Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can you throw a shoe at Bush?

Bush's shoe-throwing showdown only happened on Sunday, yet the first online game version of the event has already popped up on the ‘net thanks to the site kroma.no, which invites you to chuck your own size-ten at the president (and after being up for only a day the site already has over a million hits).

Meanwhile in the real world, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi (the shoe-thrower himself) is expected to appear in an Iraqi courtroom tomorrow. So far it looks like he will be charged with "insulting a foreign leader", a crime that carries up to two years in jail in Iraq. Out in the streets, the second day of rallies calling for al-Zeidi's release is underway in cities across the country. Even in the reports I've read about some Iraqis criticizing him, that feeling is motivated by the idea that he showed the Iraqi people as poor hosts (always being a polite host is a bedrock idea in Arab culture), not that they necessarily disagreed with his sentiment. Al-Zeidi yelled, "here is a going away present from the Iraqi people, dog!" (a rough translation) as he threw the first shoe, the second he dedicated to the "widows and orphans of the occupation".

Support for al-Zeidi is even spreading outside Iraq - a lawyers group from neighboring Jordan has offered to represent him in court, while a Saudi billionaire is said to have offered $10 million for the now-infamous footwear (al-Zeidi made sure to buy a new pair of Iraq-made shoes for the throw to keep with the sentiment). And finally, the daughter of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi also announced that she would be awarding the Libyan Bravery Medal to al-Zeidi for his actions on Sunday.

This should all make for one interesting exhibit in the George W. Bush Presidential Museum...
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