George W. Bush looks into the sole of Iraq
"This is your farewell kiss, you dog!" shouted Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned Cairo-based TV station. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those were killed in Iraq."
Many will decry this lack of respect for the office of the presidency or the lack of professionalism on the part of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at the man who invaded and destroyed a country for no good reason except that he could. Those people are wrong. Bush has already so defiled the office the presidency that it can't really sink much lower and sometimes even the most professional and objective observer must put their humanity ahead of their professional ethics. I'm sure al-Zeidi is now a national hero in Iraq and I'm almost equally sure he won't see the light of day or his family anytime soon.
Frankly, I think Bush is lucky it wasn't a grenade, or at least a bottle or brick. To be honest I'd like to see Bush pelted with shoes everywhere he goes for the next decade. I'd like to see about 4,200 pair of empty combat boots dumped on the White House lawn. I think people from around the world should mail him their oldest, smelliest, most dogshit-encrusted sneakers both en masse and for the rest of his miserable life so that he never, ever forgets.
Update: While Dubya doesn't understand "what his beef was" and doesn't think the sentiments he expressed so forcefully are representative of Iraqi society as a whole, al-Zeidi has become a folk hero overnight across the Middle East. It turns out his experience and outlook are not so different from the average Iraqi. He hates the United States and Iran, and not without very good reasons.
The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin has a good roundup of the coverage.