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Final Shoe-Down: Bush Spins Hurled Shoe Into Act of Freedom

George Bush redeemed himself in my low-bar-set eyes when he ducked from those shoes like it was a dodgeball game that Greek Week depended on. Then he laughed it off like a man hardwired for PR, or an overconfident jock (not sure which!). But let's roll with the PR-savvy narrative because it's an essential ingredient to my point: I was impressed by George Bush.

While Press Secretary Dana Perino was, according to an Iraqi reporter for the New York Times, off in a corner crying (we now know she was hit with a microphone in the kerfuffle and returned to the White House with a black eye), Bush was spinning the hurled shoes into an act of democracy. One that he made possible. To see how,


"That's what happens," Bush said, "in free societies where people try to draw attention to themselves." Free societies? Work it, Dubya. Of course, freedom is not just another word for nothing but a shoe to lose. And the journalist was silenced (probably by something stuffed in his mouth), pulled into a neighboring room, and beaten while he "cried like a woman" as the press conference continued.

As far as Iraqi law goes, he's facing a maximum of eight years in jail; but because he's become a national hero — though adoration is far from universal — many expect him to get off with a light sentence. Which is a far cry from what would have happened under Saddam's rule — and let's face it, the shoe toss never would have happened under Saddam. Maybe a size-10 piece of democracy has arrived in Iraq?


Join The Conversation
nadiap nadiap 8 years
Grdpa. I'm not making up facts I'm stating the facts. You can choose to ignore the obvious that's your problem. That corporate argument you're making I've heard in the corporte media & tons of people like you a thounsand times over. So it's not going to work on me. Those neocons had plans to invade Iraq for their own greed and geopolitical agenda long before 9/11. That's already been documented. 9/11 just provided them the perfect opportunity; as I'm sure you perfectly know. So that standard talking point bs is just that. bs
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
where is Broodklyn?
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
His aim was damn near perfect, Bush just happened to duck. We already know that the police beat the shit out of him, I don't even know why we are discussing it.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Obviously there needs to be repercussions for his actions. Nobody said he should be getting off easy but he probably didn't need to have his arm broken. I wasn't in the room, but I doubt that was necessary. He had to know that was going to happen though. He was probably just beyond caring about what happened to him at that point.
piper23 piper23 8 years
Maybe he already had those injuries. A broken arm would account for his aim being a tad bit off.
kranky kranky 8 years
"kranky, it's reported that he has a broken arm, and a couple of broken rips." OK - tha'ts unfortunate, but do we know the CONTEXT in which he received the injuries? Was he resisting arrest or search? Doing something (other than assaulting the President) that led the agents to bleieve he might want to cause further harm? Remember, the man threw a shoe at POTUS - I would have expected the Secret Service to take him down and not be gentle about it. I agree with Mich that beatings before arrests are bad, but so is making a judgement on a situation without knowing all the facts.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
In my family, we're keeping the shoe-slinger in our hearts and prayers. May he get well soon.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I give everything a thumbs up.
stephley stephley 8 years
i didn't think you were giving it a thumbs up.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Steph, I didn't mean to imply it was right. Just that our justice system (both at home and abroad) has a long way to go.
Myst Myst 8 years
kranky, it's reported that he has a broken arm, and a couple of broken rips.
stephley stephley 8 years
Whether Saddam or anyone else beat them or killed them, I thought the point was to be better than that. Mich, he was plenty subdued immediately. And yes police get away with beating people - but I don't think we've gotten to the point where getting away with something is the same as it being acceptable or right.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
In Iraq, insurgents were much happier to be incarcerated by an American then an Iraqi, Families literally brought their relatives who were on a "want" list to the US authorities, because they knew they were being treated fairly and well. It was not unusual for an incarcerated Iraqi, eligible for release, to refuse release until he finished literacy or vocational training he was receiving. An American is a lot safer walking 95% of the streets and towns in Iraq, then any of the Mexican towns on our southern border. :fogey:
kranky kranky 8 years
Oh snap piper! Seriously though - I was working off of someone else's comment. Mich brings up a great point: does anyone know exaclt what happened to senor shoe? I haven't been able to find out anymore context, and can't verify that he was actually beaten.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Steph, I'm always shocked by how much beating before arrest we do condone in the states. If the police say it was necessary to subdue the arrested person, it's usually taken at their word. Of course sometimes a little physical force is necessary, but in this case I don't know the facts.
piper23 piper23 8 years
You're right, Steph, he sometimes tortured them before he killed them.
stephley stephley 8 years
I don't think we condone beating prisoners upon arrest. Our legal process involves arrest, arraignment, trial, punishment. Saddam didn't always kill people first.
kranky kranky 8 years
Steph - are you suggesting that the man should not be submitted to any negative consequences to his actions? And it's not Saddam justice. As stated above, Saddam would have - at the least - killed the man.
stephley stephley 8 years
"The man assaulted the President of the United States - of course they are going to rough him up." That's Saddam Hussein justice. I thought we were helping Iraq become better than that.
kranky kranky 8 years
"Although I am not sure how much progress GWB can claim to have made when the shoe thrower was beaten in the next room while to confrence continued." The man assaulted the President of the United States - of course they are going to rough him up. What would you expect? The progress would be that the thrower (and apparently everyone else in the room) wasn't killed on the spot.
em1282 em1282 8 years
I love that still photo up there. Priceless.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 8 years
I have to hand it to W, he's got good reflexes for an old man.
outofhere outofhere 8 years
Since this seems to just be a re-hashing post, I figured I might as well repeat myself ;) It's never respectful to throw shoes at anyone, especially the President.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
LOL, I caught this on a rerun of the eleven o'clock news and laughed my ass off the other night. First thing I did was call my partner in Chicago and say now you know if that was a sista ain't no way she woulda missed. This poor man all this time they've been worried about bullets and bombs now they've got to worry about shoes fly'n at his @$$. Well I guess folks will be asked to leave they're shoes at the door at the Bush house from now on.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
nadiap, If oil was our interest in invading Iraq, why didn't we capitalise on occupying those oil fields? if oils was our interest why didn't "appropriate" Kuwait oil fields? heck we could have used the drug cartels in Mexico to invade and appropriate their oil fields, they certainly would have been convenient. Everyone has 20-20 hindsight. The fact is John Kerry said that Iraq was a "swamp that had to be drained", the intelligence agencies, of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, Israel, and Germany all felt that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction, as did President Clinton, and his then vice president. You can argue as to the wisdom of the invasion, and certainly the conduct after the the immediate invasion, but you have no right to make up facts. ;fogey:
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