Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A shoe by any other name...or..."a similar foot"

Regarding the shoe-thrower, al Zaidi, in Iraq (who missed Mr. Bush by a hair at a press conference):

Yes, this man could have (or could have tried) to do something far more diabolical. He could have attempted to smuggle in a bomb or weapon and attempted an assassination. That would have been horrible, obviously, and the alternative--the throwing of a pair of shoes--is a far more benign form of protest. And I understand it. Sometimes these symbolic gestures speak much louder than all the words we can muster. Perhaps this journalist thought of this--perhaps he was thinking of some scathing article he could write, and found himself facing the futility of repetition.

So he tossed a shoe at the President. And then another. I get it. Iraqis do have every right to be frustrated--possibly with the invasion, but more likely with the really, really bad management post-invasion. I don't think spending too much time on the supposed "hilarity" or "horror" of the event is important. Personally I am a bit offended when my President has a shoe thrown at him or is faced with any sort of violence no matter how small, and I don't find it in the least bit funny. I thought Bush himself handled the event rather well. But I also don't think this is an act of cowardice or wickedness on the part of the shoe-lobber either.

It's more likely just an act of writer's block, or desperation, however you look at it.

I'd be frustrated too.

Wouldn't it be "nice" if Iraqi's had all just taken off their shoes and begun throwing them rather than blowing themselves up willy nilly ? If only. Such a novel protest may have been quite effective--who knows? Certainly after a couple years of incoming shoes the Americans may have gotten the point. And since security issues never would have reached the level they are at now, perhaps Americans could have pulled out long ago, chased back to the USA by a downpour of Iraqi shoes, sandals, slippers, and so forth.

Then again, what good does "if only" thinking do us? In the end, like the flying shoe itself, this is an exercise in futility. The point has been made already with dozens of suicide bombs. The shoe came too late, and missed its mark.

I suppose the next question is whether or not Obama will face a similar fate?

Quite an arm on that guy, eh? And quite the nimble President we have...