The flying Shoe of Iraq


President George W. Bush visited Iraq and Afghanistan, probably for the last time in office. During his speech to the Iraqi Media he was greeted by a flying shoe, sorry two of them! He joked that it was shoe size 44. Now one must know that throwing or even showing the bottom of your shoe to anybody is extremely offensive in the Arab world, specially in Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s statue was bashed by many shoes when they tore it down after the US-led invasion in 2003.

A president facing flying shoes and then joking about it, that is a real democratic president. This would not be possible in Saudi Arabia (or Russia) and it would not have been possible under Saddam Hussein. Throwing a shoe at Saddam Hussein would quite surely have resulted in the death penalty.

This is how far Iraq has come these days.

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