Throwing Shoes and Other Crimes Against Humanity
“This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq.”
Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi was recently sentenced to 3 years in prison for the “crime” of throwing his shoes at George W. Bush during the US ruler’s Baghdad press conference in December 2008.
Add this prison sentence to the long list of outrages committed by the Anglo-American Coalition of the Killing in Iraq.
As mentioned previously on this blog, al-Zaidi’s actions were captured on video and quickly become a global internet sensation. As one website put it, this video of al-Zaidi’s shoe-throwing became one of the most viral internet events in history.
Al-Zaidi’s act has become a symbol of populist resistance to the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq–in the process, shredding America’s pretenses about “bringing democracy” to Iraq.
Indeed, after his arrest last year, al-Zaidi was beaten in custody by the USA-backed regime in Baghdad, suffering several injuries as a result.
So much for the rule of law.
The Monument to a Shoe
Al-Zaidi’s improbable actions have made into a heroic figure not only in that country but around the world. A monument to al-Zaidi’s act was even built at a Tikrit orphanage by sculpter Laith al-Amiri, with help from the orphans themselves. The sculpture consists of a copper statue of a shoe and bears the inscription: “Muntazer is fasting until the sword breaks his fast with blood, silent until our mouths speak the truth.”
Not surprisingly, this monument was subsequently torn down by Iraqi authorities, who explained that “We will not allow anyone to use the government facilities and buildings for political motives.”
Translation: Do not offend our American and Coalition masters.
One thing that has not been allowed to penetrate the bubble reality created by the mainstream American/corporate media is the massive crime that is the invasion against Iraq.
According to a 2007 study by the Opinion Research Business organization, over 1 million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the Anglo-American aggression against that nation. Despite the ORB being a leading British survey organization, the American and even British media relegated news of the report to the back pages, if not ignored it all together.
As one website suggested on the six year anniversary of the March 2003 invasion, the war against Iraq has become a “forgotten humanitarian disaster”:
The sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq is a sad occasion for the balance sheet: during six years of occupation 1.2 million citizens were killed, 2,000 doctors killed, and 5,500 academics and intellectuals assassinated or imprisoned. There are 4.7 million refugees: 2.7 million inside the country and two million have fled to neighbouring countries, among which are 20,000 medical doctors. According to the Red Cross, Iraq is now a country of widows and orphans: two million widows as a consequence of war, embargo, war again and occupation, and five million orphans, many of whom are homeless (estimated at 500,000). Almost a third of Iraq’s children suffer from malnutrition. Some 70 per cent of Iraqi girls no longer go to school. Medical services, not so long ago the best in the region, have totally collapsed: 75 per cent of medical staff have left their jobs, half of them have fled the country, and after six years of “reconstruction” health services in Iraq still do not meet minimum standards.
For many people in the USA and “democratic West,” Iraq and the suffering of its people have become reduced to almost mundane reports on the evening news about the latest “sectarian violence” or bombing. And even then, this subject takes a back seat to more important questions of Coalition blood and treasure spent on the occupation of Iraq and Western geopolitical strategy for that country.
The USA-led war against Iraq is nothing less than a world historic crime, from which its perpetrators in the Free World attempt to avert their eyes and stop their ears.
Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans
COMMEMORATION. Sixth Year of US Invasion: Iraq: Deaths Rise, Pretense We Care Fades
Let the Numbers Speak
A Million Iraqi Dead? The U.S. press buries the evidence
Iraqi shoes and the demotivated media
Crimes in Iraq: “As American as Apple Pie”