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SHOES THROWN AT BUSH ON IRAQ TRIP


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Bianca
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« on: December 14, 2008, 04:35:44 pm »









                                               Shoes thrown at Bush on Iraq trip 





http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7782422.stm

VIDEO
President Bush ducks as the shoes are thrown



BBC NEWS
Dec. 14, 2008

A surprise visit by US President George Bush to Iraq has been overshadowed by an incident in which
two shoes were thrown at him during a news conference.

An Iraqi journalist was wrestled to the floor by security guards after he called Mr Bush "a dog" and threw his footwear, just missing the president.

The soles of shoes are considered the ultimate insult in Arab culture.

During the trip, Mr Bush and Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki signed the new security agreement between their countries.

The pact calls for US troops to leave Iraq in 2011 - eight years after the 2003 invasion that has in part defined the Bush presidency.

Speaking just over five weeks before he hands over power to Barack Obama, Mr Bush also said the war in Iraq was not over and more work remained to be done.

His previously unannounced visit came a day after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told US troops the Iraq mission was in its "endgame".
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 04:37:17 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2008, 04:39:43 pm »










'Size 10'

In the middle of the news conference with Mr Maliki, a reporter stood up and shouted "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog," before hurtling his shoes at Mr Bush, narrowly missing him.



 PREVIOUS BUSH VISITS TO IRAQ
 




Nov 2003: Serves Thanksgiving dinner to troops in Baghdad



June 2006: Meets new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki

Sept 2007: Visits Anbar province - former stronghold of Saddam Hussein




"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.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 04:43:38 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2008, 04:45:33 pm »








'American security'

Mr Bush's first stop upon arriving in Baghdad was the Iraqi presidential palace in the heavily-fortified Green Zone, where he held talks with President Jalal Talabani.

"The work hasn't been easy but it's been necessary for American security, Iraqi hope and world peace," Mr Bush said during his talks with Mr Talabani.

The Iraqi president called Mr Bush "a great friend for the Iraqi people, who helped us liberate our country".

The BBC's Humphrey Hawksley, in Baghdad, says the key issue at present is exactly how American troops will withdraw within the next three years and what sort of Iraq they will leave behind.




VIDEO
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7782422.stm

George Bush is received by President Jalal Talabani



The US media has just published details of a US government report saying that post invasion reconstruction of Iraq was crippled by bureaucratic turf wars and an ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society.

The report is circulating among US officials in draft form, says the New York Times.

It reveals details of a reconstruction effort that cost more than $100bn (67bn) and only succeeded in restoring what was destroyed in the invasion and the widespread looting that followed it, the newspaper said.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 04:46:44 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2008, 04:48:01 pm »










Troop promises

Mr Bush's visit, unannounced in advance and conducted under tight security, follows the approval last month of a security pact between Washington and Baghdad that calls for US troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011.

US troops are first to withdraw from Iraqi cities, including Baghdad, by June next year.

Defence Secretary Gates said on Saturday that "the process of the drawdown" had begun.




 
The end in sight for US troops in Iraq?



"We are, I believe, in terms of the American commitment, in the endgame here in Iraq," he told US troops at an airbase near Baghdad.

Mr Gates has been picked to stay on as defence secretary by President-elect Barack Obama.

President Bush leaves the White House in less than six weeks. He said in a recent interview with ABC News that the biggest regret of his presidency was the false intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Finding these was one of the key justifications for the invasion. None were ever found.

Mr Obama has promised to bring home US combat troops from Iraq in a little over a year from when he takes office in January.

More than 4,200 US troops and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and security personnel have been killed since the invasion in 2003.

There are currently about 149,000 US soldiers in Iraq, down from last year's peak of 170,000 after extra troops were poured in to deal with a worsening security situation.

As Mr Bush arrived in Baghdad, Gen David Petraeus, the head of the US Central Command, which includes Iraq, said attacks in the country had dropped from 180 a day in June 2007 to 10 a day now.

In a sign of modest security gains in Iraq, Mr Bush was welcomed with a formal arrival ceremony - a flourish that was not part of his previous three visits.

He arrived in the country on Air Force One, which landed at Baghdad International Airport in the afternoon, after a secretive Saturday night departure from Washington on an 11-hour flight.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 04:50:03 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2008, 04:54:41 pm »




                       
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 04:56:48 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2008, 04:57:16 pm »





                                   
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Bianca
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2008, 04:58:35 pm »




                   
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Volitzer
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 10:55:39 am »

No one is more deserving.
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Robert0326
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 12:10:53 pm »

That was sooo friggin' hilarious.  Too bad it didn't hit him.
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"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."     Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823 -Thomas Jefferson
Bianca
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 05:00:43 pm »




I guess he's had a lot of practice dodging things thrown at him during his whole lifetime.......

Can anyone imagine what it must be like having a son or spouse like GWB?
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Bianca
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 07:07:12 pm »










                                    Iraqi shoe-throwing reporter becomes the talk of Iraq


                                             Iraqis Demand Reporter's Release
     







New Video

Slide Show


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081215/wl_nm/us_iraq_bush_shoes




Waleed Ibrahim
IRAQ
Mon Dec 15, 2008
 BAGHDAD
(Reuters)

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush has become the talk of Iraq, hailed by marchers as a national hero but blasted by the government as a barbarian.

The little-known Shi'ite reporter, said to have harbored anger against Bush for the thousands of Iraqis who died after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, had previously made headlines only once, when he was briefly kidnapped by gunmen in 2007.

TV reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi remained in detention on Monday, accused by the Iraqi government of a "barbaric act." He would be sent for trial on charges of insulting the Iraqi state, said the prime minister's media adviser, Yasin Majeed.

His employer, independent al-Baghdadiya television, demanded his release and demonstrators rallied for him in Baghdad's Sadr City, in the southern Shi'ite stronghold of Basra and in the holy city of Najaf, where some threw shoes at a U.S. convoy.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 07:13:35 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 07:15:10 pm »










                                           Across Mideast, Arabs hail shoe-hurling journalist
     





Robert H. Reid And Lee Keath
Mon Dec 15, 2008
Reuters
BAGHDAD

Iraqis and other Arabs erupted in glee Monday at the shoe attack on George W. Bush. Far from a joke, many in the Mideast saw the act by an Iraqi journalist as heroic, expressing the deep, personal contempt many feel for the American leader they blame for years of bloodshed, chaos and the suffering of civilians.

Images of Bush ducking the fast-flying shoes at a Baghdad press conference, aired repeatedly on Arab satellite TV networks, were cathartic for many in the Middle East, who have for years felt their own leaders kowtow to the American president.

So the sight of an average Arab standing up and making a public show of resentment was stunning. The pride, joy and bitterness it uncorked showed how many Arabs place their anger on Bush personally for what they see as a litany of crimes chief among them the turmoil in Iraq and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths since the 2003 U.S. invasion.

The reaction explains in part the relief among Arabs over Barack Obama's election victory, seen as a repudiation of the Bush era. But it also highlights the task the next president will face in repairing America's image in the Mideast, where distrust of the U.S. has hampered a range of American policies, from containing Iran to pushing the peace process and democratic reform.

Some Iraqis were appalled by the act, including Iraqi Kurdish lawmaker Abdullah al-Alayawi, who called it "irresponsible conduct" and an affront to the Iraqi people. But such voices were drowned out by those who felt it was time someone stood up to the American president.

Bush "got what he deserves," said a Jordanian businessman, Raed Mansi, in Amman.

"I hope he got the message loud and clear: that he's loathed for his wrongdoing, for killing Muslim women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine," the 52-year-old contractor said.

Some regional TV channels aired the footage from Sunday's press conference more than a dozen times in several hours. The scene bounced around Internet networking sites like You Tube and Facebook, showing Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi standing, hurling both his shoes at Bush and shouting in Arabic, "This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

Shoes hold a special place in the Arab lexicon of insults as a show of contempt effectively saying, you're lower than the dirt on my shoes. Even sitting with the sole of a shoe pointed at another person is seen as disrespectful.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 07:20:33 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 07:22:13 pm »









The hurling of shoes at Bush on his last visit to Iraq as president made an ironic bookend to one of the first images after the 2003 U.S. invasion, when Iraqi opponents of deposed leader Saddam Hussein toppled one of his statues in Baghdad and hit it with their shoes.

Al-Zeidi attained instant hero status around the Arab world. At one Baghdad elementary school, a geography teacher asked her students if they had seen the footage of the shoe-throwing, then told them, "All Iraqis should be proud of this Iraqi brave man, Muntadhar. History will remember him forever."

In Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City, thousands of supporters of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burned American flags in protest against Bush and called for the release of al-Zeidi, a 28-year-old Shiite who works for the private Iraqi TV station Al-Baghdadia.

What made al-Zeidi's defiance particularly resonant for many was their anger at autocratic Arab leaders whom they have considered slavish followers of Bush's policies in the Middle East.

Abdel-Sattar Qassem, a Palestinian political science professor at the West Bank's An Najah University, wrote in an online commentary that "Bush wanted to end his bloody term hearing compliments and welcoming words from his collaborators in the Arab and Islamic world. But a shoe from a real Arab man summed up Bush's black history and told the entire world that the Arabs hold their head high."

The Iraq war is the most prominent cause of Arab resentment of Bush. Even many who were outraged at Shiite and Sunni militant groups for the killings of civilians and sectarian strife that tore the country apart ultimately blamed Bush for unleashing the chaos. Some accuse his administration of fueling Shiite-Sunni tensions across the region.

But more broadly, nearly every U.S. policy in the region became seen as part of a campaign to divide or subjugate Muslim nations, from Iran and Syria to Sudan and Somalia.

His administration's war on terror was seen as a war on Muslims and Arabs in general, an image fueled by civilian deaths in Afghanistan and, in particular, the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Bush was seen as heavily favoring Israel over the Palestinians. His administration's campaign to isolate the Palestinian militant group Hamas translated to the Arab public as an attempt to starve Palestinians in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The intense personal resentment of Bush may give Obama an automatic advantage in his attempts to repair the U.S. image.

Obama's race and his family ties to Islam have raised hope among some Arabs that he'll be more sympathetic to their views. Obama's aides have spoken of his delivering a major address in a Muslim capital early in his administration to set a new tone.

But many in the Mideast say it will take more than symbolic gestures. The president-elect's promises to withdraw from Iraq and close Guantanamo have also raised Arab hopes. Another top demand is for a more balanced U.S. stance in the Arab-Israeli peace process.

But on Monday, Arabs were just glowing with pride over the farewell to Bush.

"I've watched the video over a dozen times on You Tube and was excited every time I see him (al-Zeidi) standing up and calling Bush a dog," said Tamer Ismail, 23-year-old art student in Cairo. "But I felt so bitter when he missed."

____



Robert H. Reid, the AP's Bureau Chief in Baghdad, has reported from Iraqi since 2003.

Lee Keath, the AP's Mideast news editor, also reports frequently from Iraq and from across the Mideast.
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Bianca
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 07:24:02 pm »



An Iraqi man throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a new conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad. A man threw two shoes at Bush, one after another, during the news conference. Bush ducked both throws, and neither man was hit.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)









                                           Family: Shoe thrower hates both US, Iran role






By ROBERT H. REID,
Associated Press Writer
Dec. 15, 2008
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. 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.

Several thousand people demonstrated in Baghdad and other cities to demand al-Zeidi's release. The attack was the talk of the town in coffee shops, business offices and even schools and a subject across much of the Arab world. A charity run by the daughter of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi bestowed a medal of courage on al-Zeidi, calling on the Iraqi government to free him.

Al-Zeidi was held Monday in Iraqi custody for investigation and could face charges of insulting a foreign leader and the Iraqi prime minister, who was standing next to Bush. Conviction carries a sentence of up to two years in prison or a small fine although it's unlikely he would face the maximum penalty given his newfound cult status in the Arab world.

Bush was not hit or injured in the attack, and Iraqi security guards wrestled al-Zeidi to the ground immediately after he tossed his shoes. White House press secretary Dana Perino suffered an eye injury when she was hit in the face with a microphone during the melee.

Arab satellite TV networks repeatedly broadcast images of Bush ducking the shoes at the Baghdad press conference. The sight of an average Arab standing up and making a public show of resentment was striking especially against a leader widely blamed for a litany of crimes including the turmoil in Iraq, where tens of thousands of civilians have died in the war.

A geography teacher at a Baghdad elementary school asked her students if they had seen the footage of the shoe-throwing. "All Iraqis should be proud of this Iraqi brave man, Muntadhar. History will remember him forever," she said.

A day after the incident, 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 (mother of Firas, her oldest son), 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 physical 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 tried to raise topics to show that nobody is as smart as he is," said Zanko Ahmed, a Kurdish journalist who attended a journalism training course with al-Zeidi in Lebanon.

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.

___




Associated Press reporters Muhieddin Rashad in Baghdad and Yahya Barzanji in Sulaimaniyah contributed to this report.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 07:28:33 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Jelanie Spears
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 12:37:12 am »

Too bad he didn't get bopped in the head with one.  I guess that Iraqis are supposed to fall over themselves over Bush becauses Saddam is gone, all the while a lot of their relatives have been killeed during this waste of a war.l

Postscript:  the media won't tell you this, but the guy has not only been taken into custody but is being tortured (again) Bush-style.
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