14 December, 2008

On coming full circle

In the middle of the news conference with Mr Maliki, a reporter stood up and hurled his shoes at Mr Bush, calling him "a dog" but narrowly missing the president.
"All I can report is a size 10," Mr Bush said according to the Associated Press news agency.
The shoe thrower was taken away by security guards and the news conference continued.
Correspondents called it a symbolic incident. Iraqis threw shoes and used them to beat Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad after his overthrow.

for video and full story, go here.

i wouldnt throw a shoe at Mr Bush. it would be waste of a perfectly good shoe. but it doesnt mean i cant laugh at a brilliant video and the audacity of the "reporter" (?!). his aim is commendable.
a perfect close to eight years of quality entertainment.


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DUBAI JAZZ said...


IMHO, this was wrong and unacceptable.

BuJassem said...

oh man.. this is amazing, all in less than 8 yrs.

btw, we also will see a black president..

btw, look at reeves' newest movie called the day the earth stood still.. an amazing conclusion to the bush years.!

John B. Chilton said...

The shoe chucking reporter works for a Cairo TV station - perhaps he's angry that the US's aid keeps Mubarak in power.

Iraq is no longer run by a dictator. It's safe to toss shoes in a country verging on democracy. I doubt he'd have the guts to toss his shoes at Saddam or Mubarak for fear of what would come of expressing his opinion.

Interesting that the Iraqi press corp did not want to be associated with this "reporter's" behavior.

G to tha T said...

For an old man, Bush has some good reflexes.

Kyle said...

I'm impressed with this demonstration of Arabian hospitality?

Well done with another addition to the hospitality cookbook!

Bridget Jones said...

Heard it on the radio this morning. It made Bridget chuckle.

Bridget saw the movie BuJ. Wasn't too impressed to be honest. Quite some flaws in the plot if you ask her. But yes, a timely movie to mark the end of Bush's chaos. When you are at the brink of the precipice, you wake up and change pronto pronto ha!

Interesting points John.

the real nick said...

John ^ is right - shoe chucking IS democratic freedom, on a very base level.
But it's poignant and just funny.

Anonymous said...

Iraq is no longer run by a dictator.

I Agree, its run by infidels that failed to find the so called WMD which saddam was hiding under his bed.

How stupid could Americans and their followers be ?

hemlock said...

DJ: it was TOTALLY wrong and TOTALLY unacceptable - which is what makes it so funny :D but i suppose the euphoria dies down if you watch it 398 times... ;)

Buj: i think i was taken aback by the irreverence of it all. there were TWO PRESIDENTS in the room!!! how does one take off his shoe and aim it at someone?

JBC: the US has interfered with far too many countries for far too long. sure, it makes sense if you are american, but most of the world isnt. and some respect would be appreciated... even if you have to get it by throwing a shoe (or two)

nick: even the BBC reporter was laughing as the story broke... it was terrible...

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hemlock, actually Al Maliki is a prime minister (not a president :) )

Btw this event is a major failure for the secret service, they were totally surprised and their surprise itself is a surprise: it was obvious they didn’t have contingency plans and the shoe scenario has never been thought of…..and the first agent took 5 seconds to move. Total failure.

And btw I am talking about the guys who ‘recommended’ for Dubai to be shut earlier this year on January the 14th.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

John B. Chilton,
Give me a ffffffffffffucking break. What democracy are you talking about? A shoe hurled inside a heavily guarded conference hall inside a heavily guarded green zone and you call it a democracy?

Let Bush go address a group of Iraqi villagers, students in a campus, or workers in a factory: and let’s see then if he can handle the ‘free speech’ of their feet.

Scarlett O'Hara said...

Betcha those shoes are gonna worth their weight in gold if auctioned! ;) Any bidders?

Can't believe Mr. Bush thought it was nothing much to be embarrassed about. You know, a common incident, like it's a symbol of exit for every president. Oh dear.

Well, at least he is good at ducking lol!

Stained said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stained said...

Very funny and quite disappointing...he missed, dammit!! Maybe we should send some of our Arab news reporter for some target practice...we might need a good aim even with bush gone...

Anonymous said...


tobasco said...

I thought this was a joke that I wasn't part of (until I really checked it). It would've been amazing if the issue had found its target.

Hip-Hip-Horray for the success of "Operation Iraqi Freedom"

Talha said...

ohhh shucks!! from now on everyone's gonna have to go barefoot into these press conferences! :(

ur shoes and anything that can potentially be hurled MUST be taken off... i guess they will also tape reporter's mouths in case they SPIT on one of 'em turds-er-um-ummm-presidents. :)

Write ur questions on little chits and pass it on ppl....

Anonymous said...

@ DJ

Way to go!

You are right.

Wonder what happened to the guy.


Lirun said...

i was never taught about shoe throwing when i studied journalism.. must be a new technique..

Anonymous said...

Maybe he was just peeved at the cavity search he had to endure just to get in the building. Next thing at the airport we'll all have to check in our boots and shoes along with the baggage, and get on the airplane in those plastic bag booties they hand out in medical clean rooms.

On another note, I think this should be a refreshing change of attitude for Iraqis and middle easterners in general. I'm sure many have had enough of worshiping the living (assad, mubarak...)

Dave said...

Anyone seen the movie Dodgeball?

I think that George W. could well make the team, especially as he will soon have more time on his hands...

Anonymous said...


James said...


a former popular blogger said...

Yeah its true. If the shoe was thrown at Saddam, that guy and his whole family and all their friends would be in prison being tortured by now.

But that doesnt stop what happened yesterday from being as funny as hell though :-D

Mars said...

it's rather funny. who would have thought of it - a shoe!

Anonymous said...

Iraq is no longer run by a dictator. It's safe to toss shoes in a country verging on democracy. I doubt he'd have the guts to toss his shoes at Saddam or Mubarak for fear of what would come of expressing his opinion.

Any idea what's happenting to him now? But then whatever happens one can always blame it to Iraqi Security.


ColOman said...

Westerners need to understand what calling a person a dog and using shoe symbolize to Arabs…………. It’s the lowest thing anyone can do to degrade another person………… mind you I like dogs 

So what could security do? How is it a failure? Is everyone going to be bear footed now? What about cameras, you can throw those too? How about tape recorder? Or a pen….. and the list goes on….. you cant have security next to each person………….

rosh said...

this is just WRONG in so many ways..perhaps he should throw shoes at fellow countrymen who love to kill each other 24/7, 365 days a year - idiots!

hemlock said...

Scarlett o Hara: a saudi is offering USD 10 Million for the pair (of shoes)
the new york times has a very interesting blog about it ;)

BuJassem said...

hey bridget.. long time!!!
so you saw the movie eh? you must have coz that's one of the very few times in my life i've heard the word "precepetice" being used... i am not sure i can spell it correctly, nor can i find a definition for it!!!

so where did ur comment disappear?

s said...

There is an online petition asking Iraqi authorities to release the "shoe-thrower" who has been beaten up badly and is in custody:

Bush has been quoted as saying that he will not interfere in the matter since Iraq is an independent democratic nation and it is for the Iraqi authorities to handle through their democratic system.

Anonymous said...


you really that stupid or just born as "The Stupid" ?

Americans have invaded their country, pumping out free oil to Israel and back home, killed over 500,000 iraqis since 2003.

what exactly are you expecting from them ? a bouqet of red flower to a war criminal or a cake + x-mas gift ?

Honestly, I think you should go live in iraq for couple of weeks and report back and see your reaction towards baby w bush.

America is the only terror and chooses dictators to run arab countries.

Saddam didn't co-operate that's why they turned him into their enemy with the help of their media and how he invaded its neighbour bla bla bla bullshit

Americans need to clean their own country before even stepping into other countries without invitation.

The land their living on is also invaded...you can't deny this, we know who the real terrorists are. Unless you're still too stupid to figure out.

Kyle said...

Anonymous at 12/17 Midnight:

Generally, I don't respond to cowards or imbeciles behind an Anonymous mask but since I have a fair idea who you are - your ethnicity I mean, I'll take this shot at you bar gloves;

First off, appreciate the compliment.

Second, and I'll dig this now from an ethnic angle to cause even more pain. If you are who I think you are - your ethnicity/convictions I mean - I'll say you guys have got a (insert an explicit F-word here) barometer for success, don't you?

Third, do you think this guy who thought he was throwing a curve-ball is a hero? He is a
friggin loser, this brief moment of history twerp chucking a shoe at a visiting Head of State & missing. No matter what his resume says about his accomplishments, he's still a guest.

Fourth, just read about another dumb loser from Saudi Arabia who's willing to pay 10 Million Greenbacks for a pair. 10 Mill, is this guy for real? Wait! That's not his money, it's the money he's stealing from his Saudi bros & sissies by siphoning a major chunk from the cookie jar. Moreover, how come he's not focusing on a rescue plan for his Palestinian or Iraqi brothers & sisters? Oh wait, they're just chips on a board - expendable & worth jack, aren't they?

Fifth, you want to know what I think about the US involvement in Iraq? I think it's a friggin waste of time, effort & taxpayers money. And I'll have you know even further by saying if I was calling the shots, I'd move my guys out yesterday and leave those losers to fend themselves.

Sixth, do you think I'm harsh? Dude or Dudette (happy or straight), you bet your funky rear, I'm just warming up.

Seventh, you want to earn my respect, take off the mask and learn to debate intelligently.

And finally, I sure as hell didn't enjoy writing all this but it feels good once in a while to stray off the reservation especially when it comes to taking a dig at cowards and imbeciles.

Anonymous said...


stop kissing ass, your health comes before everything.


Foreigner at home said...

I think Bush has finally found the WMD's in Iraq and guess what its size 10.

Lirun said...

lol @ free oil for israel hahaha

ok anyway - i suggest that security should ban shoes that are aerodynamic..

frances said...

I understand full well why people hate Bush and what he did "for" Iraq. However, doesn't anyone in the blog world know Iraqis who are glad Saddam is gone? I do. I guess they are the silent ones. Too bad they don't speak up, because they suffered horrible atrocities under Saddam.
And I've got to reiterate what was said already: if you so much as threw a bad look at Saddam you'd come home to a house full of people who had acid thrown in their faces or worse.
Where is the balance in the blog world on this issue?

hemlock said...

frances: two wrongs dont make a right.
i guess the blogworld is just celebrating an instance where a wrong was wronged.

frances said...

After I wrote that post I thought I should have kept my mouth shut. But really, I've read bloggers (whom I respect) sound like coarse low-lifes when they write about this incident: "...yeah, finally, let's try it again, and the hero who did this should be crowned..."
Really, my Iraqi friends say people have very short memories regarding Saddam. He was more than merely a sick man, he was evil and not only responsible for hundreds of thousands of murders but torture and torturous murders...
I wish the US never went into Iraq, don't get me wrong.

tenalicious said...

Conclusion: Anywhere in the world it's bad manners to throw your shoes at someone...but in the Middle East you're a hero...and your shoes are worth 10 million bucks (as long as you throw them at someone most people hate).

Woo-hay! Think about that.

Think about where the brain of the fella who offered 10 million bucks resides.

Think about hope for the future (for our Arab friends) when the US finally pulls out.

Think about the qualities needed for the journalistic profession (in this region)...way to go, boys!

Anonymous said...

Throwing a shoe at bush isn't wrong at all, it's the first step in cleaning up the trash.

And thanks for getting rid of saddam.

rosh said...

Frances, I guess they are "glad" he's gone - you've just got to look at citizens celebrating by killing each other and destroying homes.

Hurling a shoe at head of state is not funny, however, this does come across rather hilarious and personal, as much as it's insulting and hypocritical.

What I find funny as well, is the title of this post - "On coming full circle" - short sighted. From what I've experienced growing up in this part of the world, a full circle shall occur when another tyrant, kills and terrorizes his people and Arab world SOS's Americans - again! Also funny is that Arab nations won't allow Iraqi's into their borders, however US and Canada, extends permanent resident programs and billions in aid to Iraqis, at a minimum to help fix the home they broke.

I've never liked Bush and despise Cheney, however, America did save our asses and future from Sody Saddam & kin's brutalities toward their own people and neighbours. It's amazing, some people can't tell the difference between the good and the bad in the long haul.

Perhaps Iraqis need to hurl shoes at self, or better eat their own shoes - for citizens killing citizens in the name of religion, for not taking opportunities of freedom and whatever form of "democracy" for successful nation building. I guess nobody can help those who don't wish to help themselves eh?

Anonymous said...


Please read who nurture that monster you despies so much. I you do a bit of reading you will soon realise that the dictators and monsters from which the Empire saves the rest for the world. Was once either created by the Empire or were bosom buddies. So if they had not created/sustained these Zombies the world would have been a much better place.

tenalicious said...

On coming full circle...

So you see, it's all America's/Bush's fault...

See they way we're shooting and killing each other? Let's blame America for it.

(So who's the loser here?)

Kyle said...


I, for one, disagree that you should have kept your mouth shut. What you wrote in your two comments - read: acid, atrocities, low-lifes, sick, murders, & the hits just keep coming on - serves to balance all the one-sided opinion here.

The only thing I disagree with you is your being nice & civil. I'm glad you & others didn't lose your cool when you set out to debunk biased opinions.

'Nuff said.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

My opinion is probably as biased as any. However, I think what the journalist did was disturbing to say the least. And I’ve never looked at it as ‘heroic’.

I actually think it’s pathetic, and let me tell you why.

I read somewhere that the guy toured Iraq as he worked on a special report for his TV channel; heart wrenching stories about young widows and little orphans; dozens and dozens of them. I think any one of us in his place could have reached the limits human bearing capacity for distress and anguish. I know reporters are supposed to distance themselves, but we’re human, we’re empathic by the virtue of our pre-frontal lobes. I am not at all suggesting that all deaths in Iraq are caused by the presence of coalition forces or the American army alone. There are deeper and far-reaching problems. Saddam wasn’t any better, the only difference is perhaps that his deeds weren’t reported. People argued that the reporter could not have thrown a shoe at Saddam. Well, I say that he wouldn’t have been able to become a reporter from the first place. ..

frances said...

Rosh, tenalicious, Kyle and Dubai Jazz,
Thanks for your replies.
BTW, I just heard from an Iraqi friend - who LOVES Bush - and here's part of what he said: Bush "...took a nation that was up till now literally down trodden and had no idea how the world thinks to the road of civilization...the majority of learned and educated Iraqis are furious about this scandalous, discourteous and extremely shameful conduct..."
Muntadar Al-Zaidi had an opportunity few people get. He could have asked the President anything he wanted. Instead he literally threw it away, making a fool of himself for a moment's thrill. Those who gloated from the sidelines look even worse than Muntadar, in my opinion.

Kyle said...

Dubai Jazz:

Quick question for you?

Tell me, honestly, how many gallons of midnight oil did you burn? How many hits & misses and edits did it take you to pen your brilliant and level-headed response?

With the holiday spirit in mind, here's hoping all wounds heal but most of all, no scars remain!

Best wishes to one & all :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should eat your own shoes before making statements that come out of places where "the moon don't shine" first know of whom yo speak then bestow upon others your infinite words of ignorance. But above all, should you have not been brought up otherwise, learn to speak with respect, unless ofcourse you are addressing others whom you consider your equals.
Shame on you.

rosh said...

Anon: read my comment well. People killing one another in the name of religion deserve little respect. People who are unwilling to identify and take an opportunity to steer their lives toward better days don't respect themselves.

If however, I've offended with that statement, I apologize - perhaps wasn't appropriate. That said, do you have something to say of substance toward ill guided brethren in Iraq? Surely, my words cannot bother you more than what's goin on there?

Anonymous said...

@ frances
'He could have asked the President anything he wanted."

1) Yes you are right. Bush has a terrrific reputation for giving the most appropiate anawers to any questions that the reporters may ask!

2) There will most certainly be Iraqis who love Bush just as there were Iraqis who loved Saddam but neither of them are/were in any significant numbers.


frances said...

Dear Anonymous,
Re #1, true enough. And if Muntadar threw his shoes in a moment of anger, I maintain that that's not as bad as bystanders who have had time to reflect and are still of the opinion that what he did was appropriate.
Re #2, I disagree. I believe there are significant numbers who are deeply relieved that Sadam is gone. (Remember Uday Hussein's lions, the ones that turned their noses away at animal meat?)
And yes, of course, there are plenty who loved Sadam. In my opinion there are plenty of both.

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