NYT: shoe-throwing MAY reveal a security lapse

(8 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I saw it on CNN International News last night. George W. Bush and I were both stunned momentarily. Shoes thrown at the outgoing 43rd President of these United States. One shoe as  “… a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!”  The second shoe from “… the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”


Hitting someone with a shoe is considered the supreme insult in Iraq. It means that the target is even lower than the shoe, which is always on the ground and dirty.

at Daily Kos

And the ever insightful New York Times reports

But the moment clearly unnerved Mr. Maliki’s aides and some of the Americans in Mr. Bush’s entourage, partly because it was televised and may have revealed a security lapse in the so-called Green Zone, the most heavily secured part of Baghdad.

In the movies, there would have been a swarm of Secret Service agents flinging themselves all over Mr. Bush. Instead, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq offered up his hand in an attempt to block the shoe thrown at President Bush at the Sunday news conference in Baghdad.

hOly mOly. Represents a lapse in security? Since when did the New York Times decide to master understatement in journalism? Without the swift response of what should have been, in my mind, 20 American agents, it represents more than a LAPSE . . .

Anyway… our Frat Boy President responds with this:

All I can report is it is a size 10,” he said, continuing to take questions and noting the apologies. He also called the incident a sign of democracy, saying, “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves,” as the man’s screaming could be heard outside.

So, does George W. Bush add to his pardon list this Iraqi journalist, a correspondent for Al Baghdadia? Will Bush intercede on the behalf of 28-year-old Muntader al-Zaidi? Will Bush stand by his words, “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves” and insist that, in the name of democracy and freedom of expression, al-Zaidi be freed?

I say al-Zaidi should be freed because, for me, it comes down to this (as I said in a comment to arkylib at dKos): when you can see, standing in front of you, the man responsible for the destruction of your country, is there really a protocol for that?  


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    • pfiore8 on December 15, 2008 at 12:41 pm
  1. deserves a statue.

  2. next time I have to go through the airport screening procedure they’ll keep my damn shoes so I don’t use them as a weapon to take hostages.

    “Take me to Havana or I’ll throw a Birkenstock at you!”

    Leave it to the journalists to be the only ones to show a backbone when confronted with power. Telling truth to power is in short supply in our nation’s capitol – ask any Congress critter.

    I’m thinking about changing my sig –

    “…this is the farewell kiss you dog!” Muntader al-Zaidi and his left shoe.

  3. Boston’s most dangerous of right wingers also brought up this “Where was the Secret Service”.  Amazing how the memory lapses go.

    Where indeed was the Secret Service?


    • Edger on December 16, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    AFP via RawStory

    Tuesday December 16, 2008

    The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents, his brother told AFP on Tuesday.

    Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother Muntazer had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during Sunday’s protest against Bush’s visit to Baghdad or while in custody later.

    He said he had been told that his brother was being held by Iraqi forces in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in central Baghdad where the US embassy and most government offices are housed.

    “He has got a broken arm and ribs, and cuts to his eye and arm,” said Durgham.

    “He is being held by forces under the command of Muwaffaq al-Rubaie,” Iraq’s national security adviser, he added.

    Zaidi, 29, a journalist for private Iraqi television channel Al-Baghdadia, was swiftly overpowered by Iraqi security forces after he threw the shoes at Bush in a gesture seen as the supreme mark of disrespect in the Muslim world.

    An AFP journalist said that blood was visible on the ground as he was led away into custody although it was unclear if it was his.

    Bush, who was on a swansong visit to the battleground that came to dominate his eight-year presidency, ducked when the shoes were thrown and later made light of the incident.

    But Zaidi’s action won him widespread plaudits in the Arab world where Bush’s policies have drawn broad hostility.

    The Lebanese television channel NTV, known for its opposition to Washington, went as far as offering a job to the journalist.

    In its evening news bulletin on Monday, it said that if he takes the job, he will be paid “from the moment the first shoe was thrown”.

    A manager at the channel told AFP that it had made its offer known to Zaidi and was ready to post bail on his behalf.

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