Monday, 14 September 2009

Shoe Thrower Finally Gets to Go Home

Many may not remembr the name Muntadar al-Zaidi, but if I say he was the guy who threw his shoes at George W Bush, echoes of "Oh him" I am sure would be ringing all around.

To recap, Muntadar, an Iraqi journalist working for a Cairo based television station, threw his shoes at US President George W Bush, during a press conference in December, protesting over the Iraq invasion and the treatment of Iraqi citizens at the hands of US forces. As his size 10's were hurtling towards the stunned President, Muntadar cried out. "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." He was detained by the secret service, tried and sentenced to three years in prison, of which he was required to serve at least one.

The good news is that Muntadar is being released, hopefully today, three months early for good behaviour. However he should never have seen the inside of a prison cell. I don't wish to condone assault of any kind, however Bush had a chance as the outgoing president to be magnanimous, show a little compassion, maybe even display some regret over his decision to invade Iraq and the ensuing casualties that followed. All he had to do was whisper a word or two to the Iraqi authorities and Muntadar would have been home with his family. Instead, he allowed this man to be prosecuted like a common criminal, and by doing so left no doubt in many people's minds that either he never understood the reason behind people's discontent over the war, or did not care.

Read the link below and maybe you'll understand why Muntadar decided to berate the former president with the ultimate insult any Arab could muster.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7787792.stm

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