Iraqi Reporter Insults United States of America

By now you've probably seen the infamous flying shoes propelled at President Bush by an angry Iraqi reporter during a press conference yesterday.

Many news organs are reporting that being hit with shoes is one of the worst insults that can be levied in Iraq. Here's the BBC report:

Yet the media is making a big joke out of this. On each of the national morning shows today, the reporters were yucking it up. Mind you, Bush is trying to make light of this as well; however, if it is so insulting, why isn't anyone outraged that our nation's leader, and hence, OUR NATION, was insulted by a journalist from another country ? Hmm. Maybe because our nation is insulted by our own journalists on a daily basis!

I'll bet that if Obama had shoes lobbed at him, there would be cries for that reporter's flogging! I know I would be just as outraged. The President is a symbol of our nation. That report just insulted all of us.

I wonder how shoe projection ranks against other Middle-eastern-cultural "insults" like with public stonings, beheadings, castrations and "honor" killings?

No votes yet

Iraqi Reporter Insults G W BUSH.

And, I'm going to bet that Obama will never have shoes tossed at him.

Like it or not, the President is THE head of state. The reporter threw the shoes at his head, no less....insulting not only him, but the state which he represents.

I would feel the same way if someone bared their soles to Pres. Bill Clinton. Tomatoes? Fine. Shoes? No.

I have no problems reading. Thank you.

Every American should be outraged at what this jackass reporter did. That is our president on foreign soil! For him to be attacked is us being attacked!

Whatever happened to the idea that politics stops at the water's edge? I remember feeling a great deal of pride and hope for America when Hugo Chavez made his way across the United States, denouncing President Bush at every stop. It was Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who went to the media and told Chavez if he continued to denounce our president on our soil, he'd no longer be welcome. For one shining moment, these adversaries of the President stood up for America.

Those who relish the attack on President Bush stand with the ardent, abrasive, corrosive right wingers representing all that is wrong in American politics today.

Bush is your president until January 20. Even though I didn't vote for him and do not support him, Obama is my president after January 20. When he goes to a foreign country, he will enjoy my full and unmitigated support because I'm an American before I'm a conservative or a Republican.

Brian, what don't you understand here? The Iraqis do not want us there. I'd throw a shoe at a foreign occupier, too, if he came to talk to me in my country. YOU are outraged? The Iraqi people have really good reasons to be outraged. Your outrage is bogus. It's all chest-thumping chauvinism without any understanding of what's happening in Iraq.

Thank you, Pete.

SOME Iraqis don't want us there. Some do.
I have a friend who just came back from active duty in Baghdad. I'll check in with him and see what he says about the reception he received.

That's like saying some people like to drink warm piss and some don't. Maybe some do, but most don't. And, by the way, anecdotal information from your returning friend doesn't count as much as hard facts do.

According to various studies of Iraqi casualties since the overthrow of the Baathist government, anywhere from several hundred thousand to over a million people were either injured or killed since we "liberated" that country. Whatever the actual number is, it should be pretty clear that few households in Iraq haven't had at least one member killed or maimed as a result of our so-called liberation. Most Iraqis just want us out and want to regain control of their country again.

...dammit, they're already there! Public stonings are found in the Old Testament so I don't see the cultural significance of that. Beheadings are quite terrible to us, but acceptable under the reign of Henry VIII. Castration was a method used in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th Century to "cure" those who engaged in excessive masturbation, "Honor" killings are not found in this country because the sense of "honor" in our culture does not include holding a relative responsible for the loss of her chastity. If anything, one of the most important questions one American can ask another is "Who's your daddy" to avoid incest.

Old South End Broadway

I never said that the Middle East is the only place where stonings, beheadings, castration, and honor killings have occurred. They are one of the places in the world where they STILL occur and are sanctioned by the philosophy of "tradition." one without tradition. Hopefully, our most recent cultural shift to supporting illigitimacy will begin to fade away. We are appalled by what we see in the Middle East, but when we hold up the mirror to ourselves do we believe that what we have to offer the world is so wonderful? The Middle East worries that their society will become one in which illigitimacy (and the poverty that comes with it) will be transplanted from our shores to theirs. And Iraq has suffered greatly from our presence. But, of course, we were there just to do good. To bring our standards of freedom to their shores.

Old South End Broadway

No - when I call Bush a functioning retard, I'm only insulting him and not the United States of America...

And demonstrating your complete insensitivity to those who are mentally and/or cognitively impaired while revealing the breadth of your vocabulary.

Agreed, I'm being a complete asshole to the mentally retarded for comparing them to Bush.


I kinda figured you'd go there as I was typing that.
OK, points for humor.

After making the decision to invade a country, resulting in thousands and thousands of needless deaths he's lucky he only had a shoe thrown at him. I would like to throw a shoe at him too.

Pink Slip

Pink Slip

You'd need a helluva lotta shoes to throw one at each person responsible for authorizing the Iraq War resolution: 296 for the House of Reps, and another 77 for the Senate.

High-school-level civics lesson: The President does not have the constutional authority to declare war.

Now, let's see....Pres. Clinton made decisions NOT to take some actions with regard to foreign policy in Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, North Korea, to name a few. Those decisions cost lives, too. We're stil paying for many of them. I wouldn't throw a shoe at him.

I suggest you read the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002". You probably won't find it in a high-school textbook, but you may learn something nonetheless. In it, the president was required to prove that Iraq still had WMD and that they played a role in the 9/11 attacks.

Pink Slip

Pink Slip

I understand that WMDs are a significant part of many people's feelings about the war in Iraq. I do not dispute that they did not exist, nor that the goverment and media hyped the potential dangers and created a fear that Iraq was an evil power capable of destruction.

I do dispute the accusation that Bush out-and-out lied to "finish his father's duel" with Saddam Hussein. I do believe he received and made decisions based on faulty information. He did not act alone--I read the document you referred to at:

Interestingly, it refers to Public Law 105-235 in which "Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital US interests and international peace and security...and 'urged the President to take appropriate action..."
Both the president and the congress were culpable. When things went awry, it was awfully easy for the Congress to point fingers.

Many in Congress sought to fix their err by calling for retreat. My problem with that is that we have made a mess over there. We need to make sure to clean it up before we walk away. If we don't, the people who will suffer most there will be women and children, who have little power to protect themselves. I think we owe it to them.

...lie. Saddam Hussein wanted others to believe he had WMDs. That apparently worked against him because that is what other countries used as a "casus belli". He was required to provide evidence of weapons he did not have. He could have allowed coalition troops in to dig up his country (but that probably would not have been acceptable to our coalition). Once he gave us an excuse to invade his country his goose was cooked.

I opposed the invasion because I thought we would have another "Stalingrad" in Baghdad. I was as pleased as anyone when the invasion, and occupation seemed to succeed. I thought that we did not set a proper tone when we allowed looters to operate with impunity. We should have been shooting them as we saw them. I've seen it written that we did not have enough troops to conduct an effective occupation. Apparently, that seems to be correct. But perhaps we needed dead "heroes" to remember more than an effective occupation. We only spent three years until we got it right. Rumsfeld was quite a student of history.

Old South End Broadway

The clause you site refers to a 1998 finding which said that Congress concluded Iraq had WMD. But Operation Desert Fox showed us that they didn't.

I understand that WMDs are a significant part of many people's feelings about the war in Iraq.

It's not people's "feeling" on Iraq's lack of WMD that concern me. It's the wording of the authorization to use force. It states that if the President decides to use such force granted to him, he needs to prove that not using force would make it unlikely to enforce the relevant UN resolutions (namely, the resolution that stated Iraq rid themselves of WMD). And as you can see, it also states that this use of force would be authorized for dealing with the terrorists responsible for 9/11:

(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.—In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection
(a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that—

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic
or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent
with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist
attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Pink Slip

Pink Slip

First of all, you are right about my misuse of the word "feeling"--it connotes that your opinion is an emotive response when, in fact, it is an informed response. You have provided documents that demonstrate your stance.

I see where you are coming from, but need further clarification: Are you saying that Bush did not provide the information you deliniate in point 1 and 2 within the 48-hour timeline? And if not, why then didn't Congress take action? If the president breached the contract--shouldn't it have nullified the action?

Here is the response to Congress' authorization, if you are interested.

Now keep in mind that some of this info took years to come to light. For example, we searched for several years to find WMD. Other info was not readily available, like the fake Iraq-Niger Uranium link, the bogus Italian letter, the Downing St Memo, etc. So the call for impeachment came as a slow drumbeat (as the evidence piled up), rather than a single incident. Now you may argue that Congress is implicit in this war/occupation, and I can see that point and agree that many are. However some of the info presented to them was bogus in itself. Lying to Congress is impeachable in and of itself. This is an important distinction I think. Here's why--in the Presidential Determination, it is noted that Congress determined that Iraq had WMD, and Congress determined that Iraq was harboring members of Al-Qaeda. Of course this is based on the intel they were provided by the administration. A nice little shell game if you ask me.

So now it boils down to--was it bad intel, or was it deliberately bogus intel used to "sell" a war? Considering further info that has been documented, i.e. that Bush was interested in Iraq as soon as he came into office---I'm not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt anymore.

Or if it satisifies you--prosecute Bush/Cheney, but also prosecute any other member of Congress who is implicit by their non-actions.

Pink Slip

Pink Slip

Here's a history lesson for YOU, Helen. Presidents have been going to war since Abraham Lincoln without formal declarations of war by the Congress... it's called the President's War Powers, supposedly embeded in the Constitution. I think it's wrong and unconstitutional, but still they've been doing it for a hundred-fifty years.

I'm glad somebody did it, before his administration ends. I think the reporter was way out of line, and it was incredibly disrespectful. On the other hand, I'm deeply gratified. The fact that W chose to make light of it the incident is understandably human and probably a way of coping, but it makes me think he's that way with too many things -- things like war. No matter what, though, it would have been WAY more effective had the reporter thrown my husband's shoes at Bush. Man, do his feet STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN!


Ban shoes from Presidential appearances.

Hey, if I have to throw away my unopened bottle of water at an airport checkpoint and buy one for $3 on the other side of the xray machine, everyone around the President should have to go barefoot just to be safe.


"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, andfive times out of nine I'll show you an exceptional man." -CharlesBukowski

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

8 years ago had a reporter in the same room thrown a shoe at a government official that would have been the last they were seen in public again.

Here's to the freedom of expression however the Iraqi's decide to use it.



Great point!

Did anyone happen to see the CBS Sunday Morning piece about the Million Dollar Arm competition in India? Thirty-thousand kids who've never played the game lobbed pitches for a chance at a MLB contract.
Two are in the country with the Pittsburgh Pirate's minor league club.

Maybe they ought to scope out the talent in Iraq. That reporter had a good arm.

'Al-Zeidi was initially taken into custody by Iraqi security and interrogated about whether anybody had paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a news conference Sunday in Baghdad, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

He could face charges of insulting a foreign leader and the Iraqi prime minister, who was standing next to Bush. The offense carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail."

LOL, 'insulting a foreign leader and Iraqi prime minister"...progress, indeed.

...themselves without fear of retaliation. I guess I better stay quiet if the leaders of Iran or North Korea ever show up in this country. Don't want a shoe mistaken for a grenade.

Old South End Broadway

Remember the "Don't taz me bro" guy?

All he did was ask a question.



Ah, what the hey, what's a few broken bones during a little 'interrogation'?

Iraq is changing for the better, if they can keep it . And Sensor , Bush has a Master's degree . Do you ? I don't . And congress continually funds the war effort , even Colin Powell spoke in favor of the war. It's easy to look back and wash our hands when things don't go well.

I have two Master's degrees. I have a MS and a MBA...

I think anyone who can pilot a plane (especially a jet) has to have above average intelligence Whether he has the wisdom to engage in international affairs is still up for debate. Maybe this guy was right to invade Iraq (even if he used a lie to do it), but I think we've wasted years while our enemy has used this opportunity to develop his forces. Every "fear" that we publish to the world is something for them to consider. Are they willing to take the time to develop a pyramid scheme to wipe out a large number of investors? I would not put it past them. Will their anti-capitalist culture become attractive to Americans who lose everything to the "free market"? Might happen, Just as capitalism lightened its grip on the working-class when they realized what might await them if Communism became attractive so Islam might become more attract to the newly created poor in our present time.

Old South End Broadway

Speaking of WMD

Pink Slip

Pink Slip

Sure I am a little bit outraged that some reporter does not respect the President.


On the other hand, I am very impressed that the reporter is feeling enough freedom to carry out the "attack".

I'll bet that if Sadam were still in charge, that reporter would not have dared protest for fear of his head being sawed off and ending up in one of Saddam's mass graves like what is left of this Iraqi citizen.


 Congratulations to Iraq! You now have freedom of the press, freedom to protest, freedom to express yourselves and you have proven it.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.