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Mera Joota Hai Iraqi

So, this is just for posterity. We all know what happened and it's been covered on the site under the wire news and day in pictures, but still and all, perhaps it is best if it were placed here at least for the record. So, the what, when, where, how etc first: When? December 14, 2008 Where? Baghdad, Iraq What? George W Bush, who was on a surprise trip, conducted amid deep secrecy, to Baghdad to thank his troops and herald a new security pact. At a press conference with the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, he said the conflict had been necessary. "The war is not over," he added. Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, came a hurled shoe, as a journalist, later identified as Muntadar al-Zaidi yelled: "This is a farewell kiss, you dog! This is the end!" But clearly, that was not the end. For soon came his other shoe, hurled once with his full might: “This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!”

So, this is just for posterity. We all know what happened and it's been covered on the site under the wire news and day in pictures, but still and all, perhaps it is best if it were placed here at least for the record.  So, the what, when, where, how etc first:

When? December 14, 2008

Where? Baghdad, Iraq

What? George W Bush, who was on a surprise trip, conducted amid deep secrecy, to Baghdad to thank his troops and herald a new security pact. At a press conference with the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, he said the conflict had been necessary. "The war is not over," he added.

Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, came a hurled shoe, as a journalist, later identified as Muntadar al-Zaidi yelled: "This is a farewell kiss, you dog! This is the end!"

But clearly, that was not the end. For soon came his other shoe, hurled once with his full might: “This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!”

President Bush showed uncharacteristic agility both times and ducked successfully.  Iraqi security men pounced on the assailant and dragged him screaming out of the room.

"All I can report is it is a size 10," Bush quipped.

As for al-Zaidi, he was brutally beaten up by security guards. There is an on-line campaign to "demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar al-Zaidi, without any constraints or conditions". The campaign also holds "Al-Maliki's government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for al-Zaidi's life, dignity, and well-being." 

At least one journalist, David Lindorff, author and columnist for Counterpunch, has recommended that his " alma mater, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, hire al-Zaidi to teach a class in press conference journalism techniques," adding, " They should make it a multi-year appointment, because if he left after just one year, his would be difficult shoes to fill"

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