Iraqi Reporters Debate Value of Shoe-Throwing
Andrew Sullivan flags an Iraqi McClatchy reporter’s ambivalent reaction to Muntader al-Zaidi’s tossed shoes. He disapproves of al-Zaidi’s “emotional reaction.” More profoundly, he’s uncomfortable with what he perceives as an Iraqi exploitation of al-Zaidi’s protest to exculpate those who’ve collaborated with the occupation:
But we can’t just blame the Americans for everything. The majority of the Iraqi officials participated in one way or another in destroying this country, either by not fighting the administration\s corruption or by neglecting their national duties. The last example was lawmakers who went to hajj (pilgrimage) while the discussion about the SOFA was at the top of the agenda. We can’t blame the Americans for wasting and stealing our money in what is called the reconstruction projects.
And there it’s not really appropriate for an outsider to comment on an internal Iraqi debate that will surely take many years and much agony to settle. But if al-Zaidi’s actions get Iraqis to address this issue, then throwing a shoe can hardly be considered a meaningless and futile gesture.