sock and awe.

So the President visited Iraq and was offered a pair of new shoes, or something.

What cracks me up is the near-universal inclusion of the cultural angle in the news reports.  It seems like every journalist out there just had to take the opportunity to inform us culturally unenlightened yahoos that “throwing shoes as someone is considered a grave insult in the Middle East,” as if the act of chucking your Keds at somebody’s schnozz is a sign of deep and abiding affection in most other cultures. 

Hell, I may just try and tell people that Germans do it all the time, as a sort of mating call when they want to have sex. (“Ve only ssrow ze shoes at people ve find, how you say, ze sexy, yes?”) That ought to provide some entertainment down the road when some “culturally enlightened” college senior goes to Europe and breaks some local girl’s nose with the sole of his size 12 Birkenstock.


33 thoughts on “sock and awe.

  1. you know what i liked about that? george the younger neatly ducked the first, and barely bobbed his head avoiding the second, while never budging from his place at the lectern…and even seemed a bit amused.


  2. huh says:

    Shouldn’t PETA activists in turn be throwing flour at the guy who owned these despicable leather shoes ?

  3. Brian Noble says:

    Not cool. Not for nothing, but the man is still the President of the United States, even if he is not liked by many of us, including me.
    ok fine, it was a big symbolic gesture, I get it… but if one of those shoes hit Bush it would have been something completely different with bad results for all sides. Now I am uncomfortably forced to thank a President I strongly dislike for his good reflexes that helped avert a real crisis, rather than just a news story.
    People calling Muntader al-Zaidi a hero need to relax, what do you think would have happened if he had thrown a shoe at Saddam 10 years ago… that would have been “heroic and brave” oh but wait “Independant Iraqi television stations” did not exist, and over here we would have wrote how he “will probably be tortured, lose his job, and his family will suffer.” -wdonelson [#21]
    I think this is symbolism in a different way… like a 17 year-old college student who has a new-found freedom from his strict parents, this “journalist” was testing democracy… He knew that for commiting that act in a free world, you get in trouble, but you don’t get killed. So think for a second… it is not “brave” to throw symbolic insults from a press pit that did not exist a decade ago. Ask the families of Iraqi soldiers what bravery is.
    If you are a professional journalist, you don’t throw shoes at a Press Conference… period.

  4. AG says:

    I never liked George Bush, however, he is my President. This guy who threw his shoes is not a real journalist, but an Iraqi journalist. Don’t mess with my President!!!!!!!!

  5. gwkiller says:

    HAHA!!!! Listen, no disrespect but American caucasians have no culture and the throwing of the show is not a random act of agression as would typically be interpreted, hence the need to clarify the insulting nature of the act. For example, in china pointing the spout of a teapot at a person is an insult, whereas we would not have a clue.

    GWB actually deserves the book thrown at him and should be tried for war crimes, etc…. too bad the journalist missed!!!!

    Also, please get it in your heads that America is no longer the world super power and after the corruption we have suffered at the hands of our government recently it is embarrassing to have Bush as the president!!! Yes, I am an American and do not hate America but the truth is we have lost our fundamental values of democracy and bush has been the worst leader in the entire history of our country.

  6. Matt says:

    I’m with you, killer.

  7. MarkHB says:

    Oh NOW I understand why I have to take my shoes off when I’m boarding a plane.

    Wait. What?

  8. cargosquid says:

    What was Keith Olberman doing in the Iraqi Press pit?

  9. Tam says:

    HAHA!!!! Listen, no disrespect but American caucasians have no culture and the throwing of the show[sic]

    …and American gwkillers have no spelling, shift key, or punctuation.

  10. Al T. says:

    “America is no longer the world super power” – uh, OK. Counting stuff not your long suite?

    “bush has been the worst leader in the entire history of our country” – OK, I’ll play – who’s on second? FDR? LBJ? Carter? Will you have to google to get your answer?

  11. Janet says:

    History is pointless if you don’t learn from it. President Bush proved that when he invaded Iraq. If he knew and understand the history of the region, he would have known that it was a terrible idea to go after Saddam Hussein. The shiites and sunnis have been fighting for centuries. That’s what they do. We had no business going in there. Did anyone learn anything from this???? It’s a shame that it took thousands of innocent lives and thousands had to be maimed for a lesson to be learned. The lesson was already a part of history. I hope future leaders brush up on world history before they make another mess of things.

  12. Tam says:

    Al T.,

    I’ll give him “Tied With Clinton For Third Worst Of My Lifetime“, but “Worst Ever“? Come on! The guy’s not a patch on Benito Wilson or The Bad Roosevelt.

  13. R W says:

    Learn from history? Like the history that tells us of the evil of insane dictators and the millions of deaths historically attributed to them?

    Like the history that that teaches us that if a ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse population can live in relative peace, anybody can.

    Like the history that tells us that militant islamic extremeism is not to be ran from or ignored, but confonted and defeated.

    Like the history demonstrated over the last century that democracy can be brought to people. That those who were once our enemy can become our steadfast friends. That those who were once disruptive of world peace can become foundations of peaceful stability.

    Are those the lessons of history you speak of?

  14. YKD says:

    Yeah I can’t stand Dubya either but the man is still president. I think all Americans should be offended by this event and stick together on this one. Just my opinion……….

  15. richard says:

    4029 dead American soldiers. 30,852 seriously wounded American soldiers. 1,297,997 dead Iraqi citizens. Over 4 million displaced Iraqi citizens. Who is more insane–George Bush or Osama bin Laden? He deserves a lot more than a couple of tossed shoes!

  16. libra says:

    I don’t like Bush, and I’m against the war in Iraq, but the Iraqis are the most disgusting ingrates on earth. Have you ever heard the Iraqis say “thank you USA for sacrificing your soldiers’ lives and spending billions of dollars on our miserable country”?

    We should leave that hellhole tomorrow.

  17. Cat says:

    I have never been a fan of “W” either but this act infuriated me. We should leave their country and not spend another penny there to help them. They want to revere the choochooshoe POS I say let them. I don’t hear any Iraqi’s denouncing this despicable act. Let’s let our heroes get pack up, get on their military planes and come home. And flip the bird to all of them as we leave them.

  18. Blue Proctor says:

    Why all the Bush apologetics? I found myself rooting for the shoe thrower. What Bush is responsible in that guy’s country, if done to us the response would have been different than just a couple of shoes. I would have preferred a Texas tar and feather for him. Utter humiliation in the world’s eyes. Yes, I know we have a simpleton for president, but that is no excuse to all the damage he’s caused with his policies and abuses of power.

  19. Meddu says:

    Libra… no they are thanking us for over 1 million dead Iraqis and over 4 million displaced…. What a jackass you are to expect a thank you from a people we have put through worse hell than while Saddam was in power. It’s beyond reprehensible. We owe them for ever single life that was lost there. Every tax payer who contributed to this war is responsible for the lives of those dead Iraqis and should be on his or her knees asking for forgiveness.

  20. MarkHB says:

    *pinches bridge of nose*

    Dispassion, friends.

    War in Iraq: Pretty much illegal. Pretty much pointless. We know Saddam didn’t have WMDs because we kept the receipts from when we sold ’em to him and knew the expiry dates. Kept count when he used ’em on the Kurds instead of the post-Shah Iranians that we asked him to.


    Sorry. The Bush Administration gets zero points. Nil points. Nothing. Nada.

    He could dodge a shoe, but not pour piss out of one with instructions printed on the heel. He’s my President, yes. But he’s a fucking moron, advised by wankers, and a person should be man enough to say “Well, that was fucked up. Let’s try to do better from here on in”. I don’t mean pander to Euroweenies, I don’t mean let “The Terrists” win.

    I mean be what America’s good at. Let’s be really fucking clever. Let’s be innovative, intelligent, inspired and – frankly – a cut above shoe-chuckers, cave-dwellers and hijackers.

    What *really* amazes me is that he only got a shoe thrown at him – not a grenade.

  21. ATLien says:

    A good number of you are so ignorant that if i were President, I would be horrified enough to have people find you and kill you. I DON’T believe in the non-aggression principle, as our host believes. I believe in the dead-dumbass principle.

    Your teachers should hang their heads in shame. I pray for a civil war tomorrow.

  22. malcolmjs says:

    Guys… give me a break… did you see how President Bush dodged that first shoe? And that was dead on! Our president is nibble!!
    How many world leaders can say they dodged a shoe?
    On the other hand, I would like to see an event after January 20th where a whole bunch of us could hurl shoes at bush! He is certainly the worst presidebt i have ever known!

  23. Al T. says:

    1,297,997 dead Iraqi citizens – BS. The very precision of that number is silly.

    Know what one of the biggest issues in Baghdad is? Traffic jams. No US forces involved, just lots of Iraqis driving like maniacs. Pretty good for a “war-torn” country huh?

  24. george says:

    he deserved it, the idiot i’d throw 2 more shoes at him

  25. Insomniac says:

    It’s hard to believe how badly Bush mishandled the war and for me he has been very disappointing as I voted for him and thought it was a good idea to go into Iraq. But on the otherhand he has given more money and aid to Africa than any other president or country. But nobody wants to give him credit for any of the positive things he has accomplished. Why don’t you take the time or have the desire to read and find out the good Bush has done so you can stop being so angry… just a thought.

  26. Dave "Stoop Dogg" Heller says:

    It would be great if Barach Obama could learn something from this shoe incident. So next time our government has some messed up idea to go to war, lets loud up our bombers with shoes. It might be a little insulting to the attacked country at first, but at least they’ll have some shoes to wear when the humiliation is over.
    And it will probably be cheaper than the bombs we drop now.

  27. Tam says:

    Sweet zombie Jesus, did this post get linked over at

  28. Marko says:

    Worse…they linked to it at

  29. Tam says:


    To-may-to, to-mah-to. 😉

  30. Ritchie says:

    Inexplicably, neither of the shoes exploded.

  31. Al T. says:

    Ritche, everybody knows size 10s are non-explosive – usually just a bio-hazard. The size 12s however…

  32. Al T. says:

    Oh, and you’ll note that the Iraqi shoe pitcher was not shot, blown up, folded, spindled or mutilated as he would have been 6 years ago.

  33. Tam says:

    Inexplicably, neither of the shoes exploded.

    Their main Weejun Explosive Tech is currently a resident of cell block D, Gitmo.

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