Iraqi journalist throws shoes at Bush

Our President flew in for a secret visit to Iraq, kind of a victory lap maybe, but all was not rose petals…

During a farewell visit to Baghdad on Sunday, President George W. Bush defended a war that has taken far more time, money and lives than anticipated, saying the conflict “has not been easy” but was necessary for US security, Iraqi stability and “world peace”.

But in a sign of lingering anger against the US military presence, an Iraqi journalist shouted: “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” and hurled his shoes at the US president during a news conference with prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Throwing shoes at somebody is a supreme insult in the Middle East. One of the shoes sailed over the president’s head and slammed into the wall behind him and he had to duck to miss the other one. Mr Maliki tried to block the second shoe with his arm.

“It’s like going to a political rally and have people yell at you,” said Mr Bush. “I don’t know what the guy’s cause was. I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it.”

By Sudarsan Raghavan, Dan Eggen and Reuters

Published: December 14 2008 18:47 | Last updated: December 14 2008 20:47

And we know that this is a true story, not just because it came from the Financial Times of London, but also because of Bush’s response: “I don’t know what the guy’s cause was…” Who could make that up?

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