I'm still not one to praise shoe-throwing journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi -- a journalist's best revenge is to hurl something else, a tough question. In that regard, both al-Zaidi and the American White House press corps circa 2002-03 flubbed an opportunity that few of the rest of us get.
But regardless of whether you think al-Zaidi is a hero or an ingrate, it's amazing to see how the actions of one man can cause so many ripples. His case has now shut down the Iraqi parliament, and sent hundreds if not thousands of Iraqis into the streets. In Fallujah, U.S, troops fired over the heads of protestors, which is sure to cause more ripples. Here's an excerpt:
Students raised their shoes and threw rocks at American soldiers, who reportedly opened fire above the crowd. Protesters said that indirect fire wounded one student, Zaid Salih. U.S. forces haven't confirmed the account.
"We demonstrated to express our support for Muntathar al Zaidi, but we were surprised with the entrance of the U.S. military," said Ahmed Ismail, one of the protesters. "Unconsciously, we raised our shoes expressing our support for al Zaidi, but they attacked us."
Dr. Thair al Jomaili treated Salih at a hospital and said that he was fine. The doctor said that the bullet went through one of Salih's feet.
So I guess Salih wouldn't have been hurt so badly -- if he had been wearing his shoes! I think this story could drag on for days. At first, people thought a guy in Iraq throwing his shoes at Bush was mainly fodder for Letterman and Leno. But our grandkids may be reading about this in their history books.