The Shoe Attack

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turkish.shoe.cartoon.jpg
I thought I’d share this cartoon, which my colleague Doga Cigdemoglu found on the Hurriyet Daily News website. Here is a link to a slide show of 34 cartoons about the now famous “shoe attack.”
I am a bit surprised at the response here in the United States – which has been more amused than outraged. An Iraqi journalist disrespected our president in the worst way – and we think it is funny.
Can you imagine the Iraqi reaction had an American thrown his shoe at President Talabani during his visit to Washington?

–Ben Katcher

Comments

51 comments on “The Shoe Attack

  1. Newton says:

    Mr. Katcher:
    If it was indeed your intent to indicate your solidarity with the multitudes who found the shoe attack amusing (and well deserved) then you clearly failed in your goal this time. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt based on your clarification but to a man your responders clearly thought you meant otherwise.

    Reply

  2. threegoal says:

    I think it has to be remembered that the shoe throwing occurred during a visit that appeared to be a victory lap for Bush, or at least a search for gratitude from the Iraqis. That context makes the shoe-throwing say even more about the standing of our leader, and thanks to him our country.
    Cheney was lucky it was not he in the press conference, as I would expect that he is too slow to get out of the way.

    Reply

  3. SqueakyRat says:

    This is a guy I’ve been referring to as Commander Codpiece, the
    world’s biggest douchebag, for the last eight years. And I’m
    supposed to be offended because someone dissed him?

    Reply

  4. sherif says:

    president bush was not the best choice for america and the world, america was in everybody’s heart as the nation of freedom, human rights, cheer, love, power, technology ….. etc, but president bush did with great success change that picture of america into a nation of rage, hate, aerrogance, he made the global terrorism.
    wish you good luck with president obama.
    men earn respect.

    Reply

  5. jr says:

    al-Zaidi was speaking to Bush in the only language in which he has shown any degree of fluency.

    Reply

  6. karenk says:

    It IS funny! Classic case of truth being stranger than fiction. Ya can’t make this stuff up!

    Reply

  7. Ben Katcher says:

    Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and comment on my post.
    To be clear, I am not criticizing those who found the “shoe attack” amusing – indeed, I am among them.
    I am merely pointing out that the reaction demonstrates just how unpopular the president and his policies are.

    Reply

  8. Chesire11 says:

    Scroll down to the post about Frank Gaffney’s delight and reflect on the picture of the final homecoming for 20 brave Americans – then remind me why GWB doesn’t rickly deserve to have his nose smeared across his smug face by an Iraqi shoe.

    Reply

  9. Chesire11 says:

    Perhaps the American people greeeted the news of the shoe assault on Bush with amusement because most of us agree with the guy and would have done the same thing in his place.
    What would I have done if the shoe had hit Bush? Tough to say for certain, but my best guess is that I would have mailed the guy my own shoes with a note betting that he couldn’t make that shot again!
    Respect is somethign a person earns. Bush ahs earned nothing but the contempt of the civilized world. He has shown himself to be ignorant, brutish and generally despicable. By defiling the Presidency, he forfeit any claim to respect based on his office.
    Finally, “disrespect” is a noun, not a verb.

    Reply

  10. Gabe says:

    Ugh. A more shallow commentary on al-Zaidi surely doesn’t exist.
    Do better, Mr. Katcher.

    Reply

  11. dwg says:

    too bad it was merely shoes. I can think of other things – substances shall we say – that would have been more productive in disrespecting the pretender in chief.
    amusement? perhaps. But I think we were actually proud to see someone stand up and do what our congress has failed to do for 8 of the longest years of my life.
    Now, if someone will only throw the BOOK at the war criminal and his minions.

    Reply

  12. JohnH says:

    Instead of whining about shoes, The Washington Note could make a positive contribution to America’s standing in the world by hosting opinion on how to prosecute war criminals as soon as they leave office.
    Unfortunately, Ben Katcher’s comments reveal the beltway’s usual moral turpitude that the presidency is sacrosanct and “when the President does it, it’s not illegal.”

    Reply

  13. rich says:

    Meanwhile,
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1208/16735.html
    Caught in the middle is House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, who must spearhead the recovery package for Obama next month. He told Politico that the transition has proven to be “a disaster for the country because Bush is sitting around like Hoover did.”
    “The target keeps changing, it keeps getting worse,” the Wisconsin Democrat said of new estimates for what will be needed to jolt the economy. “These are calamitous events. While I think people know the economy is in trouble, I still don’t think they have a full appreciation of just how close we are to falling in the pit.
    “The tragedy is [that] immense damage is going to be done to the country over the next 30 to 40 days before Obama takes office, and government is sitting here in neutral trying to decide if it is going to go forward or backward.
    “It is a massive, massive hole that we are about to fall into unless we do something dramatic. And the question is whether it will be met by a massive and effective package.”

    Reply

  14. dirk says:

    I think it’s significant that GWBush has disparaged and misused the office of the President of the US to such an extent that the shoe-throwing incident is, at some level and by a significant percentage of the population, understood and accepted in the US.
    “The President of the USA” has historically been of such prestige that it was just in bad form to insult whoever sat in the office — the title being a sort of teflon coat. It wasn’t that the office holder couldn’t be criticized, but that the criticism had to come wrapped in a shroud of respect.
    However, starting from the 2000 stolen election — or appointment by the Supreme Court, however you want to characterize it, GWB has shown no respect for the office — using it to bully other countries, destroy our relationships with our allies, figuratively speaking he has spit in the eye of the world (as noted above) . . . and the end result is that people seem, now, to be very capable of separating the man from the office.
    That is, the derision and disgust for this man seems so complete, that office of “President of the US” no longer commands the respect that it once did. It’s really the epitaph on GWBush’s 8 years in office that he soiled, tarnished, and ruined much of the respect that the US and the office of President held in the world.
    Somehow, I think that 200 years ago, he and Cheney have been driven out of the white house and down Pennsylvania Ave with a bull-whip. That impeachment proceedings were never really seriously discussed says a lot about how far we have fallen.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Katcher is curious what we would say if the shoe hit. Personally, I’m suprised it didn’t. The fact that not only ONE, but TWO shoes were thrown is a perfect window into the incompetence that seems to surround, impermeate, and define the Bush Administration.
    But getting away from the level of competence the security team seemed to possess, I can state with no guilt that I am not only regretful that the shoe didn’t score, I am also regretful that Dick Cheney wasn’t present, and that the projectiles thrown didn’t match the deadly force of the projectiles we have thrown at the Iraqi people now for over five years.
    I see now that yet one more fucking “commission” has determined that Condi Rice and Alberto Gonzalez LIED to Congress in regards to the CIA’s position about the fabrication of allegations concerning Iraq’s alleged attempt to buy uranium. Here we have yet one more investigative body openly declaring members of the Bush Administration as perjurers, and complicit in a deception that has resulted in unfathomable death, mayhem, and expense. Where are the indictments? Do we just abide war crimes, torture, perjury, and genocide now in the United States?
    Katcher is lamenting the reaction of the world’s general population, (including the citizens of the United States), for applauding the act of a journalist who spoke for BILLIONS of Earth’s inhabitants?
    In truth, had the shoe have struck, it would not be near enough redress or punishment. A society, a nation, such as ours, that IS ACTUALLY what it CLAIMS TO BE, would be well on its way to sending Dick Cheney and George Bush to the gallows, and perjurers and co-conspirators like Rice and Gonzales to prison.
    Its a damned shame the shoes missed. Surely the hapless journalist will pay a price far above and beyond what he deserves. I wish we could say the same for George Bush and Dick Cheney.

    Reply

  16. erichwwk says:

    “I wonder what people would say if the shoe had hit”
    Ben, the USA bombs authorized by GWB DID hit innocent victims by the tens (hundreds) of thousands. How does any possible “damage” from a shoe impact compare to THAT?
    What planet are you on?
    Have you forgotten that it was the MURDER of 600,000 innocent Iraqi children that was the NUMBER ONE reason Obama gave for the 9/11 attack? Or that Sect of State Albright glibly acknowledged to 60 Minutes Leslie Stahl on nationwide TV that “we think it was worth it”
    Do you have some PRICE of human worth where disparaging a “president” is equivalent to the death and mutilation of hundreds of thousand innocent foreign children?
    Perhaps, as Sen. Hagel suggested in a similar context, you should consider a career change, and go sell shoes.

    Reply

  17. rich says:

    Wayne,
    Gotta disagree. I’m aware of the cultural significance of the shoe, and it makes my point that much stronger.
    Second, the country’s far more educated now than you want to believe. Every veteran and each military family has gotten a first-hand crash course in Iraqi cultural taboos and norms. And the rest of the country’s been avidly reading up on it on a daily basis.
    So despite your eagerness to tag the American people as ignorant, that’s not the case — no matter which socioeconomic strata you have in mind.
    Even if it were true, I don’t see how it changes the equation. Had someone spat in Bush’s face, or hawked a loogie much as Ben Masel did to Scoop Jackson, the reaction would be the same. Bush has more than earned whatever contempt he receives.

    Reply

  18. Canuck Stuck in Muck says:

    Unbelievable! The news guy was throwing his shoe at George Bush,
    the war criminal, not at the President of the United States, which
    GWB has never been–not even for one day.

    Reply

  19. Wayne says:

    Steve,
    I think Americans simply don’t understand the symbolism behind
    the action. To most, taking off your shoes and throwing them at
    someone isn’t how we show our disdain. It doesn’t have the same
    meaning here that it does there. And because we’re essentially an
    uneducated bunch in matters of foreign lands and ways, we don’t
    get it.
    To that extent, and to the extent that we’re all oh-so-done with
    this guy’s presidency, we’re not up in arms over this.
    In fact, many of us feel (and this is the sad part) this incident sums
    up his eight years perfectly.

    Reply

  20. juily says:

    well my comment is dat da iraqi man dnt deserve dat b-cuz he been threw usm things dat george buash had assigned n da man had got kidnapped n all dat type of stuff but den again dat shit was funny as hell man i was rollin all day man dat man threw dat shoe so damn fast n bush ducked lyk it wasnt nothing i think dat bush knew dat da man was gonna throw his shoes wooooowwwww george bush deserved dat shit !!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    “Can you imagine the Iraqi reaction had an American thrown his
    shoe at President Talabani during his visit to Washington?”, Ben
    Katcher asks, trying to make us realize how shocking it is to
    throw a pair of shoes at a leader of a nation.
    Wouldn`t the world become a horrible place if people started
    throwing shoes at leaders of great nations – and especially “if
    the shoe had hit”?
    It may look like that if you`re blind for the circumstances. If you
    see the context, it gets absurd – like asking: can you imagine
    the French reaction if a German journalist had thrown his shoe
    at Marshal Pètain during a visit to Berlin in 1942?
    The point: Shouldn`t the Germans get upset (and not amused)
    if some French journalist threw his shoe at Der Führer during his
    visit to Paris?
    And no, I do not compare Bush (nor Saddam) to Hitler. But the
    total absence of political and historical context in Ben Katchers
    analogy, makes certain historical analogies appropriate.
    The Washington Note can do better than this.

    Reply

  22. VIK says:

    Next time Ahmadinejad comes to the US he’s getting a size 10 to the grill.

    Reply

  23. DonS says:

    true confessions, my “good shot” above snuck in before I could hit the delete button. Not thta I would have be particularly upset if Bush had been hit.
    As to “disrespect”, if you considered it such, it is both fitting — i.e., the shoe thrower “disrespected” Bush, et al, but not only for Iraqis but for the many millions, myself included, who feel the man deserves no respect and has earned our disrespect. His crimes are not confined to the borders of Iraq; as he has disrespected American and international law and convention and the human being who have suffered under him, so he deserves at least symbolic disrespect in return. Its rare when the obvious is so actualized.
    Had he been hit, the symbolism would perhaps have been lessened. But the MSM might well have spun it into clear jstification for the whole Bush/Cheney regime, their actions and the rectitude of their enablers.
    I’m a pacifist wannabe, but the likes of Bush and his vileness test my ideas about, in this case, someone getting hit with a shoe in “disrespect”.

    Reply

  24. rich says:

    Ben:
    “I wonder what people would be saying if the shoe had hit.”
    Millions of Americans would react, “Good shot.”
    Citing ‘incivility’ as the outrage at hand is Orwellian at best, Ben, and it’s another example of supposedly polite society’s affirmation of totally unacceptable policies. It’s what “good Germans” did, and do.
    Note the producers of Jim Lehrere’s Newshour ordered Scott Horton not to use the word “torture” to describe George Bush’s interrogation methods. War is Peace, Ben. And Arbeit Macht Frei. But everyone knows those methods are torture, by definition.
    Yet because Jim Lehrer and PBS are afraid of ruffling a few feathers, they have to assist the lie. It’s the Lie, Ben, that is uncivil, and violent.
    Even Gwen Ifill, whom I greatly admire, switched in a split second from a discussion of American torture to Hugo Chavez’ comment that the UN still stank of sulphur in the wake of George Bush’s appearance, “What’s going on here? she asked, as though there was no connection between Bush’s torture and the way Chavez characterized him and world and America sees him (on WashWeek).
    Ifill just couldn’t seem to make the connection. So difficult! Bush torturing often innocent detainees–even though our own interrogators know it doesn’t work–and Hugo Chavez’ contempuously referring to him as el Diablo. At the UN. Gwen just wasn’t allowed to report the news to her audience.
    THAT’s yet another slap in the face, Ben. Just who is being disrespectful? It’s not us — it’s you, and Jim Lehrer, and Arlen Specter and John Ashcroft.
    We won the respect and admiration of defeated German soldiers because we didn’t behave as our enemies did.
    How could you possibly complain of incivility to George W. Bush? Without embarrassment? This country and the world is so far beyond that point it’s laughable.

    Reply

  25. RTan says:

    Here’s one take from the The Supreme Insult of a Shoe:
    The western world does not really have an exact equivalent of shoe-throwing as a symbol of supreme insult. We’ve never used shoes in this manner in our culture and yet, what could be more insulting than to throw at the target, shoes that are not only smelly, and dirty but footwear that kissed both our soles and the earth? What comes closest in the west is throwing a pie at someone; which comes across as somewhat benign by comparison – given that you can lick the cream but can’t do that with a shoe. As for the shoe as weapon in an attempted murder – that would be a stretch unless those shoes are proven to be the same as Colonel Klebb’s poison tipped shoe in From Russia with Love; in which case, throwing them defeats the purpose of its design. For more on footwear-based weaponry, click here.
    http://diplopundit.blogspot.com/2008/12/supreme-insult-of-shoe.html

    Reply

  26. Hans Suter says:

    great comments, that’s almost.

    Reply

  27. Iraqi American says:

    Can you imagine if Iraq killed 5% of the U.S. population (15 million people), forced 7% of the U.S. population (21 million people) into foreign exile and internally displaced another 7% (21 million people)? All based on a lie that America was about to attack Iraq, and they therefore had to preempt? Can you imagine Ben? War criminal apologist. That’s not ad hominem, that’s a very reasonable interpretation of your post.

    Reply

  28. JohnH says:

    I don’t envision it as “a patient bleeding to death from a slice to the neck, while a team of doctors stands around and makes loud periodic statements.”
    It’s more like the perp is slinking out the back door, grabbing as much silver as he can carry, while the rightful owners stand around talking to the police, who are totally oblivious to what’s happening, biding their time until they’re allowed back into their property.
    The shoe incident only serves as a reminder that the perp is still on the premises…

    Reply

  29. TonyForesta says:

    The bushgovs’ rapaciousness, predation, and wanton profiteering in Iraq and America stips the cloth of decorum from the office of the executive, of the president. Karl Rove, Baker Botts, and Rendon Group blandishments and bruting aside, – the fascists in the bushgov have ravaged Iraq and America, and profiteered wantonly in and from the nefarious processes. The old gaurd may hold to the quaint notions of royal decorum, and high honor intrinsically afforded a president – but bush’s crimes, abuses, pathological lying, obdurate disregard for our fellow poor and middle class Americans, and savage disdain for anyone who dared challenge, question, dissent with, or oppose the fascists policies, predatory machinations, and wanton profiteering, and the wild disregard for the millions of Iraqi’s slaughtered, maimed, or displaced by the horrorshow, excuse for wanton profiteering, and crime scene in Iraq – forever retarded and disintegrated the quaint old notions and any last hope that bush will ever garner one nano particle of respect, goodwill, goodfaith, or trust from most human beings on the planet, including a majority here in the land of Oz.
    Respect is earned, not bequeathed, or betrothed. Bush has squandered and betrayed all respect due a president and shoes flying, and other acts of contempt should greet the tyrant, pathological liar, and wanton profiteer everywhere he goes. The same for azmodeus, – I mean cheney.

    Reply

  30. Dan Kervick says:

    “I wonder what people would be saying if the shoe had hit.”
    Interesting question. I think for me it would be something like, “Now there’s something you don’t see everyday.”
    Seriously, the shoe incident didn’t prompt me to let loose with an inner cheer; nor did I feel any shock or outrage. It just seemed like one more random and meaningless event in the empty nothingness into which the Bush era has degenerated in its final days.
    I don’t have much space in my brain or heart lately to worry about whether some knuckle-dragging mass murderer is getting bumped on the noggin by flying footwear. I’m a bit too overwhelmed by the literally unbelievable spectacle of the global economy turning to mud and dissolving before our eyes, while the political leadership of the largest economy in the world gapes in slack-jawed impotence at the tired, grinding spectacle of its own antiquated transition rituals and moronically outdated political system.
    Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like we have been watching some absurdist farce since the beginning of November, a one-act affair in which a patient is seen bleeding to death from a slice to the neck, while a team of doctors stands around and makes loud periodic statements from a podium about the latest additions to their medical team? The dying man is lying on the floor, gurgling on the last pints of his own blood as they leave his body and run down the drain in the floor, while the doctors say, “Hang in there buddy; in just a couple of months we’re going to hit the ground running! It’s going to be awesome!”
    I mean, don’t we have a perfectly adequate congress right now, fully empowered by our constitution and laws to start churning out legislation? Can’t they introduce legislation on their own without waiting for a damn president to tell them what to do? For that matter, can’t any old private citizen suggest legislation to his congressional representatives? So why doesn’t Barack Obama, in his capacity as a mere private citizen, just write a letter to some congressional leaders and say, “Hey guys, just a thought, but here’s a list of ten or fifteen things that, in my humble opinion, you should get to work on right away.” What the hell does he have to wait for? Dramatic effect and a big inaugural splash?
    I hope one thing that the next Congress takes up is a congressional amendment to eliminate this absurdly lengthy and unnecessary “transition period”. All sorts of modern states seem to have no problem handing over the seats of power and forming a new government on the fly, immediately after an election. It’s about time we get the same update. We live in a world in which multiple decisions cycles spanning an entire globe take place in a single day. And yet we have these idiotic, ritualistic remnants of a political system built for an era in which information moved at the pace of horse-drawn carriages and wind-driven ships.
    Our descendants are going to mock and revile us for the breathtaking stupidity of our political paralysis during the vital period between election day, 2008 and inauguration day, 2009.

    Reply

  31. barrisj says:

    “…disrespected our president…”. Oy vey, read today’s editorial in the NYT in re: “The Torture Report”. For God’s sake, this POS repulsive swine has been DIRECTLY responsible for the deaths of untold hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens, not to speak of all those who fell into the hands of sadistic American MPs and CIA interrogators. “Disrespect”???? If there is ANY justice in the world, and IF there is a god, this man Bush should be hauled before a war-crimes tribunal and given his day in court to plead his case, THEN taken off and disposed of in the manner of Saddam Hussein when found GUILTY as charged. “Disrespect”?? I say, “disrespect”?????

    Reply

  32. DonS says:

    Look, over a million people are innocently dead because George Bush and his buddies did it with a stroke of a pen from 6 thousand miles away. And we should really be offended by some theoretical offense of “incivility”? Something about the proportionality.

    Reply

  33. JohnH says:

    I wounder what Bush would do if he had friends and family killed and legal recourse to justice was impossible?
    (The shoe on the other foot.)

    Reply

  34. DonS says:

    good shot.

    Reply

  35. Ben Katcher says:

    I wonder what people would be saying if the shoe had hit.

    Reply

  36. arthurdecco says:

    Mr. Katcher,
    You need an attitude adjustment.
    Let’s hope someone starts hurling shoes near you in response to your own stubborn refusal to recognize the essential truth reflected in this reporter’s act of defiance that has paid him back with broken bones and a guarantee of immeasurable pain and suffering.
    (Did you know, Ben, that the judge in charge of his case was compelled to visit him in his jail cell today, rather than see him in an open courtroom, because in all likelihood, he’s been beaten almost to death by the Amerikan (or Israeli)-trained thugs who dragged him away from the press conference where he threw those famous shoes at the mass murderer responsible for the total destruction of his country and the deaths of a million or more innocent souls?
    The Quislings in control of Iraq can’t afford to allow him to be seen in public just now. Wholesale riots would ensue.
    And where is George W. Bush’s voice in all this? Has he insisted that this man be released from custody? Of course not. George W. Bush is a sociopath who almost certainly has told his Iraqi puppets to kill the motherf_cker who dared to throw a shoe at him. You can take that to the bank. […If you still have a solvent bank to take it to, that is.])
    Tell me again why you are allowed such unfettered access to the Washington Note when all you ever do is discombobulate rather than inform?
    Do you have compromising photos of the pups? …because I can’t think of another reason for you to be allowed to write and post your drivel here. We’ve got enough of you propagandists inundating us with the crap you’re assigned to distribute – all through the MSM – we don’t need to read your crap here too. Free up the space for someone usually sensible, like Mr. Clemons.
    Read the responses to your post if you’re in any doubt.
    …I hear Wendy’s is hiring…

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Monkey Boy shrugged it off as just another sign of a “free Iraq”. Of course the ass doesn’t see fit to comment on the fact that the shoe tossing journalist is facing two years in prison just for “insulting a foreign leader”. Thats what “freedom” looks like in Bushworld.
    Gads, how I loath Monkey Boy. I never thought I’d see this nation in such a sorry state, so disgraced in the eyes of the world community.

    Reply

  38. Craig says:

    The shoe incident has essentially become the bookend for a failed
    presidency over the last eight years. It’s what people will
    remember.

    Reply

  39. DonS says:

    the conventional-propagandistic storyline that involves “disrespect” and “outrage” belongs to formatory thinking, mechanical in character, not to the real world analysis of intelligent individuals using their minds.

    Reply

  40. Dan Kervick says:

    I regret that al-Zaidi had but two shoes to give for his country.

    Reply

  41. JohnH says:

    Humpty Dumpty stood so true,
    Humpty Dumpty dodged a shoe.
    All the Empire’s pawns, and their legions of PR men
    Couldn’t put Humpty’s credibility together again!

    Reply

  42. erichwwk says:

    Double Amen.
    I also proud that the response in America is more one of admiration (not amusement) for the courage an Iraqi journalist showed in making a statement that many American journalists are too timid too make.
    Why should War Criminals who have “bombed a people into oblivion”, even those who have managed to seize a Presidency, be shown respect?
    Hopefully, Obama understands just quickly he and could lose the respect of the American people, should he merely change the place were “collateral damage” occurs, rather than to recognize that as a losing strategy all together.

    Reply

  43. Desiree says:

    Did anyone listen to the Rachel Maddow show the other night? She talked about “5 stages of grief” which were somewhat applied to this situation and I found to be a great way of looking at it. Yes, it is funny – it’s a shoe being thrown at a guy that can’t even get some of the most widely known catch-phrases correct and that has caused this nation great shame. However, he is still our president – dumb or not. If this shoe-thrower was allowed the time and the room to take off not one, but two of his shoes, what does that say number one about the security and number two the attitude about the security of our elected officials out there? What if this guy had pulled out a gun or bow and arrow (I know, I know) instead?
    Part of me says that the instigator should not be jailed, simply because in my mind, Bush had it coming and I am truly surprised it didn’t happen sooner. However, a law is a law and that kind of thing is unacceptable.

    Reply

  44. rich says:

    “I am a bit surprised at the response here in the United States – which has been more amused than outraged. An Iraqi journalist disrespected our president in the worst way – and we think it is funny.”
    Why would I be outraged? After all, President Bush disrespected the Iraqi civilian dead, and disrespected the American people, as well as the accepted rule of law here and basic sovereignty and any sort of code of conduct over there. He’s lucky he got off with a couple of shoes.
    Bush disrespected us — not the reverse. In spades.
    George Bush is not a saint, nor a god, nor some sort of aristocrat entitled to reverence, or even deserving of any more respect than the rest of us.
    Some leaders earn respect; others earn widespread contempt. Lump it, Ben.
    It takes more than a little nerve to actually invoke the word ‘respect’ on this. Montather Al-Zeidi, the journalist you don’t have the courage to even name, has been beaten in jail, and possibly tortured.
    http://firedoglake.com/2008/12/15/shoe-thrower-being-tortured/
    You have your priorities upside-down, and those values are not consistent with what this country stands for.
    So take a minute and consider what kind of effort is necessary to make one’s political sentiments known. After all, you can’t argue with a Predator drone — even if it’s Vegas-based joystick operators spoke Arabic. It’s not the way to win hearts and minds, even if it does earn you a couple of size 10s.
    I’ll trade that “video game” for this one, any day:
    http://bushbash.flashgressive.de/

    Reply

  45. AAllen says:

    Wait a second. That’s not a fair comparison. Talabani is not Bush. And you’ve completely glossed over the atrocities of a failed and unjust war, carried out by one George W. Bush.
    The shoe thrower–Muntadar al-Zaidi–is a man that has been profoundly affected by the miserable policies of Bush’s Iraq war. This is a man that was both kidnapped and beaten by Iraqi insurgents, and detained by American forces.
    Try to put yourself in this man’s place; in any Iraqis place. I think most in the U.S. have taken this empathetic leap, and that is precisely the reason there’s no outrage.
    From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7785338.stm):
    Mr Zaidi has previously been abducted by insurgents and held twice for questioning by US forces in Iraq.
    In November 2007 he was kidnapped by a gang on his way to work in central Baghdad and released three days later without a ransom.
    He said at the time that the kidnappers had beaten him until he lost consciousness, and used his necktie to blindfold him.

    Reply

  46. Sam Thornton says:

    Had someone thrown a shoe at President Talabani
    during his visit here, I’m guessing many in Iraq
    would be cheering.

    Reply

  47. TonyForesta says:

    Bush has shamed, perverted, and betrayed America and perpetrated an unnecessary war based on OSP/OSI concocted hype, exaggerations, and naked lies on the people of Iraq, – and does not deserve respect.

    Reply

  48. TS says:

    Agree with the others.
    Ben, what world are you living in? Didn’t you pay attention in the last 8 years?

    Reply

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