Mid East press glee at shoe throw
The hurling of a pair of shoes at George Bush by an Iraqi journalist has revealed the full extent of the US president’s unpopularity in the Middle East’s media, with newspapers across the region taking delight in his discomfort.
Most commentators see it as beyond doubt that the treatment meted out to Mr Bush by Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi is a just response to the president’s policies in Iraq, although one chides the shoe-thrower for expressing his protest through violence rather than “tough questions”.
The incident is also seen as a warning to US President-elect Barack Obama that he must tread carefully in the Middle East if he wants a gentler send-off from the region at the end of his presidency.
MUHAMMAD BARAKAT IN EGYPT’S AL-AKHBAR
This extraordinary shot of the flying shoe involves a clear response by Iraqis to what Bush has been saying in the past five years about the great gains the Iraqi people have achieved as a result of the invasion, the occupation and the US destruction of their homes and state.
GHAZI AL-DADA IN SYRIA’S TISHRIN
When it became evident that George Bush, the outgoing US president, is incapable of understanding all that is being said about his rash policies, in all the languages of the world, it was necessary to invent a new language that Bush might understand, and it was the language of shoe-throwing.
GEORGE HADDAD IN JORDAN’S AL-DUSTUR
This terrible insult, which was richly deserved fully deserved by the lying war-criminal president, puts more pressure on the US president-elect to extricate his country from its entanglement in world affairs.
MUSIB NUAIMI IN IRAN’S ARABIC-LANGUAGE AL-VEFAGH
Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi’s shoes have made history. The shoe he threw at Bush will always haunt [the president] even after he leaves the White House, and will upset him whenever he remembers the incident. This is the end of all tyrants who shed the people’s blood and despise human rights in order to achieve their arrogant aspirations.
EDITORIAL IN UK-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI
The overwhelming Arab solidarity with the journalist and the fact that he was turned into a hero overnight have proved the extent of the misleading advertising carried out by the US media and the Iraqi officials, who have always been presenting a false picture of the “New Iraq”.
AL-AZAB AL-TAYYIB AL-TAHIR IN QATAR’S AL-RAYAH
Zaidi has expressed the pent-up pain and humiliation which Iraqis feel as a result of the violations committed by the occupation forces throughout five years.
YUSUF AL-KUWAYLIT IN SAUDI AL-RIYADH
He [Bush] never expected that the expression of opposition to reach this level of intensity, particularly knowing that, in the oriental tradition, shoes are associated with contempt and dirt.
MUSTAFA AL-SAWWAF IN GAZA’S FILASTIN
This is a farewell suitable for a war criminal and terrorist who led the world towards moral degeneration, terrorism and violence for eight years. The scene of the shoe being thrown is the only one that is suitable for US President George Bush. This is a free Iraqi expressing the feelings of the Iraqi people.
EDITORIAL IN IRAN’S IRAN
Muntadar al-Zaidi’s pair of shoes is the symbol of infinite hatred, of not only Iraqi people but also the people of the whole world against America’s president because of his arrogant atrocities.
TARIQ AL-HAMID IN AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT
The Iraqi journalist should have asked tough or embarrassing questions to US President Bush while he was standing near Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. However, the journalist opted for shoes instead of questions. He forgot that media attention requires neither violence nor obscenity.
RA’UF SHAHURI IN LEBANON’S AL-ANWAR
This is a warning for the United States’ new era. Those who will follow Bush’s policies will receive the same farewell at the end of their term in office. Hopefully, Barack Obama will realise that, deep inside, Arab and Muslim peoples wish to bid him farewell with flowers at the end of his term in office.