Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Iraqi sneakers spectacle

Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe
Psalms 60:8, King James Version

Bush Jr had two number 10 boots thrown at him in Iraq. Parting gift for the dog, the journalist Muntader Al Zeidi hollered, as red-faced sleuths quickly bundled him out of the conference room. The most powerful man on earth stood rather powerless, trying to figure out what is going on. In his characteristic strut Bush attempted to play down the footgear drama but the damage was already done. Unsurprisingly his yes man Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki looked utterly bewildered. The lowly boots despoiled the carefully scripted party.

The leather projectiles were a tribal Arab way of telling the big bully what they really think of him. Bush may like to believe that he has liberated Iraq but he clearly hasn’t been able to win any friends there. Reports suggest that the first shoe flew closely by his right cheek and he had to duck to avoid the second one as it whooshed over his head, narrowly missing it. Wonder what would have happened had the shoe actually hit him, a journalist friend asked rather curiously? The option of invading Iraq again is ruled out, since you can't invade a country twice, I reassured him.

They are now saying that the Al Baghdadiya TV journalist who pulled off this innovative assault was against the Iraq war. At media schools they teach you that the journalism means courage. Muntader perhaps took his classes seriously. All it took the 29 year to avenge years of misery and dolor perpetuated by Bush Jr was an audacious and a hugely symbolic act -- on live TV -- that left the whole world stunned. Muntader carefully removed his shoes, while the secret service looked away. He got 3 seconds to toss both boots at Bush Jr. In 4 seconds he was a hero. That is all it takes!

A group has been created in Face book dedicated to the journalist. It is called "The Iraqi Journalist who threw his shoes at Bush is my new HERO!” A few hours after it was created more than 630 people have joined in. Others are lining up. Several similar groups have sprung up. A middle-eastern businessman has offered US$10 million to buy the pair of shoes. Though I don’t personally like flinging shoes at presidents, I’d admit that people will throw anything at you as long as you bomb their homes and pummel their backyard.