Monday, December 15, 2008

I think W's best attribute is his reflexes

When I first saw a headline involving an angry Iraqi and a shoe, I thought it involved someone paying homage to Khruschev's tantrum incident at the UN.

But no. This reporter actually took his shoes off and threw them at Bush. He had decent aim, but Bush was just too quick.

Unsurprisingly, he was not given a high five and allowed to leave the building in his socks. A bit more surprising, but not totally shocking, the shoe hurler is now a pan middle eastern hero. From Jordan to Palestine, most look at the journalist with a nasty slider to be a brave man.

I have some mixed feelings about this. First, this is not the first time W has had stuff thrown at him. Second, though this is by definition a violent act, it is pretty tame compared to what most normal Iraqis might encounter during their daily routines, and is probably as close to "non-violent" protest as Iraq has ever seen. In any event, the purpose (notwithstanding the velocity of the left one), I think, was symbolic, as in Arab culture, showing the soles of your feet to someone is an insult. And, as here at home, Bush just doesn't speak with people who don't agree with him, so maybe a little reality check is a good thing.

On the other hand, like him or not, I don't like people throwing hard objects at the President, because if you hit him, it will cause a major shit storm here at home.

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