George Bush appeared at a surprise press conference in Baghdad earlier today, after a highly secret overnight flight.
Yet despite what the New York Times at one point called “extraordinary security,” a man within 12 feet of the lectern was able to throw first one of his shoes and then the other at the president. He missed. Twice.
He got two shots at the president before security agents got to him. It’s unnerving to think what this might mean for security measures in place in the U.S. Maybe nothing. But maybe something.
And yes, Bush had gone to Baghdad one last time to boast about how well he’s done in Iraq. It seems he still doesn’t realize that his “legacy” was set in stone a long time ago.
Thirty-six days more days …
Note: CNN reporter Michael Ware later explained that, in the Arab world, throwing one’s shoe at someone is the ultimate insult. He reminded viewers that when Saddam Hussein’s statue was pulled down, Iraqis rushed in and beat it with their shoes.
4 thoughts on “Bush dodges shoes thrown in Baghdad”
Sounds like the reporter was laughing after the first break. I would have lost any and all sense of journalistic integrity and busted a gut laughing, myself.
Too bad he missed. But maybe the insult was delivered whether he hit his target or not.
BTW, what’s Bush doing in Iraq anyway? Isn’t he supposed to be in Washington deciding what to do about the auto bailout — and announcing it tomorrow?
It was very amusing hearing Bush talk about the incident and say, “I don’t know what his beef is with me” (after the guy called him a killer!) Regardless, I think it is important to know WHY Bush was in Baghdad one last time. He set up an agreement to have every U.S. force out of Iraq by 2011. EVERY person. It is good to know that Baghdad is not intended to become another Okinawa or Ramstein. However this also assigns a deadline onto Obama, which the American public will be expecting him to achieve.
The agreement sounds like a good one and I’ve no doubt Obama will meet or beat its timelines, although Bush rushed it through to get it done on his watch. Time will tell if it has any serious flaws.
What gets me about Bush’s response to the shoe incident is that he seems so unaware of what a sign of contempt and personal insult it was intended to be (as opposed to being a silly, feeble assault). He could be pretending to make light of it, but “unaware” seems to have been his modus operandi for the last eight years.
When we were at School in Bahrain we were told never to put our feet up – which seemed odd, but once we were told how much of an insult it is we didn’t do it.
Bush, in his interview afterwards, STILL, never understood how much of an insult it was to him.
Yes, that’s what I had in mind when I mentioned it. Even in his comments after it happened, he has sounded clueless. Do you suppose no one explained it to him, or that even after they did, he just didn’t get it? (And I’m still wondering: Is it an insult if the “insultee” doesn’t perceive it as such?)
The journalist that had thrown the shoes had previously been kidnapped and tortured…this got very little press…and wasn’t mentioned at all from those media outlets on the right.
I heard that not long after the incident. It helped explain the depth of that man’s feelings. What a stunningly simple gesture … and perfect summation of the Bush presidency. The whole world was watching … and will remember.