Back in 2008, then-President George W. Bush was minding his business at an Iraqi press conference. And if not minding his business, then just saying something that, clearly, one member of the Iraqi press didn’t want to hear.
So the guys threw his shoes — right at the president.
Bush managed to get out of the way, ducking to avoid contact. Muntazer al-Zaidi, the show-thrower in question, got himself nine terms in the slammer.
It’s really too bad that’s not a sport, though. Throw your shoe at world leaders during press conferences when they don’t give the answer you want — and allow world leaders to throw their shoes at the press. Regardless of where you stand politically, that would make press conferences a lot more entertaining.
Anyway, al-Zaidi has been out of jail a while now, and as the Free Press Journal relayed, is on Twitter. And he generally responds when you tweet at him about the incident. Provided, of course, you agree with him. (After all, we all see what happens when you don’t.)
“The best thing about Twitter is that whenever you mention the time someone threw a shoe at Bush in Iraq the actual guy who did it responds,” one user wrote, via the Free Press Journal.
“Thank you sir,” al-Zaidi responded to a tweet offering praise.
“No,” he responded to another that asked if he ever got his shoes back.
Al-Zaidi was set free from prison in 2019, and eventually wrote a column for The Guardian explaining his actions. It was entitled, “Why I threw the shoe.” Fitting.
“I am no hero. I just acted as an Iraqi who witnessed the pain and bloodshed of too many innocents,” al-Zaidi wrote.
“Out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.
“When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure.”
So, see someone you don’t like? Well, don’t just tell them to put a sock in it when they speak. It may be better to see if a shoe fits in their mouth.