Well. It appears that our immoderate loafer-hurling free Iraqi journalist has recognized the idiocy of his embarrasing display of juvenile impotence and is seeking reconciliation.
According to the New York Times, “He asked the prime minister to pardon him as a son asks his father for forgiveness.”
I say go ahead and forgive him, Mr. Prime Minister. But considering the tumult that his little outburst has caused, I think it appropriate that he first apologize to President Bush and to the Iraqi people for acting like such a jackass, and that he should lose his video games for a month for being disrespectful to his elders. Punk.
An Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at George Bush the other day, and, of course, missed.
In typical fashion, however, the “Arab Street” is exultant over this bit of boorish behavior, calling it “heroic.”
A few examples (all at the same BBC link):
Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi’s shoes have made history. The shoe he threw at Bush will always haunt [the president] even after he leaves the White House, and will upset him whenever he remembers the incident. This is the end of all tyrants who shed the people’s blood and despise human rights in order to achieve their arrogant aspirations.
The overwhelming Arab solidarity with the journalist and the fact that he was turned into a hero overnight have proved the extent of the misleading advertising carried out by the US media and the Iraqi officials, who have always been presenting a false picture of the “New Iraq”.
This is a farewell suitable for a war criminal and terrorist who led the world towards moral degeneration, terrorism and violence for eight years. The scene of the shoe being thrown is the only one that is suitable for US President George Bush. This is a free Iraqi expressing the feelings of the Iraqi people.
I find this last screed particularly delicious. George Bush is responsible, not only for terrorism and violence – which was virtually unheard of in the Middle East prior to January 20, 2001, but also “moral degradation. ” If the indiscrimate slaughter of civilians and the stoning of rape victims is the pinnacle of cultural morality, then I’m all for a little more degredation, Mustafa.
But even more startling is how the writer failed to grasp the significance of his own admission: “This is a free Iraqi….” How about that? A “free” Iraqi expressing his journalististic talents. How many such free Iraqi journalists were there before the Americans came? Not too many I suppose, as under Saddam Hussein reporters and editors had to be licensed, and even typewriters had to be registered with the government. In fact, journalists in Iraq seem to be doing quite a bit better than their peers living under Hamas in Gaza.
A correspondent for Al-Quds Radio was assaulted, humiliated and repeatedly asked details about “Fatah’s collaborator radio station,” after being kidnapped by the internal security of the Hamas government in Gaza.
Salama was instructed not to talk about the incident, but he told his captives that he would. The officer replied, “No, nothing happened to you, otherwise I will put a shoe in your mouth.” Salama was taken back to the jeep, blindfolded, and driven back to the place where he was abducted two hours earlier.
What’s with these guys and shoes anyway?
Still, reports that the shoe hurling journalist was “beaten” in custody are, if true, disturbing. Let him go. He’s more trouble behind bars than he could ever be as a journalist. As one thoughtful Arab commentator so aptly put it it:
The Iraqi journalist should have asked tough or embarrassing questions to US President Bush while he was standing near Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. However, the journalist opted for shoes instead of questions. He forgot that media attention requires neither violence nor obscenity.
That’s the spirit, right Joe?.