December 14, 2008: President George W. Bush made a valedictory visit on Sunday to Iraq, the country that wi...
December 14, 2008: President George W. Bush made a valedictory visit on Sunday to Iraq, the country that will largely define his legacy, but the trip will more likely be remembered for the unscripted moment when an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at Bush's head and denounced him on live television as a "dog" who had delivered death and sorrow here from nearly six years of war.
The Iraqi journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 28, a correspondent for Al Baghdadia, an independent Iraqi television station, stood up about 12 feet from Bush and shouted in Arabic: "This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!" He then threw a shoe at Bush, who ducked and narrowly avoided it. As stunned security agents and guards, officials and journalists watched, Zaidi then threw his other shoe, shouting in Arabic, "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!"
The shoe-throwing incident also punctuated Bush's visit — his fourth here — in a deeply symbolic way. Hitting someone with a shoe is considered the supreme insult in Iraq. It means that the target is even lower than the shoe, which is always on the ground and dirty.