Skip Nav
Harry Potter
This Sexy Harry Potter Photo Shoot Is Hotter Than the Goblet of Fire
Stop Fooling Yourself, Girl! 3 Signs He's Clearly NOT Into You
37 Tiny Tattoos For Big-Time Besties

What Should Happen to the Iraqi Shoe Thrower?

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?


Join The Conversation
stephley stephley 8 years
Glad to help dave.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Nevermind. I gues I'm just posting to get points here... Sorry, I misread your post.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
How do you get that 100,000 number Steph? I wasn't aware that there had been over 10,000 people killed in Iraq, let alone 10x's that amount.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
Actually it has been in newspapers and on TV a number of times. There was "special", two years ago on TV (don’t remember which one) about how Kurdish part of Iraq, is safe for tourists, and that some of our deployed military take their leave up there.
stephley stephley 8 years
"The fact is"? Do you spend a lot of time in the Kurdish region, or are you perhaps quoting something that you sought out?
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
If you make a point of finding and interviewing the right people you will get the response you are looking for, just like here in the U.S. The fact is Americans are loved not liked in the Kurdish region, and always have been since the overthrow of Saddam. We were well liked by most of the Shia, until the Golden Mosque incident. We are now have seen that in the last election in Iraq, the religious fanatics have lost big time to secular parties. The Sunni (Saddam regime was a Sunni regime), are now one of our greatsest friends in Anbar. Go figure.
stephley stephley 8 years
This is from Media Research Center's Newsbusters - by a guy who worked for Brent Bozell among others. Maybe you're right that Iraqis would thank us, but as mad as this guy is at the NPR reporter, he offers nothing to contradict her: NPR Baghdad Chief: Not a Single Iraqi Grateful For Their Alleged 'Freedom' By Tim Graham January 21, 2009 On Inauguration Day, National Public Radio wanted to know how the Iraqi people would greet the American transition of power. On...Talk of the Nation, host Neal Conan talked to NPR Baghdad Bureau Chief Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, and her street interviews led her to the idea that Iraq was unanimous: not a single Iraqi was grateful for the removal of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship: "Any Iraqi that you speak to on the street will tell you, and I ask them this question, was the war worth it for you? Did this invasion, do you feel, give you a better life? And across the board, I didn't find one Iraqi who said to me, actually, I'm glad this happened. Most Iraqis have paid the price of, you know, if you want to call it their freedom, in blood, the blood of their relatives." NPR could give the public (if not their usual audience) a case of heartburn that a journalist cannot locate a single Iraqi who is grateful for their "if you want to call it their freedom." This came in an exchange about how happy Iraqis were to see President Bush’s term ended: CONAN: And any reaction to the departure today of George W. Bush, the man who launched the invasion of Iraq? GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, he's not a popular man here, as you can imagine. I mean, if you remember, President Bush came here on his last visit, and he was, you know, a shoe was thrown at him at a press conference, and pretty much that was viewed, you know, favorably by many Iraqis that I spoke to. His departure -- many people, you know, won't miss him, quite frankly, and many people here do believe that, and they're hoping, that President Obama will, you know, engage in a different way with Iraqis and will treat them with more respect. As I said before, you know, Iraqis really do feel that they've been humiliated. And not only that, you've got to remember that the cost and blood of this war, the tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands who've died here throughout the course of the last six years. Any Iraqi that you speak to on the street will tell you, and I ask them this question, was the war worth it for you? Did this invasion, do you feel, give you a better life? And across the board, I didn't find one Iraqi who said to me, actually, I'm glad this happened."
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
How about those families that lost family members to Sadam's madness, the rape rooms, the use of poison gas on the Kurds, the attempt to destroy the "Swamp Arabs" in the South. I think if there was a vote on whether to thank or condemn Americans and what they did to their country the thank vote would be overwhelming. But that is neither here nor there; In Iraq there is not only a social duty to guests, but a strict religious duty.
stephley stephley 8 years
It's not 'visceral hatred' of Bush that makes me say send the shoe-thrower home. It's my knowledge that if 100,000 of my countrymen were killed, and millions forced to become refugees and my country torn apart after an invasion by an outside force, I'd be sick and sad and furious and want to express my rage too. He threw shoes - he could have done much worse and he chose to throw shoes. Acknowledge his pain and move on.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
The attack on President Bush, who was a formal guest of the Iraqi government, and in front of the head of that government, is to embarrass the host country and its leader. That is the crime he will be punished for, and should be punished for. If Nuri Al-Maliki was to visit the Whitehouse and some “stringer” reporter came up and spat in his face, and while President Obama was standing next to him. Can you imagine the embarrassment such an act would be to the President, his administration, and the country? Folks don’t let your visceral hatred of Bush, cloud your good sense. What happens to that shoe thrower is in the hands of an Iraqi court. That court will judge the seriousness of the crime, by those above standards, and not because it was President Bush the individual, but for what President Bush represented, our country.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
full sentence. Sorry but he attacked a president.
SKC-Sparkle SKC-Sparkle 8 years
Where's the option for "pin a medal on him"?
emily_88_88 emily_88_88 8 years
emily_88_88 emily_88_88 8 years
Yeah, but Bush was the president, and there is probably some kind of criminal offense that fits it. I sort of agree with the whole protesting thing against Bush and his tactics-- the Iraq war has SORT of been a downer on ALL fronts, but you can't attack the president. If he had loudly protested and waved his show, that would have shown his position but wouldn't have been physically attempting to harm Bush. That said, I think 15 years is way to long. But, I do believe that people who attempt assassinations on presidents get life sentences. Although, throwing a shoe isn't that bad, I'd say... maybe a year in prison (deduct time spent already), house arrest/probation, and a hefty fine; I think he was a fairly well-known journalist before this incident, so he probably has the money.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
15 years is a lot for throwing a shoe. Maybe like 3 years. It's not like he hurt Bush. Attempted assault is diff from assault.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You might not agree with Bush or what he stood for in Iraq [hell, I didn't!], but it doesn't give you the right to assault the man by throwing a shoe at him. Whatever the appropriate sentence is in Iraq for a crime of that magnitude/level, that's what he should get. I don't think it's the worst thing that could have happened, so maybe not the maximum sentence, but I think the charge warrants at least half of the max.
honeycreepshow honeycreepshow 8 years
i applaud him for sticking to his decision. if he's not sorry, he shouldn't lie and say he is. people tend to lose the ability to stick up for themselves when placed in the public eye like this... whether or not i agree with what he did, i think its good that he's not bending over and apologizing.
kranky kranky 8 years
"I was seeing a whole country in calamity while Bush was giving a cold and spiritless smile..." This man seems disturbed to me... he got so angered that he could not control his actions? Throwing objects at people because you are angry is not acceptable adult behavior. Not punishing him gives the message that acting out in anger is OK. It is not (or atleast where I'm from.) I am not arguing his right to be angry or hold and voice opinions. But the fact the he blames Bush for his decision to act childish (and people support him) is unnerving and not OK.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
IMO - If he is found guilty, he should get a couple months hard time, and then sent home without his shoes.
patiwroblewski patiwroblewski 8 years
i would have done the same as he did....
zeze zeze 8 years
so i see all the rumors that he was beaten to death weren't true enough considering his tongue still works... I think he needs to be made an example of, it looked very bad for the country and insulted the maturity of the people and the status of the prime minister (forget about Bush and the office of the United States President). He should be an example that these cute little acts will not be tolerated otherwise everyone will start thinking how they can get their 15min if they manage to land a flip flop on the forehead of the next political guest.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Just thought I would put that out since it isn't being widely reported. That the hatred isn't just about Bush. Certainly won't see it here.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
Full sentence, ya right. People rarely get full sentences for rape and murder. What he did was uncool so I give him some sort of probation/community service-esque punishment.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
"People threw shoes at pictures of Hillary throughout Indonesia yesterday." Ok
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
People threw shoes at pictures of Hillary throughout Indonesia yesterday.
Zumba Plank Jack Challenge
JonBenet Ramsey Murder Case Information
Transgender Texas Woman Posts About Bathroom Bill
Sasha and Malia Obama Through the Years
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds