Following up on yesterday’s post regarding the shoes being chucked at President Bush in Iraq. Roger Simon made a point that yesterday’s shoe attack (not an expression of free speech, but attempted assault) is really a sign of hope (HT: High Plains Blogger via Twitter)
But more importantly and more apposite to today’s event was that other, oft forgotten, reason Bush went to war in Iraq – that the only way to bring true peace to the Middle East would be through democracy. He wanted to spread the democratic system preemptively. A lot of people have sneered at that idea lately, but while they were sneering Iraq has inched forward toward a democracy. It’s even turning into a (somewhat) decent place to live. That buffoon-like shoe chucker – his name is Muntazer al-Zaidi from Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo – proved it. No matter what happens to al-Zaidi now (and it won’t be much if anything), it will be nothing like what would have happened to him if he had hurled a shoe at the president during the previous Iraqi administration of Saddam Hussein. As we all know, in that case, he would either have had his tongue and scrotum cut out or both, if he would have survived at all.
Some Iraqi journalists stood up to apologise.
The White House said Bush ducked to avoid the first shoe, while the second narrowly missed the president.
Bush said: “Thanks for apologising on behalf of the Iraqi people. It doesn’t bother me. If you want the facts, it was a size 10 shoe that he threw”.
Playing down the incident, the president later added: “I don’t know what the guy’s cause is… I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it.” (emphasis mine)
Another thing that is not being mentioned much is how President Bush refused to be ushered from the room. Was cool and collected during this exchange, but what intrigues me the most was this – it wasn’t the Secret Service that jumped on this guy, it was the Iraqis themselves. Possibly even some of the other Iraqi journalists.
agents on his security detail could be seen swarming both the president and the journalist, who had been tackled from behind and brought to the floor apparently by other Iraqis.
Glenn Reynolds claims that the Secret Service detail’s restraint was part of a larger scheme by the Bush Administration:
That’s because the whole thing was staged. It’s another sneaky Bush ploy — in 2001, the heroes of the Arab world were men who crashed planes into buildings. Now, men who throw shoes. All part of the plan . . .
The Anchoress is reminded of a time in which President Bush had to rescue his Secret Service detail and posted the video of the even that happened in October in Chile.
And the other shoe drops.
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