Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sole Man?

Does the case of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President Bush reflect the true feelings of the people? Do most the people of Iraq consider him a hero, as suggested by Cable News Network, or as an embarrassment? The trial of the journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who is charged with assault for throwing shoes at Bush in Baghdad during a press conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, began Thursday with a hearing at the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. Al-Zaidi, a reporter for the al-Baghdadia television network, arrived in court to applause and cheers, CNN said. Throwing shoes is considered a grave insult in the Arab world. Al-Zaidi was arrested immediately after the incident, in which the two shoes missed the then-president, and claims he was beaten and otherwise mistreated by law enforcement officials, CNN said. Al-Zaidi told the court Thursday in an hourlong appearance that he was enraged by Bush's 'bloodless and soulless smile.' "I could only see Bush and feel the blood of the innocents flow under his feet, as he was smiling that smile -- as if he had come to bid farewell to Iraq and with the last support and more than 1 million martyrs," al-Zaidi said. "At that moment, I felt this is the man who killed our nation ... the main murderer and the main person responsible for killing our nation." After court, al-Zaidi was
rushed by the crowd, trying to get closer to him. If al-Zaidi is a hero to Iraqis, it raises extreme doubts about the hundreds of billions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost in the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq since 2003. If the Iraqis now hate the United States, the continued presence of U.S. forces is a mistake. But the answer to this question could come from the judge overseeing Al-Zaidi's trial. The journalist faces up to 15 years in prison for "assaulting" Bush, under Iraq's criminal code, but the judge could reduce the crime to "insulting" a foreign leader, punishable by a maximum of two years. That will certainly settle the question.


debrabmaddox said...

im glad he threw the shoe and i am sorry hes in bigtime trouble for it,,i say "let him go!"
~freedom of expression~ must be more important then an already ruined X-president who really did screw EVERY thing up!(u.s. & iraq)
*hes an alien-reptillian breed*

NatetheGrate said...

One of the problems is that we can't trust Iraqi justice, especially after the humiliating trial and execution of Saddam Hussein. And, of course, just because you might agree in principle with somebody's arguments doesn't mean you condone their off-the-wall tactics. The Iraqi journalist just got angry -- his anger at Bush, while perhaps understandable, was misdirected. Language is clearly an evolutionary advance -- why not use it when you want to communicate?