Bush Honored by Heroic Iraqi Reporter

Bush Honored by Heoric Iraqi Reporter

President George W. Bush made a surprise farewell visit to his Iraqi admirers Sunday.  He appeared at a Baghdad press conference with Iraqi Premier Nuri al-Maliki to receive accolades from adoring local journalists. Reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi, correspondent for al- Baghdadiya television news service, presented Mr. Bush with two Florsheim Awards on behalf of Iraqi widows and orphans, with the dedication: “It is the farewell kiss, you dog!”

President Bush was visibly moved.

Mr. al-Zaidi is a reporter for local Al-Baghdadia Satellite TV News. The policies of President Bush have made Iraq so secure that Al-Baghdadia must broadcast from Cairo.

Muntazer al-Zaidi is one of the 57 journalists kidnapped in Iraq since the US invasion. He was beaten and held for two days last year, so his shoe-throwing protest has a moral authority obvious throughout the region, if not to Mr. Bush. As of this writing, Adam Ashton and Mohammed al Dulaimy of McClatchy Newspapers are the only U.S. journalists who have reported anything substantive about Muntader al-Zaidi.

 187 journalists and media workers, thousands of American troops and contractors, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed since Mr. Bush invaded Iraq because the to prevent the to stop the so Hussein wouldn’t in 2003.

Why throw shoes? Even showing the soles of your shoes to another is considered a grievous insult in the Middle East. Visiting U.S. businessmen are cautioned not to cross their legs while meeting with local residents to avoid inadvertent insults:

Soles of shoes are considered the ultimate insult in Arab culture. After Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled in Baghdad in April 2003, many onlookers beat the statue’s face with their soles. — “Journalist hurls shoes at Bush,” AFP

 President-in-Name-Only Bush returns to Washington today to resume his hectic schedule of pardons, midnight regulations, and holiday festivities.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

9 Responses to “Bush Honored by Heroic Iraqi Reporter”

  1. Mike Licht Says:

    UPDATE: We understand that Capitol Hill neighbor Dana Perino sustained a black eye in the scuffle that followed the shoe-throwing incident. The NYT says the injury was inflicted by a microphone stand. We wish her a speedy recovery.

  2. The Other Shoe « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] al-Zaidi told Riyadh Muhammad of the New York Times that the corespondent had not planned to protest during President Bush’s Green Zone press conference, but was provoked beyond endurance when […]

  3. teaspoontimes Says:

    Great post! Here’s another one.

    Reporter throws dog at Bush, calls him shoe

  4. Perino Periorbital Hematoma « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] reported earlier, our Capitol Hill neighbor Dana Perino, the White House Press Secretary, picked up an unexpected […]

  5. The Shoes Hurled ‘Round the World « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] wrote a brief post on the incident and mashed up a graphic to illustrate it, Mr. Bush’s face on the sole of a […]

  6. Shoe Salute for Bush on January 19th « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] “Shoes for Bush” organizers were inspired by the actions of Baghdad journalist Muntader Al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at Mr. Bush last week. Mr. al-Zaidi has been held since December 14th, badly […]

  7. A Gift for W « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] measures like comparing his statements to observed reality in the known universe (though not as dramatically as Al-Baghdadia TV’s Muntazer […]

  8. Shoeleather Salute to Bush « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] near the White House and throw shoes in Mr. Bush’s honor, in the fashion of Iraqi reporter Muntader Al-Zaidi. Serviceable shoes will then be donated to the families of local folks who lost jobs thanks to the […]

  9. New Job for Bush « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] been able to determine if audience members at the Bush lectures will be required to remove their shoes. If  so, perhaps off-duty TSA airport guards could arrange the […]

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