One step forward and two step back
Nobody gets too far like that
One step forward and two steps back
This kind of dance can never last
--Desert Rose Band, One Step Forward
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
--The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot
I haven't seen such bravery since Dunkirk
--The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone,
The Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) is a wicked bad tool for spreading democracy. Take the shoe, for instance.
Somehow those crazy Iraqis got it into their heads that they could express themselves in a public venue, hence the unfortunate tale of reporter Muntazar al-Zeidi, the shoe-thrower. Voice is all good and well, if you're "Reading Lolita in Tehran" in America. But you mustn't dis the one who brought you all of this glorious freedom, else you want a good ass-whuppin' and wish to find yourself in the gulag of your nightmares.
Which is precisely where Mr al-Zaidi sits. Even those who wish to note his action are silenced.
Iraqi sculptor Laith al-Ameri made a fiberglass shoe sculture for a Tikrit orphanage, which was removed the day after it was erected (Monument to Bush Shoe Throwing).
Faten Abdulqader al-Naseri, the orphanage director, said,
"Those orphans who helped the sculptor in building this monument were the victims of Bush's war. The shoe monument is a gift to the next generation to remember the heroic action by the journalist."
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's order to destroy the sculpture is the move of a tyrant and a dictator, not a democrat. It was cowardly and craven, and the demolition was supervised by the Tikrit police force.
"What made me do it was the humiliation Iraq has been subjected to due to the U.S. occupation and the murder of innocent people," al-Zeidi told the court last week. "I wanted to restore the pride of the Iraqis in any way possible, apart from using weapons."
When al-Zeidi threw his shoes at Bush, he shouted in Arabic: "This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq (Iraqi Says He Threw Shoes at Bush to Restore Pride.)"
Reporter al-Zaida had more cahones than our entire Congress.
UPDATE, 3/13/09: Muntazar al-Zeidi has been sentenced to three years in jail for expressing himself. Ain't democracy grand?