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My thoughts on the throwing of shoes at Bush

12/15/2008

Overall, and not for the reason of thinking Iraqis should be greatful to Bush, I can’t side with what Mr. al Zeidi did. It’s too unprofessional.

According to Raed’s blog, “Some of my [Mr. Raed’s] contacts in Baghdad assured me that the Iraqi Journalist who threw the shoes at bush today was heavily beaten (you can actually hear him scream in pain in this released video).”

He certainly should be medically examined, preferably by someone from the Red Crescent, or by some disinterested and non partisant group able to examine and care for him.

What’s more troubling than Mr. al Zeidi’s actions, is the statement from Al Baghdadia:

“Al Baghdadia asks the Iraqi authorities to immediately release our employee Montather Al-Zeidi in line with the Iraqi and US promises of democracy and freedom of expression. Any action taken against Montather Al-Zeidi will remind us of the behavior we experienced during the time of the dictatorship era that when we witnessed violence, arbitrary arrests, mass graves and the confiscation of public freedoms and private.”

They’re arguing that assault is freedom of speech, and that any action against it, makes someone comparable to the late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.

I can understand what the reporter did, and I think it was emotionally driven, but al Baghdadia was removed, for the most part, from the scene. They are probably sympathetic, but rationalizing assault (assault which could well have caused injury to other persons) by claiming it to be free expression, is a dangerous precedent to set.

Back to Mr. al Zeidi. I would like him released into the custody of an independent authority, albeit I don’t know who that should be, pending an investigation into the allegations against the Iraqi authorities, as made in Raed’s blog, et al.

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