Lame duck president George W. Bush went on a surprise visit to Baghdad. The surprise was on him!
President George W. Bush ducked two shoes thrown at him by a man during a press conference in the Iraqi prime minister’s office to mark the signing of a security agreement.
Bush wasn’t hit by the shoes, which both sailed over his head after they were thrown one after the other. The president shrugged and said “I’m OK” after the incident in Baghdad today. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” Bush said afterwards.
In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a grave show of disrespect. “This is the farewell kiss, you dog,” the man shouted in Arabic.
After U.S. troops pulled down a statue of former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraqi bystanders tossed shoes at it, according to news reports at the time. Bush said today’s incident was an example of free speech in a democracy.
The man threw the shoes from about 25 feet away as Bush, standing with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, made formal remarks before the signing of the Iraqi-U.S. agreement. Maliki tried to block the second thrown shoe as it flew toward Bush, according to video of the incident shown on television.
The shoe-thrower, who was in a group of journalists, was wrestled to the ground and taken away. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” shouted the man, later identified by the Associated Press as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi- owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.
At the signing ceremony, Bush said a free and democratic Iraq will now become “a force for freedom” and a “source of stability in a volatile region.”
“There is still more work to be done,” Bush said. “The war is not over.” The president said that with the agreement, “and the courage of the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi troops, and American troops and civilian personnel, it is decisively on its way to being won.”
You can watch the video here!
Man! There is nothing more to say! Enjoy!