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Iraq finds peace and unity...
December 22, 2008 12:35 PM   Subscribe

"...relatives and fans of the shoe-throwing journalist, who has become a national hero, have staged a sit-in in a park adjacent to the Green Zone, and their numbers are growing. Army tanks and helicopters surrounded the 400 protesters and demanded they disband, but authorities were apparently persuaded that Iraq didn't need its own Tiananmen Square massacre, so the protest continues. Indeed, al-Zeidi has become a unifying figure for an Iraq split along a deep sectarian divide, with Sunnis from Samarra reportedly joining the predominantly Shi'ite supporters of the shoe-thrower. At last report, the two groups were sitting side by side eating lamb and vegetables, with the soldiers guarding them joining in." Via

The text of the post was lifted from "via". Also, Iraqi parliament member plans to visit Bush shoe-thrower in jail.
posted by 445supermag (77 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Al-Zaidi is a uniter, not a divider.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:39 PM on December 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


It's interesting to see the formation of a mythic national hero.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:43 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


The shoe is mightier than the sword.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:48 PM on December 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


Bush can bring people together!!!
posted by birdhaus at 12:49 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


[INSERT SHOE-RELATED PUN HERE]
posted by brundlefly at 12:53 PM on December 22, 2008


Things may be peaceful now, but I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
posted by Bromius at 12:53 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, at least 400 are sitting together. Now if we can somehow convert the other 15 million to the cause we've got victory.

I just wouldn't put up your "Mission Accomplished" banners yet.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:56 PM on December 22, 2008


Sorry, 30 million.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:56 PM on December 22, 2008


Possibly the most Bush/shoe puns in any article: Shoehorning the Bush Legacy
posted by 445supermag at 12:57 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bush can bring people together!!!

Man, and you people laughed when he said he was an uniter.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:58 PM on December 22, 2008


It's the shod hurled 'round the world.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:59 PM on December 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


Al-Zaidi is a uniter, not a divider.

See?

Note to self: read the fucking thread jackass
posted by Pollomacho at 12:59 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Al-Zaidi is a uniter untier, not a divider.
posted by gubo at 1:01 PM on December 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


Bush is a Christian, right? Isn't forgiveness the Christian thing to do when someone has harmed you? Couldn't Bush perhaps score at least half a point of good karma on his way out the door by forgiving Muntadhar al-Zaidi, and requesting that he be pardoned?
posted by netbros at 1:11 PM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yeah yeah yeah. Throw a shoe at any prominent world leader, whomever you are, whomever they are, you're going to jail, or worse. Guy knew that. Everyone knows that. Can't let dude off cos Bush is deserving of said shoe.
posted by xmutex at 1:20 PM on December 22, 2008


Al-Zaidi is a uniter, not a divider.

Grammar question - I know it sounds fucked, but why is it not "an uniter"?
posted by gman at 1:21 PM on December 22, 2008


No one asked after Muntadhar's religion or sect, but they all loved his message.

That someone really needs to hit Bush in the face with a shoe. Who knew that something so simple, so... obvious would be the thing that would finally bridge the gap between so many warring cultures. It wasn't some modern version of a peacemaker like Gandhi, no. It was a powerful urge we all share to hit the 43rd president of the United States in the head with a good, solid piece of footwear.

The world is becoming a smaller, better place for this discovery.
posted by quin at 1:24 PM on December 22, 2008 [20 favorites]


xmutex writes "Yeah yeah yeah. Throw a shoe at any prominent world leader, whomever you are, whomever they are, you're going to jail, or worse. Guy knew that. Everyone knows that. Can't let dude off cos Bush is deserving of said shoe."

I'm pretty sure he was aware of the consequences and didn't care because he had principles that he cared about more than his freedom. It's something that we in the US, with our mortgage payments and our broken spirits, can't relate to, which is why we get all uncomfortable seeing him do something so irresponsible.
posted by mullingitover at 1:24 PM on December 22, 2008 [12 favorites]


gman, because the first sound is "yoo" not "ah", which is a consonant sound not a vowel sound. Compare "an umbrella", "an egghead" vs. "a unicorn", "a u-turn".
posted by dydecker at 1:25 PM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I swear, Al-Zaidi did what everyone has been wanting to do for ages- but he actually took advantage of an opportunity to do so, unlike almost everyone else.

I can only fault him with missing.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:26 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Grammar question - I know it sounds fucked, but why is it not "an uniter"?
Because the "u" is pronounced like a "y"

Yellow
Yoda
Yeuniter

and not like a "u"
Under
Ugly
Uppity
un-uniter!
posted by bitteroldman at 1:28 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure he was aware of the consequences and didn't care because he had principles that he cared about more than his freedom. It's something that we in the US, with our mortgage payments and our broken spirits, can't relate to, which is why we get all uncomfortable seeing him do something so irresponsible.

How old are you when throwing a shoe at someone stops seeming like a principled act?
posted by xmutex at 1:28 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he was aware of the consequences and didn't care because he had principles that he cared about more than his freedom. It's something that we in the US, with our mortgage payments and our broken spirits, can't relate to, which is why we get all uncomfortable seeing him do something so irresponsible.
posted by mullingitover at 1:24 PM on December 22


Where are the anti-war americans and why aren't they sharing lamb and vegetables in front of the Iraqi embassy in DC?
posted by 445supermag at 1:31 PM on December 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


xmutex writes "How old are you when throwing a shoe at someone stops seeming like a principled act?"

I'm not sure if there's a specific age for selling out your principles, I think it varies from person to person.
posted by mullingitover at 1:47 PM on December 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


Effective political protest has rarely been nice, mature, or polite.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:55 PM on December 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's the shod hurled 'round the world.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:59 PM


Ouch.

That's one I haven't heard.
posted by marxchivist at 2:00 PM on December 22, 2008


Is it just me, or doesn't this whole recent turn of events in the Iraq saga seem like some beautifully tragic-comic plot development straight out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel? Could it be that the late, great author's apparent physical death in fact only made him more powerful than we could possibly imagine?
posted by saulgoodman at 2:01 PM on December 22, 2008 [7 favorites]


It's interesting to see the formation of a mythic national international hero

ftfy
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:05 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is what it looks like when people feel like they don't have anything to lose anymore.
Americans are still afraid of getting arrested, or missing a mortgage payment, or doing anything that could upset the boat, which is floating very low in the water these days.

Keeping your mouth shut and head down are going to be less and less important survival skills as time goes on.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:16 PM on December 22, 2008 [5 favorites]



Yea, and the angels said, when the sandal of the learned man shall loft unto the countenance of the king, a land shall be made one and a nation born, and you shall see that it is good.

It's right there in the bible - Zapaticus 3:14.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:21 PM on December 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


We've long known Mr. Bush was a heel.

Talk about afflicting the comfortable. This has certainly got some legs. How is this playing out in the rest of the Arab world? Are we missing something?

Is it just me, or doesn't this whole recent turn of events in the Iraq saga seem like some beautifully tragic-comic plot development straight out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel? Could it be that the late, great author's apparent physical death in fact only made him more powerful than we could possibly imagine?

Stranger than fiction, to be sure. I'm trying to think of anything that seems as silly pulling down even one of our state governments. I'm coming up blank.

I think the second column had it right - that the words meant more than the gesture. With the words "this is for all the widows and orphans!" It gives people something to focus on - something safe.

Iraqi's for the most part agree they don't want us there, and for why. These people are not rallying behind some politician or religious figure because that could get them killed. Muntadhar spoke for everyone. He'll surely geta place in history for this.
posted by lysdexic at 2:36 PM on December 22, 2008


Someone needs to start producing shoe lapel pins.
posted by orville sash at 2:43 PM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Prison's one thing, but I'm hearing "up to 15 years" being mentioned. That's a lot for chucking shoes, even at a world leader, in my opinion.
posted by edd at 2:45 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


relatives and fans of the shoe-throwing journalist, who has become a national hero, have staged a sit-in in a park adjacent to the Green Zone, and their numbers are growing. Army tanks and helicopters surrounded the 400 protesters and demanded they disband

So, we've got boots on the ground to prevent shoes in the air.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:52 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Effective political protest has rarely been nice, mature, or polite.

Or even effective for that matter.
posted by kingbenny at 3:05 PM on December 22, 2008


"I will do it again." Muntader al-Zaidi is a 21st century Shoe Guevara.
posted by terranova at 3:09 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sock and awe.
posted by Wolof at 3:11 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, we've got boots on the ground to prevent shoes in the air.

As Wheezy the rubber penguin said in Toy Story 2, I feel a song coming on!

the GO AHEAD AND THROW YOUR SHOE BLUES

there's boots on the ground
shoes in the air
and how many angels on the head of a pin
honey i just don't care
i'm gonna leeeeave you babe...
honey it just don't matter what you do
gonna walk on out the door pretty mama
so you go ahead and throw your shoe

honey i once bought you high heels
sneakers and clogs and flats
boots and mules and flip flops
and a couple of sunday hats
but i'm gonna leeeeave you babe...
you know it just don't matter what you do
gonna walk on out the door pretty mama
so you go ahead and throw your shoe

think i'll be coming back?
like a dog comes back for a bone?
wanna know how long i'm staying away?
you can count the shoes you've thrown
i'm gonna leeeeave you babe...
honey it just don't matter what you do
gonna walk on out the door pretty mama
so you go ahead and throw your shoe

copyright P & C 2008 Samm Bennett-- don't go stealing this and recording it unless you're big and famous enough for me to sue you for it and make a lotta money
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:22 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can't let dude off cos Bush is deserving of said shoe.

Sure we can. Laws are malleable, especially in a developing democracy like Iraq. Allowances are made all the time all around the world for reasons of privilege and other mitigating circumstances. And it's easy to bend the rules in this case because the guy was serving the greater good. Give him a few months, suspend the sentence and we're done.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:30 PM on December 22, 2008


I'm going to be rich when I perfect my protocal for delivering face stabbings via TCP/IP start a shoe company in the middle east and sell shoes featuring Bush's face prominently in the tread pattern.
posted by mullingitover at 3:37 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have wished for several years that you could shoot people in the face over television.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:58 PM on December 22, 2008


So he only apologized under torture. And then immediately recanted. See, torture DOESN'T WORK.
posted by sandraregina at 3:58 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


All I can picture is a war that started with the tipping of a statue and ends with the throwing of a shoe... damn....
posted by HuronBob at 4:00 PM on December 22, 2008


“Bush” is a two legged rotting chancre that depends on theater to project a contrived sense of legitimacy. al-Zeidi broke the fourth wall from the outside in.
posted by Huplescat at 4:09 PM on December 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


Sock and awe.
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:09 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bush can bring people together, and create 100 new jobs!
posted by hillabeans at 4:16 PM on December 22, 2008


Ok, I guess I'm too slow...
posted by hillabeans at 4:25 PM on December 22, 2008


Keeping your mouth shut and head down are going to be less and less important survival skills as time goes on.

Let's hope.
posted by regicide is good for you at 4:40 PM on December 22, 2008


Bush is a Christian, right? Isn't forgiveness the Christian thing to do when someone has harmed you? Couldn't Bush perhaps score at least half a point of good karma on his way out the door by forgiving Muntadhar al-Zaidi, and requesting that he be pardoned?

Hear, hear. If Pope John Paul can get shot and end up visiting his would-be assassin in jail to forgive him, surely Bush can find it in his heart to forgive Al-Zaidi.

Wait, what am I saying? That would show weakness, and then the Islamofascists, the evolutionists and the socialists would take it as their cue to roll right in to America and take over.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:47 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


al-Zeidi made the classic rookie move of going for the head shot. A pro would throw two shoes at his body to put him down, then throw socks at his head to finish him off.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:56 PM on December 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


The longer al-Zeidi stays in prison, the worse Bush (and, by extension, the U.S.) looks.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:41 PM on December 22, 2008


Every time Bush makes that little smirk, the worse he (and by extension, the US) looks.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:07 PM on December 22, 2008


Every minute that Bush remains president, the US looks worse.
posted by telstar at 6:23 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd love to hear a journalist ask Bush about this but, unfortunately, a) Bush probably won't have any more press conferences as he quietly slips back into alcoholism and b) the cowards that make up the majority of the US press corps wouldn't have the balls to ask about this.
posted by bardic at 6:27 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


If Pope John Paul can get shot and end up visiting his would-be assassin in jail to forgive him, surely Bush can find it in his heart to forgive Al-Zaidi.

But Bush doesn't come to forgive. Bush comes to shove.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


But Bush doesn't come to forgive. Bush comes to shove.

Is there a word for groaning and laughing hard at the same time?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:47 PM on December 22, 2008


Sure we can. Laws are malleable, especially in a developing democracy like Iraq. Allowances are made all the time all around the world for reasons of privilege and other mitigating circumstances. And it's easy to bend the rules in this case because the guy was serving the greater good. Give him a few months, suspend the sentence and we're done.

I agree that we should bend the laws so that we can throw shoes at unpopular people.
posted by Slap Factory at 6:50 PM on December 22, 2008


See, this is how you build a flourishing democracy. This act of throwing the shoe probably increased the viability of Iraqi democracy by an order of magnitude.

Democracies are built on the foundation of revolution. They cannot succeed without an insurgent populist history. It must be almost mythic in its overthrow of the ruler. See: American and French Revolution or the British Magna Carta. It can't be imposed by an outside force — "Iraqi national holiday as Americans saved their ass" is really lame.

A story about how a journalist threw their shoes at the colonialist (with some Tea Party pastiche sit-ins), on the other hand, works a lot better.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:50 PM on December 22, 2008


Democracies are built on the foundation of revolution.

So when did the Canadian Revolution happen?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:57 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hmm. A whole bunch of people participating in a peaceful assembly in support an act of political dissent. It's like they think they live in a democracy or something.
posted by Clay201 at 7:02 PM on December 22, 2008


but they all loved his message.
That someone really needs to hit Bush in the face with a shoe.


The act was the message. Hitting Bush would have not changed the insult.

Physically harming him only acts as glue to unite others.

Imagine the Muslim reaction has Bush 'forgave' him 'as a Christian act' right then. Tossed in a platitude about how mercy is part of justice in a Democracy. But his old man was quick like that. (Insert link to the Heckler who did the bible quote at an eviromental conference and Bush the Elder asked him to expand on the idea and waved away the SS)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:48 PM on December 22, 2008


It would have been so great if GWB had to wake up every morning and have to look at a big shoe imprint scar on his forehead in the mirror every morning. Especially if the sole had "Made in Iraq" on it.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:02 PM on December 22, 2008


THE LAWS ARE ONLY TO BE BENT IN THE BENEFIT OF THE RICH AND POWERFUL. I SAY GIVE HIM LIFE IN PRISON.
posted by dirty lies at 8:10 PM on December 22, 2008


"Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." - Donald Rumsfeld
posted by dougzilla at 8:15 PM on December 22, 2008


Couldn't Bush perhaps score at least half a point of good karma on his way out the door by forgiving Muntadhar al-Zaidi, and requesting that he be pardoned?

I'm pretty sure that if anyone broaches the topic, Bush will use the opportunity to explain that Iraq is a free nation that has its own justice system, and gosh-shucks, there ain't nothing he can do about it, sorry.
posted by rokusan at 9:00 PM on December 22, 2008


So when did the Canadian Revolution happen?

1853, when the first whale-oil powered sunlamp was invented and a couple of fortunate canadians actually got tans
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 PM on December 22, 2008


So when did the Canadian Revolution happen?

This is why Canada doesn't have any huge national democtratic identity and mythology beyond politeness, as independence was respectfully applied for and accepted by Britain (bo-ring). However, it's still in a completely different class than the current Iraqi narrative of "outsider shamefully takes down their own dictator and turns it into a pseudo-colony".
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:44 PM on December 22, 2008


My point was just that democracy does not necessarily rest upon the foundation of violent revolution, every time. There are many, many examples of countries transitioning to democracy without it, and those countries are no less "democratic" than those who overthrew the previous ruling class with force.

But I appreciate the sentiment that Al-Zaidi's gesture was a declaration of independence of sorts.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:51 PM on December 22, 2008


Especially considering how humiliating it must be to have some other country barge in, laying down bombs and shooting people, killing thousands, year after year, all under the command of that smirking cretin. I think just being in the same room with the guy would be enough to make the most reasonable person go blind with rage.

So yes, in Iraq's case, insurgency is a definite part of the transition to democracy. I just don't think it's possible to say "[democracy] cannot succeed without an insurgent populist history" when refering to every democracy on earth.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:09 PM on December 22, 2008


Definitely agreed, I meant revolution by the fact that it was demanded by the people, not necessarily violence. An external force imposing democracy or any other sort of government just won't work. Although I took a small jab at Canada's revolution not being as sexy, it's still a revolution nonetheless in the sense that it was still a group of people demanding politely requesting independence.

The narrative of how a country gains its independence is very important. If this shoe throwing didn't happen and Obama came in and straight up left, it'd be a very different envornment 10 years from now than this shoe-throwing-declaration of independence from the US. There's an easily digestible story and face to that story, instead of just anonymous insurgents attacking US troops.
posted by amuseDetachment at 10:09 PM on December 22, 2008


"I will do it again."

I have a pair of red stiletto platforms he can borrow when he's ready.

They have a bit of a heft to them, are well balanced for optimum accuracy and velocity (I checked) and the heels are nice and pointy. I really like them, and they look good, but they would look simply divine clobbering a certain lame duck right in his smug, disgusting mush.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:53 AM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just let him go already.
posted by fullerine at 2:51 AM on December 23, 2008


This is fucking insane. I'm not mad. No...as a wise computer once said, "I'm not even angry." But still, as little respect as I have for George Bush I am astonished that nobody outside of talk radio is saying anything really bad about this guy. No token "nice liberal" has shown up and said "Well, George Bush may be a bad president and the war may have been a bad idea, but you still shouldn't throw your shoes at him." Seriously, that guy was an institution for the past eight years! George Bush is such a cock-hole that there is no juvenile display of aggression that someone will say is beneath even him.

I could've told you that years ago, but what the hell? It's funny now too. Darkly funny 'cause of all the dead folks. But you gotta laugh.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:28 AM on December 23, 2008


George Bush is such a cock-hole that there is no juvenile display of aggression that someone will say is beneath even him.

"Thousands lit burning bags of poo on their front stoops today in a show of support for the man arrested attempting to flee Bush's Crawford ranch last Thursday ..."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:37 AM on December 23, 2008


Democracies are built on the foundation of revolution.

Your point is that this is going to be "a shoe heard around the world", then?
posted by Skeptic at 11:26 AM on December 23, 2008


Bush Shoe Thrower Muntadhar al-Zeidi Gets Party From Prison Guards
posted by homunculus at 9:47 AM on January 18, 2009


The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W Bush is seeking asylum in Switzerland, Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve reports.
posted by homunculus at 2:04 PM on January 19, 2009


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