President Bush made his last formal visit to Iraq this week before he hands over power to the incoming President Elect Obama. The purpose of the visit? To ink out the latest security agreement between the US and Iraq, which incidentally sets out a firm timetable for US security forces pullout by the year 2011.
At a press conference to that effect, one particularly blunt journalist with the Iraqi press corps cut straight to the chase:
In the middle of the news conference with Mr Maliki [the Iraqi PM], a reporter stood up and shouted “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” before hurtling his shoes at Mr Bush, narrowly missing him.
“All I can report is a size 10,” Mr Bush said according to the Associated Press news agency.
The shoe thrower was taken away by security guards and the news conference continued.
Correspondents called it a symbolic incident. Iraqis threw shoes and used them to beat Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad after his overthrow.
Well, I for one look forward to the future Ex-POTUS hitting the comedy club circuit. His one-liners will be sorely missed as we transition to a president in full command of the English language.
As an endnote, it was stated in the BBC article, “The soles of shoes are considered the ultimate insult in Arab culture.”
More, naturally, available via the BBC.