George Bush and Iraq: ‘Shoe’denfreude?
Salim Adil is an author for Global Voices Online, a website that aggregates, curates, and translates news and views from the global blogosphere. The opinions expressed are his own and those of the bloggers he quotes.
Will this become one of those moments in history? In years to come will you recount to your grand children where you were when an Iraqi journalist, Montather Al-Zeidi, threw his shoes at the president of the United States? For me I was at home just getting my kids ready to sleep when my father called me insisting that I simply had to switch on the television immediately.
Iraqi bloggers reacted in much the same way with a number who wrote their first new post in months just to make their comment. Abbas Hawazin went as far to predict that shoe throwing will now be part of mainstream culture and has gone to look for a good-sized shoe to carry in his pocket, “in case I need to make any public expression of anger should the case arise.”
Last of Iraqis broke his once-a-week frequency to share his opinion on the incident. “In the Iraqi traditions or may I say Arabic traditions in general; it’s the maximum insult a man can do…it’s the maximum humiliation no word can accomplish”, he writes. And he gives his view of the Iraqi Street:
“Today I went to work as usual and all the people I saw were very very happy, it was like a national celebration…A female patient came to me for a filling and as we were waiting for the Anesthesia to take effect she said “do you know doc. That yesterday was an Eid to me; I haven’t celebrated Eid for the past 3 years because the Americans “accidentally” killed my husband and son and Bush is the reason why they are here so yesterday some of my revenge has been taken” …all the staff said the same thing “A statue should be built for Muntathar” in fact many of them have used the photo of Muntathar as a background for their mobiles but the really beautiful thing that made me even happier was that no one referred to his sect or anything…they were all proud of him…”
One person who does not think so is Nibras Kazimi who stood alone among Iraqi bloggers to defend George Bush:
“Personally, I got angry. Very angry. I will make a public promise: should I ever run into a certain reporter called Muntather al-Zaidi, presently of Al-Baghdadia TV, I will seriously consider beating the crap out of him… See, I will forever remain indebted to President George W. Bush. He is my hero. He liberated Iraq, and that’s how I will always see it. Had there been no President Bush, then Saddam would still be Saddam.”
Baghdad Treasure is torn between professional pride and being an Iraqi:
“As a journalist myself, I found what the reporter did was extremely wrong. Journalists have their voices and pens (and now the internet) to express whatever they want to protest against. However, I was kind of relieved. As an Iraqi citizen, I believe Bush deserved this ending that the entire world will remember and cherish. I mean what wrong the man had done was huge. His failure to prepare for an invasion aftermath caused Iraqis and Americans hundreds of thousands of souls, not to mention the destruction of an entire country, the millions who have migrated and the creation of terrorism in Iraq.”
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