People all over the world are reacting to Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi and his act of defiance in throwing two shoes at President Bush. Many people are calling him a hero, others a villain. Most people seem to find the whole incident hilarious.
In the Arab world there have been several protests demanding Muntadhar al-Zeidi’s release. Al-Zeidi’s brother has said that his brother was beaten in Iraqi custody and said “Millions of Iraqis or rather millions of the people of the world wish to do what Muntadhar did.”
A student in Jordan said, “Arabs will always remember the shoes hurled at Bush as symbolizing their deep frustration with his failed policies.”
However many Iraqis have been critical of Muntadhar al-Zeidi. Saman Qadir, an Iraqi mechanic said “This journalist has to throw flowers on Bush, not a shoe, because Bush saved the Iraqi people from a bloody regime. Malaki has to raise a case against this journalist.”
The people who have seemed to have benefited the most from the incident have been comedians. There already have been several youtube parodies of the incident. Here’s one that required some clever editing.
Here’s CNN Covering The Comedic Reaction to The Incident
Newsweek reporter Michael Hirsh said the incident was “somehow appropriate” and that “They have reason to be upset with the author of this,”and a shoe aimed at Bush’s head I think is not such a terrible expression of some of that frustration.”
A few bloggers at the Huffington Post have also are calling Muntadhar al-Zeidi a hero as well. Bob Ostertag says “We all owe a debt to this 28-year old journalist who, for one beautiful moment, letting go of all rational calculation of the possible consequences, stood up and spoke truth to power.”
However, Bill O’Reilly said if he was there, “would have physically taken the guy down.” and Juan Williams said “But on a serious level, how many American lives have been sacrificed to the cause of liberating Iraq? How much money has been spent while they’re not spending their own profits from their oil? American money. So I just think it’s absolutely the act of an ingrate for them to behave in this way. Just unbelievable to me.”