Shoe-thrower requests pardon

The Iraqi TV reporter who tossed his shoes at President Bush wants a pardon.

By Thomas Schaller
December 18, 2008 10:19PM (UTC)
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The headline to the AP story below pretty much says it all:

Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush asks for pardon

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD (AP) - A spokesman for Iraq's prime minister says the journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush has asked for a pardon.

Spokesman Yassin Majid says that in a letter sent Thursday to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki the journalist described his behavior as "an ugly act" and asked to be pardoned.

Majid says that Muntadhar al-Zeidi in the letter recalls the kindness the prime minister once showed him during an interview in 2005 and asked for al-Maliki to show him kindness once again.

Al-Zeidi, a correspondent for an Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo, Egypt, could face two years imprisonment for insulting a foreign leader.

Well, except for this: For Allah's sake, just give it to him.

His move was politically stupid, creating as it did sympathy for Bush, but it was ultimately harmless. Let him go -- now.

Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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