Missing the Target


“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. ■



  1. Check out the Global Voices coverage of Iraqi bloggers’ reactions to the incident here. Most Iraqis were happy and proud of Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s act. One blogger wrote that “it was like a national celebration.” Another explained the anger that drove al-Zaidi to throw his shoes at Bush:

    This journalist have seen the US troops killing women and children since 1991, children died from the use of Depleted Uranium … because the USA has prevented importing such treatment under the 12 years sanction since 1991 Gulf war. He has seen the USA many times since 1991, destroying the Iraqi infrastructures, hospitals, mosques, houses, schools, universities, historical sites, factories, and so on. After the invasion in 2003 he has seen the American and their allies’ troops humiliating, assaulting and torturing the Iraq civilians in Abo-Ghreeb prison and in Basrah city by British troops. It is in front of his eyes and every Iraqi eyes the US soldiers and the American security companies such as Black Water killing the Iraqis, humiliating them, and behaving with arrogance and superiority … Iraq became the country of death, killing, lack of services, diseases such as cholera, corruption especially in oil, and division. Many and many other consequences since 1991 US wars in Iraq. All these in mind no wonder why the Iraqi journalist hit GWB with his shoes. GWB was wrong to say this is so the journalist wants to bring attention. It is not but it is the response after all these years of misery by the USA in Iraq.

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