‘One of the most weird moments of my presidency’ — Bush

December 16, 2008

If you thought that shoe-throwing episode in Baghdad was odd, you’re not alone — President George W. Bush thought so too.
 IRAQ/BUSH-SHOE
“It has got to be one of the most weird moments of my presidency,” he told CNN in an interview Tuesday. “Here I am getting ready to answer questions from a free press in a democratic Iraq and a guy stands up and throws a shoe.”
 
What was going through his mind? Not much it seems.
 
“I didn’t have much time to reflect on anything. I was ducking and dodging,” Bush said.
 
Throwing shoes at someone is considered a supreme insult in Iraq, a shoe being considered dirty. People whacked Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad with shoes after it was toppled during the U.S. invasion.
 
Bush says he doesn’t harbor any anger toward the Iraqi TV journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi for attacking him. Al-Zaidi has been cheered by some in the Arab world for his action, but he faces potential criminal charges in Baghdad.
 
“I’m not even sure what his status is,” Bush said. “They shouldn’t overreact.”
 
Bush told CNN the most important decision he made during his presidency was “sending troops into harm’s way,” and not once but twice — in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
“The reason it’s the most important is because it’s the most consequential,” he said
 
“It is a decision that no president should ever take lightly and every president should take a lot of time thinking about it because lives will be lost,” Bush added.
 
Asked if he ever revisited the decision, Bush said he sometimes thought about it but usually “with a concern about whether or not we would succeed.”
 
“In Iraq, I was deeply concerned about whether or not we would succeed,” he said, adding that was especially true in 2006. “A lot of people in Washington were saying, let’s get out now. And I obviously chose not to do that.  But, that was a very difficult period.”
 
For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Reuters TV (Bush ducks a shoe during a news conference in Baghdad Dec. 14)

13 comments

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Well, the shoe throwing incident maybe classified as weird, but George W Bush’s 8-year Presidency that can only classified as a living nightmare for US citizens and the world community.

Posted by Lydia Williams | Report as abusive

lydia what group do you belong to the one that suggest that bush was behind 911,or the group that the say that bush and the cia actually falsified the facts and that 911 was in fact a reprisal for invading iraq.the reception that obama gets from the middle east will on appearance suggest that there is an attitude of change but i hope he is not fooled,his legacy will be judged by how safe he keeps us after his term of office,by then bush can not be used as the scape coat.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

The Bush Group was warned about flying lessons in Floridia leading up to the 9/11 event by an FBI agent from New Mexico (Check it out).
The e-mail above speaks for the percentage of the people of America, who have drastically changed the good name of our country world-wide in just eight short years. What Mr. Obama is inherting from the Bush Group, is a country in the worse condition ever left behind by any Presidency.
Whether you like it or not, President Obama will change, and has started already, by giving many of us back the respect & Dignity we have lost, not only in America, but all over the world. Walk in beauty, J Silverbird

There is nothing to worry too much about this stray incident, World Leaders like Mahatama Gandhi of India also had many such ocasions faced during his 50years political path. People of Iraq have been busy in such things instead of uplifting themselves.

Unfortunately, don’t know and can’t differentiate/dicern what is right and wrong……….

Even great world leader Mahatama Gandhi faced such situations many times. Therefore President Bush must not get worrEven great world leader Mahatama Gandhi faced such situations many times. Therefore President Bush must not get worried about such stray incidentied about such stray incident

Posted by SUSHIL AHUJA | Report as abusive

Joseph,
you are delusional, save this comment, because in a few years I want you to reflect back on it. People are going to find out that Obama never has been able to walk on water. The American public has a very short memory. I predict that Obama will leave office just as all the other presidents before him did. our country’s problems have never been “fixed” by any president…

Posted by larry | Report as abusive

Bush now has the dubious distinction of being less popular than Saddam Hussein. More than a few iraqis are grumbling that the old baath party wasn’t nearly as bad as what’s happening to them now.

If Bush wants a legacy, he needs to leave office quickly so others can patch up the damage. Perhaps the GOP in its typical ways will reminisce about Bush the way they do about Reagan, by ignoring the reality of his presidency and elevating him to conservative diety status.

Posted by Rick Cain | Report as abusive

That was great – best move he has made in 8 years!!! Obviously well prepared.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Not too much to this. It doesn’t have any political implications, just some angry guy throwing shoes, much like any other angry western reporter. Except, you know, they use words.

Posted by Chance | Report as abusive

It just show how frustrated the people are with president Bush. History will remain for him for his negative role in American politics and economy.

Posted by Raju | Report as abusive

I wonder when the terrorists start bombing here how that will be Bush’s fault too? The liberal hate mongers can say what they want because they still have the freedom to say it. For now.
Obama is a weak elitist with sorry scum bag terrorist friends who is not capable of doing anything but increasing the size of our tax bill and giving us more unwanted government.

Posted by Nancy Forbes | Report as abusive

yes nancy i am like you i recognize the hypocrisy of liberals.one day they are screaming about the brutality of the iraq war,and the day after raging about attempts to stop partial birth abortion.churchill was vilified in england before 2world war as being a war monger,while the liberal government and elitist like duke of york and mrs simpson admired hitler. clintons lack of backbone helped the terrorist cause, just look at the comments from bin laden pryer to the 911 attack,and unfortunately he thought bush was of the same mould.we are seeing around the world that the america haters are totally dependent on us having a thriving economy because their prosperity is usa driven.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

I wonder what Saddam would do to a journalist who insults a state guest in front of him.
As for the Bush presidents, those guys added a lot of real estate for the U.S., in the Middle East where they really need a strong presence.

Posted by bonifacio glee | Report as abusive