14 Dec: Dubya Dodges A Shoe-ing

When George W Bush flew to Baghdad for a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on 14th December, 2008, he had hoped the headlines would reflect his triumphant appraisal of his deployment of American troops. Instead, it became known as the day he got some shoes thrown at him.

The man throwing the shoes was Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who yelled in Arabic: “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, dog!”. The president ducked, and Zaidi let his other shoe fly. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”. Bush ducked that one too.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal how the episode inspired a brief moment of Zaidi-Mania in the Arab world, including various offers of marriage; reflect on the torture he endured as a result of his protest; and investigate the copycat attacks around the world… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Raw Video: Iraqi Journalist Throws Shoe at Bush’ (AP, 2008):

• ‘Why I threw the shoe, by Muntazer al-Zaidi’ (The Guardian, 2009): https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/sep/17/why-i-threw-shoe-bush

• ‘The Iraqi Journalist Who Threw His Shoes at George W. Bush Has Thoughts About Milkshaking’ (Mother Jones, 2019): https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/06/the-iraqi-journalist-who-threw-his-shoes-at-george-w-bush-has-thoughts-about-milkshaking/

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