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Say What? Why He Threw the Shoe

I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation.

— Iraqi Muntadhar al-Zaidi reminded the world that he's a journalist yesterday by using powerful words to explain why he decided to throw his shoes at George W. Bush. The emotional statement he released is filled with sad images of war, but it gives some insight into his actions. Zaidi received a hero's welcome when he was released from prison this week.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I think we are forgetting, like he did, who was doing the killing. Saddam Hussien killed thousands who disagreed with him before we invaded. Americans weren't setting off bombs in the middle of crowded marketplaces. Americans weren't setting off IEDs indiscriminately. I agree with his anger, and understand it. I just wish he would've thrown the shoes are the right villian.
sidra5397 sidra5397 8 years
Agreed, kia and Meike. It may have seemed outlandish to some in the West, but it's a cultural form of expression for his people (and a totally understandable fit of passion considering the destruction of his people and home).
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
totally agree spacekatgal.
Meike Meike 8 years
Like kia mentioned, I'd be hard press to believe that if the reverse happened and America was invaded with millions of innocent people killed, widows left behind, and children orphaned, that we wouldn't want to retaliate or show rejection to our invading country's leader. Some people really lack empathy.
Smilesp Smilesp 8 years
I don't agree with his actions but I can definitely understand the anger and frustration that led to them.
amelioratelj amelioratelj 8 years
What unfortunate behavior for anyone, anywhere.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
he definitely was (is) in great shape -- I remember when they'd do the yearly checkups and publish the results (to some extent) and he had like, some crazy low resting heart rate and was just really taking care of himself. so kudos to that
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
agreed, spacekatgal. sure, we may see it as infantile, but showing the bottom of one's shoe is a huge dishonor in their culture, and I support his right to express himself. I also still give GWB kudos for his quick reflexes
kia kia 8 years
I respect his passion for his country. I can only imagine if I were in his "shoes" ;) I would be patriotic as all get out if someone was killing my neighbors and destroying my community. Seriously read Benazir Bhutto's Reconciliation for an overview of the relationship between the West and the Middle East. This book has some of the history we in the U. S. choose not to put in our history books.
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
I believe in this too *Michiny* I get so tired of people expressing themselves like their bipolar. Stomping your feet and yelling out like a toddler will get you nowhere. And throwing shoes at people will get you put standing before a judge over your idiotic actions.
michlny michlny 8 years
There are better ways to express oneself.
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