Shoe attack by a TV reporter on Bush mars farewell Iraq visit. "This is a farewell kiss, you dog."


On Sunday, 14 December 2008, President Bush ducked a pair of shoes hurled at his head in the middle of a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The assailant, Muntazer al-Zaidi, a television correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt, also shouted: “This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”



Shoe attack on Bush mars farewell Iraq visit

15 hours ago

BAGHDAD (AFP) — A journalist hurled two shoes at President George W. Bush on his farewell visit to Iraq on Sunday, highlighting hostility still felt toward the outgoing US leader who acknowledged that the war is still not won.

Muntazer al-Zaidi jumped up as Bush held a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, shouted “It is the farewell kiss, you dog” and threw his footwear.

The president lowered his head and the first shoe hit the American and Iraqi flags behind the two leaders. The second was off target.

Zaidi, a reporter with the Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, was immediately wrestled to the ground by security guards and frogmarched from the room.

Soles of shoes are considered the ultimate insult in Arab culture. After Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled in Baghdad in April 2003, many onlookers beat the statue’s face with their soles.

Bush laughed off the incident, saying: “It doesn’t bother me. If you want the facts, it was a size 10 shoe that he threw”.

He later played down the incident. “I don’t know what the guy’s cause is… I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it.”

Bush, on his fourth and final official trip to Iraq since he ordered the March 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam, admitted: “There is still more work to be done.”

As he and Maliki signed a security pact setting out new guidelines for US troops in Iraq, the president said: “The war is not over, but with the conclusion of these agreements… it is decisively on its way to being won.”

Earlier, Bush ventured out in a motorcade through Baghdad streets, the first time he has gone somewhere other than a military base or the heavily protected Green Zone.

Pool reports said the unmarked motorcade passed through darkened streets that appeared heavily guarded, before arriving at Maliki’s residence.

Bush hands over the delicate task of overseeing the US withdrawal from Iraq in five weeks to Barack Obama, who has pledged to turn the page on the deeply unpopular war.

“I’m so grateful that I’ve had a chance to come back to Iraq before my presidency ends,” he said at a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

In the evening, the president flew by helicopter from the Green Zone to Camp Victory near Bahgdad airport, where he greeted hundreds of US troops under a huge US flag and a gigantic crystal chandelier in the Al Faw palace, formerly used by Saddam.

Bush has staunchly defended the invasion that triggered years of deadly insurgency and sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and more than 4,200 American troops.

…..

Read this report and watch the video on BBC:

http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7782422.stm

…….

Iraq TV demands release of Bush shoe attacker

32 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (AFP) — An Iraqi television station on Monday demanded the immediate release of one of its journalists who caused a furore when he hurled shoes at visiting US President George W. Bush.

Muntazer al-Zaidi jumped up as Bush was holding a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday, shouted “It is the farewell kiss, you dog” and threw two shoes at the US leader.

Bush ducked and the first shoe hit the American and Iraqi flags behind the two leaders, while the second was off target.

Zaidi, a reporter with the Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, was immediately wrestled to the ground by security guards and frogmarched from the room.

“Al-Baghdadia television demands that the Iraqi authorities immediately release their stringer Muntadhar al-Zaidi, in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people,” it said in a statement.

In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for the television channel, described Zaidi as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.”

“We fear for his safety,” he added.

,