Monday, December 15, 2008

The shoe throwing journalist and the Saddam regime

Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security Monday and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a press conference the previous day in Baghdad, said an Iraqi official.

He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse. (source)
What would have happened to the journalist if he had thrown the shoe during a meeting between Saddam Hussein and an American official?

Today, the journalist may get charged with assault. Under Saddam, he may have been tortured and/or executed. Or he may have been rewarded.

Would the Iraq people have been free to hold a protest rally for a journalist held by Saddam?

My afternoon drive talk show commented on the slow response of the secret service. Did you hear the partisan press talk about that part of the story? Would the partisan press have talked about the slow secret service response if it had been President Obama?

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