Monday, December 15, 2008

On The Other Foot

Doubtless, you've heard about this by now, and probably seen the video, too.
The hurling of shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush on his farewell visit to Iraq strikes many in the Middle East as a fittingly furious comment on what they see as his calamitous legacy in the region.

Arab and Iranian TV stations have gleefully replayed the clip, sometimes in slow motion, of an Iraqi reporter calling Bush a "dog" and throwing his shoes at him -- the Middle East's tastiest insults -- at a Baghdad news conference on Sunday.
First of all, whatever it may mean in the Middle East, here in the US it's just... you know... throwing shoes. As for calling him a "dog," I think some kids these days actually see that as a compliment. If you're really looking for a 'zinger,' find one that at least translates.

Secondly, POTUS has got some moves. He's the only one who reacted (ahem -- Secret Service, we're sort of wondering about you here. The guy had time to reload and throw another one!), and deftly dodged the missile. He handled the whole thing with composure and calm, and even managed to joke about it ("I don't know what the guy said, but I saw his sole").

Thirdly, I'd like to point out that 8 years ago, this guy would have been taken out back and shot...if he was lucky. Probably his whole family or neighborhood, too. I'm not saying things are rosy over there, but the fact remains that any time people are given new freedoms, you're bound to have those who can't wait for the opportunity to throw them back in your face. Whatever was meant by this guy's actions, the fact that he was able and even dared to carry them out speaks volumes.

Perhaps more than the actions themselves.


Stoj said...

The good news is that GW was wearing his loafer-proof vest.

the wolf said...

When I first heard about this I thought maybe Helen Thomas had joined the Iraqi Press Corps (zing!).

Seriously, though, at least this guy cops to his bias. The folks covering Bush in these parts have been wanting to throw something at him since he came into office.