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Time to let the eloquent shoe-thrower go!: Release Al-Zeidi now!

Update: On Thursday, March 12, 2009 Al-Zeidi received a sentence of 3 years in prison. Story: here.

___________________________________________________________

“This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”
28-year-old TV reporter Muntadhar al-Zaidi

Muntadhar Al-Zaidi

Muntadhar Al-Zaidi

KW: I have many thoughts and feelings about Muntadhar al-Zaidi and his eloquence. Also, about the background that led him to throw the shoe. More on that when my cold passes enough for clear thinking. For, now, I found two articles I thought were very useful. Also, I think people are underestimating the importance of the words this man said. He should be quoted more than imitated. He should be called “The Eloquent Shoe Thrower”, more than just the shoe thrower.

An additional note: Since poets often “write into a poem”, gathering their focus as they warm up, creative writing teachers often tell students to cut out the first line or so of their draft. Similarly,  I believe more people should quote the second part of what Muntadhar al-Zaidi the poet has said. The man was already in a war zone – albeit the Green Zone. He was checked over by security. And, then, surprised by a visit with a war criminal. Clearly, his brave and spontaneous response to a fateful moment culminated in the second set of words he was able to articulate, even as his attackers were moving towards him: This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.

Muntadhar al-Zaidi must be let go. [See links to petitions: here.] The world must see him now, so that we know he is safe. Americans and Iraqis must know that to confront a war criminal, does not cause a person to face beating or death at the hands of  the security forces of arrogant politicians (U.S. President George Bush and Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki), nor the forces of an evil government(s). (A P.S. to Prime Minister al-Maliki: Muntadhar Al-Zeidi was your guest, too.)

There is an excellent article in Z-Net which puts the story in perspective, including some biographical information on Muntadhar Al-Zaidi. The article is here, with a short excerpt below:

The reality is that Muntadhar is a secular socialist whose hero happens to be Che Guevara. He became a prominent leftwing student leader immediately after the occupation, while at Baghdad University’s media college. He reported for al-Baghdadia on the poor and downtrodden victims of the US war…

He was a voice that could not be silenced, despite being kidnapped by a gang and arrested by US and regime forces.

His passion for the war’s victims and his staunchly anti-occupation message endeared him to al-Baghdadia viewers. And after sending Bush out of Iraq in ignominy he has become a formidable national hero. The orphan who was brought up by his aunt, and whose name means the longed or awaited for, has become a powerful unifying symbol of defiance, and is being adopted by countless Iraqis as “our dearest son”.

(excerpt from) The Seattle Times
Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi claims he was beaten when he was taken into custody
By Sahar Issa
Saturday, December 20, 2008

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush intends to press charges against the people who he says beat him as he was taken into custody, said a member of the Iraqi parliament who’s urging his release…

Facing charges of attacking a head of state, al-Zeidi could be sentenced to as many as 15 years in jail. Al-Zeidi’s family wants him tried under a different law that would carry a maximum sentence of two years, his brother said…

Iraqis in different cities have protested every day this week for al-Zeidi, and Friday’s rally brought together a handful of politicians and a mix of protesters from several provinces outside Baghdad…

Al-Zeidi’s younger brother, Dhargham, 28, said the family would take part in the protests until the court allows them access to him.

“I affirm that his was a heroic act, and we as a family are proud of him. He was able to unite all of Iraq, all its Sunnis, Shiites, Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen and Christians.”


What Muntadhar Al-Zaidi (or Al-Zeidi)  said as he threw shoe one and shoe two:

“This is the farewell kiss, you dog.”

“This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

Some musings by Kimberly:

-Did President-Elect Barack Obama know that George Bush was going on this surprise visit to Iraq?

-Would Barack Obama have wanted George Bush to go on this surprise visit to Iraq? (Surely one could have predicted a risk of incident, injury, or bad p.r. as happened.)

-Is President-Elect Barack Obama able now to handle some of the diplomacy of this? Is he being allowed to intervene?

-Will President-Elect Barack Obama demand freedom for Al-Zaidi, if that has not been accomplished by the time of Obama’s inaugriation (which, I hope that Al-Zaidi is free by then.)

3 Responses

  1. Habakkuk 2:6 Google the May 15th Prophecy and you will see the true meaning to the shoe thrower and W Bush

  2. He excersised his free speech rights and who really knows if he was trying to hit Bush.

  3. MUNTADHAR AL-ZAIDI

    DEC 14, 2008: INTERNATIONAL SHOE DAY

    You are the Hero

    Muntadhar Al-Iraqi

    Muntadhar Al-Universe

    SHOEicide is the symbol of Liberty

    You have shown us the way

    You are a journalist, teacher and writer

    You have left an indelible MARK

    You are brave, spiritual and protect weak

    You flogged a dead horse

    The echo was heard world over

    You have the bark and the bite

    Soon, you will be the PRESIDENT

    Long Live You

    Long Live Freedom

    We are with you

    Code PINK: Carry On

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