Posts Tagged ‘Zaidi’


For sale (price $10m): two shoes missing a heel

December 16, 2008

In the instant I saw those two shoes flying, three separate thoughts flashed into my mind in rapid succession. My first reaction was “Yes!” At last somebody has been able – and has had the cahunas – to get through George W. Bush’s hitherto impenetrable wall of security and give this piece of pond life a piece of their mind relatively up close and personal.

My immediate follow-up thought was, “What a pity he didn’t have anything a bit more lethal to throw than a pair of shoes (a grenade, for instance)”.

And my third thought – which tells you something about this internet age we live in – was:  “Those shoes will be advertised for sale on eBay within the week, and they’ll fetch a small fortune!”

In fact it took less than a week; and the fortune being offered for them isn’t all that small, even in these inflationary times.

The former coach of the Iraqi national football team, Adnan Hamad, has reportedly offered $100,000 for them.  But this bid has already been trumped by an anonymous  Saudi citizen who has apparently offered $10m for the flying footwear that so narrowly missed the world’s most wanted (or unwanted, depending on your point of view) war criminal.

Muntadar al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw the shoes, must be a fearless sole – sorry, soul – to do what he did, knowing, as he must have, that he would, at the very least, be beaten up and quite possibly tortured for his one-man protest. And, indeed, the BBC is now reporting that Mr. al-Zaidi has already been subjected to physical abuse, and has suffered a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding. He now faces the prospect of seven to 15 years in an Iraqi prison under a law outlawing “aggression against a president”. So much for free speech in the new US-sponsored Iraq.

Before throwing the shoes, Mr. al-Zaidi shouted: “This is a farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

Apart from the implied insult to dogs, it is a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly concur.

In fact at least 100,000 innocent civilians were killed by US forces in Iraq (aided and abetted by the Royal Air Force, which carpet-bombed densely-populated civilian areas) in an illegal invasion that had nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism or weapons of mass destruction and everything to do with the US gaining control of Iraq’s oil resources.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children have been maimed, orphaned, widowed or made homeless on the orders of America’s self-styled “war president”, who served only the interests of the oil corporations, deceived the American people, prevented a criminal investigation into the 9/11 attacks, and unleashed nuclear anarchy on the world.

In the early days of his campaign, Barack Obama promised that if he was elected he would indict George W. Bush for treason. However, like most of president-elect Obama’s promises, that one seems to have been forgotten, and apparently the two men are now good buddies. Next thing you know they’ll be going hunting together.

Politicians – can’t live with them, can’t shoot ’em. But at least we can throw shoes at them. So here’s a toast to Muntadar al-Zaidi. Thank you, and well done!  You’re a brave man, and I salute you – but I don’t think I’d like to be in your… um… predicament.