually Dana Perino.

This episode brings new meaning to the phrase:  “Baby needs a new pair of shoes!”

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By Gloria Picchetti, December 17, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The journalist made one mistake. He called Bush a dog. How unkind to our loyal canine friends. I certainly would not part with a nice shoe over the man who ruined the United States of America. Bush tried as hard as he could to do away with the Endangered Species Act, to ruin as much of the environment as he could, and to transfer as much wealth as possible to those who are already wealthy. I wonder if this country will every recover from the poverty, the heartbreak, and the misery that George W. Bush caused. In my lifetime I know all hope is gone forever.

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By ThnkUBush, December 17, 2008 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah,

Again. You must learn to live in the real world. You’re only proving to make yourself very ill.

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 17, 2008 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

By ThnkUBush, December 17 at 5:25 am #

Thank you President Bush for all you’ve done.

Thank you for successfully doing all you could in preventing another attack on the U.S.. You and the terrific men and woman in the military and intelligence community saved countless lives in your term.

Thank you for ridding the world of Saddam Hussein after 99 Senators, over 500 House Members and the previous president, mandated that Hussein be removed from Iraq and a representative government put in his place. You succeeded where others failed miserably!

Thank you. immensely, for you calm deliberations.

Thank you for your extraordinary strength in ignoring the types of people on this site who have almost completely failed to pay attention to facts and reality.

Thank you, Sir, for everything! You can always hold your head up. History will judge you kindly.
================
I am not taking issue with your stupidity, for I know that both stupidity and shit happen!

I am taking issue with your state of denial that by supporting evil Bush you have so much blood on your hands; the blood of a million Iraqis and five thousands young Americans who were scarified at the alter of evil Bush and his gang of international terrorists, of which you are one.

You’re in your evil denial by forgetting the fact that 9/11 took place under his watch, nine months into his illegitimate presidency, and most likely it was an inside job to justify all the killing, evil and destruction which followed.

You and your hero and any one who supports this evil one are the scum of the earth!

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By tjm308, December 17, 2008 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But the combination of post-9/11 rage and genuine desire for reform that powered the US invasion of Iraq of 2003 is, for better or for worse, gone. The strange spectacle of an Iraq now closer to democracy than any other Arab state, into which the chief architect of its liberty must steal like a thief in the night, and in which he is subjected to insults by a member of the very community he brought to power, is its problematic legacy. It is also the latest evidence of the astonishing hardiness and longevity of that peculiar political culture of self-righteous fury that bestrides the Arabic-speaking world, and that constitutes perhaps the single largest barrier to its rational and mature development

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By bluzmstr2, December 17, 2008 at 6:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

About the shoe thrower, what are the odds of his getting a Presidential pardon?

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By ThnkUBush, December 17, 2008 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Thank you President Bush for all you’ve done.

Thank you for successfully doing all you could in preventing another attack on the U.S.. You and the terrific men and woman in the military and intelligence community saved countless lives in your term.

Thank you for ridding the world of Saddam Hussein after 99 Senators, over 500 House Members and the previous president, mandated that Hussein be removed from Iraq and a representative government put in his place. You succeeded where others failed miserably!

Thank you. immensely, for you calm deliberations.

Thank you for your extraordinary strength in ignoring the types of people on this site who have almost completely failed to pay attention to facts and reality.

Thank you, Sir, for everything! You can always hold your head up. History will judge you kindly.

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By jr., December 17, 2008 at 6:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Word has it that reporter has been tortured and is also facing a seven (7) year prison term for throwing those shoes.  How’s that for “justice”?

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Allan Krueger's avatar

By Allan Krueger, December 17, 2008 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Gosh, why should they be angry at BUSH?

He saved them from the EVIL Saddam Hussein! What ingrates! Of course, BUSH killed millions of them and trashed their country in the process! Minor details!

I wish that I could get close enough to BUSH to hit him with a flying shoe, I would have a few additional things to say…

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, December 17, 2008 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

Although a Steel Toe Boot Up his ass would also suffice.
As a natural born US citizen ...I applaud the entire episode..A X-Mas gift Sent early
Not only was the journalist smart enough to just use a shoe, he had a hellova arm and damn good aim.
Unfortunatley W has had so much practice dodging shit his reflexes were fine tuned. In fact the look on W’s face after the first shoe was Classic ‘Dodge ball’ bravado. That School kid Smirk cracks me up everytime they it plays.and the fact he stood back up for the second shoe proves W was not concerned about his safety, egging him on to try again?
W may have accomplished something even Barack has not acheive globally…He got the entire world to laugh together. I’ll consider it BushCo’s humorous Holiday card to the World. the one and only gift he (or his puppetmasters) have ever given to the rest of humanity.
‘I’d love to teach the World to sing..’ Laughter tops even that at building good will.
I am thinking of adding a couple more Decorations to my Exterior…A Pump & a Steel toe-  American shoes..No Soft rubber sole from US.

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By eileen fleming, December 17, 2008 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

In NONVIOLENT Solidarity with the misery of the people of Iraq who have been bombed, tortured and occupied by US, i am mailing a pair of spike heels to:


The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

In Solidarity “We have it in our power to begin the world again”-Tom Paine

Do Something,
e
http://www.wearewideawake.org/

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By Bubba, December 17, 2008 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

I’ve been wondering for a few years what psychotropic medication(s) Bush has been on.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 17, 2008 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sheer’s ‘epitaph’ is premature, 150,000 US troops are still in Iraq with no immediate prospects for leaving.

Also, how can Sheer write such nonsense as “our claimed intentions appear noble”, our claimed intentions have never appeared as anything but an complete charade to mask a murderous neo-con policy that remains in place.

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By Rosemary Molloy, December 17, 2008 at 4:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. al-Zaidi is a hero, but not only to Arabs!  I listed myself as a fan on his Facebook site.  He represents a strong, direct, non-lethal response to the evil deeds of a mass murderer—what’s not to like?  I just hope he isn’t beaten to death for his act of heroism.

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By writon, December 17, 2008 at 3:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think this shoe incident will become the defining image and memory of entire Bush era and the historic crime that was the invasion of Iraq.

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prole's avatar

By prole, December 17, 2008 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

“The first and second identifiable causes of” Iraqi deaths by U.S. invasionary forces in Iraq—“as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting fighters into combat—are, respectively”...the Republican and Democratic parties.  “Not only has the Bush administration subverted the image of the United States’ commitment to the rule of law and justice, but it has done similar damage to our reputation for economic efficiency”...with the active bipartisan collaboration of Democrats such as Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel, among others who supported both types of malfeasance. Now that his term is up, the hapless Bush can serve as a convenient scaprgoat for all that’s wrong with America and then the same damned Democrats that helped make it all possible in the first place can tweak policy mechanisms slightly to smooth out a few of the rough edges and go right on pursuing the same essential imperial objectives.  This is how the game has been played for ages, a political shell game in a one-party state with two public faces. Those shoes and epithets could just as well have been aimed at almost any member of congress, regardless of party affiliation, or at many of the members of the incoming ‘inclusive’ ‘cabinet of rival’ imperialists. They also could have been hurled with just as much righteous outrage at Bill Clinton who probably killed at least as many Iraqi’s - mainly children - with his criminal sanctions regime all through the 90’s. The insurgency was already waiting to happen all along for grievances built up over many years by successive bipartisan American governments. It took Bush to put American troops in harm’s way and bring it all to a boil. And when the Democratic warmongers take over next month it will likely be ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ as bad ass Barack is itching to up the ante in Afghanistan/Pakistan and is in no great hurry to quit Iraq. And Palestine never looked so bleak.  “Not only has the Bush administration subverted the image of the United States’ commitment to the rule of law and justice, but”  the Democrats have “done similar damage to our reputation.”  “These foreign adventures always” end so deceitfully. They were “noble intentions” undone by “brutal incompetence”.  It was the last guy’s fault, it will be different this time, the new Dear Leader will make a fresh start, etc. St. Barack and the Democratic doves “will be greeted as liberators, democracy will flourish, the West will be safer”, So much for raised expectations. Hold on to your shoes.

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