Posted by: Lister | December 15, 2008

Muntadar al-Zeidi

Good throw — but Bush ducked:

On a whirlwind trip shrouded in secrecy and marred by dissent, President George W. Bush on Sunday hailed progress in the wars that define his presidency and got a size-10 reminder of his unpopularity when a man hurled two shoes at him during a news conference in Iraq.

”This is your farewell kiss, you dog!” shouted the protester in Arabic, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt. ”This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

[…] In many ways, the unannounced trip was a victory lap without a clear victory.



  1. Online shoe throwing game Sock and Awe.

    I scored 14!

  2. The NYTimes:

    In Saudi Arabia, a newspaper reported that a man had offered $10 million to buy just one of what has almost certainly become the world’s most famous pair of black dress shoes.

    A daughter of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, reportedly awarded the shoe thrower, Muntader al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old journalist, a medal of courage.

    In the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, people calling for an immediate American withdrawal removed their footwear and placed the shoes and sandals at the end of long poles, waving them high in the air. And in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, people threw their shoes at a passing American convoy.

    […] Mr. Zaidi was subdued by a fellow journalist and then beaten by members of the prime minister’s security detail, who hauled him out of the room in his white socks. Mr. Zaidi’s cries could be heard from a nearby room as the news conference continued.

    A number of Iraqis said they were dismayed by what Mr. Zaidi had done. Ahmad Abu Risha, the head of the Awakening Council in Anbar Province, a group of tribal leaders that started a wave of popular opposition to fighters linked to Al Qaeda, condemned the move.

    “The American president is the guest of all Iraqis,” he said. “The Iraqi government has to choose good journalists to attend such conferences.”

  3. Baghdad Bureau of the NYTimes:

    Maythem al-Zaidi said his brother had not planned to throw his shoes prior to Sunday. “He was provoked when Mr. Bush said [during the news conference] this is his farewell gift to the Iraqi people,” he said. A colleague of Muntader al-Zaidi’s at al-Baghdadiya satellite channel, however, said the correspondent had been “planning for this from a long time. He told me that his dream is to hit Bush with shoes,” said the man, who would not give his name.

    […] When his brother, Maythem al-Zaidi, 28, called his cell phone on Sunday night, a man claiming to be one of the prime minister’s bodyguards answered. Maythem al-Zaidi said that the bodyguard threatened, “that they will get us all.”

  4. The story continues to run

    Thank you for throwing your shoe:

    This is a photo project devoted to letting Muntadar al-Zeidi know that people from all over the world share his outrage over the war in Iraq. We do not condone shoe-throwing and oppose violence of any kind. Instead of throwing shoes, we are taking pictures.

    I think Monty Python are vindicated.

  5. His Guards have thrown him a birthday party:

    Al-Zeidi has been in custody since the Dec. 14 outburst at Bush’s joint news conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Thousands demonstrated for al-Zeidi’s release and hailed his gesture.

    But concern was raised about his welfare after allegations that he had been severely beaten and tortured in detention.

    The case’s investigating judge has said the journalist was struck about the face and eyes, apparently by security agents who wrestled him to the floor after he hurled his shoes, forcing Bush to duck for cover.

    Maitham al-Zeidi was not available to comment on the visit, but another brother, Dhargham, told The Associated Press that he was told the wounds had healed.

    “Muntadhar was in a good shape … and his morale was high. Yesterday was his birthday and some patriotic officers there organized a party for him and brought birthday cake,” Dhargham al-Zeidi said.

    […] But his brother said information about the international wave of support had been kept from the journalist.

    “Some officers told him that half of the Iraqis were against him. But he was very happy when he heard that all the Iraqis support him. He even cried when he heard that there were demonstrations on his behalf even in the United States,” Dhargham al-Zeidi said.

    […] Al-Zeidi stood by his attack on Bush. He stressed that he meant no offense to the Iraqi prime minister but didn’t want to miss his chance to send Bush a message, the brother said.

    “He said he could not wait until al-Maliki left the room to throw his shoes because then Bush would also leave and that historic opportunity would be lost,” he said.

    Muntadhar al-Zeidi actually feared he would be killed by guards after throwing his shoes and read his last prayers before going to the news conference, his brother said.

  6. A shoe-shaped monument has been unveiled in Tikrit:

    A huge sculpture of the footwear hurled at President Bush in December during a trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit Orphanage complex.

    Assisted by children at the home, sculptor Laith al-Amiri erected a brown replica of one of the shoes hurled at Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad.

    […] “When the next generation sees the shoe monument, they will ask their parents about it,” al-Naseri said.

    “Then their parents will start talking about the hero Muntadhir al-Zaidi, who threw his shoe at George W. Bush during his unannounced farewell visit.”

    I like the Bush/shrub that grows from it. Nice touch.

  7. The Monument has been removed.

    …officials from Salaheddin province told CNN that the monument was removed after a request from the central government,

    […] “We will not allow anyone to use the government facilities and buildings for political motives,” said Abdullah Jabara, Salaheddin deputy governor.

    I wonder were it has been moved to.

  8. Zeidi has been given three years jailtime. He aims to appeal the sentence.

    Salam Pax has a good article on the matter:

    Before I get my head bitten off again, let’s just clear up one thing. “The Shoe” was a most fitting farewell to a person who brought so much grief and sadness to Iraq in the name of freedom. It was hilariously insulting and I am sure George Bush will remember this incident for the rest of his life. But I say this as Salam the Iraqi citizen and blogger … ask me again what I think of the incident while I have a press pass pinned to my shirt and I’ll probably cringe.

    […] There are many times when the smugness US officials have displayed during press conferences would get me shouting at televisions and radios, so I can understand the anger. But al-Zeidi, by being there as a journalist, had a much more important duty than hurl abuse and shoes.

    […] The shoe was an insult to the Iraqi state as much as to president Bush but the sentence of three years’ imprisonment does seem too harsh.

  9. al-Jazeera:

    An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush, the former US president, has had his sentence reduced from three years to one, a court spokesman has said.

    […] The decision was made as al-Zeidi had no prior criminal record, an official said.

    […] Al-Zeidi has been in Iraqi custody since the attack and though he is scheduled to be released in December 2009, his lawyer said he could be free within five months with credit for good behaviour.

    Better than 3 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: