Monday, December 15, 2008

A Journalist's Despicable Behavior

Muntadar al-Zeidi may have found his five minutes of fame but what he did was despicable. By hurling shoes at George Bush, visiting Iraq for the last time as president, he shamed a culture known for extending hospitality even toward the despised.

Bush will probably go down as the worst president in U.S. history, displacing perennial bottom-dweller James Buchanan (1857-1861). His manufactured war has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis in the 5 1/2-year war. His Manichean worldview has brought untold sufferings to a vast section of humanity. And his fiscal ignorance and irresponsibility has contributed to the economic meltdown now sweeping the world. He is a disgraced person that the world cannot wait to see retire.

Still, to throw shoes at a visitor is an insult that speaks volumes for the thrower rather than the thrown. There are those who feel gleeful but there are also those who are shamed and outraged by al-Zeidi’s behavior. Iraqis need authentic leaders who can summon their best instincts to rebuild their tattered nation. This will not be accomplished by people succumbing to their basest instincts for personal revenge. George Bush can salvage some goodwill and dignity for himself by asking the Iraqi giovernment to pardon the misguided and stupid journalist.

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