President George W. Bush got a new pair of shoes yesterday. They were flung at him during a news conference in Baghdad. An Iraqi TV reporter removed his shoes and threw them at Bush, one after the other. Bush ducked and they both missed. The reporter, Muntazer al-Zaidi of independent iraqi al-Baghdadiya television was arrested and taken into custody.
The current iraqi government, installed by the US has called the incident a "a barbaric and ignominious act". But, Al-Zaidi became an instant hero and celebrity in iraq and everywhere in the Arab world where 'disrespecting' someone with a shoe is a supreme insult. Many people there consider the illegal invasion of their country by US and 'coalition' forces to be barbaric and ignominious. Accurate figures are not available, but hundreds of thousands are believed to have been killed in the war.
Bush nimbly ducked the shoes as they came flying at him, and later airily dismissed the incident as just something to get attention. It got attention all right and is now the talk of the entire Arab world. In fact, it was so remarkable that anytime Bush now makes an appearance and does NOT have shoes thrown at him is considered a huge success." CBS headlines of Bush's later visit to Afghanistan read: "Shoes Stay On For Bush In Afghanistan"