NEWS & EDITOR’S COMMENT: Muntader al-Zaidi

When the shoe fits

In a war that has been punctuated by iconic moments, the shoe will be the symbol that most likely endures longest in connecting George Bush to Iraq. In 2003, the sight of a statue of Saddam Hussein being assaulted with footwear highlighted the moment in which, at Mr Bush’s instigation Saddam’s regime had visibly lost power. In 2008, the sight of the US president ducking to avoid flying shoes conveyed the eagerness among many Iraqis to witness Mr Bush’s exit from power.

While Muntader al-Zaidi may have been simply been venting a spontaneous outburst of anger as he hurled both his shoes at the president of the United States of America, his act of defiance struck a chord with many Iraqis along with fellow Arabs across the region.

As Hazim Edress, a resident of Mosul, told The New York Times: “He has done what the whole world could not.” [continued…]

(via Firedoglake)

Editor’s CommentMarc Lynch is concerned that the Muntader al-Zaidi story might distract attention from Human Rights Watch’s new report, The Quality of Justice: Failings of Iraq’s Central Criminal Court. But reports, however worthy of attention, rarely garner much public interest. Indeed, if reports and rumors about Zaidi’s mistreatment in detention turn out to be true, his case may well serve to draw attention towards Iraq’s failed justice system.

This is a case where one would have thought that out of pure self-interest and political expediency, the White House would be pushing for Zaidi’s prompt release simply to serve its own public relations interests. The longer that takes to happen, the more potent a symbol Zaidi will become.

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4 thoughts on “NEWS & EDITOR’S COMMENT: Muntader al-Zaidi

  1. Angie Al-Orfali

    Mr. Zaidi is by far the pride of Iraq. I feel extremely proud of Mr Zaidi, i think he is a very brave man. the frustration and the injustice that Bush did to Iraq its against humanity. If its true what Bush said that he wanted the Iraqis to have freedom and democracy then there is nothing wrong with what Mr Zaidi did, according to Bush we are all free to express our feelings, why would Mr. Zaidi be the shame of Iraq !! Because he said the truth !! NO…. he is right in all what he said and did. Bush was wrong and cruel in invading Iraq and kill million of innocent Iraqis, this is considered a big crime and not only that but now we are all facing and suffering the war and occupation consequences, Bush has destroyed us all just for his convenience. He deserves a million shoes thrown at his face. Mr. Zaidi is a Hero.

    Angie Al-Orfali
    Baghdad – Iraq

  2. Alex Bell

    I wonder what country Mr. Zaidi will get renditioned to, and whether we will ever see him again.

    Regards, Alex

  3. Carol Elkins

    How fitting that the President whose main accomplishment seems to have been setting himself up for photo-ops should end his term with one so utterly demeaning.

  4. Dale McNiel

    Does anyone know if there is a legal defense fund established to protect Muntader al-Zaidi’s interests and obtain his release? I agree that this case could bring a lot of public scrutiny to the current legal system in Iraq for the benefit of nearly all Iraqis who have suffered under the domestic and foreign tyrants.

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