You are a reporter for a newspaper, and you throw a pair of shoes at the guy who ordered the invasion of your country. If you were a Dutchman flinging a sabot at Hitler, you would be an incredibly brave patriot. Whip your sneakers at Saddam Hussein, and you are an unbelievably courageous dissenter (albeit suicidal). Fire your moccasin at the guy who made it possible for you act like a brazen jackass without risk to life is just being a brazen jackass.
Here’s a snippet from Reuters:
The little-known Shi’ite reporter, said to have harbored anger against Bush for the thousands of Iraqis who died after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, had previously made headlines only once, when he was briefly kidnapped by unknown gunmen in 2007.
I wonder if this guy had the guts to throw shoes at his captors? Where was his brave outrage when Saddam was grinding his fellow Shi’ite beneath his boots? Did he have his brave shoes then? More from Reuters:
Colleagues of Zaidi say he resented President Bush, blaming him for the bloodshed that ravaged Iraq after the invasion.
I wonder if he resents the foreign “fighters” who invaded his nation murdering innocents, or does he simply resent that fact that the Bush Administration underestimated how barbaric and foolish his countrymen could be? Does he so miss Saddam’s restraining fist?
If Iraq wants to make a go of it, they need to take a good hard look at their philosophical imports. Scratch that reporter, and you will find a thick undercoat of the American leftist academy. I predict that he went to college in America and has his full load of progressive notions which imparts heroism to those who insult people disinclined to make them pay a price. He is, undoubtedly, cut from the same cloth as those in our own nation like the Code Pinkers and 911 Truthers who busy themselves “bravely” denouncing everything Bush does, right down to breathing. Calling Bush “Hitler”, “Dog” or pitching your footware at him is as safe as eating pancakes.
Most people live under the thumb of varying degrees of oppression. Throwing off tyrants is hard, dangerous work. Insulting civilized people with cream pies, shoes or blog posts written in CAPITAL LETTERS is easy and safe, plus you get accolades from the world’s endless supply of fools.
The right to report on your nations leaders and insult their allies is a freedom paid for through dear blood and sacrifice. I would appreciate it if they just said “thank you” and moved on (to quote Colonel Jessup) or at least engaged in the heavy lifting of keeping civilization together.
To the credit of the Iraqi press pool, some reporters apologized for the incident, though Zaidi’s TV station is running pictures of their number one ungrateful dipstick with patriotic music in the background.
You can secure for people a measure of freedom, but teaching them responsibility, self-reliance and class is an entirely different job.