President Bush got a message from the Iraqi people today in the form of projectile shoes:
What the video doesn’t tell you is what the journalist said as he flung his shoes:
“This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog” — and threw one of his shoes at the president, who ducked and narrowly avoided being struck.
As chaos ensued, he threw his other shoe, shouting, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”
Things will not fair well for this courageous journalist I assume, but in my mind, he is already a legend.
Update next day:
The NY Times weblog has these reactions from the Arab areas of Iraq (leaving out some of the positive reactions from some of the pro-American Kurds):
Samarra– The ancient city of Samarra, home of the Askariya Shrine explosion which set off a wave of sectarian bloodletting across Iraq, had a number of residents speak out in support of Mr. al-Zaidi.
Tawfeeq Qais, a 31-year-old barber, said: “Muntader expressed his opinion about freedom and democracy brought to Iraq by Bush. So Bush has to take the responsibility of it and this action is considered as a kind of democracy.”
Um Mohammad, a 36-year-old housewife, said: “Long live your right hand Muntader . This is what the American president deserves. I am calling to release Muntader Zaidi.”
Abu Ali, a 55-year-old laborer, said: “It is a wedding of all Iraqis. Muntader’s action is less than Bush deserves for killing, displacing and bloodletting Iraqis. I will blame the Iraqi government and American forces if anything wrong happens to Muntader.”
Mohammed Ibrahim, 51, said: “Bush deserves more than that because his soldiers have killed Iraqis. If Saddam had occupied America and kill the American people, then what would be their reactions? What we do expect Muntadhar to do when he watched the American forces killed Iraqis according to Bush’s order? Long live for your hand Muntadhar.”
Dr. Qutaiba Rajaa, 58, said: “Although that action was not expressed in a civilized manner, it showed the Iraqi feelings which refuse American occupation. Muntadhar expressed the real Iraqi feelings.”
Najaf – In the holy Shiite city of Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, demonstrators chanted: “Bush, Bush, is a cow, your farewell was by a shoe,” and, “The shoe got its goal straightly, but Maliki turned it away.”
“These demonstrators are refusing the president of evil as well as renewing their refusal of the [security] pact,” said a man named Hazim Araji. “And we have coordinated such demonstrations in the whole of Iraq.”
Mosul — In Mosul, the largely Sunni Arab capital of Nineveh Province, residents said they supported the shoe-tossing Iraqi journalist.
Mohammad Zaki, a 27-year-old lawyer, said: “I appreciate the heroic position of Muntader al-Zaidi. I appreciate his love to home and his challenge to the occupier. I will blame Maliki if anything wrong happen to him or to his family.”
Jasim Mohammed, a 24-year-old laborer, said: “Muntader’s action got back the Iraqi dignity. He got back part of our gravity. God bless you Muntader. We are demanding the Iraqi forces to release him.”
Adnan Majwari, a 44-year-old Kurdish journalist, said: “It was a historical moment and if there are organizations who care about human rights and journalists freedom in Iraq then Muntader al-Zaidi has to be released immediately.”
Dr. Amal al-Annaz, a 48-year-old professor, said: “These are the real Iraqis who are well known for their magnanimity. Throwing a shoe on Bush was not a random action, but it is the result of every wound caused by the American president to the Iraqi people, women and children.”
Ahmad Sameer, a 22-year-old student, said: “It was the moment of the age because Bush will never forget it and it was a reminder to Bush about his wars and causalities in Iraq, but in an Iraqi way.”
“I swear by God that this man has freely expressed all Iraqis’ opinions and brought their wishes to reality,” said Mudhar Adeeb, an engineer.
Fawaz Ahmad, a 45-year-old day laborer, said: “He performed an excellent job and a great challenge. Bush deserves more than that.”
“He has done what the whole world could not,” said another man, Hazim Edress.
“This is the second insult directed to America after September’s events,” said Jasim Abdullah, a 29-year-old shopkeeper, in reference to the Sept. 11 attacks. “I suggest having an auction to sell the shoe.”
Yaareb Yousif Matti, a 45-year-old teacher said, “This is the killers and criminals’ dessert. They are Iraqi people’s killers. I swear by God that all Iraqis with their different nationalities are glad about