This shoe-throwing incident is a perfect symbol of Bush's entire presidency. In an interview with ABC's Martha Raddatz afterwards, he showed about as much awareness as he's shown over the last 8 years:
Raddatz: It's also considered a huge insult in this world, the sole of a shoe, throwing a shoe.
Bush: I guess. Look they were humiliated. The press corps, the rest of the Iraqi press corps was humiliated. These guys were just besides themselves about, they felt like he had disgraced their entire press corps and I frankly, I didn't view it as, I thought it was interesting, I thought it was unusual to have a guy throw his shoe at you. But I'm not insulted. I don't hold it against the government. I don't think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don't know what his beef is. But whatever it is I'm sure somebody will hear it.
"This guy," aka Muntadhar al-Zaidi's, is a journalist who's been on TV numerous times. And his "beef" had to do with Bush invading that country, killing nearly a million of his compatriots, displacing 3 million others, torturing still others, attempting to steal the country's oil while destroying their infrastructure, all with the smug seal of approval from Bush's sense of Western superiority.
But I wouldn't expect someone like Bush to even begin to have an understanding of why this man might be mad at him. His level of understanding of why 9/11 happened was that terrorists were "jealous of our freedom." And he's repeatedly shown that he doesn't know the first thing about the region or even have the slightest bit of interest in understanding where these folks are coming from.
It's all the more infuriating because Bush has already received a de facto pardon; there's very little chance Obama, the Justice Department, or the Congress will take the steps necessary to hold Bush accountable for his war crimes. He's off the hook and worried about his legacy, while Al-Zaidi is apparently being tortured in prison:
Albaghdadia, the TV channel where the Iraqi Journalist Montather Al-Zeidi works, reports that an Iraqi MP (Ms. Zainab Al-Kanani) informed them that Montather's hand was broken in jail.
This confirms a lot of reports and rumors about Montather being subject to torture while the Iraqi authorities are interrogating and detaining him in some unspecified location.
Iraqi TV al-Sharqiya just reported on the news that AL-Zaidi is transferred to Camp Cropper prison [the Airport prison, managed by the American forces].
The TV Channel announced that Al-Zaidi is in a difficult condition, with broken ribs and signs of tortures on his thighs. Also he can not move his right arm.
Some people are calling for Bush to help al-Zaidi out. He said that he took it as interesting and humorous, so maybe he could make a phone call and ask someone to go easy on the guy. It's the least he could do in the spirit of Christian forgiveness.
It'd give us all a mind-fuck if he did, and there's really no reason he should pay his pardon forward.