Posted by: Dark Defender | December 20, 2008

Yawn.. great victory for the Arab people..yawn.

So the shoe thing.  I know old news, which I haven’t talked about so far.  Why? Because I didn’t find it especially interesting.  But now with the story refusing to die and the Iraq reporter guy being turned into the new Saladin I feel I have to weigh in.

First the obvious point, if he did this to Saddam he would be dead.  Of course that wouldn’t be a problem for shoe guy since he apparently was a Baathist.  He was head of the student union under Saddam and as we all know Saddam didn’t really let people who weren’t “his” have decent jobs.  So yeah the guy was a Baathist.  Interesting how that isn’t the headline huh? Ex-Saddam loyalist assaults Bush! or Baathist attempts to attack Bush..no its all Iraqi Journalist throws shoes at Bush, or Iraqi throws shoe at Bush.  Interesting isn’t it? Bias or laziness you be the judge.

Anyways none of that is really what I wanted to comment on.  What I wanted to comment on is the ongoing hero worship in the Arab world.  From the Tripoli post:

Many Arab TV commentators compared the impact of throwing Al-Zaidi’s shoes at the American President by being as powerful, in terms of the balance of power with the USA and Israel, as bombing Washington D. C. in the same way President Bush bombed and destroyed Baghdad in his illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Yet President Bush seemed not to comprehend the supreme insult as he laughed off the incident, saying: “It doesn’t bother me. If you want the facts, it was a size 10 shoe that he threw”. He later played down the incident. “I don’t know what the guy’s cause is… I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it,” Bush said as quoted by AFP.

Soles of shoes are considered the ultimate insult in Arab culture. After Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled in Baghdad in April 2003, many onlookers beat the statue’s face with their soles. Showing the sole of your shoe to someone is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse.

Others consider it a revenge for the killing of more than 1.5 million Iraqis by George W. Bush as a result of his invasion and then occupation of Iraq until now, and most important of all is to revenge what they call Bush’s decision to kill the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussain by hanging him on the day of the Muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha, on 30 December 2006.

Moreover, the great majority of Arabs have been celebrating the unprecedented humiliation of the United States and its president on the hands of an Arab hero.

This rather expected reaction to the incident derives from a long-felt sense of humiliation by the Arabs on the hands of the United States for the last 60 years as a result of its unqualified support of Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Wow, did you get all that? Shoe guy struck a blow equivalent to bombing Washington DC and has single handily redeemed 60 years of Arab humiliation! He is like the Arab Captain America and Rambo all rolled into one. 

Minor problem though…its really meaningless.  They are celebrating this clown because they have no power, that they have to turn this guy into a hero is a sign of how impotent they really are.  If they were actually capable of dealing with the US on equal terms, they would, they wouldn’t be reduced to turning a former Baathist into some kind of folk hero for throwing his shoes.

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Responses

  1. al Zaidi’s use of a shoe as political protest is a dramatic improvement over the other most notorious use of a shoe in recent years.

    Who knows, maybe in a few years hence people throughout the Middle East, rather than planting explosives in shoes, or throwing them at politicians they revile, may simply wear them back and forth from work, the market, etc., just like people in many other parts of the world.

    One can only hope. . .


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