“This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq,” shouted Muntadhar al-Zaidi, senior correspondent for the al Baghdadia TV station, as he threw his shoes at US President Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.
Al-Zaidi was immediately dragged out of the press conference and beaten in the adjacent room, a treatment that is not really different from the abuse of journalists under Saddam Hussein. Bush brushed off the shoe-throwing as democracy at work, saying, “That’s what people do in a free society” while the man’s screams were heard from the next room. An Iraqi journalist was quoted in the International Herald Tribune: “They kicked him and beat him until he was crying like a woman.”
The US invasion of Iraq has led to the deaths of over a million Iraqis and caused incalculable destruction.
“I don’t know what the guy’s cause is,” commented Bush after the incident. Too bad the poor guy missed hitting him. ■