Monday, December 15, 2008

Bush Bobs. Bush Weaves. Shoes Miss Target.

Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq and Afghanistan over the weekend. He held the usual press conference with Iraqi President al Maliki. At the end of the press conference, Iraqi journalist Muntathar al Zaidi stood and threw his shoe at Bush. In the process he shouted, "This is a goodbye kiss, you dog". He then threw his second shoe before being tackled by fellow journalists and being drug out by security.

When I first heard the story this morning I thought, "Yes! That'll show Bush." Deeper thought though and it is a disturbing story. How good is the security at the press conferences. These shoes appear to be mostly harmless but what if one of them had a heal made of explosives? Would they have been spotted. Would other, less sophisticated weapons get through.

Should security around the president be EVEN TIGHTER than it already is? But the president - not just Dubya, but all modern presidents - is already one of the most isolated people on Earth. Remember Bush Sr. didn't even recognize an optical scanner at a grocery store when he ran for president. How does one effectively govern a populace when one has no real contact? What level is the correct trade off between security and isolation is appropriate? I don't have a good answer but it makes me worry. It makes me sad to admit, but Obama is going to be in more danger than most presidents just because of his skin color. How isolated will he become?

And even assuming the danger from the shoe throwing doesn't go beyond a black eye, I still don't think it is at all proper or right to attack another person. I also think it is terribly disrespectful - which was the point - to do such a thing to another country's leader.

I wonder if Bush knew then or now what the level of insult this reporter was throwing at him. As I understand it this is about as bad as it gets in the Arabic world.

Let me also say that Bush had a good over all reaction about the attack. At the press conference he said something to the effect of, "All I can report is it is a size 10." Even better was on the plane ride to Afghanistan, "I didn't know what the guy said, but I saw his sole."



Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Heh heh! I hadn't heard that last one. :)

8:37 PM  

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