Sunday, December 14, 2008

BUSH DUCKS AS IRAQI REPORTER THROWS HIS SHOES AT HIM

BAGHDAD – His legacy forever linked to an unpopular war, President George W. Bush visited Iraq under intense security Sunday and declared that a long, hard conflict is necessary to protect the United States and give Iraqis hope. "The war is not over," he said.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush

Bush got a size-10 reminder of the fervent opposition to his policies when a man threw two shoes at him — one after another — during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. "This is the end!" shouted the man, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

Bush ducked both throws. Neither leader was hit. In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt; Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam Hussein with their shoes after U.S. marines toppled it to the ground in 2003.

"All I can report," Bush joked of the incident, "is a size 10."

The U.S. president visited the Iraqi capital just 37 days before he hands the war off to President-elect Barack Obama, who has pledged to end it. The president wanted to highlight a drop in violence in a nation still riven by ethnic strife and to celebrate a recent U.S.-Iraq security agreement, which calls for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.

"There is still more work to be done," Bush said after his meeting with al-Maliki, adding that the agreement puts Iraq on solid footing. "The war is not over."

In many ways, the unannounced trip was a victory lap without a clear victory. Nearly 150,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq fighting a war that is intensely disliked across the globe. More than 4,209 members of the U.S. military have died in the conflict, which has cost U.S. taxpayers $576 billion since it began five years and nine months ago.

Polls show most Americans believe the U.S. erred in invading Iraq in 2003. Bush ordered the nation into war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq while citing intelligence claiming the Mideast nation harbored weapons of mass destruction. The weapons were never found, the intelligence was discredited, Bush's credibility with U.S. voters plummeted and Saddam was captured and executed.

1 comment:

Mberenis said...

Who throws a shoe man? A shoe?? Was that the henchmen from Austin powers???

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