The Iraqi journalist jailed for throwing both of his shoes at then-US President George W Bush in December 2008 is running for Parliament in the country’s upcoming election on a platform of anti-corruption and opposing the American occupation.
“White House: a stupid institution with smart missiles,” Iraqi Council of Representatives-hopeful Muntadhar al-Zaidi shared in an April Facebook post.
In an April 22 interview with Albawabh News, the former journalist said that after being released from prison, he founded a relief organization for the victims of the US occupation in Iraq and promoted the arrest of Bush and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. His life took a turn for the political and he became more of an activist, joining demonstrations and sit ins.
Iraq is getting rid of terrorists, he noted — now, it must get rid of corruption.
The broadcaster and journalist is well-known for the “shoe throwing incident” in 2008.
Bush told Iraqi press members at the time, “It doesn’t bother me. If you want the facts, it’s a size 10 shoe that he threw… I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it.”
Speaking to US media a week later, the Texan explained that Zaidi was “looking for notoriety” but that Iraqi authorities should not “overreact.” Zaidi ultimately was sentenced to one year in prison for assaulting a foreign head of state.
However, to some Iraqis, Zaidi was a hero. A large fiberglass and copper statue of the shoe he threw at Bush was erected by an orphanage in the northern city of Tikrit in 2009.
But Bush’s cat-like reflexes prevented any actual bodily harm from occurring. “I didn’t have much time to reflect on anything. I was ducking and dodging,” Bush recalled during the same interview with US reporters.
Bush fell short of following the 5 D’s of Dodgeball — Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge — having only completed two of the maneuvers.