Home > Bush and Character, Iraq News > They’re Not Seeing Us Off As Liberators, Either, It Seems

They’re Not Seeing Us Off As Liberators, Either, It Seems

December 15th, 2008

Bush just isn’t getting any breaks on Iraq. Pretty surprising footage, which you’ve probably seen a thousand times already:

From Bloomberg:

In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a grave show of disrespect. “This is the farewell kiss, you dog,” the man shouted in Arabic. …

The shoe-thrower, who was in a group of journalists, was wrestled to the ground and taken away. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” shouted the man, later identified by the Associated Press as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi- owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

The guy actually had pretty good aim. Though it’s hard to judge, it seems that he might have hit Bush if Bush hadn’t ducked both times. The shoes might have been a little high, though–like I said, hard to judge.

And yes, it’s just one guy, the other journalists apologized, with all the deaths in Iraq it’s inevitable that at least someone would feel this way, etc. But it’s pretty iconic, don’t you think? If this is the footage that gets remembered when we think back about Iraq, it would be pretty damned appropriate.

It’s also a small peek at authenticity in an arena where little is authentic. Everything about Bush and Iraq that the U.S. can control, especially at high-level events like these, is scripted; for real life to intrude like it did here is worth noting because it’s the only thing you can be sure is true to life instead of being some kind of manufactured political play.



The thing to look for is how the Iraqis in general respond. Will they see this guy as a jerk, or will he become an underground hero? My bet is on the latter, which doesn’t bode well for him–who knows what the people in charge will do with him if they consider him a threat to the manufactured imagery.

If you think that all this not really something that’s important or relevant, remember that pageantry is very important with Bush and Iraq. Remember that other iconic moment, from the beginning of the war, where a crowd of “Iraqis” toppled the statue of Iraq? The scene you see again and again whenever a TV program shows a quick succession of images recalling the Iraq War? That even was a pure fabrication from start to finish, one that the media willingly went along with (and still goes along with today).

I see it as wholly relevant, perhaps definitively so: Bush going out not under the carefully staged guise of a patron statesman seeing off a country he liberated, but as a dirt-low huckster with an angry audience throwing shoes at him.

This is the pageantry Bush deserves, and I’m glad he’s getting it.

Categories: Bush and Character, Iraq News Tags: by
  1. December 15th, 2008 at 11:46 | #1

    In a real way, the man throwing his shoes is more powerful than any type of harmful attempt, deadly or otherwise. Such an act of non-violent contempt is something I wish we’d see more often regardless if we agree with the issue. I just hate the patronizing of the president. Why can’t someone stand up in front of him (Colbert did a few years back) and just call the man a buffoon. meh…

    but damn did the Secret Service swarm him. lol

  2. Leszek Cyfer
    December 15th, 2008 at 16:38 | #2

    Well, at Saddam time he’d be shot on the spot – Now we worry that potentially he’ll have big trouble.

    At least that changed – but the cost of it was scandalic.

  3. December 17th, 2008 at 21:39 | #3

    much more interesting than the incident itself is the news coverage in Japan, praising for bushs reflexes


Comments are closed.