By Joseph Burgess at The Populist Party
Did you read or hear recent news reports that the Iraqi television newsman who heaved his shoes at George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad on December 14 is scheduled to go to trial on December 31, charged with assaulting a foreign leader?
Yep. A spokesman for the Iraqi Higher Judicial Court said that a conviction would carry a sentence of up to two years in prison for Muntadhar al-Zeidi. Apparently neither Bush nor the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who was standing beside Bush when the now-famous factious flinging of footwear occurred, have sought charges against al-Zeidi. But the judicial official who investigated the incident said there was no legal option to drop the case.
Al-Zeidi has been criticized editorially in some American newspapers â€” generally because what he did as a journalist was â€œunprofessional,â€ that he should have remained objective and detached from any personal feelings regarding Bush and what Bushâ€™s policies and actions have wrought in Iraq.
Of course, some of the same newspapers have not remained objective and detached re American involvement in Iraq â€” nor were they so during the Bush administrationâ€™s build-up to the unprovoked invasion of the country.
There is a different point of view in the Arab world, as pointed out in a commentary critical of Bush written by an exile from the Saddam Hussein regime who now lives in England that was in the British newspaper, The Guardian â€“
â€œAs the Iraqi and Arab satellite stations switched from the live press conference to reporting reaction to the event, the stunned presenters and reporters were swept away by popular expressions of joy in the streets, from Baghdad to Gaza to Casablanca. TV stations and media websites were inundated with messages of adulation. The instant reply to any criticism of â€˜insulting a guestâ€™ was this: â€˜Bush is a mass murderer and a war criminal who sneaked into Baghdad. He killed a million Iraqis. He burned the country down.â€™â€
There appear to have been far more media commentaries throughout the world â€” non-Arab countries included â€” that applauded al-Zeidiâ€™s actions than condemned them. And not a few commentaries in American newspapers and American-based Internet magazines thoughtfully and objectively pointed out the significance of the Iraqi newsmanâ€™s W. gesture. Some applauded the action.
A Pittsburgh newspaper commentator pointed out this â€“
That Bushâ€™s having â€œmade such a bloody mess of Iraq that shoe-throwers are instantly elevated to the status of heroes is yet another proof of his talent for incompetence. That is all beside the point. You can say that his own actions earned him the contempt of toe-exposing people everywhere. But, my friends, we are the ones who put him in officeâ€¦ collectively enough Americans did vote for him that we are all shamed by this late rain of boots adding a postscript to the footprints of history. There are not enough shoes and sandals in Iraq to make the point of our joint responsibility that this man is in office.â€
Read more from Joseph Burgess at his website http://www.mytown.ca/green-dog/
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