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AP: Mideast Hails Shoe-Hurling ‘Journalist’

From his love-struck fans at the Associated Press:

Across Mideast, Arabs hail shoe-hurling journalist

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA and OMAR SINAN, Associated Press Writers

BAGHDAD – Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets Monday to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, as Arabs across many parts of the Middle East hailed the journalist as a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president…

Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security Monday and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a press conference the previous day in Baghdad, said an Iraqi official.

He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media…

Newspapers across the Arab world on Monday printed front-page photos of Bush ducking the flying shoes, and satellite TV stations repeatedly aired the incident, which provided fodder for jokes and was hailed by the president’s many critics in the region.

“Iraq considers Sunday as the international day for shoes,” said a joking text message circulating around the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Palestinian journalists in the West Bank town of Ramallah joked about who would be brave enough to toss their shoes at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, another U.S. official widely disliked in the region…

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog,” al-Zeidi yelled in Arabic as he threw his shoes. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

Al-Zeidi was immediately wrestled to the ground by Iraqi security guards. The incident raised fears of a security lapse in the heavily guarded Green Zone where the press conference took place. Reporters were repeatedly searched and asked to show identification before entering and while inside the compound, which houses al-Maliki’s office and the U.S. Embassy.

Al-Zeidi’s tirade was echoed by Arabs across the Middle East who are fed up with U.S. policy in the region and still angry over Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.

The Arab response was ecstatic.

“Al-Zeidi is the man,” said 42-year-old Jordanian businessman Samer Tabalat. “He did what Arab leaders failed to do.”

Hoping to capitalize on this sentiment, al-Zeidi’s TV station, Al-Baghdadia, repeatedly aired pleas to release the reporter Monday, while showing footage of explosions and playing background music that denounced the U.S. in Iraq.

“We have all been mobilized to work on releasing him, and all the organizations around the world are with us,” said Abdel-Hameed al-Sayeh, the manager of Al-Baghdadia in Cairo, where the station is based.

Al-Jazeera television interviewed Saddam’s former chief lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi, who offered to defend al-Zeidi, calling him a “hero.”

In Baghdad’s Shiite slum of Sadr City, thousands of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burned American flags to protest against Bush and called for the release of al-Zeidi.

“Bush, Bush, listen well: Two shoes on your head,” the protesters chanted in unison.

In Najaf, a Shiite holy city, some protesters threw their shoes at an American patrol as it passed by. Witnesses said the American troops did not respond and continued on their patrol.

Al-Zeidi, who is in his late 20s, was kidnapped by Shiite militias on Nov. 16, 2007, and released three days later. His station said no ransom was paid and refused to discuss the case

Funny how this article buries the fact that these demonstrations only took place in Sadr City and the “Holy City Of Najaf.”

And isn’t it funny that this hero was just recently captured by “militants” and yet released unharmed.

Also, it will be edifying to see how the media reports any such attacks upon their Anointed One.

Even so, the article does tend to accomplish its intended affect.

It makes the reader wonder why we ever wasted our precious blood and treasure on such miserable ingrates.


More cheerleading from his fans at the Associated Press:

A sister of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi watches a video of her brother throwing shoes at the US President Bush, at his apartment in in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 15, 2008.

Family: Shoe thrower hates both US, Iran role

By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – The Iraqi TV reporter who hurled his shoes at George W. Bush was kidnapped once by militants and, separately, detained briefly by the U.S. military — a story of getting hit from all sides that is bitterly familiar to many Iraqis.

Over time, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, a 28-year-old unmarried Shiite, came to hate both the U.S. military occupation and Iran’s interference in Iraq, his family told The Associated Press on Monday.

Al-Zeidi’s act of defiance Sunday transformed an obscure reporter from a minor TV station into a national hero to many Iraqis fed up with the nearly six-year U.S. presence here, but also fearful that their country will fall under Iran’s influence once the Americans leave

A day after the attack, al-Zeidi’s three brothers and one sister gathered in al-Zeidi’s simple, one-bedroom apartment in west Baghdad. The home was decorated with a poster of Latin American revolutionary leader Che Guevara, who is widely lionized in the Middle East.

Family members expressed bewilderment over al-Zeidi’s action and concern about his treatment in Iraqi custody. But they also expressed pride over his defiance of an American president who many Iraqis believe has destroyed their country.

“I swear to Allah, he is a hero,” said his sister, who goes by the nickname Umm Firas, as she watched a replay of her brother’s attack on an Arabic satellite station. “May Allah protect him.”

The family insisted that al-Zeidi’s action was spontaneous — perhaps motivated by the political turmoil that their brother had reported on, plus his personal brushes with violence and the threat of death that millions of Iraqis face daily.

Al-Zeidi joined Al-Baghdadia television in September 2005 after graduating from Baghdad University with a degree in communications. Two years later, he was seized by gunmen while on an assignment in a Sunni district of north Baghdad.

He was freed unharmed three days later after Iraqi television stations broadcast appeals for his release. At the time, al-Zeidi told reporters he did not know who kidnapped him or why, but his family blamed al-Qaida and said no ransom was paid.

In January he was taken again, this time arrested by American soldiers who searched his apartment building, his brother, Dhirgham, said. He was released the next day with an apology, the brother said.

Those experiences helped mold a deep resentment of both the U.S. military’s presence here and Iran’s pervasive influence over Iraq’s cleric-dominated Shiite community, according to his family.

“He hates the American material occupation as much as he hates the Iranian moral occupation,” Dhirgham said, alluding to the influence of pro-Iranian Shiite clerics in political and social life. “As for Iran, he considers the regime to be the other side of the American coin.”

That’s a view widely held among Iraqis — including many Shiites — who believe the Americans and the Iranians have been fighting a proxy war in their country through Tehran’s alleged links to Shiite extremists.

Al-Zeidi may have also been motivated by what a colleague described as a boastful, showoff personality.

“He was very boastful, arrogant and always showing off,” said Zanko Ahmed, a Kurdish journalist who attended a journalism training course with al-Zeidi in Lebanon. “He tried to raise topics to show that nobody is as smart as he is.”

Ahmed recalled that al-Zeidi spoke glowingly of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose followers organized protests Monday to demand his release.

“Regrettably, he didn’t learn anything from the course in Lebanon, where we were taught ethics of journalism and how to be detached and neutral,” Ahmed said.

Ah, yes. We must have empathy for these people.

The Messiah has told us so.

“Regrettably, he didn’t learn anything from the course in Lebanon, where we were taught ethics of journalism and how to be detached and neutral,” Ahmed said.

Good one, Ahmed!

(Thanks to Dodgeboy27 for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 15th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

21 Responses to “AP: Mideast Hails Shoe-Hurling ‘Journalist’”

  1. artboyusa says:

    “miserable ingrates”…what did you expect? “The blame of those ye better / The hate of those ye guard— “. It was the same a hundred yers ago when Kipling wrote this:

    Take up the White Man’s burden—

    Send forth the best ye breed—

    Go send your sons to exile

    To serve your captives’ need

    To wait in heavy harness

    On fluttered folk and wild—

    Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

    Half devil and half child

    Take up the White Man’s burden

    In patience to abide

    To veil the threat of terror

    And check the show of pride;

    By open speech and simple

    An hundred times made plain

    To seek another’s profit

    And work another’s gain

    Take up the White Man’s burden—

    And reap his old reward:

    The blame of those ye better

    The hate of those ye guard—

    The cry of hosts ye humour

    (Ah slowly) to the light:

    “Why brought ye us from bondage,

    “Our loved Egyptian night?”

    Take up the White Man’s burden-

    Have done with childish days-

    The lightly proffered laurel,

    The easy, ungrudged praise.

    Comes now, to search your manhood

    Through all the thankless years,

    Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,

    The judgment of your peers!

  2. Reality Bytes says:

    When we were poor, my mother would have beaten the Shiite out of me if I threw my shoes around like that!

  3. Media_man says:

    My guess is this reporter has a Nobel Prize for Literature, a Pulitzer Prize, and a National Book Award in his very near future. If Pinter can win one for his crap along and Krugman for Economics, simply for being anti-Bush, anything is possible.

    Smart career move.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    ALRIGHT………now we have the “SHOE THROWING MARTYR” cause me thinks he did not survive the night of questioning and the baseball bat probes.

  5. 1laidbackRN says:

    It appears to me that we have truly “Americanized” the iraqi’s (Right down to the total disrespect for our president). The Lib-tards may finally start believing that we have won the war….

  6. DEZ says:

    Wonderkatt the moonbat, I know a good place to put a shoe!
    And liberals will have no problem finding filthy, stinking shoes, its all they ever wear on their unwashed feet.

    We should have let Saddam kill his own people for another decade so the loony liberal left could piss and moan about Bush letting it happen.
    Bush is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
    Let the muslims slaughter each other wholesale, in fact encourage it.

  7. aze_216 says:

    only question is now – when is he going to be invited to speak at the Columbia’s university school of “journalism”?

  8. JohnMG says:

    Come on back, wonderkatt, you juvenile, pea-brained little weasel. We haven’t been entertained like that in a while, although, I must say, you won’t make much of a moving target.

  9. proreason says:

    “I hoped it would be less than fatal”

    Don’t sissy slap Wonderkatt. We know the “less than fatal” part is a lie.

  10. bluesman62 says:

    f them all I hope those ungrateful bastards kill each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O I meant the dems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. BigOil says:

    So Bush is hated by both liberals and Islamists. Now that is a legacy to be proud of.

  12. DEZ says:

    Funny how liberals and Islamists always seem to be on the same side.
    Funny in a disgusting way!

  13. Lipstick on a PIAPS says:

    So where is the courage in this? If he had thrown a shoe at Saddam…………… well he would be dead wouldn’t he? What a bunch of cowards. No wonder Islam wages war against women and children, they don’t fight back.

  14. Helena says:

    The whole shoe thing is a mystery to me.

    There have so many other things to be ashamed about.

  15. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    It’s OK Achmed, you’ll be getting your wish soon enough. The evil USA will be departing Iraq thus relieving a lot of your burden. Then you will be free to concentrate your efforts on getting Iran to behave in a neighborly fashion. Go ahead and toss a pair of your goat-fucker loafers at Imafuckinnutjob and see how well that goes for you asshole. I suspect the Quds force won’t be quite so supportive of your efforts.

    “Bush, Bush, listen well: Two shoes on your head,” the protesters chanted in unison.”

    Ragheads, Ragheads, listen even closer: Two Hellfire missiles into your houses.

  16. LewWaters says:

    I guess the Arabs so ecstatic over this incident fail to realize that Al-Zeidi now enjoys to freedom to be such a total disrspectful jerk. Had he thrown shoes at Saddam or other Arab leaders, I imagine he would be slowly sliding down a shredder, feet first, after watching his entire family slowly and tortuously put to death, raped beforehand.

    Enjoy your freedom, Al-Zeidi, thousands of Americans bought it for you.

  17. BillK says:

    Lots of support at the San Francisco Chronicle as well.

    Sample comments from their web site:

    US citizens threw eggs at this clown 8 years ago when his limo approached the white house, and an Iraqi citizen threw his shoes at the chump for his send off = from eggs to shoes – that’s all he has to show for all the pain and suffering his policies inflicted upon our global citizenry.

    1st this gentleman should be allowed to go free from jail.Second……a nice bronze statue casted of this hero…….and last……..a world tour interviews from all the heavy weights in journalism……………This man is a hero! Unlike here in america we only give the crimminals all the TV Time!!!!

    and, of course:

    No one was hurt! Free the shoe-tosser!

    Yet no one is “hurt” when people protest with signs of what fetuses look like at the age their mothers are killing them in front of an abortion clinic, and those people should be going to jail.

    It all makes sense, right?

  18. Lurkin_no_mo says:

    Rhetorical Question: So why is the MSM not pronouncing the shoe thrower as a RACIST. He hates Persians, and all Americans (caucasians, blacks, hispanics, orientals, native Americans, and all the other folks that make up our great country).
    Although hate of a Caucasion isn’t a race crime.
    If this is the sentiment among the majority of Iraqi’s… what a bunch of ingrates!
    Good reflexs from the Prez, though. Moved like a cat. After the first shoe missed he kind of gave a little smile. He became a bit concerned when the second one was incoming.

  19. Fascistfrog says:

    And with democracy (bought at the expense of a lot of American blood) comes an instant sense of ironic hyperbole that our own bored Left wing has cultivated for the past 40 years: That a people intimately familiar with Saddam Hussein could call George W. Bush a “tyrant” is almost funny. Iraq: You aren’t Manhattanites yet. Feed for a while before you bite the hand.

  20. VMAN says:

    It’s funny the MSM didn’t report that the first people to get in shots at this creep were the other journalists around him. I even saw a few get in a kick or two. What’s worse getting a shoe thrown at you or having a foot inside it when it hits you?

  21. Icarus says:

    I’m looking at the video and thinking; how calmly “W” stood at the podium, unruffled, poised and ready to duck not only more shoes, but also ready to take on the subsequent questions that would soon follow. Also note; how the reporter immediately in front (and slightly to the right) of the shoe-thrower; jumped up and attempted to stop the shoe-thrower.

    These actions, should have been highlighted for praise to show class and fearlessness on the part of the President; and wonderful gallantry on the part of that reporter.

    But instead what do we get…….. Pubescent giggling from lefty pubertal minds!

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