Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the man who threw his shoe at President Bush, has a creative defense strategy — appeal to the pride of his country, and don't say sorry.
In court today, the journalist, who hasn't been seen in public since Dec. 14, said:
I am charged now with attacking the prime minister's guest. We Arabs are famous for being generous with guests. But Bush and his soldiers have been here for six years. Guests should knock on the door. Those who come sneaking in are not guests.
Before the three-judge panel, al-Zeidi alleged that he was tortured while in prison, but the government denies the claim. He also explained his motivation:
I was seeing a whole country in calamity while Bush was giving a cold and spiritless smile. He was saying goodbye after causing the death of many Iraqis and economic destruction.
It's uncertain whether al-Zeidi's defiant testimony will sway the court, but he did receive a round of applause from witnesses in the courtroom when he entered. Al-Zeidi's been charged with assaulting a foreign leader, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. Should he get it?