--Muntadar al-Zedei, displaying more courage than the entire American public since the 2000 inauguration.
Baghdad, Iraq--Where was the Secret Service? Guarding the real president, Barack Obama back in the states.
Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi did what no American has had the moral courage to do since the 2000 inauguration when the public threw ice-balls, snowballs, and rocks at the then president-elect: throw things at George W. Bush out of a well-earned disrespect. The Al-Baghdadia television correspondent did what most of us have wanted to all along (if not much more), this time not throwing something at a television screen but the actual source of irritation.
Disappointingly, he almost connected, and didn't, but it sums-up the president's relationship with Iraq and the world. This must be some kind of hell for a man who has always prided himself on being liked.
Unfortunately, the president's intelligence on the shoe size and its trajectory were a little off. But his experience in baseball and his indefatigable ignorance saved the day--he ducked the spitball. Hey, they dragged Al-Zeidi away by force (authorized by Congress in 2002), so he's making sure everyone knows he's still "fearless leader," our great Generallisimo, until January 20th, 2009. Still, where's the blame for the CIA in this one? That leads us to...
Statistically, a mere sect (located somewhere in West Virginia-by-way-of Idaho), a cult, still supports the war in Iraq in the United States. They're overeager believers with a pinch of fear, paranoia, and desperation. That's because something should happen to people like them.
Throwing the full weight of the law on top of Bush would be more appropriate, or simply enforcing it, but that's inconvenient and could be messy.
As Bush stated so ineloquently but accurately, "So what if the guy threw a shoe at me?" Right, so what? He knows that he's done enough to warrant far worse and that at minimum he should be before the Hague, not a press conference in Baghdad for a bye-bye visitation with his victim, Iraq. From 2003 until now we went from Iraqis throwing shoes at toppled statues of a dictator, to an Iraqi throwing his shoes at the real deal, a strange kind of progress, but progress nonetheless.
Now Al-Zeidi's action is there for the ages, making him as immortal as Gavrilo Princip taking aim at the Archduke...and missing, but trying again until he hit his target. George W. Bush is going to have to look over his shoulder for the rest of his life, and eventually, the bill will come due. His nail-biting anticipation will be punishment enough, but these precedents must be rolled back.
Future generations will look at us as we look at past ones: "How did they put up with it? Why didn't they do something more? What were they waiting for?" Exactly. What were we waiting for all this time? The cavalry, of course, and it never came because life isn't a movie.
The lowest insult throughout the Middle East is to call someone a "dog," they're fighting words, and Al-Zeidi was echoing what nearly every single Iraqi feels. They will never give up, and they will never stop fighting to remove America or any foreign power from the region.