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Date: 20 Feb 2009 02:24:03
From: Superdave
Subject: Iraqi shoe thrower: Bush's 'soulless smile' set me off
Iraqi shoe thrower: Bush's 'soulless smile' set me off

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Muntadher al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist on
trial for throwing his shoes last year at then-President George W.
Bush, said the former American leader's "bloodless and soulless smile"
and his joking banter provoked him.

Al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at Bush during a December news
conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad.
Neither shoe hit the president, and other people in the room quickly
knocked al-Zaidi to the ground before security officials arrested him.

He explained his actions in an hour-long appearance on Thursday at the
Central Criminal Court of Iraq. Asked if anyone pushed or motivated
him to do this, al-Zaidi said he was spurred on by the "violations
that are committed against the Iraqi people."

"I could only see Bush and feel the blood of the innocents flow under
his feet, as he was smiling that smile -- as if he had come to bid
farewell to Iraq and with the last support and more than 1 million
martyrs," al-Zaidi said. "At that moment, I felt this is the man who
killed our nation ... the main murderer and the main person
responsible for killing our nation." VideoWatch more on the trial

Speaking in his first public appearance since his arrest two months
ago, al-Zaidi told the court he "got emotional and threw the shoe at
him" and "the second one was involuntary."

"I had no intention to kill the commander of the occupying forces ...
even if I had a weapon ... I was expressing my inner feelings and
those of all the Iraqi people from east to west and north to south and
the feelings of hatred they hold for him," he said.

Al-Zaidi told the judge that he had intended to humiliate Bush in the
past. As Bush listed the gains made in Iraq during the mid-December
news conference, al-Zaidi said he was thinking about the millions of
civilians who had been killed, widowed or displaced. He talked about
the sanctity of mosques being violated, the rape of women and daily
humiliations.

"I don't know what accomplishments he was talking about. The
accomplishments I could see were the more than 1 million martyrs and a
sea of blood," al-Zaidi said. "There are more than 5 million Iraqi
orphans because of the occupation. ... More than a million widows and
more than 3 million displaced because of the occupation."

Al-Zaidi also said he was beaten up in front of the prime minister and
the world when he was taken from the room where the press conference
was held.

The trial will resume March 12 while the court asks the Cabinet to
clarify whether Bush's visit was official or not. Al-Zaidi is charged
with "assaulting a foreign head of state on an official visit to
Iraq."

In December, al-Zaidi's defense team filed an appeal requesting the
charge be changed from "assaulting" to "insulting." According to the
Iraqi penal code, anyone who assaults a foreign head of state is
punished by "imprisonment for a term of years," with the court
deciding the sentence.

Lawyer Dhiyaa al-Saadi told CNN in December that his client could face
15 years in jail if convicted. VideoWatch more on the incident

On the other hand, insulting a foreign head of state is punishable by
a two-year prison sentence and a fine.

Dressed in an olive-green suit and black shoes, al-Zaidi entered the
courthouse to loud applause and cheers.

Some family members and supporters, who were waiting outside, draped
an Iraqi flag around his neck.

A woman in the crowd shouted, "You hero!" His 6-year-old nephew,
Haidar, stood outside the courtroom reciting the poem "Throw the shoe
... at the vampire."

As he left, the crowd pressed forward to get close to al-Zaidi, who
waved as he was led away.

Earlier, lawyer al-Saadi told the al-Baghdadia television network that
his client's "morale is high." Al-Baghdadia is the journalist's
employer and has been calling for his release.

By tradition, throwing a shoe is the most insulting act in the Arab
world.

His angry gesture touched a defiant nerve throughout the Arab and
Muslim world. He is regarded by many people as a hero, and
demonstrators have taken to the streets in the Arab world demanding
that he be set free.




 
Date: 19 Feb 2009 21:47:23
From:
Subject: Re: Iraqi shoe thrower: Bush's 'soulless smile' set me off
On Feb 19, 9:24=A0pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Iraqi shoe thrower: Bush's 'soulless smile' set me off
>
> BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Muntadher al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist on
> trial for throwing his shoes last year at then-President George W.
> Bush, said the former American leader's "bloodless and soulless smile"
> and his joking banter provoked him.
>
> Al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at Bush during a December news
> conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad.
> Neither shoe hit the president, and other people in the room quickly
> knocked al-Zaidi to the ground before security officials arrested him.
>
> He explained his actions in an hour-long appearance on Thursday at the
> Central Criminal Court of Iraq. Asked if anyone pushed or motivated
> him to do this, al-Zaidi said he was spurred on by the "violations
> that are committed against the Iraqi people."
>
> "I could only see Bush and feel the blood of the innocents flow under
> his feet, as he was smiling that smile -- as if he had come to bid
> farewell to Iraq and with the last support and more than 1 million
> martyrs," al-Zaidi said. "At that moment, I felt this is the man who
> killed our nation ... the main murderer and the main person
> responsible for killing our nation." VideoWatch more on the trial =BB
>
> Speaking in his first public appearance since his arrest two months
> ago, al-Zaidi told the court he "got emotional and threw the shoe at
> him" and "the second one was involuntary."
>
> "I had no intention to kill the commander of the occupying forces ...
> even if I had a weapon ... I was expressing my inner feelings and
> those of all the Iraqi people from east to west and north to south and
> the feelings of hatred they hold for him," he said.
>
> Al-Zaidi told the judge that he had intended to humiliate Bush in the
> past. As Bush listed the gains made in Iraq during the mid-December
> news conference, al-Zaidi said he was thinking about the millions of
> civilians who had been killed, widowed or displaced. He talked about
> the sanctity of mosques being violated, the rape of women and daily
> humiliations.
>
> "I don't know what accomplishments he was talking about. The
> accomplishments I could see were the more than 1 million martyrs and a
> sea of blood," al-Zaidi said. "There are more than 5 million Iraqi
> orphans because of the occupation. ... More than a million widows and
> more than 3 million displaced because of the occupation."
>
> Al-Zaidi also said he was beaten up in front of the prime minister and
> the world when he was taken from the room where the press conference
> was held.
>
> The trial will resume March 12 while the court asks the Cabinet to
> clarify whether Bush's visit was official or not. Al-Zaidi is charged
> with "assaulting a foreign head of state on an official visit to
> Iraq."
>
> In December, al-Zaidi's defense team filed an appeal requesting the
> charge be changed from "assaulting" to "insulting." According to the
> Iraqi penal code, anyone who assaults a foreign head of state is
> punished by "imprisonment for a term of years," with the court
> deciding the sentence.
>
> Lawyer Dhiyaa al-Saadi told CNN in December that his client could face
> 15 years in jail if convicted. VideoWatch more on the incident =BB
>
> On the other hand, insulting a foreign head of state is punishable by
> a two-year prison sentence and a fine.
>
> Dressed in an olive-green suit and black shoes, al-Zaidi entered the
> courthouse to loud applause and cheers.
>
> Some family members and supporters, who were waiting outside, draped
> an Iraqi flag around his neck.
>
> A woman in the crowd shouted, "You hero!" His 6-year-old nephew,
> Haidar, stood outside the courtroom reciting the poem "Throw the shoe
> ... at the vampire."
>
> As he left, the crowd pressed forward to get close to al-Zaidi, who
> waved as he was led away.
>
> Earlier, lawyer al-Saadi told the al-Baghdadia television network that
> his client's "morale is high." Al-Baghdadia is the journalist's
> employer and has been calling for his release.
>
> By tradition, throwing a shoe is the most insulting act in the Arab
> world.
>
> His angry gesture touched a defiant nerve throughout the Arab and
> Muslim world. He is regarded by many people as a hero, and
> demonstrators have taken to the streets in the Arab world demanding
> that he be set free.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7862180.stm


 
Date: 19 Feb 2009 21:40:03
From: drew
Subject: Re: Iraqi shoe thrower: Bush's 'soulless smile' set me off
On Feb 19, 9:24=A0pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com > wrote:


> His angry gesture touched a defiant nerve throughout the Arab and
> Muslim world. He is regarded by many people as a hero, and
> demonstrators have taken to the streets in the Arab world demanding
> that he be set free.

Obama would be wise to use his influence to minimize the sentence.

The further he can distance himself from Dubya's mistakes, the better
it will be for everybody.