Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Will Become of the Baghdad Shoe Thrower?

By Hamilton Nolan

Muntader al-Zaidi will probably never again do something as awesome as hurling his shoes at the US President during a press conference. But was it worth it, considering what came next?

Al-Zaidi is a 28-year-old journalist for Al Baghdadia, and Iraqi TV station. So what exactly is the penalty for throwing a shoe at Dubya?

[Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki’s security agents jumped on the man, wrestled him to the floor and hustled him out of the room. They kicked him and beat him until “he was crying like a woman,” said Mohammed Taher, a reporter for Afaq, a television station owned by the Dawa Party, which is led by Mr. Maliki. Mr. Zaidi was then detained on unspecified charges.

Okay! And you can only imagine how his day is going today. It can only get worse. Sure, making Bush hit the deck twice on live TV is worth an ass whupping. But probably not worth a dozen years in an Iraqi prison while being tortured. Luckily, our hero president found a way to turn this into a teaching experience:

[Bush] also called the incident a sign of democracy, saying, “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves,” as the man’s screaming could be heard outside.

[But don't worry because his Iraqi TV network "demands" his release so he'll be just fine.] [NYT]

Original here

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