The shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist, who is, by now, probably half beaten to death for the "crime" of paying back — in very small measure — George W. Bush for his crimes against the Iraqi people, is a folk hero to millions. And his admirers aren’t all Iraqis or other Arabs, not by a long shot.
The shoe-wielding Iraqi television reporter, one Muntadar al-Zeidi, managed to sum up, in a single gesture, how much of the world feels about the 43rd president of the United States — including Americans.
Remember waaaay back when we were supposedly going to be greeted with showers of rose petals and high fives by the "liberated" peoples of Iraq? Mr. al-Zeidi seems to have definitively put that one to rest for all time.
What gets me, however, is the neocons’ response to this instance of life-imitating-art: typical is the always clueless Ralph Peters, a military "expert" who blames the failure in Iraq on bad execution of a flawless policy and avers al-Zeidi’s act, just proves the War Party was right all along:
"When an Arab heel aimed those shoes at our president, it showed the world the extent to which Bush loosened the laces of Middle Eastern tyranny. If an Arab journalist had thrown his shoes at Saddam Hussein or one of his guests, the tosser would’ve been beaten, then tortured, then killed. Today’s Iraqi government is considering whether the man should be charged under the state’s democratically validated Constitution."
The charge against al-Zeidi is "aggression against a president," a provision in the Iraqi "legal code" (and I use the term loosely) that makes it a crime to attempt to murder either an Iraqi or a foreign head of state, punishable by 15 years in prison.
Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.