30. The Iraqi Who Threw His Shoes at W.

Dear Muntadher al-Zaidi bka The Shoe-Throwing Iraqi:

I read yesterday that you received a three-year prison sentence after pleading not guilty to assaulting a foreign head of state. I wanted to write you and share my thoughts.

Three years is a long jail stay for throwing your shoes at a man more than half of the planet’s human population hates and for providing American football fans with the best unintentional — or intentional — halftime show since Janet Jackson’s nipplegate.

My pitching coach would alter his follow-through. There's a reason he was off-target with both shoes.

My pitching coach would alter his follow-through. There's a reason he was off-target with both shoes.

There are only two people I know of willing to make a bold political statement knowing that they’ll go to jail — the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (and the SF Chronicle reporters who wouldn’t give up their Balco sources). But most people believe the combo “SharpJack” pull those stunts for the publicity to make more money.

But not you. You’re a broke journalist lacking deference. You threw your shoes at George Walker Bush and called him a dog with the deepest sincerity. You cared little  about consequence. I laughed hysterically the first 12 times I watched the replay, especially in slow motion. W. has mad reflexes.

But then I actually listened to the former U.S. president speak after the incident. He talked about how you could throw your shoes at him because of the liberation our nation has provided yours. Oddly enough, he sorta made sense. Saddam Hussein would have had you killed right then had you thrown shoes at one of his pals. Isn’t it the ultimate sign of disrespect in the Muslim world?

Now, don’t take that to mean I agree with everything that W. does or says. I surely don’t. But I don’t think he’s a bad man, either. I see him as a deeply religious and determined man with good ideas and major flaws alike. That’s no different from myself or most Americans. It just so happens that Americans elected him president twice knowing he was a C student (sing: “not the sharpest tool in the shed.”). Dick and mini-King Karl proceeded to run our nation amuck. Blame that on us — the American people. Not W.

It’s also the American people’s fault if we refuse to understand your gesture and see the world as it sees us. Sure, America is this great melting pot where all brews of stew and soups are wondrously made — red hot chili, jambalaya, Creole gumbo, chicken noodle, clam chowder, vegetable, crawfish and beef.

But the people of the world believe us to be a meddling, intrusive and manipulating people. We stick our collective nose in places it doesn’t belong far too often to improve our world standing. Even nutty chimps and blind bats know that’s why we are so interested in the Middle East. If all of the oil there were located in the Kansas plains, Saddam would still be alive — along with a few thousand American soldiers and more of your countrymen. That said, Hussein would still be persecuting your people to this very day. And for your transgressions, you would have already met your death.

I digress.

You throwing your shoes at W. was high comedy. But I pray that Americans also take your newly minted freedom of expression to heart. I hope we Americans come to realize that we are not looked upon as the great and merciful people that we pride ourselves on being.

In your world, we are nothing more than the (poop) you might incidentally step on with the bottom of your shoes. I thank you for pointing that out. Peace be with you.

Still humbled,

Damon

P.S. I find it ironic that you used your new-found freedom to lose it for a cause you believed in. But I guess that means you still have it, huh?

Advertisements

11 responses to “30. The Iraqi Who Threw His Shoes at W.

  1. I am of the same mind that W. may not have been one of the top 40 presidents, but he wasn’t an evil guy. He was simply overmatched. I have said for years that I’d love to have a beer with the guy. I bet he’s got hella hilarious stories that would make my Sam Adams go down a little smoother.

    My biggest issue with the whole shoe incident was the blatant disrespect to the head of our country. Sure, we may hate on W, but he is OURS to hate on.. and it ain’t transferrable. Just like I can talk trash about my mom after grounding me from the Nintendo for getting pissed off at the unit cheating me on Ice Hockey or Excitebike, but if anyone else talked trash, them’s fighting words.

  2. @offdwall: Thing is, the majority of the world hates/despises us. The Iraqi people don’t see us as liberators, they see us as fatcat murderers. They’d throw their shoes at you or I, but that doesn’t mean nearly as much as throwing them at the most powerful man in the world, our president.

    That should be a wake-up call of sorts. On having a drink with him: I think it would be a great time. I’d love to kick back with him in that setting. Too bad he doesn’t “drink” anymore (see: Beijing, August 2008).

    I also would like to sit down with him and talk religion and education. He has some very interesting viewpoints and ideas on those issues.

  3. It’s like this….I despised W. all the way up until I actually saw the movie W. It made me realize that he was just a vulnerable not so smart guy who was trying to always please his daddy and live up to the family name. He was surrounded by people who used him and he was their puppet. Too bad it cost this country a whole heck of alot of time, money, and lives…

  4. @JLBD: you know me so well. If half of that film is accurate, you can’t hate him for being who he is. That’s why I call him W. I just hope more people get to see the film, and gain a different perspective of who he is and what he was trying to do.

  5. The Iraqi people don’t see us as liberators, they see us as fatcat murderers.

    I believe that this is only because of the way the war was handled, not that war was waged. And this is the duality of America. We’re hated not necessarily because of what we do, but because of how we do it.

    But I do agree that America, much like MGD, has a branding problem. Reason 4 for my vote for Obama was to improve our global image. And so far, so good on that front.

  6. @offdwall: lol at you comparing America’s branding problem to MGD. That’s hilarious.

  7. thecomebackgirl

    “You throwing your shoes at W. was high comedy. But I pray that Americans also take your newly-minted freedom of expression to heart. I hope we Americans come to realize that we are not looked upon as the great people that we pride ourselves on being.

    In your world, we are nothing more than the (poop) you might incidentally step on with the bottom of your shoes. I thank you for pointing that out. Peace be with you.

    Still humbled,

    Damon

    P.S. I find it ironic that you used your new-found freedom to lose it for a cause you believed in. But I guess that means you still have it, huh?

    thats really deep…

  8. America aint no melting pot. It’s a salad bwl. All these parts are thrown in and they dont always mesh well either.

    But I have to say, MAD props to Dubya for them quick reflexes. We know what he be doing at Camp David. Dude be on that Wii getting it in!

  9. @luvvie: You’re salad bowl analogy is on point. If i took it a step further I’d say we people are all different flavors of dressing thrown into the bowl at the same time. … honestly, that ish don’t mix together, either.

    @thecomebackgirl: If you watch the Boondocks, “Be deep, Huey.” ~ Granddad. lol.

  10. I let an uh-oh get by me. Damn it!!! Check Facebook.

    I have to agree with the whole salad bowl analogy instead of the salad dressing. Most of us can get along, we just may not all blend together well.

  11. I love this. One of my favorites thus far.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s