Monday, December 15, 2008

Thoughts on the Shoe Attack

The first time I saw the video I was struck by 3 things:

  1. That President Bush is very spry--he avoided not one but two shoes hurled at him at close range--and did so easily. Not bad for a man in his 60s.
  2. That the Iraqi journalist who hurled the shoes was able to get a second throw off--it seemed to take way too long for all, especially the U.S. Secret Service, to react.
  3. That no one grabbed the President to hustle him out of the room. This is the prime example of opening up yourself to a secondary attack--as everyone is focused on the shoe thrower, it opens up all sorts of opportunity for a second attacker to take advantage of the hullabaloo.
Press Secretary Dana Perino was injured in the attack--the victim of getting hit in the eye by a microphone.

A number of Iraqis and Arabs across the Middle East have expressed pride over the attack on the American president. Given the controversial war and the large numbers of Iraqi dead and wounded, this reaction is to be expected of some. I am, however, disappointed but not surprised that so many Americans take such joy in seeing an American president attacked on foreign soil (oh, and I do think it was an attack--those shoes were not lobbed at the president but thrown full speed at his head). Regardless of what anyone thinks of President Bush, no one--Iraqi, American, or anyone else--should condone what happened. I hope the shoe thrower is prosecuted to the fullest extent of Iraqi law.

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