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The Iraqi who threw his shoes at President Bush

STORY: This is the moment Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad. It was December 14, 2008, almost six years after US-led troops invaded Iraq. Al-Zaidi’s action was intended to show his anger at the corruption and chaos that ravaged his country after the invasion. Years later, he is still angry. “This scene is proof that one day a simple person was able to say no to this arrogant person with all their power, tyranny, guns, media, money and authority and say that you (Bush) were wrong They killed many people and changed the fate of several countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and the whole region.” In the Arab world, throwing shoes at someone is considered a deep insult. Maliki ducked to avoid the shoes. The US President had been criticized across the Middle East for his decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein, an action launched on the basis of flawed US intelligence that the Iraqi leader had amassed weapons of mass destruction. Al-Zaidi ended up in prison for six months for assaulting a head of state. He says he’s never regretted throwing his shoes at Bush. “When I was released, I was no different. Yes, of course I missed my personal freedom, fresh air and the opportunity to lead a normal life. But I was released from a prison to a bigger prison; For example, when they moved you from solitary confinement to a cell with 20 inmates, I was moved to a larger cell with 30 million people, and that’s why I was in mourning.” Al-Zaidi also accuses Washington of installing a political prison for the elite who plundered the wealth of Iraq. 20 years after the invasion, he says, the same corrupt elite continues to ruin the nation. And that plant has produced an elite that keeps circulating, an unhealthy waste circulation. / The same people who came in with the occupiers 20 years ago still rule, despite the failure and corruption. The US knows full well that they have produced pseudo-politicians.” In hopes of making a difference, he ran for a seat in Iraq’s parliament in 2018. He failed to win the election, but that hasn’t stopped him from speaking out against what he sees as a corrupt politician class. “I didn’t win the election and that’s normal given the presence of these counterfeiters, but that doesn’t make me any less of an opposition to this corrupt elite in Iraq. So I stayed in Iraq and continued to oppose it with the old classic way of protesting.”


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