Thursday, March 12, 2009

who throws a shoe?

Well, Muntader al-Zaidi throws a shoe. Twice. At President Bush. And for a time, it seemed to be catching on. What has happened to Mr. al-Zaidi since has been the subject of some debate.

You shouldn't throw anything at anyone, and you certainly shouldn't throw things at visiting leaders from other countries. But should you be beaten and tortured for this? No. Should you be punished with a jail sentence? Possibly. You shouldn't throw things. But three years? It's less than the seven initially expected, but it still seems a bit much for expressing a sentiment that so, so many people felt and feel.

Now I may have disliked President Bush and opposed many if not most of his policies but, unlike some conservative commentators with whom I disagree vehemently, I did not wish that he would fail. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Or, at least the stupidest thing I've heard this month. I might have liked to throw a shoe or two at him, or at least shake him until he came to his senses, but I am not nearly as oppressed and wounded and destroyed as so many Iraqis are, and I never had the opportunity to be that close to the president. Which is probably a good thing. However, I can sympathize with a man who is so desperate and so hopeless that he feels his only recourse is to display his dissent through shoe-throwing. I do not condone it, but neither do I condemn it. And somehow, three years in prison does not seem a punishment on par with the crime.

No comments: