Bringing politicians to heel, Bush boot-lobber a shoe-in for Iraq's election

Bringing politicians to heel, Bush boot-lobber a shoe-in for Iraq's election
Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who infamously threw his shoes at George W Bush during a 2008 Baghdad press conference, has announced his bid to run in Iraq's upcoming elections
2 min read
02 May, 2018
Then-Iraqi president Maliki famously tried to protect his US counterpart from the airborne shoe [Getty]
Iraqi broadcast journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, most famous for throwing his shoes in rage at former US President George W Bush, is running for office in Iraq's upcoming parliamentary elections, according to an announcement made on his Twitter page.

Zaidi, who spent nine months in prison and reportedly feared for his life during his detention for the shoe-throwing incident, certainly captured the hearts and minds of many Iraqis as he publicly cursed President Bush - who many consider the architect of the ruinous US invasion of Iraq.

Read more: Insultingly newsworthy: Arabs and their shoes

"This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog," he shouted in Arabic as he hurled his leather lace-ups at the then-POTUS. "This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq."

"When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people," Zaidi later stated in an op-ed he penned for The Guardian entitled "Why I threw the shoe".

"My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora," he added.

Zaidi, who has established his own charity which supports Iraqi children orphaned by the US invasion, will run for a seat in the Council of Representatives, Iraq's parliament.

He is running for the Saairun (Marching Towards Reform) Alliance party, an unprecedented alliance of six mostly secular parties including the Communist party, along with the party of influential Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr.

Zaidi's main pledge as a representative is to rid the government of corruption, by persecuting the "thieves" who have stolen public money, and cutting the bloated pensions given to government officials, he said in an interview with al-Bawaba.