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    The unbearable lightness of size tens

    by Sid on 15th December, 2008 at 11:19 pm    

    The US President with the lowest ratings in the history of presidential polls made a surprise visit to Iraq, held an impromptu press conference, which was overshadowed by this:

    The shoe missed but it made the point.

    And the whole world is now learning the significance of the shoe as a form of insult, in Eastern cultures, when used as a projectile.

    From the Angry Arab:

    Throwing shoes is particularly insulting in the Middle East, as was shown when crowds of Iraqis used their shoes to whack a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion.

    $10 million for the famous shoe
    A Saudi man offer $10 million for the shoe that aimed at Bush. (thanks Nasser)

    Angry Arab on Flying Shoes
    “”The flying shoe speaks more for Arab public opinion than all the despots/puppets that Bush meets with during his travels in the Middle East,” said Asad Abu Khalil, a popular Lebanese-American blogger and professor at Stanislaus University in California at angryarab.blogspot.com.” (thanks Sellam)

    From DigitalJournal:

    Many are tired of the American presence in Iraq, and many Iraqis want the U.S. to go home. Just like Americans, they want that gradual withdrawal to take place in a hurry. So if a thrown shoe won’t get attention, what will? Certainly some Iraqi had an opportunity to step right up and say his piece in figurative terms.

    The UN mandate for the American presence in Iraq ends at the end of this year, but as recent as June Iraqis were making strong pleas for Americans to get out and rejecting American arguments and notions about agreements. Indeed one key official, Sami al-Askari, a senior level government leader and on the foreign relations committee in Iraq was reported by the Washington Post to say that, “The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq, If we can’t reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say, ‘Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don’t need you here anymore. ”

    After the shoe-throwing incident, the press conference continued and a journalist asked Mr Bush what he thought about the significance of the thrown shoe. To which the President replied:

    “I don’t know what the guy’s cause is.”

    You don’t know what the guy’s cause is Mr Bush?
    Oh my gosh and golly gee whiz, Mr President sir!! What could have prompted an Iraqi to throw a shoe at you? I couldn’t guess the answer to that one in a million years. Not even if someone threw their hushpuppies at me!!

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    13 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Refresh — on 16th December, 2008 at 1:04 am  

      It was the sharpest exchange of views between a ‘fine dream’ that is the US at home and the nightmare it is abroad.

    2. BenSix — on 16th December, 2008 at 1:21 am  

      There’s a petition here, demanding that the sprightly young democrat demonstrating his freedom of expression be freed…



    3. Golam Murtaza — on 16th December, 2008 at 5:58 am  

      Quick reactions by Bush there, though. He ducks really quickly. His old trainee fighter pilot instincts coming though?

      Incidentally, this video doesn’t capture it quite as well as some of the still shots but I like Maliki’s facial reaction. He’s got these very lugubrious (sp?) features which I’ve always found amusing anyway.

    4. persephone — on 16th December, 2008 at 9:37 am  

      ” And the whole world is now learning the significance of the shoe as a form of insult”

      What is also interesting, as to levels of insult, is that the 1st quote (of what was being shouted & is superimposed on the video) showed that he called Bush a dog - latter is interesting regarding what is being discussed on another post as to people being likened to dogs

    5. cjcjc — on 16th December, 2008 at 9:52 am  

      Wonder if anyone ever dared to throw a shoe at Saddam?

    6. Jai — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:01 am  

      Bloody good reflexes for a guy in his 60s, though…..

    7. dave bones — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:04 am  

      great shoeing

    8. S — on 16th December, 2008 at 12:46 pm  


      Of course no-one ever threw a shoe at Saddam. No-one ever threw a shoe at Assad or Ahmadinejad or Mubarak. You can throw a shoe at Bush and you will probably be roughed up by the embarassed Iraqi government- detained for few days and released to a heros welcome.

      If you throw a shoe at any other middle east demagogue you will most probably be killed. In the case of Saddam you will be lucky if your entire family and possibly clan or village is not killed too.

    9. Refresh — on 16th December, 2008 at 1:04 pm  

      I think S. is correct.

      It would probably have been worse if Saddam had been standing next to Bush.

      Had it been an earlier period of this US adventure, you would have been rendered probably via another mid-east secret prison to Guantanamo.

      As for punishing journalists, its not long ago Bush would have them killed (if they were lucky) and their HQ considered for obliteration. The unlucky ones probably ended up listening to AC/DC. 24/7

    10. Refresh — on 16th December, 2008 at 1:33 pm  

      What a duck!

      Lets hope he still has his reflexes when he is sat on his porch rocking back and forth, contemplating all those insults his children are going to have to avenge.

    11. The Dude — on 16th December, 2008 at 6:19 pm  

      Shame on that journalist! Missing once is forgivable but missing twice isn’t. When my mum threw a shoe, she would put a curve on it. It was a laser guided missile made out shoe leather and it NEVER missed! If shoes are in fact the weapons of choice in Iraq, then this young dude hasn’t been doing his homework. A thousand lashes isn’t a good enough punishment for this young airhead.

    12. Don — on 16th December, 2008 at 7:12 pm  

      Anyone else think the Secret Service were rather slow in getting stuck in? The guy managed to lob two shoes before they got him down.

      Maybe their hearts aren’t really into putting themselves between a (potential) bullet and a schmuck who isn’t going to count for much in a few weeks.

      Still, at least a sole journalist got a platform to show what a heel … no, I can’t go on.

    13. S Johal — on 17th December, 2008 at 9:07 am  



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