Muntadar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at George W Bush as a gesture of contempt for the US president. Al-Zeidi has now disappeared, imprisoned by the Iraqi government, and no-one knows where. Despite mass rallies in Baghdad and calls for his release from around the Arab world, to date the Iraqi government is remaining quiet about his whereabouts, and his welfare.
Immediately following the incident, George W Bush remarked, “this is what can happen in a free democracy.”
It can happen under any type of regime. It should be the consequences of such actions that are different in a free democracy. Throwing shoes at a visiting American president, even one responsible for invading your country and indirectly causing the deaths of your relatives, is not generally a wise move. Muntadar al-Zeidi is either very brave or rather foolish.
What, one wonders, would be the result of an American citizen throwing his shoes at George W Bush – say, on the White House lawn or in the Rose Garden? Assuming, that is, said citizen could ever get close enough. Undoubtedly, they would be wrestled to the floor, arrested, and carted away. One might hope that, after being duly charged, they would be released on bail pending a court appearance and the imposition of a slap on the wrist, a small fine, and suitable caution not to do anything so foolish again.
Of course, in America one can never be sure about such things. US presidents are considered almost divine – even the retarded variety, like George W Bush. A charge of treason or attempted murder, or something equally silly might be made to stick, incarcerating our citizen for the rest of his life.
What chance then, Muntadar al-Zeidi?
I suppose it’s in his favor he chose a US president rather than an Iraqi one. Perhaps, in Iraq, that may not be considered so serious. I guess it just depends how much pressure US officialdom can bring to bear on prime minister Maliki.
Or, given that’s it’s the season of goodwill and the outgoing US president will be pardoning all those Wall Street crooks and swindlers, and others from his administration presently languishing in jail for ‘doing their duty’, perhaps he could pardon al-Zeidi as well?
Mind, frankly, I wouldn’t want to be pardoned by scum like Bush, if I were in Muntadar al-Zeidi’s shoes; though it’s unlikely I ever would be, given that only yesterday they were whizzing perilously close past Bush’s nose.
I wonder how many human beings around the world would have willingly given up their Christmas break just for the sheer joy of seeing at least one of them land squarely on the presidential hooter?
There’s no God, yer know?
Free Muntadar al-Zeidi. He’s Sparrow Chat’s Christmas Hero of 2008.
Filed under: Free Muntadar al-Zeidi