Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoe Fly; Don't Bother Him

I gotta hand it to him. Or foot it to him. Those were great reflexes for a man his age when President Bush twice ducked the shoes chucked at him by an Iraqi “journalist.” I put quotation marks around the word because, clearly, whatever stink a real journalist may wish to heap upon a head of state, the honor of the profession requires it be done in print or by word.

Throwing shoes is apparently the biggest insult available in Iraq, more so than bombing civilians and torturing its enemies.

This proves, then, that the surge worked. It could have been grenades instead of shoes.

And where was the vaunted Secret Service, whose members’ sacred duty is to take a shoe for the president?

Remember when those oppressed Iraqis began throwing shoes at the statue of Saddam, right after the Americans invaded Baghdad and then the statue was toppled by the spontaneous anger of ordinary Baghdaddies?

The truth of the matter, as I saw it is that the U.S. Army staged the entire event. There had been a permanent live TV camera placed somewhere above the square, and after a couple of perhaps honest Iraqis threw shoes, an armored personnel carrier in the background eventually moved toward the center.

Somehow, more people began throwing shoes, having been alerted by the CNN pictures, if not local TV, as to how to get some international shoe time. Somehow, that vehicle full of U.S. troops got closer to the statue. (By accident, the camera shot pulled back to show a relative few people in the square, but all you needed was enough to fill the 3x4 aspect ratio of a gullible TV screen.)

By magic, that APC drew nearer, a derrick was raised, and soldiers, with the diplomacy skills of 19-year-olds, were climbing the statue to put a rope around it, pull it down and raised an American flag over the scene -- an unintended, but enduring, symbol of U.S. colonialism.

That’s the real story nobody ever investigated, just one of many fabricated by agents of the U.S. government and lapped up by the dogs of war – American television.

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