Shoes Hurled at Bush in Iraq Press Conference

video from


Though we do not condone violence of any kind, we can understand the anger at 1,000,000 dead Iraqis. And, evidently, throwing shoes at someone is a traditional gesture for disdain in Iraqi culture.Also note, that there is a fear that the reporter who did this is in danger. His newspaper has requested support so that he be treated fairly and not harmed. See story at bottom. Also, more at Democracy Now! On reaction by al-Zeidi’s employer, and the Iraqi people. If we find an action alert, we will post it.

Angry Iraqi throws shoes at President Bush in Baghdad –

(CNN) — President Bush made a farewell visit Sunday to Baghdad, Iraq, where he met with Iraqi leaders and was targeted by an angry Iraqi man, who jumped up and threw shoes at Bush during a news conference.

Bush ducked, and the shoes, flung one at a time, sailed past his head during the news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in his palace in the heavily fortified Green Zone.

The shoe-thrower could be heard yelling in Arabic: “This is a farewell … you dog!” He was dragged out of the room, screaming.
Hurling shoes at someone, or sitting so that the bottom of a shoe faces another person, is considered an insult among Muslims.

[Note: An AP story clarifies that the protesting journalist shouted in full:  “This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”]

From the AP:

The crowd descended on al-Zeidi, who works for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt. He was wrestled to the ground by security officials and then hauled away, moaning as they departed the room. Later, a trail of fresh blood could be seen on the carpet, although the source was not known…

“I am trying to reach Muntadar since the incident, but in vain,” said Fityan Mohammed. “His phone is switched off.”

The station issued a statement on the air Sunday night asking the Iraqi government to release al-Zeidi “to spare his life.”

“The station calls on journalists all over the world to express their solidarity for the release of al-Zeidi,” it said.


I wonder if the following history had anything to do with this man’s anger. Perhaps it was part of his motive or motivation. A reporter at al-Zeidi’s own tv station was killed by unknown gunmen in 2007:

from Democratic Underground:

BAGHDAD, Sept 24 (KUNA) — Unknown gunmen shot dead a reporter of Al-Baghdadia satellite TV channel in west Baghdad, said Press Freedom watch here Monday.

Jawad Al-Daami, a program editor of the channel, was murdered Sunday, the watchdog said in a press release.

The gunmen opened fire at Al-Daami, 40 years, from a speeding car at Al-Qadessia district, west Baghdad, while he was heading for Al-Jadria district.

Al-Daami, who worked for several press organizations in Iraq, joined Al-Baghdadia channel a year ago.(end)

3 Responses

  1. How can Muntadar al-Zeidi claim the title of “journalist” when exhibiting such non-objective activist behavior at a press conference. What would have become of him if Saddam Hussein had still been in power?

    The cultural symbol of disrespect, throwing of shoes should be matched by serving this “journalist” a plate of dog intestines, which I hope would be at least an equal insult.

    Gene Pope

  2. So who’s objective? The NY Times who planted CIA stories about weapons of mass destruction? the networks with their pentagon “interns”?


  3. Too bad they weren’t Stiletto Heeled Shoes !!!

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