Throwing the Other Shoe

Politicians do not like to have eggs or tomatoes thrown at them but they ought to shrug off whatever they have had thrown at them, provided it did not hurt them. After all, it is always helpful to democracy when a politician loses some dignity. It may remind them that they are elected to serve the people and not rule over the people.

You may remember in December 2008 George Bush had shoes thrown at him while giving a press conference in Baghdad. One shoe was thrown, which missed Mr Bush and then the thrower threw the other shoe. Mr Bush was not touched by the shoes; he ducked and no harm was done except to his dignity. The shoe thrower, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, shouted that the shoes were a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people. Mr al-Zaidi blamed the American Government for creating millions of widows and orphans and plundering Iraq’s natural resources. Some may well think that he was right to do so and the protest was rather harmless and amusing and rather modest in light of what he was protesting about.

What happened next to Mr al-Zaida was neither harmless nor amusing. He was arrested, sentenced to serve three years in prison, reduced to a year on appeal. In prison he suffered from being tortured. His nose teeth and his leg were broken and he was given electric shocks.

Mr Bush claims to be a devout protestant Christian. He apparently has spent much time reading the Bible and believes in it and in the teachings of Christ. It seems to me that he has been wasting his time reading the Bible because he has not understood the core tenants of Christianity.

It was clearly within his power to forgive Mr al-Zaidi and prevent him from being imprisoned and tortured. He chose not to do this. If I were a Christian I would be quite insulted by Mr Bush claiming to be a Christian, rather in the same way that I would be insulted by his partner, Mr Tony Blair, claiming to be a Christian.

I can direct Mr Bush to appropriate passages in the New Testament that he should study further so he can better understand his own religion.

One Response

  1. I suspect that being complicit in the shoe thrower’s abuse is ‘as nothing’ compared to his complicity in his country’s abuse of many people in the middle east and Europe.

    I’ve often wondered how such a numbskull could become president of the USA, but of course, just like Zaphod Beeblebrox, he was the front man, a patsy, elected? to divert attention away from those with the real power.

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