An Iraqi reporter attacked President Bush during a press conference in Baghdad. The reporter threw his shoes at the President’s head, crying out “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” To Mr. Bush’s credit the President ducked and never lost his cool. He even managed to joke about the size of the attacking footwear. That’s why I voted for the guy. He knows his shoe sizes.
The reporter was arrested and now thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets to protest the arrest and demand the reporter’s release, and, I imagine, the return of his shoes. Now this is change we can believe in. Under Saddam Hussein this could never have happened. First there would have been no press conferences, indeed there was no real press. Then, even if there was a conference, the people attending probably didn’t have shoes, or at least didn’t have a spare pair of shoes to throw. And even if they had shoes they probably didn’t have the strength to throw them because they had no food, all the country’s money being used to build weapons of mass destruction. Clearly Iraq has become a free nation and shoe throwing and rioting just prove the point.
Of course not everyone saw it this way. One right wing talk show host on my local radio station began a long rant about how ungrateful the Iraqi people are, and how quickly they have forgotten the brutality of the Hussein regime. He was coming dangerously close to calling for the removal of American soldiers from Iraq since the Iraqis seem to so enjoy defaming us and our mission.
I called the show (which if you’ve read my previous post, “God or Gore”, you know is my new hobby) to weigh in on this issue (isshoe?) When asked by the show’s call screener to outline the point I wanted to make on the radio I said that I felt the shoe tossing was proof of our victory in Iraq:
“This is why we went over there in the first place,” I said. “Saddam was a bad man, a bad guy, and an evildoer who oppressed his people terribly. But now the Iraqis can throw their shoes at the President of the United States and riot when arrested for doing so. This makes all our sacrifice worthwhile. We didn’t invade Iraq for the oil, or to prevent Saddam from breaking the dollar’s monopoly as the world’s petro-currency by opening the market to the Euro, or even to stop him from throwing big aluminum tubes at Israel. No we went there to make it possible for Iraqis to throw their shoes at the President of the United States. Mission accomplished…. Hello? Hello?”
He hung up. Again.