Muntazer al-Zaidi tells us why he Threw the Shoe

Why I Threw the Shoe

I am no hero. I just acted as an Iraqi who witnessed the pain and bloodshed of too many innocents

By Muntazer al-Zaidi

September 19, 2009

I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.

We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.

Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.

I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

The opportunity came, and I took it.

I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.

I say to those who reproach me: do you know how many broken homes that shoe which I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day. The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.

I didn’t do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country.

Source

Population of Iraq in 2008  28,221,181

Year Unemployment rate (%)
2005 25
2006 25
2007 25
2008 18
Year Oil – proved reserves (bbl)
2003 113800000000
2004 113800000000
2005 112500000000
2006 112500000000
2007 112500000000
2008 115000000000
Year Natural gas – proved reserves (cubic meters)
2003 3149000000000
2004 3149000000000
2005 3149000000000
2006 3115000000000
2007 3115000000000
2008 3170000000000

No one can say  Bush and company wanted a war for any reason other then oil and gas.

The US should pay retribution to Iraq for all the damage that has been done in the name of theft, greed, control and profiteering.

The homeless need homes, the orphans need care. The maimed need support. The list goes on and on.

For the million who have died. And those who were tortured.

Prison is where Bush and company should be.

Over a million have died, that is a Crime against humanity.

That is genocide.

That is a war crime.

The war is illegal based on lies, propaganda and fraud. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Just the WMD the US used on the Iraqis.  They used things like White Phosphorus, Napalm, 240,000 cluster bombs, 10,000  unguided munitions, 20.000  precision bombs and missiles were dropped and I am pretty sure they also used Bunker Busters (type of nuclear bomb),  all by May 1, 2003.

That is definitely overkill. Excessive use of force against a country that had been under sanctions for about a decade. The US loves to attack the defenseless and weak.

Since then the killing has continued. The war wasn’t over as Bush declared, again he lied.  Bush is a criminal.

For that the criminals should be held responsible, to do less would be a crime against all of us.

  • Genocide
  • War crimes
  • Crimes against humanity
  • Crimes of aggression

The rest of the world cannot sit by and allow anything this horrendous to go unpunished.

It’s time for the US and other forces to get the hell out of their country.

Spanish judge resumes torture case against six senior Bush lawyers

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Trial of shoe throwing Iraqi journalist postponed

This undated portrait made available Monday, Dec. 15, 2008 by his family shows Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi. al-Zeidi who threw his shoes at U.S. President Bush.

This undated portrait made available Monday, Dec. 15, 2008 by his family shows Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi. al-Zeidi who threw his shoes at U.S. President Bush.

A shoe is raised during a protest against the Bush's visit in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday. Dec. 15, 2008. (AP / Karim Kadim)

A shoe is raised during a protest against the Bush’s visit in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday. Dec. 15, 2008. (AP / Karim Kadim)

In an image taken from video, a man throws a shoe at U.S. President George W. Bush during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008. (APTN)

In an image taken from video, a man throws a shoe at U.S. President George W. Bush during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008. (APTN)

Trial of shoe throwing Iraqi journalist postponed
December 30 2008

BAGHDAD
A court Tuesday postponed the trial of a journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush in anger over the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, an act of protest that made him an international celebrity.

The court’s decision to review the charges against Muntadhar al-Zeidi comes as Iraq prepares after nearly six years to end America’s costly grip over the country and give U.S. troops three years to pack up and leave.

Thursday will also see the official handover of the most potent symbol of U.S. occupation, when Iraq takes formal control of the Green Zone — a heavily fortified enclave surrounded by cement walls that extends over 4 square miles of downtown Baghdad and encompasses the U.S. Embassy and the seat of the Iraqi government.

But in the most telling sign of the changes that are sweeping over Iraq, Tuesday’s second anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s hanging went by almost unnoticed — a near-forgotten footnote in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 4,200 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

The anniversary was not even marked in Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, where the insurgency quickly took hold after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The trial of al-Zeidi was to begin Wednesday on charges of assaulting a foreign leader, which his defense team said carried a maximum sentence of 15 years. But a spokesman for Iraq’s Higher Judicial Council, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, told The Associated Press it was postponed pending an appellate court ruling on whether the charges should be reduced to simply insulting Bush.

The Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at Bush during a Dec. 14 joint news conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Thousands demonstrated for al-Zeidi’s release and hailed his gesture.

Two of al-Zeidi’s lawyers said they hoped the reduced charges, which carry a maximum sentence of three years, would allow al-Zeidi to be released on bail. No date was set for the appellate court ruling.

“There is a difference between assault and insult; al-Zeidi wanted to express his objection to the occupation. So the case is within the context of an insult and not an intention to kill,” his lawyer Diaa al-Saadi told the AP.

First lady Laura Bush said Sunday that she thinks people should view the incident as an “assault.”

The case transformed al-Zeidi from a little-known TV journalist into an international celebrity for defying Bush, but it also embarrassed al-Maliki who was standing next to the president when the shoes were thrown.

Last week, al-Maliki sought to undermine the journalist’s popularity by saying he had confessed that the mastermind of the attack was a militant known for slitting his victims’ throats.

Al-Maliki said that in a letter of apology to him, al-Zeidi wrote that a known militant had induced him to throw the shoes. The alleged instigator has never been identified and neither al-Maliki nor any of his officials have provided a further explanation. The letter was not made public.

The journalist’s family denied the claim and alleged that al-Zeidi was tortured into writing the letter.

His act and the ensuing uproar over his custody and alleged abuse in detention come at a time when Iraq is preparing to end the occupation he was protesting. Starting Thursday, the 146,000 U.S. forces in Iraq will be operating under a new security agreement that gives Iraqi authorities a role in approving and overseeing American military operations.

The new pact also requires that U.S. troops withdraw from Baghdad and other cities by the end of June and leave the country entirely by Jan. 1, 2012.

The changes are made more easy by the sharp decline in violence around Iraq. The drop is mostly attributed to an inflow of thousands of U.S. troops into Iraq two years ago, a decision by mostly Sunni tribesmen to switch allegiances away from al Qaeda in Iraq and a campaign to dampen militant Shiite extremists.

Although the years following the invasion were marked by daily acts of violence that killed untold thousands of Iraqis, the U.S. military said recently that attacks have dropped from 180 a day in 2007 to about 10 a day in 2008. They have said the murder rate had declined to below prewar levels, about one per 100,000 people.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. military said control of about 20,000 mostly Sunni volunteers — many of them former insurgents — in four provinces, including the troubled Diyala region where troops continue to fight al Qaeda and other insurgents, would be handed over to the Iraqi government on Thursday.

About 100,000 joined forces with the U.S. two years ago and were perhaps the most significant factor in turning the tide against al Qaeda in Iraq.

The U.S. military managed and paid the volunteers, but began handing over control of the groups to the Iraqi government in October. The Iraqi government has promised to absorb 20 percent of the volunteers into its security forces and pay the rest until it can find them civilian jobs.

The groups have been a key factor in helping reduce violence in the past two years, but the movement has been slower to take hold in Diyala, an ethnically and religiously diverse province where the insurgency remains entrenched despite recent setbacks. There are fears the movement could also turn against the government if they are not satisfied.

“That’s where we have had some tension, more tension than other places, between the Sons of Iraq and U.S. forces,” Gen. Ray Odierno told AP recently. “We’re monitoring and watching very closely.”

Odierno said ultimately the success of the transition will depend on the Iraq government finding “honorable employment” for the Sunni volunteers.

Source

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,297,997”

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq “4,219”

http://icasualties.org/oif/

Shoe Bush? JANUARY 19th

Family says journalist who threw shoes at Bush beaten into apologizing

Shoe-tossing journalist was abused, Iraqi judge says

Protesters shake shoes at US Embassy in London

White House Protesters Throw Shoes at Bush Effigy

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

3 petitions please sign Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Iraqi MPs reject UK exit deal

December 21 2008

By Kim Sengupta and Brian Brady

Basra:

Parliamentary vote on mandate for British forces could leave them without legal cover next month. Kim Sengupta in Basra and Brian Brady report

Britain’s exit strategy from Iraq suffered a setback yesterday when the country’s parliament rejected a draft law paving the way for withdrawal of forces by the end of July. The reversal was embarrassing for both Gordon Brown and the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, after the two leaders publicly declared last week that an agreement had been reached on the pullout.

Foreign Office sources admitted that unless the law receives formal Iraqi approval by the end of this month, when the United Nations mandate for the occupation expires, the vote could lead to British troops being confined to base, because they would not have the legal authority to do anything else in Iraq. However, officials attempted to dampen speculation that the resolution could have such a dramatic impact, and insisted that the problem was “procedural”.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We have worked closely with the government of Iraq to ensure that there is a firm legal basis for the presence of our forces in 2009. We will now discuss with the government of Iraq what the vote in the Council of Representatives means for the proposed legal basis for the UK and other forces, and look at the options.”

The possibility of British troops operating in a legal limbo from January was increased by Mr Maliki’s refusal even to start talks with the UK until after the Iraqi parliament approved the US deal on 27 November. This reflected his anger at what he saw as Britain’s surrender of Basra to Shia militias last year.

Early this month the Secretary of State for Defence, John Hutton, warned: “I won’t hesitate to pull [British forces] out. They have to be [legally] protected, and the way things stand at the moment they will not be.” His Conservative shadow, Liam Fox, said the Iraqi vote “raises serious questions”. If another vote failed, Britain would have to ensure alternative arrangements were in place by the end of the month.

The immediate effect of the vote by the MPs to reject the draft law by 80 votes to 68 is that the UK, Australia, Romania, Estonia, El Salvador and Nato would not technically have legal authority for any use of force in Iraq, even in self-defence, after the end of the month. Yesterday’s was the first reading of the bill in the Council of Representatives, or parliament. It is now due to be sent back to Mr Maliki’s cabinet for amendments, with another vote due next week. Some MPs want the law dropped and replaced with an international agreement similar to the deal with the US, which lays down the terms for its withdrawal of 140,000 troops from Iraq by 2011.

Nassir al-Issawi, an MP allied to the radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who wants foreign troops to leave at once, said: “What the parliament did today, rejecting the bill, was a great national achievement. We believe that British forces and all other forces should pack their things.”

Fariad Rawndouzi, a Kurdish MP, said many of his colleagues were also unhappy with the formulation of the bill, and wanted it to resemble the “status of forces” agreement between the US and Iraq more closely.

Senior officers at the British base in Basra said a team of Foreign Office lawyers was negotiating with the Iraqi government in Baghdad, and they still hoped an agreement would be reached. One official said: “There was always a feeling that this may go to the wire, and we must realise that it is all quite symbolic.” There were no plans to start pulling out British troops immediately in the new year.

But Mr Maliki’s casual assurance to Mr Brown when he visited Iraq last week that all would be well may cause embarrassment to both sides. Hakim Ali Ibrahim, an Iraqi political analyst, said: “Parliament wants to make a stand to show it should not be taken for granted. Perhaps Maliki and Gordon Brown should not have made such a big thing out of this before they were certain everything would go through smoothly. We have elections coming up, and the government has to do deals with the MPs.”

The provincial elections in January, the first held under sovereign, rather than occupation, laws, will be followed by a referendum on autonomy for Basra province, which could have a crucial impact on the division of its oil riches.

There are fears that the militias will attempt to use the polls to infiltrate the city again, and yesterday General Raymond Odierno, the US commander of coalition forces in Iraq, visited Basra for an election security meeting with Major General Andy Salmon, the British commander in Basra.

Source

December 20 2008

By Waleed Ibrahim and Ahmed Rasheed

BAGHDAD

Iraq’s parliament voted on Saturday to reject a draft law that allows troops from Britain, Australia and several other countries to remain beyond the end of this year, Iraqi parliamentarians said.

The draft law, under which those troops would withdraw by the end of July, was rejected because lawmakers objected to it being in the form of legislation, rather than an agreement as was the deal Iraq signed with the United States, said Hussein al-Falluji, a member of the Sunni Accordance Front.

“Legally relations between two countries cannot be organised by a law. They should be arranged, according to international law, through treaties or agreements,” said Falluji.

“For this reason parliament rejected this law. It was a big mistake by the government.”

Both the law governing the British presence and the security pact allowing the 140,000 U.S. soldiers in the country to remain three more years replace a U.N. mandate that expires on December 31.

“What the parliament did today, rejecting the bill, was a great national achievement,” said Nassir al-Issawi, a lawmaker loyal to anti-American Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who wants an immediate end to what he sees as a foreign occupation.

“We believe that British forces and all other forces should pack their things,” said Issawi.

No comment was immediately available from the government.

The rejected law covered the future of troops from Britain, Australia, Romania, Estonia, El Salvador and NATO in Iraq, where violence is dropping sharply and foreign troops are increasingly handing over security to local forces.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said this week that a reserve component of around 400 British soldiers, compared to 4,100 now, would remain to train Iraqi naval forces in the south after July.

The U.S.-Iraqi security pact sets a withdrawal date for the U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011 and gradually restricts U.S. activities more than five years after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

(Writing by Missy Ryan; Editing by Michael Christie and Ralph Boulton)

Source

British cost of Iraq and Afghanistan reaches £13Billion

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist
Call for his release and tribute to Iraqis who have suffered under US occupation

WHAT: Peace activists to gather with shoes in solidarity to Iraqi journalist
WHEN: 11 a.m., Weds. Dec. 17
WHERE:  In front of White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush at a Baghdad press conference Sunday, peace activists will gather outside the White House with bags of shoes representing Iraqis and U.S. soldiers who have died since the Bush Administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq.

They aim to show support for Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush while he spoke at the conference on his “surprise” visit to discuss the war. Al-Zaidi is currently being held by Iraqi police and questioned on his actions. The peace activists are calling on the Iraqi government to release al-Zaidi without charges and have set up a fund to support him and his family.”

“It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced Iraqis,” says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. “The one who should be in jail is George Bush, and he should be charged with war crimes.”

The gesture of throwing shoes is considered a major insult in Arabic culture.

“Al-Zaidi’s act of civil disobedience expresses the disgust that so many Iraqis and Americans feel towards a man who has caused so much pain and suffering,” says Anas Shallal of Iraqi Voices for Peace. “It is indeed a fitting tribute to the end of the Bush reign of terror.”

U.S. veterans who served in Iraq will also participate in the shoe action at the White House.

“Having one shoe thrown at George Bush pales in comparison to the suffering that veterans and Iraqis go through everyday,” says Geoffrey Milliard of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “Perhaps if Bush can see some more of these shoes before he leaves office, he will feel some of our pain.”

For more information, please call Medea Benjamin at 415-235-6517.

Source

Farewell Kiss: Show Soles of Shoe Solidarity Stand
Wednesday, December 17th 2008 8:00am
Bush Farewell Kiss: Shoes in Solidarity with Iraqi Journalist al Zaidi Wednesday; CodePINK calls for his release and tribute to Iraqis who have severely suffered under US occupation

WHAT: CodePINK anti-war activists and allies to march holding shoes in the air around Marine Recruiting Station in solidarity with Iraqi journalist and all civil disobedience against war and torture
WHEN: 8 a.m., Weds. Dec. 17
WHERE: MRS/Marine Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square, Berkeley

BERKELEY – In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist, Muntader al Zaidi – who hurled his shoes at George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference Sunday – CodePINK activists and allies will gather outside the Marine Recruiting Station (MRS) holding shoes in the air and lining them up around the station Wednesday.

In addition to representing support for al Zaidi’s act of civil disobedience, the shoes will embody the Iraqi people who have been killed, tortured, maimed and U.S. soldiers who’ve died since the Bush Administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq, said CodePINK.

Showing the soul of shoes to someone is a symbol of extreme disrespect in Arab countries; throwing shoes is an even stronger statement. As he hurled his shoes at Bush, al Zaidi shouted “This is your farewell kiss, you dog”. He is currently being held, questioned, and tortured in jail.

Activists are calling on the Iraqi government to release al Zaidi immediately without charges and have set up a fund to support him and his family. They are also demanding Bush intervene for al Zaidi’s immediate release.

“It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced Iraqis,” said Medea Benjamin of CodePINK. “The one who should be in jail is George Bush, and he should be charged with war crimes.”

“Al-Zaidi’s act of civil disobedience expresses the disgust that so many Iraqis and Americans feel towards a man who has caused so much pain and suffering,” added Anas Shallal of Iraqi Voices for Peace. “It is indeed a fitting tribute to the end of the Bush reign of terror.”

CodePINK activists will bestow the “Farewell Kiss” on Bush, on Recruiting our Youth, and on Invading Afghanistan as well.

Source

What has not been so widely reported are the words Muntadar al-Zaidi, a correspondent for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, shouted out. As the first shoe was thrown at Bush, he said: “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.” And with his second shoe, which the president also dodged,  al-Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”


Story and Petitions to sign for his release.

Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Published in: on December 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm  Comments Off on Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist  
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Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Here is UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE Petition

The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for the release of Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

This signature campaign demands of the release of the Iraqi Journalist, Montadhar Al-Zaydi who hurled a pair of shoes at George Bush on 12/14/2008 in Baghdad in reaction to Bush’s immoral invasion of Iraq and the war-crimes committed by the occupying forces with the aid of local warlords.

We hereby sign below to demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi, without any constraints or conditions.  We also hold Al-Maliki’s government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for his life, dignity, and well-being.

للتوقيع اضغط على الرابط ادناه To add your signature, click on below link Everyone can sign

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/iwffomuntatharalzaidi


Here is a Care2 petition!

To Iraqi embassy in the U.S., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch

We, the undersigned, sympathise with Mr. Montather Al-Zaidi’s action in throwing a shoe at George W. Bush. It was well deserved and symbolizes the sentiment of many people not only in Iraq, but around the world.

Bush’s policies have reaked havoc all over the world, and the Bush administration is responsible for unprecedented levels of violence worldwide, resulting in the death of large numbers of innocent civilians in Iraq and around the world. Instead of working towards peace and stability, the United States has become a rogue nation and has created

Everyone can sign

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/9/in-support-of-the-iraqi-shoe-throwing-journalist%20

Here is the  Code Pink Petition!

Sign-up below to support Muntadar al-Zaidi! Your signatures will be delivered to the Iraqi Embassy this week!

We, the undersigned, understand and sympathize with the sentiment expressed in the action of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush, shouting, “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.

” We, too, feel for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq, thanks to the policies of the Bush administration.

It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, who is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and for the displacement of 5 million Iraqis. The one who should be in jail is Bush, not Muntadar al-Zaidi.

We call on the Iraqi government to immediately release al-Zaidi without charges.

Canada and Us Only

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/424/signUp.jsp?key=3909

You can sign all three if you wish to.

By now, you’ve all seen the footage of the Iraqi journalist hurling his shoes at George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad this past Sunday.

What has not been so widely reported are the words Muntadar al-Zaidi, a correspondent for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, shouted out. As the first shoe was thrown at Bush, he said: “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.” And with his second shoe, which the president also dodged,  al-Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”

This bold statement also has to be understood in its cultural context. Showing the soles of your shoes to someone, let alone tossing your shoes at them, is a sign of contempt in Arab culture.

After throwing his shoes, al-Zaidi was wrestled to the ground by security personnel and hauled away. According to Democracy Now! this morning, “Muntadar al-Zaidi has been held without charge for over twenty-four hours and has been reportedly beaten in jail.

His brother said al-Zaidi has suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury. Earlier today, al-Zaidi was handed over to the Iraqi military command in Baghdad.”


Call for leniency for Muntadar al-Zaidi after shoe throwing protest

December 16 2008

Reporters Without Borders today called for the release of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, of al-Bagdhadia television arrested after hurling his shoes at George W Bush at a Baghdad press conference during a surprise visit by the US president on 14 December 2008.

“We obviously regret that the journalist used this method of protest against the politics of the American president”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “But for humanitarian reasons and to ease tension, we call for the release of Muntadar al-Zaidi who has been held by the Iraqi authorities for two days.”

“Given the controversy surrounding this incident, we urge the Iraqi security services to guarantee the physical wellbeing of this journalist, who was clearly injured during his arrest”, it added.

“While we do not approve of this kind of behaviour as a means of expressing an opinion or convictions, the relaxed way in which George W Bush spoke about the incident afterwards, should give the Iraqi authorities all the more reason to show leniency”, the organisation concluded.

Head of operations at the interior ministry, Abdel Karim Khalaf, told Reporters Without Borders that Muntadar al-Zaidi had been caught red handed and that he faced proceedings under Articles 223, 225 and 227 of the Iraqi criminal code. The journalist could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison for “insulting a foreign head of state”. Muntadar al-Zaidi is being examined by judges in connection with the investigation. Abdel Karim Khalaf said the he had not been subjected to any ill-treatment before concluding, “A journalist’s only weapons are words”.

Muntadar al-Zaidi achieved instant notoriety as a result of his gesture seen on television screens around the world.

Source


Angry Iraqis call for shoe thrower’s release

BAGHDAD
December 17 2008

Thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W.Bush. ! The protests came as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted Iraqi police, and US-allied Sunni guards and civilians, in a series of attacks that killed at least 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others, officials said.

An Iraqi official said the journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, was being held by Iraqi security yesterday and interrogated about whether anybody had paid him to throw his shoes at Mr Bush during a press conference in Baghdad on Monday.

He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence, the official said.

His brother said the reporter had a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents. Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during the protest against Mr Bush’s visit to Baghdad or while in custody later.

Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse.

Al-Zeidi was immediately wrestled to the ground by Iraqi security guards after throwing the shoes, But the incident raised fears of a security lapse in the heavily guarded Green Zone where the press conference took place. Reporters were repeatedly searched and asked to show identification before entering the compound, which houses Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office and the US embassy.

Newspapers across the Arab world printed front-page photos of Mr Bush ducking the flying shoes, and satellite TV stations aired the incident, which was hailed by the President’s many critics in the region.

Many are fed up with US policy and still angry over Mr Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.

A doctor in the West Bank town of Nablus, Wafa Khayat, 48, called the attack ”a message to Bush and all the US policymakers that they have to stop killing and humiliating people”.

Al-Zeidi’s TV station, Al-Baghdadia, repeatedly aired pleas to release the reporter while showing footage of explosions and playing background music that denounced the US military presence in Iraq.

Source

Odd how someone is arrested for throwing shoes and Bush and company  get away with killing over million people in an illegal war, based on lies and propaganda.

There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction.

What is wrong with this picture?

Where is real justice?

I am sorry,  but I have to side with the shoe throwing Journalist.

I can only imagine, how many times he was a witness to the atrocities in Iraq,  perpetrated by the US.  One can only take so much death and destruction. He was watching the destruction of his country and fellow Iraqis  being  killed, maimed and living in a horrifying nightmare.

Bush and his cronies should be in jail for “War Crimes” among other things.

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,284,105”
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

Senate Report Links Bush to Detainee Homicides; Media Yawns

Media Search in the US

Write your local paper and denounce any possible planned pardons for crimes committed in the “war on terror”. Here are some sample letters and talking points you can follow.

Cheney admits authorizing detainee’s torture