Those were no lame ducks George W. Bush made when he dodged a pair of shoes hurled at his head in Iraq, during his last visit at American taxpayers’ expense.
The incident got replayed on the news so many times, it looked like the whole room joined in. Our media’s only regret seemed to be that Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes, wasn’t wearing something with a stiletto heel.
I’m still trying to make sense of it all. I don’t get why Arabs revile something they must wear every day to protect their feet. By that logic, they should also loathe their headgear, underwear and, particularly, their handkerchiefs.
And then al-Zaidi yelled at Bush: “This is your farewell kiss, you dog!” like it was the worst possible insult.
Canines should be miffed, but I guess they can’t take to the streets in protest like the humans because the Iraqis have been shooting and poisoning dogs made stray by the invasion and occupation like everything’s their fault.
Bush, a dog-owner himself, took no offense to any of it. Possibly the remark was relayed in translation to him as, “He’s saying you’re his best friend!”
Later, Bush did claim to reporters that he saw al-Zaidi’s “sole.”
Meanwhile, al-Zaidi sits in jail while thousands of protesters who loved his behavior demonstrate, waving shoes and chanting, “Bush, Bush, listen well: Two shoes on your head!”
I hope that sounds better in their language. Here, shoe references will never have the relevance or immortality of, “Bush lied, people died!”