(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.
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?